1. Technical difficulties.

2. Loss of feeling in fingertips.

3. Moved to laughter and tears, but not necessarily to typing and sending.

4. Commented out loud to myself after reading and considered the message well received.

5. Commented on your Facebook wall, reposted my comment on several blogs and then discussed it with you in person, however I figured this comment section was a private matter.

6. Typed out a comment and then saw it as over-praising and sugary, even for someone who writes about parenting.

7. Typed out a comment and then saw it as contrarian and snarky, even for someone who writes about the French.

8. Added a comment but it was so riddled with typos that WordPress deleted it instantly and sent me an email that read: “Please.Just…go.”

9. Have been working on a comment all year and am just putting the final touches on a semi-decent final draft.

10. Waiting until the site adds a “Resonates like a distant chime through the forgotten chapels of my yearning” button for me to click.

11. Only here for the money.

12. Workshopped your piece with the English departments of several top universities and we’ve yet to come to any consensus as to what we should say.Though, I’ve somehow been assigned to teach Beowulf now.

13. Thought I’d spare the comment thread from being veered wildly off topic.

14. Able to locate neither the beginning nor the end of the thread.

15. Too meta, so much so that the sly references buried in the middle of the post to both the writer and myself made me pass at any attempt to stop the snake from eating its tail.  I mean, it gets a little old, no?

16. I’m trying to send a message to the American people.

17. Because the phrase “fucking nutless horse cock who eats the steaming shoveled shit of czarist commies for breakfast and then pukes it the fuck up into the limpdick ass words of this pussy ballsac pillow-biting piece of donkey turds and racist douchebag excrement” needed just a little more tweaking first.

18. Fear of light sabers.

19. Deep-seated contributor/commenter reconciliation issues.

20. I had a dream about commenting on your piece and that seemed to suffice.

21. I fell asleep with your piece on the screen and ever since have needed it as a kind of lyrical nightlight to help me drift off.By now, any comment would be hopelessly beside the point, not to mention embarrassing for everyone.

22. I’m really just on this site to promote my line of high-end kitchen appliances and don’t feel the need to participate beyond posting about the magic of Cuisinart.

23. I only speak up on every 500th comment that runs across the board.

24. I only speak up on every 5,000th thought that runs through my head.

25. Printed out your article, scrawled comment at bottom of the page and tied it to a red helium balloon.Because if you love something, you should set it free.

26. Oh, I think you know why.

27. Content way too offensive.

28. Content not nearly offensive enough.

29. Desperately attempting to show, not tell.

30. Suspicion that no amount of positive reinforcement is ever going to truly feed the beast.

31. In the end, I blame Capricorns.

32. Have turned into a Quaker.

33. Have turned into an agent.

34. Have turned into your father.

35. Not yet fully convinced any of you are actually real.

36. Struck with how little I know and, of what I do know, how little I understand.Proceeded to mashing out emoticons on Huffington Post.

37. Waiting until the movie adaptation of your post is released when I’ll thoughtfully deconstruct you on Metacritic.

38. Didn’t want to spoil the illusion of a story as finite, pristine and untouched by anything outside of it, but now that it’s become apparent that your story has the potential to continue on forever and I have the chance to push it along as something more than a solitary tree planted in the sand, I’m struck dumb as I come to realize I’m growing instead in a garden.

39. You and I happen to be exactly the same person, just with different gravatars.

40. Because I’m reserving cynicism for another time.

41. Because I’m only just arriving to the place you’ve been all this time.

42. Because I assumed my comment was implied.

43. Trick knee.

44. Slow learner.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NATHANIEL MISSILDINE lives in Dijon, France with his wife and two daughters. He is the author of the 2012 travel memoir SAVE FOR FIREFLIES as well as a recently completed novel. Online writings, by turns comical and puzzling, are on display over at nathanielmissildine.com.

63 responses to “Why I Never Commented on Your Post”

  1. D.R. Haney says:

    Had I written this, I would’ve had to have added:

    45. Exhaustion.

    I certainly could never be accused of #13. Meanwhile, feel free to apply #17 to any post of mine you may wish. In fact, I think I’m soon going to give you probable cause.

    But with regard to #6: You do realize this is TNB, yes?

  2. Greg Olear says:

    I like Nos. 18 and 31.

    • Thanks, Greg, but it’s Capricorns attempting to use light sabers who you really have to worry about.

      • Reno j. Romero says:

        great idea, sir. but blame it on the capricorns? probably. being born on dec 22nd you get dicked over b-day gifts because santa’s fat ass is around the block. so we’re bitter and stir it up. i think. numero 9 is the one. ha. too funny.

        • Thanks, Reno. I really should have said that I blame not the Capricorns, but rather the fact that raising doubts about astrology to Greg in his post can result in Becky guessing that you are a Capricorn based on said comment.

          And yes, we do get dicked over on bday gifts, that’s what we get for sharing the sign with a freaking messiah.

      • Reno j. Romero says:

        yeah, greg we are. where do you live?

  3. I can certainly relate to a few of these. My fear of light sabers has never actually prevented me from commenting (although it’s come close) but I have often found myself wanting to comment… and then just not. Laziness, I suppose. Sometimes it’s a dose of #3. Now it’s usually just “Stupid Chinese Firewalls and Dial-Up Internet” that gets in my way.

  4. Irene Zion says:


    I love #7 and I have actually experienced #8.
    #11 made me laugh out loud,
    and it’s really early and I probably woke up the whole house.
    #13 is not valid, since veering wildly off-topic is just something we do here.
    You have to delete that one.
    I would also appreciate it if you would leave #17 on mine at any time, just as it is.
    Light sabers are good, Nathaniel, where have you been?
    Oh yeah, in France.
    That explains it.
    As to #35, WE are real, whereas, the Huffington Post is written by a million monkeys on a million typewriters in California.

  5. #35 is my excuse every time. I mean, you’re not real, for example. Right?

  6. megan says:

    46. Commenting duty fulfilled by many other people therefore feel unobligated

  7. Gloria says:

    I left you a comment, but it was eaten. Rest assured, it was hilarious and clever – like your post.

  8. While I swear I made it all the way to #44 without being tempted to skim, just so I could leave a banal comment in order to get credit for leaving any comment at all, so that when you read my next post you’ll give it the time and consideration it truly deserves, Nat, I do confess to loving #3 the most.

  9. Zara Potts says:

    Fear of lightsabers!!! HAHAHAHAHAH.
    I feel a need my for lighsaber to make a comeback!
    I love this! (and I don’t care how sugary that sounds. I do!)

  10. Richard Cox says:

    Can I just say this lightsaber thing has gotten more play than I could have ever imagined? You slave for years over novels (or comedy routines) and the real difference you make in this world is you can Photoshop lightsabers onto people’s Facebook pictures.

    But I guess a little bit of influence is better than deafening silence. Hahahaha.

    15 and 22 speak to me as well.

  11. Ashley Menchaca (New Orleans Lady) says:

    I like #4.
    You guys can’t hear me?

    Also, #26.
    You know why.

    Also, when am I going to get a light saber pic? Dammit!

    • I wonder if maybe a recording feature could be added to the site one day without us knowing and the comments we blurt out to ourselves could be included in the thread. That could further liven things up. In the meantime thanks, Ashley, for writing in your comment.

  12. Matt says:

    These are goddamn funny. It’s a good day for humor over at TNB.

    I was going to suggest “comment board burnout” but I think Duke’s “exhaustion” might just cover it. Might I then suggest, “I have a life beyond the Intenet.”?

  13. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Ceci n’est pas un «comment»…Comment?


    • C’est bien la question: Comment un comment peut être aussi un comment ? Enfin, quelqu’un avec qui je peux parler Franglais.

      (For anyone who doesn’t understand, we’re talking about you.)

      • Uche Ogbuji says:

        “Comment un comment peut être aussi un comment ?”

        Bien construe, ça. Comment faire un comment sans inspirer tout le monde a dire «comment» (c’est très difficile pour moi, hélas).

        Et moi, je parle du hypocrite lecteur maintenant. Mais je parle aussi de René Magritte 🙂


        • Ah oui, j’ai oublié surrealisme. Il y a un autre sens pour pipe qui est plus…moderne. Mais je vais passer sur une photo.

        • Erika Rae says:

          Je comprends maintenant porquoi tu ne comments pas. (Commenter? Est-il correct?) Les comments sont en anglais. C’est trop simple. Ou est le defi dans celui?

          (Je veux jouer! Je veux jouer!)

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          Hmm, so my intent was towards the surrealist joke rather than the French, so I’d better switch to anglais before I get into trouble 😉 I dunno, Erika, I think English is a tougher language than French in many ways. 🙂

          Maybe we should have a special, safe place where we can jouer to our heart’s content. As Nat said: “Enfin, quelqu’un avec qui je peux parler Franglais.” Well, looks like il y en a beaucoup.

        • Yes, we’d better keep it English, lest we invite des trolls Francais. Still I’m pretty impressed by you French speakers coming out of the woodwork (tu jeux bien, Erika!), who would have that thought there were so many Francophones in the Montagnes Rocheuses.

          I had many line items that didn’t make the final cut here, one of which was: My English is not so good.

  14. Quenby Moone says:

    I’m pretty sure I could go with sugary (#6) and contrarian (#7) in most every situation. That means exactly what it sounds like: I’m insane.

    I’m pretty sure you’ve got something for everyone here (sugary), just not me (contrarian).

    Not bad! I think I’ll try them all!

  15. Joe Daly says:

    I’m afraid to comment now…

    I liked this the best:

    9. Have been working on a comment all year and am just putting the final touches on a semi-decent final draft.

    This is awesome and sure to make a featured TNB “Best Of…” list in the coming months.

  16. Dana says:

    Fucking nutless horse cock who eats the steaming shoveled shit of czarist commies for breakfast and then pukes it the fuck up into the limpdick ass words of this pussy ballsac pillow-biting piece of donkey turds and racist douchebag excrement!

    (It really just needed an exclamation point.)

    Hilarious Nate/Nat/Nathan/Nathaniel!

    Although 19 and 31 hit a little too close to home.


    • That’s it! I knew that diatribe was missing something. I’d make a terrible troll. And you can choose from any name above, but Nat works best. Thanks for the comment, I’m glad to see more Capricorns here than I thought.

  17. Irene Zion says:

    So tell me the truth, Nathaniel,
    was it #18?

    • Here’s the truth about this list, if I can stop acting like the class clown for a second. I created it based on what I imagined others might use as an explanation for not commenting, in some cases maybe an unspoken truth, in many cases a completely absurd exaggeration. The absurd ones do what humor often does, which is portraying us as worse than we are. I liked the idea that someone might be intimidated by the content of the gravatar image or that another would work on a draft of a comment for a year, but it’s hyperbole. All of it was one way of exploring how a comments section changes the way we read and the way we write, while letting me act like the class clown.

      And here’s where Slade might say comedy is not meant to be dissected. But to answer your question more directly, for me, the lightsabers are more an invitation to comment.

  18. Simon Smithson says:


    For the win.

    Now and forever.

  19. Tom Hansen says:

    Good stuff. I have only one reason for not commenting more than I do. Commenting for me is such a different endeavor than ‘writing,’ and I often open my big mouth with comments that are not very well thought out, or done without reading the entire post, or made in my flippant whacked out voice, and often these comments are quite stupid and sometimes even insulting. It’s not done on purpose, I just can’t take commenting as seriously as ‘writing.’ And then someone gets offended, and then I feel bad, and then I swear off commenting for a while, and then I miss people’s posts who I love, and who are brilliant writers….and….that’s why I don’t comment very much

    • Yes, one of the more honest and less absurdly comic lines of my piece is #19, the contributor/commenter reconciliation issues. The way I’ve always written I think doesn’t so smoothly lend itself to commenting. As you put very well, it’s such a different endeavor. At first I had trouble finding the best way to comment (the fodder for this post), but in many ways I’ve stretched as a writer thanks to comment participation. Hence my #38, where I don’t see a piece of writing as a solitary, untouched thing so much anymore.

      But thanks, Tom, for adding your take here.

  20. M.J. Fievre says:

    Only here for the money? 😉 Yer funny.

  21. angela says:

    ha! awesome.

    and that is my very late comment. the end.

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