Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 1, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

QUOTE OF THE DAY....A modern day homage to Proust?

His room was full of two things, mainly: dozens of old socks, that had been worn a few dozen times (without ever seeing a detergent), could stand up largely by themselves, and were yellow at the edges; and countless old, empty Tab cans, some crushed, others stagnant, a few actually placed in an orderly pile, ready for consumption....The unique aroma of dried-up Tab cans and encrusted foot odor has never quite left my consciousness since.

I think I'll stick with tea and madeleines instead, thank you very much.

Kevin Drum 7:46 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (31)

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Comments

Gosh, with friends like Andrew, who needs enemies?

Posted by: David on February 1, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Tab, foot odor, and ass.

Wonderful.

Posted by: Anomynous on February 1, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Those conservatives and their kinky sex.

Posted by: craigie on February 1, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

I miss cyclomates. Used to love original Fresca and Tab. Some things are worth the reported cancer risk.

Posted by: Keith G on February 1, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Ewww. Well, as it says at the top of Sullivan's page: "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."

Posted by: tbrosz on February 1, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

To quote a ditty my wife learned from her grandmother:

Socks, socks, six cents a pair,
They never rip, they never tear.
The longer you wear them they stronger they get.
If you never wash them they never get wet.

Posted by: Henry on February 1, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, that's what reminds me the most of the college dorms.

Washing out that sticky odor with Lysol was probably my favorite pasttime.

Unfortunately, I went when they decided to try the 'fresh linen' scent, which failed to cover up the odor of the mildew that loved soda.

Ugh.

Posted by: Crissa on February 1, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK
    ...The unique aroma of dried-up Tab cans and encrusted foot odor has never quite left my consciousness since.

    The hollow-sounding spot under the floor near the closet grabbed my attention, as did the series of slightly sunken rectangles in the back yard. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time to investigate them any further since he whisked us off to the parlor as soon as he noticed my interest.

    I sat in the parlor, flipping though his collection of old Cosmos for bit. Then he arrived with crakers and pat. The pat was interesting - quite unlike any I've had before. He declined to share the recipe, only blushing slightly when I requested a hint. Such delicate flavor. I thought of mother.

Posted by: cleek on February 1, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Some blog once observed that if you wish to write for the New York Times, it is required that if memory is your subject, you simply must reference madeleines and Proust. This Google search doesn't do justice to all the examples entailed in said blog.

I myself, while perusing roughly seventeen thousand back issues of The New Yorker I didn't have time to read fully, noticed another trend.

Posted by: The Critic on February 1, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

People who deny that they are reading the New Yorker mostly for the cartoons are like people who say they are reading Playboy mostly for the articles.

Posted by: tbrosz on February 1, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, dear, "encrusted foot odor." I thought the old grad-student tradition was that if you threw a sock at the wall and it didn't stick, you could still wear it.

Posted by: waterfowl on February 1, 2006 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

While we're on the subject, here's Larry King in the sack,


http://www.yeeeah.com/weblog/2006/01/larry_king_unsu.html


and a dream of Oprah and George,

http://www.yeeeah.com/weblog/2006/01/if_you_dont_sup.html


Posted by: cld on February 1, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Ewww, that's nasty.

Why would someone publish that? Jeez, talk about 'too much information' or 'need to know'. Yuck.

Posted by: lutton on February 1, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Wait till his homage next week on the ripe aroma of jock straps after a ripping good game of rugby on Harvard Yard - ahh, good times.

Posted by: JBK on February 1, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

yikes

Posted by: aljksbn on February 1, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

People who deny that they are reading the New Yorker mostly for the cartoons are like people who say they are reading Playboy mostly for the articles.

What about people like me, who subscribe to the New Yorker? Are we like the people who hang out at the Playboy mansion?

Posted by: craigie on February 1, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Tab is '80s nostalgia? That's kind of a late-'60s and early '70s drink. Plus, I gotta wonder about college guys drinking diet colas...perhaps those Harvard guys were prematurely fatassed.

Posted by: tom on February 1, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Ahhh yesss ... the squalor of graduate-school living. Nothing quite like it, really. Away from the dorms, surviving on a tiny stipend and free to pursue one's chosen course of study with as little interference from the school as can be finagled ...

My law school bud had a wonderful, crumbling apartment for two years, since reduced to rubble to make room for More Hospital (New Bruswick, NJ, "the healthcare city," can *always use* More Hospital) that was the fulsome epitome of gloriously dissipated grad school squalor ...

Every sense came alive in that place ... from the sounds of construction next door that began at 6AM and the bells of the adjacent Hungarian Catholic church, to the hard taste of the tap water, the feel of drafts in every room, and of course, the smells ... ahh, the smells.

Posted by: rmck1 on February 1, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Ahhh yesss ... the squalor of graduate-school living. Nothing
quite like it, really. Away from the dorms, surviving on a tiny
stipend and free to pursue one's chosen course of study with
as little interference from the school as can be finagled ...

My law school bud had a wonderful, crumbling apartment for two years,
since reduced to rubble to make room for More Hospital (New Bruswick,
NJ, "the healthcare city," can *always use* More Hospital) that was
the fulsome epitome of gloriously dissipated grad school squalor ...

Every sense came alive in that place ... from the sounds
of construction next door that began at 6AM and the bells
of the adjacent Hungarian Catholic church, to the hard
taste of the tap water, the feel of drafts in every
room, and of course, the smells ... ahh, the smells.

My bud has to this day an aversion to putting his laundry in a
hamper, a cross borne more by his live-in girlfriend than his
frequent guests. Every square inch of his bedroom floor would
be covered; how they moved around in there I have no idea ...

He had a wonderful roommate from Dublin for those two years, a
physicist who finished his PhD last year in genomics. Brilliant
guy and the compleat garbage head :) I can't tell you how many
bottles of wine, sixpacks and pizzas we went through -- and I
*won't* tell you about the other, umm, consumables we shared
there as well. I will tell you, though, about the Beer Towel.

The Beer Towel was my bud's ingenious answer to the frequent
spillage problem (the coffeetable was continually cluttered
with ashtrays, plates and glasses, beer bottles, books, etc.
It's surprising that, given the chronic elbow room shortage,
we didn't spill more liquids than we did, truthfully ...

My bud decided he could afford to dedicate a towel from his
wardrobe to permanent living room spill duty. And so he did.
It lived underneath a chair. We'd break it out to much
whooping (The beer towel! Yess!) whenever it was needed.

It never did make it into the laundry. By the
time my friend moved out the thing would have
to have been smelled to have been believed ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 2, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

TAB!!!! YUCK!!!!

Just my opinion mind you. I can't prove it but YUCK! anyway.

Posted by: Lurker42 on February 2, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Most people would say "an old college buddy." Not a Hahvahd guy though. A**hole...

Posted by: GAB on February 2, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

People who deny that they are reading the New Yorker mostly for the cartoons are like people who say they are reading Playboy mostly for the articles.

Pshaw! (which is the most such a comment deserves)

Posted by: The Critic on February 2, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

People who deny that they are reading the New Yorker mostly for the cartoons are like people who say they are reading Playboy mostly for the articles.

Textbook case of projection.

Posted by: bob on February 2, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

People who deny that they are reading the New Yorker mostly for the cartoons are like people who say they are reading Playboy mostly for the articles.

Gee, project much?

But that statement is still dumber than dirt: John McPhee, Calvin Trillin, George Packer, Seymour Hersh, Malcolm Gladwell, Atul Gawande, Jerome Groopman, Adam Gopnik, Steve Martin, Bruce McCall, David Sedaris, Art Spiegelman, etc etc. are regular contibutors.

I'm not paying a hundred bucks a year and having them ship copies across the Pacific Ocean just to look at a bunch of goddamned cartoons, that's for sure.

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