Maid in Manhattan: Much-too-attractive bridesmaid for hire

 

Share

Everything changes, nothing changes. Where we once took obscure delight in scouring the classifieds in papers and magazines, now we have Craigslist, as revealing a glimpse into the American human mind as can be found outside the works of Freud.

Last week, one post in particular caught the eye: "Professional bridesmaid. Let me be there for you if you don't have any other girlfriends except your third cousin, twice removed; your fiancé has an extra groomsman and you're looking to even things out; [or] you need someone to take control and make sure bridesmaid #4 doesn't show up three hours late."

Is this for real? Enter Jen Glantz, a 26-year-old Floridian now living in Manhattan who happens to be the writer of a book called All My Friends Are Engaged. "I'm totally serious about it and look forward to using all that I've learnt as a bridesmaid so far (four times this year!). Plus, my dance moves get better and better, I will be front and centre when it comes to catching the bouquet and I am willing to hold up the 18 layers of your wedding dress so that you can pee with ease." And the fee for this service? "At this time, there's no set price," Glantz tells me. "This would be something the bride and I could chat about."

Any takers yet? Sadly not, and a poll at Independent Towers might point to why. "Too pretty," my female colleagues agreed.

Plaque for good?

It was a mixed week for the humble public bench. Where some were being turned into mini works of literary art as part of the Books About Town initiative, the one that the young leads in The Fault in Our Stars snogged on beside the canal in Amsterdam, went missing presumed stolen. But all of this seems insignificant in light of the removal of a dedication screwed to the back of a bench on north London's Primrose Hill.

"In memory of Roger Bucklesby," the brass plaque read, "who hated this park, and everyone in it". The man behind this act of vandalism/work of art is Jamie Maslin, who was in "a filthy mood" one morning a few years ago. "I'm a writer of the struggling variety," he remembers, "and as I sat there moaning I joked about a fitting bench plaque to encapsulate my disposition. In that moment Bucklesby was born."

How does Maslin feel now that news has reached him at home in Tasmania, that Bucklesby's bench is no more? "I was gutted, although not entirely surprised," he says. A spokesperson for the Royal Parks tells this column that it was a difficult decision. "Obviously we could see the humour, but there is a waiting list for dedications so it had to go."

Has Bucklesby gone for good? "I return briefly to the UK at the end of the month," Maslin reports. "Maybe I'll be lucky and a replacement will coincide with my visit."

Roll out the barrel

It has become increasingly fashionable for food and drink products – from craft beers to pickles, mustards, ciders, sauces and even ice cream – to be advertised as "barrel-aged". There's only one problem: barrel-makers, or coopers, are few and far between these days, with timber shortages and metal casks having devastated the trade.

An article in the current issue of Modern Farmer magazine highlighted the problem, and a call to the UK's only master cooper, Alastair Simms, confirmed the situation.

"Coopering is not a dying art, it's dead," Simms says, "which is a shame because I've learnt more about the possibilities of barrel-ageing in the past few years than I did in my first 30 as a cooper.

"As we've got more adventurous in our tastes we appreciate food more and are willing to be more experimental." Surely this is good for business? "Well," says Simms, "the trade in buying and selling secondhand barrels is booming. We've become a chuck-away society but coopering has always been about recycling."

It's doggy discrimination

There is, apparently, one area of modern life in which racism is still rife and now a term has been given to this phenomenon: black dog syndrome. It seems that while it has long been noticed that dogs in shelters with light-coloured coats tend to get selected first, the situation has become worse with the rise of online sites such as Petfinder, where would-be owners see photographs of prospective pets.

"Often, says Fred Levy – a photographer whose Black Dog Project gives tips on taking pictures of our dark-furry friends – "[black dog's] faces look less expressive, and their eyes get lost." Nothing to do with Churchill or Samuel Johnson, then.

No rhyme or reason

Another in a regular series of limericks based on recent events:

It might seem an irrelevant tweak

To work just four days of the week

But far better to try it

Than to 5:2 fast diet

If it's work and life balance you seek.

twitter.com/@simmyrichman

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Riyadh is setting itself up as region’s policeman

Lina Khatib
Ed Miliband and David Cameron  

Cameron and Miliband should have faith in their bolder policies

Ian Birrell
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing