1. No time.

2. No energy.

3. No idea what you were saying.

4. Your post was part of a series and I figured I’d wait for the next installment.

5. Wanted to leave my feedback at tnb.com regarding the electrical conduit fittings I recently enjoyed, but somehow ended up here.

6. Your piece happened to appear during a widespread lull in commenting at TNB and I didn’t want to buck the trend.

7. Didn’t feel ready to delve into a topic that would steamroll my neatly compartmentalized system of core beliefs and values.

8. Didn’t feel the need to make it obvious I had fully missed the point.

9. Didn’t have the emotional patience to share a moment.

10. Suddenly, not sure if I’m hip to this scene.

11. Stoned on your fame.

12. Still trying to get through your comment thread.

13. Still don’t understand why your comment thread isn’t vastly longer and am at a loss as to how I can help in any way, shape or form.

14.  Didn’t catch your piece before it dropped to the bottom half of the home page and then I had to go all the way down there.

15. While reading your piece I thought to myself “This is not what this site is about.”  Returned to my own post with its drastic change of tone and little context.

16. Your post was really just a picture of penis.  But, oh, what a glorious penis it was.

17. Being from central Pennsylvania, I didn’t feel it was my business to communicate anything whatsoever, nor bother with a comment at this time.

18. Finished your piece and went “Meh.”  Turned on television and said “Meh.”  Walked into kitchen and opened the fridge to “Meh.”  Had to lie down.

19. Deleted my comment after rereading it and discovering that it was all adverbs.

20. J’ai eu une envie irrésistible d’écrire un commentaire en français tout simplement pour montrer que je suis meilleur que tout le monde.

21. In the middle of reading your piece, I googled a term I wasn’t familiar with.  Then, clicked on a related link to a video of a clown urinating at a funeral.  Then got an alert from the people at Michelle Bachman.  Then watched someone falling during Dancing With the Stars.  Then watched a TED Talk about what watching Dancing With the Stars is doing to our pre-frontal lobes.  Then watched the police tasering more kids.  Then redeemed frequent flier miles.  Currently lost somewhere in the woods.

22. Not yet wise enough to get away with saying something inappropriate.

23. Gently placed hand on screen as I imagined you doing the same.  Counted that as comment.

24. Yours was the kind of piece that came in under my radar and I’ll only remember that I read it at a moment while driving or just about to fall asleep or going under the knife or pulling on a rubber mask before robbing a bank.

25. Withholding comment on one of your pieces until you begin to wonder what’s up with me.  “I mean, he comments on everyone else’s stuff,” you ask aloud.  Then, on the piece you least expect – Blammo!  I leave a “This is a great read.  Thanks for posting.” and you realize it still means something.

26. Letting you fill in your own worst nightmare of why someone would be turned off by your post.

27. Came to plaster the entire site with comments about the marvels of enlargement supplements, got stuck actually reading your post and now, here I am, a useless pile of warm tears.

28. Comment got scooped up by the spam filter when it couldn’t differentiate an ad from the edgy self-promotion of my own writing.

29. Heard malware is created by splitting infinitives.

30. Because of that thing that happened between us where I said too much and then you pulled back and I tried to overcompensate and then you seemed irritated and I made a bad joke which was followed by a mutual avoidance for awhile and here we are not able to formally apply for a divorce.

31. Because, hold it, I don’t know you at all.

32. Because I carried a quote from your piece on a strip of paper inside my wallet and it remained the only proper response I could come up with.

33. It occurred to me that I’m not fit to be a writer.

34. It occurred to me that I’m not fit to do anything else.

35. Have already run away with your circus.

36. It was my post.

37. It’s complicated.

38. Still like to pretend I’m new.




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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.

51 responses to “Why I Never Commented on Your Post, Again”

  1. Victoria Patterson says:

    Ha. I’m the worst at commenting, so had to comment on this. Is that a comment?

  2. Zara Potts says:

    I totally relate to so many of these things.
    But the guilt! The guilt of not commenting…. can you please write something to alleviate that?
    LOVE your work, Nate. Every vowel and consonent.

    • Yes, it’s a funny phenomenon that we feel guilt around here for not commenting. Something tells me that doesn’t happen to users over at Huffington Post.

      Meanwhile, Zara, you have to stop writing such kind and sincere comments that make it hard for me to be sarcastic.

  3. I’m still holding with the “none of you are real” reason of your first post on the subject.

    Perfectly timed, though, (and funny! and true! but I’m not saying which ones are particularly true!) as I’m sure I’ve been a TNB comment slacker myself of late. But, you know, NONE OF YOU ARE REAL. So ….

    • Gloria says:

      I, too, have been a slacker. I never even commented on Duke’s latest piece – that’s saying something.

    • Yeah, I’m not saying which lines are true either. But, nice of you to remember the line from the previous piece.

      And can you imagine what it would be like if we were all real? One day the Blue Fairy will visit each gravatar in the still of the night and grant us our wish.

  4. Gloria says:

    YAY! Another Nat list! Woo!

    I love number 19.

    Also, I would like to add 39. Embarrassed to reply, yet again, with Yay! and Wooo! and 🙂

    • Sometimes YAY! and WOO! are all a contributor is hoping for.

      WUP! WUP!

      • New Orleans Lady says:

        I’m so relieved to hear that “yay!” is so well received. It’s my go-to comment when I’m happy for one of you but don’t have the words to put it all pretty. Yay is short for pride, love, excitement…you know, all that jazz.

  5. Don Mitchell says:

    #6 and #1o for me.

    Je m’en fiche! Uh, maybe that’s not appropriate. Or relevant.

    • The slowdown in commentary was mentioned by Greg a little while ago when talking about adjusting a piece for comment deflation.

      Merci bien. Not only don’t care about the scene, but don’t give a fuck. Je m’en fous.

  6. I’ll go with 33, 34, and 35 on any given day. What if this starts a trend and people start leaving numbers in the comments?

  7. zoe zolbrod says:

    I think TNB should have a Like button.

  8. New Orleans Lady says:

    I suck at commenting and can use 90% of those excuses as my own. Really, I’m just too fucking busy! I miss you guys, I do. Every single one of you. I love you all. But fucking life, man.

    I still read, though. Usually it’s from my phone while waiting in some line. You know, grocery store, traffic, parent’s line at Aiden’s school… it never ends…

    Nate, you are one funny mofo (yeah, I said mofo) and I would like to thank you for making this time in the waiting room a little better. Side note: constant giggling in an ICU waiting room full of crying people is not as fun as it seems.


  9. Dana says:

    Love 29. Also, 8 and 12. Can’t forget 19.

    And sincerely, I always enjoy your pieces!


  10. Angela says:

    Since I have zero wit whatesoever, I have to read things like this so I can re-use without permission. Honestly made me a very happy camper when my nature is normally the opposite. Thanks buddy!

  11. Oh! I was supposed to be commenting all along? Merde! Sacre bleu!

    I agree there should be a “like” button. Or an “I read it and I’m blown away” button. Or a tender button.

    I always like your stuff, Nat.

  12. D.R. Haney says:

    No. 3: That’s one reason I chose not to serialize my recent long post. Seriously!

    No. 6: Coward! If all the other kids jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?

    No. 12: Should I take that personally? Are all the people on the radio talking only to me?

    No. 29: Your wittiest phrasing here, methinks.

    • If all the other kids jump off a cliff, I stand there thinking up the best way to make light of the tragedy. Then I jump.

      It is, however, not a joke that I’ve found myself returning your last post and its mammoth thread to consult it like a reference book. Soon it may replace David Thomson’s Dictionary of Film on my shelf. What’s funny is that not commenting because of the length doesn’t seem to hold water, in your case.

      • D.R. Haney says:

        Now, this is the kind of motherfucking comment that makes a guy return for more! (Imagined emoticon optional.)

        I used to own the Thomson book, but I sold it to the Strand bookstore in a moment of desperation, just as, similarly desperate, I later sold my Beatle Anthology CDs to Amoeba Music. I found some of Thomson’s opinions bizarre — he disliked Julie Christie, for instance — but, interestingly, in light of my “Star Wars” bashing, Thomson once wrote a piece at Salon.com that was entitled something like “Does George Lucas Hate Sex?” I was like, “You think? Really? Wow.” (Imagined emoticon optional.)

        Meanwhile, I would hope that you wouldn’t jump before compiling a list like this one and posting it on TNB. (Imagined…oh, fuck, you know.)

  13. I’m always looking for excuses to explain my laziness, and so I’m going to use most of these in future. Really, though, I find myself reading posts and thinking my comments, then moving on.

  14. Mary says:

    If someone wrote down a quote from my piece and carried it around for a week, that would be all I needed. I would live off that high forever. That’s like, better than someone wanting to steal a pair of my panties. A lot better.

  15. #39 I tried to peacefully post a comment, but some cops pepper-sprayed me.

  16. Comment putting up has been all around for as extended as I can keep in mind, the initially web log that was at any time constructed did not have the comment function as conforme. The comment subject arrived a great deal later and considering the fact that its arrival it has presented buyers the opportunity to convey there thoughts and much more importantly support the site owner (like you and me) endorse there page.

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