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The Salem Bargain Hunt


My name is Goody Rebecca. I hath spent the summer months in penitence for a foolish daisy chain. This harlot wreath did add years unto my purgatory. What to do? You would be surprised to see me today, hair braided and tucked in a neat cap. Yes, I do toil in the field now.

What do I know about plowing? Not much. Daniel Putnam hath given me this task so that I might pay off my eternal debt in the yawning hellmouth of the beyond.

I lean far over my work, prideful in the new stitching in my shirt hem. Plowing is devilish work. Instead I dream of stitching a bit of lace to my cap like Lucy, the whore of Rhode Island.

I lay my head against a rusty plow and began to murmur holy words. Daniel does hear my whispering. 

“Goody Rebecca,” he said “did you just ask the Lord ‘What art oxen?’

The adventures of Goody Rebecca continue in Paul Rudnick’s “Confessions of a Pilgrim Shopaholic” from this week’s New Yorker. 

Translations: Vince


Sometimes we realize that fashion can be hard to understand. A reader once alerted us to a shopping review in The New York Times’ formidable Style section. She found the review dense, confusing, and devoid of any actual information about clothes. As a public service, we the editors took it upon ourselves to offer up a translation of these reviews. It’s a little service we like to call J.Cruel Into English™

In this week’s edition of Translations, we advise Cintra Wilson on a good lawyer, one who can a get her a restraining order from the jumpsuits that haunt her dreams. The store: Vince. The place: The Meatpacking District

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Daydream in Ivy

In the morning, she took her tea with milk and two cubes of Perruche sugar. Pushing a pair of clear lucite eyeglasses up the sweet slope of her nose, she pondered the newspaper. Oh dear, her moist brain thought, Rwanda. It was too much; she pulled a handkerchief from her handkerchief drawer and coughed into it, fatally. That day’s work at the Children’s Library was particularly stressful. Two mothers asked the location of the restroom, and an eleven-year hold was caught snorting Adderall in the Under the Sea Storytime Castle. Dinner was a cigarette and an asparagus. As per her evening habit, she plucked up The Arcades Project before quickly setting it down again. This was how she avoided muscle atrophy. There were so many things she wanted desperately from life: the curve of a highball to cool her moist forehead, a goat cheese pizza the size of a hubcap, a bra. 

Molly Blouse in reverse swiss dot. Velvet Secretary Skirt.