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

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

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The 10 biggest myths about abortion

Ann Furedi
Students protest outside the University of London on 9 December 2010 against government proposals to let universities triple tuition fees  

'I’m gonna kill this lot', and other things a police officer shouldn't be saying during a protest

Hannah Dee
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable