Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This is why Romance has a bad name

So I was shelving fiction this morning and there seemed to be an unnatural number of paperback romances on the cart, and I happened to start noticing the titles. It was hard not to notice the titles. So I had to look more up over my lunch hour, because they were really too hilarious to ignore. A small sampling:

The Spaniard's virgin housekeeper
Marrying the virgin nanny
Desert prince, defiant virgin
The ruthless magnate's virgin mistress
Virgin for the billionaire's taking
Bought: the Greek's innocent virgin
The Spaniard's defiant virgin
The Greek tycoon's virgin mistress
The billionaire's virgin mistress
The sheikh's convenient virgin
The Spanish duke's virgin bride
The sultan's virgin bride
Taken: the Spaniard's virgin
The desert king's virgin bride
The Greek's virgin
Forbidden: the billionaire's virgin princess

Now, these are contemporary romances put out by Harlequin. (I guess I should not use the phrase "put out" after listing those titles.) And those are not all of the titles I found under the search. (Those are all from 2009 and 2008, by the way, lest you believe I am tainting the pool by pulling from books published in the 1940s.)

In reviewing the titles, I think it is clear that they played a name game to come up with them. Man = Spaniard, Greek, sheikh, billionaire, etc. Woman = virgin. For kicks, they would throw in a princess, bride, or mistress every now and again. Just to mix it up, keep it real.

I was gleefully horrified by the titles, so instead of searching for the search term "virgin," I typed in "Harlequin." Some of the other titles don't even make sense:

The Sicilian's ruthless marriage revenge

What does that even mean??? Is that a sentence?

These were some of the ones I found particularly horrifying/creepy. Enjoy:

The Italian's ruthless marriage command
Pleasure, pregnancy and a proposition
The Greek's million-dollar baby bargain
Housemaid heiress
The prince's waitress wife
The boss's bedroom agenda
The rancher's runaway princess
Bought for the Sicilian Billionaire's bed
Pregnant: father wanted
His mistress, his terms
The Mediterranean billionaire's blackmail bargain
Ruthlessly bedded by the Italian billionaire
Spanish doctor, pregnant nurse
Billionaire doctor, ordinary nurse
Bought for revenge, bedded for pleasure
The millionaire's inexperienced love-slave
Purchased: his perfect wife
Housekeeper at his beck and call
Promoted : Secretary to bride!

I just have to add: shame on you, Harlequin! What horrible titles! I don't even want to think about the books themselves! Ick!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Applicant OMG

So if you saw a position whose title was "Teen Reader," what would you think?

Would you think you had to perhaps be a teenager?

Would you think if you were in your 40s that you might not qualify as a teenager?

Apparently not.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Have you guys ever seen the tv show psych? It's on USA, which also does Monk, Burn Notice, and The Closer, all of which I enjoy.

psych has two friends, Gus and Shawn. They have been friends since they were kids, and Gus is staid and serious and smart and Shawn is a goofball who pretends to be psychic but actually figures out clues through careful observation of little things other people don't notice.

I checked out a couple of DVDs from the library and have been watching them this evening, and they're just too, too funny.

The first I watched, which I believe is the first episode of season 2, has Tim Curry as a guest star (I love Tim Curry). It's based around a show called American Duo, which is a takeoff on American Idol, with Tim Curry playing the Simon Cowell (or whatever his name is - I don't watch) part of snotty, superior Brit. The whole episode was funny but at the end Shawn and Gus did the song - I was going to describe it, but it will be much funnier if you just watch it yourself. :)

When they find a dead body, they scream like little girls.

I don't know. It's just a fun, funny show and I had to share my joy.


My Friend Lynn

I have to give a shout out to Lynn in England.

Lynn is terribly funny. I adore Lynn's sense of humor and she always makes me laugh. I asked her once if she got tired trying to think of funny things and she assured me it came to her without difficulty. Lynn sent me a piece of her wedding cake (from England), which I still have in its little box on my shelf. Lynn quit her job, sold her flat, and traveled around the world, and not to places like Paris or Rome, but to places like Siberia and hotels with no running water and giant cockroaches as roomies.

She also went with Edith and I while she was on her America trek to Shipshewana to choose material to make an outfit to create a Pimpin Ken and Ho-Bag Barbie for my friend Jan in California, who collects Barbies and needed something like that in her collection. Please take a moment to ponder - three women, surrounded by the Amish, choosing zebra-striped material and saying things like, "Pimpin Ken needs a jacket made out of this." (For the curious, I also used yellow food coloring to make Barbie's hair more bottle blonde, gave her heavy eyeshadow and big earrings, and Edith sewed her an appropriate ho-bag mini skirt ensemble. I want credit, because it was my idea, and it was brilliant and very funny. Can you also please imagine Jan opening this present in front of her mom on Christmas day. Thank you, thank you.)

Lynn sent me 6 bags of potato chips (I believe the Brits call them "crisps"). The back story is Walkers (I think the same company who makes the famous shortbread cookies, if you're into shortbread) is having a contest to see which new flavor will win, or some such thing. The 6 flavors are: fish & chips; onion bhaji; builder's breakfast (bangers and mash, bacon, eggs); chilli & chocolate; and my personal favorite (in name only), Cajun Squirrel. I know that's only 5, but the box is over on the dining room table and I am allllll the way over heeeeerrrrre on the couch.

Not only did Lynn send me these frightening-sounding chips, but she protected them with diapers, which she assured me are CLEAN. God bless her.

And she sent candy to cover the taste of the chips. Lynn thinks of everything.

You have to love a person who does things like this. I mean, what else can you do?

So the next time I have guests over, I am going to open the chips and we're going to have a taste test and send Lynn our opinions. For those who, like me, are afraid to taste the chips, we will at least smell them, but I have a feeling my friends are more daring than I, especially after they've had a few drinks.

I'm very excited about the process. :) I think it will be most fun.

And I think Lynn is awesome. :)