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The Kill List


I was amazed when my friend Toby threw out that our bartender, The Hot Bartender we had in Madison named Gretchen, was suddenly no good to him.  Not that Toby was looking for female companionship anyway; he’s engaged, for crying out loud.  But, his fascination with our bartender evaporated when she announced to my cousin Ron, Toby and I that she was going out on a smoke break.

Why?  Smoking is one of the things on Toby’s “kill list”, my made-up name for that list we all have of the things that absolutely kill off a person when you consider whether or not you want to date them, or sleep with them, or marry them, or whatever your interest might be.  You know how it is—you’re at a social function, and you are chatting up someone interesting, and then they drop it:  “Oh, by the way, did I mention that I have twin four-year-olds?”


  • “I just finished off my last you know where I could score some more crack?”

  • “I think Puffy is the greatest rapper EVER!”

  • “Ugh, don’t you just hate black people?”

Or whatever.  My list, in case it needs to be repeated for those that have just joined this madness that is Bellview, only has two things on it:  I don’t date smokers, and I don’t date vegetarians.  I, too, lost interest in Gretchen once she dropped the smoking bit on us.  I have nightmares whenever I have the vision of going up to someone that has just put out a butt to kiss them, and you get that fantastic nicotine flavor all up in your mouth.  I have had similar experiences when I have chatted someone up and they drop on me that they think meat is evil and wrong and blah blah blah before asking for the check or pulling a “Hey, look at the time...”

But, I wanted to take in what other people have on their kill list, so I polled 35 other list members to see what they think.  The twelve who answered, in alpha order:  Adam Bane, Leslie Calihman, Steve Chou, Caitlin Herlihy, Robyn Johnson, Jin Lee, Namaala Liebenthal, Chuck Longer, Kristina Maranto, Matt Muller, Brandon Pugh and Jennifer Young.  Their scrambled responses with their top five kill factors appear below, and all of them will deny that any of the responses are I wouldn’t even worry about asking them if you are lucky enough to know these folks.  I want to warn you that you WILL be offended, you WILL drop your jaw at a couple of these responses, and you WILL laugh out loud at least a half dozen times.


  1. Bollo ties/bow ties

  2. Folks that talk with their mouth wide open while eating (we all do it a little but I'm talking really wide, Julia Roberts wide)

  3. Massively strong cologne

  4. Combovers (not because they are balding but because by combing over the remains they demonstrate they haven't accepted themselves)

  5. Someone with no sense of humor



  1. No rack.  I KNOW that's all sorts of wrong, and I genuinely apologize to all women who are self-conscious, but, well...that's the way it is.  I don't need Pam Anderson, but I don't want to feel like I'm going out with my 8-year old cousin, either.

  2. Doesn't eat at dinner.  This actually goes for people across the board -- not just girls.  If we're meeting to eat dinner, then don't try to tell me that you already ate.  I derive a certain level of joy from consumption.  When someone doesn't want to eat, that tells me that they don't want to have fun with me.  I know that will be shot down by every woman who says "Well, if I didn't want to have fun with you, I wouldn't have come to dinner," but hey—you not eating, in my eyes, IS the same as not coming to dinner.

  3. No pride/Can't take a compliment.  Remember Patty Hu from the metro?  The one thing I still remember about her 5+ years later is that whenever I asked her a question (e.g.:  What do you do?) or gave her a compliment (e.g.: You always look nice in the mornings), she'd respond like she didn't have any self-worth—I’d get answers like " don't want to know what I do" or "Oh...I wore this last week and am hoping nobody at work notices."  If someone says you look nice, say "Thanks" and be gracious about it.

  4. Perpetually whiny.  I HATE WHINING.  You're wasting your breath and my attention.  Shut up.

  5. Self-centered.  Maybe I was just lucky and never really experienced one of these types until after I was married, wife has an acquaintance—we’ll call her "Steve."  This girl Steve is nice enough, but she out-talks EVERYONE.  EVERYTHING has to be about her, and when the conversation drifts, she finds a way to re-center it...on her.  I got so fed up once listening to her that I actually just walked out of the room and didn't return until she was gone.”



  1. Racist

  2. Smoker

  3. Poor hygiene (e.g., MUST wash hands after using bathroom)

  4. Bad drunk (gets aggressive/angry, lots of puking/passing general, requiring a “babysitter”)

  5. Someone who refuses to dance



  1. Non-Asian...I'm a racist

  2. Christian

  3. Big fat mole on the face.  There was this really cute girl that I went to school with.  She was cute until I saw her up close and saw this big black thing right smack in the middle of her forehead.  Good thing I saw her up close first before asking her out, saved myself some cash.

  4. Cellulite on the thighs.  Be sure to take your date to the beach before committing.  My motto is...If she keeps her pants on at the beach, there's something wrong down there.

  5. Mustache.  Fucking shave bitch!



  1. Lacks kindness; I can't stand mean people

  2. Professional people in the financial field

  3. Lawyers—unless she works for a not-for-profit

  4. Bad skin—sorry but physical attributes are important since I'm a shallow person

  5. Really fat women—same reason as before



  1. No drug users, drug addicts, or the like.  The occasional pot (once a month or so) is ok, but when the trik starts asking to "head into DC" to get her stash, then there's problems.  Or my friends constantly ask what those marks are on my girlfriend's arms, you know its time to find a new girl.

  2. No smokers!  That stale, smoky breath and kiss is bad news.  Other than body odor, that is a huge turnoff.  With that said, my wife used to smoke when I dated her.  I gave her the ultimatum of stopping or I was done...she chose the former.

  3. A slob (in dress and her surroundings).  If I walked into her apartment/house and it was a mess (not just a few clothes on the floor, but I mean dishes in the sink, trash not taken out, etc.), I'm out of there.  I would of course give her the benefit of the doubt for the 1st, 2nd, and maybe 3rd date to see if she was messy all of the time (or just had a bad week).

  4. Rude.  If she's rude to my friends, family, or the people around us, then she's out.

  5. If she doesn't want a family (i.e. kids), then its time to move on.



  1. Loud shoes (more than simply shoes that make noise, loud shoes can be heard at a distance of over 30 yards outside and announce with each deliberate step “I am coming, look at me, here I am!”)

  2. Halitosis (bad breath)

  3. Smoking

  4. Racist or supremacy beliefs

  5. Back fat (and I’m not talking a hearty behind...these are the rolls that exist above the waistline and can usually be spotted lumping over the bra)



  1. Bad Breath - needs no explanation

  2. Men prettier than me - say a Michael Jackson type.  I don't mind good looking, fine men - but pretty men - turn off

  3. Jacked-up teeth

  4. Long fingernails on a man

  5. I hate to put this in writing - but I'm not a chubby chaser.  I don't mind "over weight" because quite frankly a lot of us are over our ideal weight - but I don't care for fat.



  1. Hunters for the fun of it (i.e. kill just to watch something die)

  2. Selfish people

  3. Truck Drivers (they are away from home too much)

  4. People unemployed for a long period of time (shows no motivation to better themselves)



  1. Smoking (just tastes bad)

  2. Crying (the occasional misting of the eyes maybe, or a single small tear at my future engagement/nuptials/birth of the first-born child, OK...but sobbing or crying in general at things that particularly guys just don't cry about I just can't have.  Of course, I am allowed to cry at all things at all times.  It's a double standard—live with it.)

  3. Bad table manners (if he's shoveling in food and then showing it or spraying it during our dinner conversation, he's out)

  4. Bad coordination (can't dance but teachable is doable; can't dance but plays professional football is totally okay, but can't dance, can't make a layup, can't throw a ball = O-U-T)

  5. Bird-like chest (if my shoulders are bigger than his it's never going to work)



  1. You think “The Simpsons” is a cartoon?  You do not respect the Monorail episode written by THE Conan O’Brien?  Go back to watching your stories where the woman goes into a coma only to come back as an evil twin sister trying to steal the married guy that might or might not be her brother.  And my show is dumb....

  2. You don't like Indian food but you have never tried it?  How do you know that you do not like it if you never had it?  Andrew Carnegie used to fire people like you and so will I.  Keep walking and enjoy the potatoes.

  3. So you want to be in shape but you do not like working out?  How is that coming along for you?  Oh wait—you’re hauling that big, fat ass but still think that your diet is coming along nicely.  Yes, if by “nicely”, you plan to play for the Packers next season.  Working out is hard—keeping up a boner for you is harder.  Does it get any darker in here?

  4. You went to [Virginia] Tech?  See ya!  You went to Maryland?  My dog is smarter than you (and probably has more class).

  5. You have a disease that rhymes with a frozen drink you can buy at 7-11?



  1. A Republican, anyone who voted for Bush, or anyone who would CONSIDER voting for Bush (self explanatory)

  2. A guy who does not offer to pay on the first date (we may end up sharing the check or he pays the first time and then I pay next time; but the gesture of offering to pay the first time is crucial)

  3. Anyone who mistreats or is condescending to wait staff at a restaurant

  4. Anyone who asks me over to his place as a first date (this does not include invitations that come after an evening out—I understand that's just part of the male playbook—but I mean INSTEAD of going out he says "come over and watch a movie with me"; NO WAY!  Exception would be for a severe injury that keeps him in the house or makes mobility very difficult in which case I might offer to come over)

  5. An outrageously bad laugh (the laugh has to be really really really obnoxious but it's definitely a killer because I love funny movies and joking around; this actually happened to me—on the second date we went to a funny movie and I almost left half way through because I felt like everyone in the theater wanted to tape his mouth shut)


Random Bellviews, courtesy of Bell and Longer Community Trust:

  • 14 straight free meals for your birthday (new modern-day record):  Opening Weekend

  • “You know what I really love, though?  Bacon.”:  $9.50 Show

  • Ridiculously cold outside...someone to stay warm with inside:  Matinee

  • The prospect of a 13-10 defensive Super Bowl between the Pats and the Cats:  Rental

  • People who think they are always right:  Hard Vice

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09