For the uninitiated, Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency (just called “McSweeney’s” on the street) is a literature and humor website started several years ago by author Dave Eggers. The site never fails to be entertaining, in its own quirky, ultra-hip way, and it succeeds in its mission to be different from just about everything else out there. (check out a New York Times assessment of the McSweeney’s quarterly here.)
There are dozens of different categories of content, many of interest to the traveler. There are dispatches from a writer who lives in Lisbon, Portugal, travel narratives-slash-recommendations from Kevin Dolgin, who takes a look at everywhere from A to Zagreb, and dispatches from one of the dirtiest rivers in the United States.
The Lists are, in my opinion, the most amusing part of the site. Here are some samples:
Common Illnesses at the Vatican (Hymnorrhoids; Ave Malaria; Exorcysts)
Vacation Slogans for Lower-Tier Towns (A Reasonable Place to Visit; Town in Mirror is Smaller than it Appears; A Place to Gas Up)
Actual Examples of Model Conversational Phrases that the Travel Guide Les Etats-Unis Dans Votre Poche: Edition Bilingue Felt Were So Central to the Experiences Likely to be Undergone by French Visitors to America that it Included Them on its Companion Study Cassette Tape (Yeah! I’ll bet if you laid those burgers end-to-end they would reach to the moon. Let’s go try one, shall we?; Where’s the fine democratic American melting pot?; I’m never lucky at these kinds of luck things.)
Forsake your family this Christmas day and spend a few hours browsing around the site. When they get mad, don’t mention my name.