Monday, January 30, 2006

Speaking of dating . . .

Here's a short story I'm currently working on.

“Stupid freakin girls.” With that profound assessment Scott disgustedly threw his corndog in the microwave.
Patrick didn’t open his eyes. He was far too comfortable strewn across the couch and didn’t want to risk disturbing his position in the slightest. He could hold a conversation perfectly well with his eyes closed. He hoped that moving his tongue and jaw wouldn’t displace the perfect angle of his head against the Coke-stained cushion. “So are these just stupid girls, or stupid freakin girls?”
“Stupid freakin girls. Plus any additional superlatives you’d care to add.”
“Just clarifying. And is the problem actually stupid freakin girls, or a single stupid freakin girl?” Speaking didn’t seem to be disrupting his body’s sprawl too much, so he’d continue to investigate his roommate’s predicament.
“In this case a particular stupid freakin girl, though the problem is girls in general. I’m never going to understand them. And I don’t think it’s just me; they’re genuinely incomprehensible.” The microwave beeped and he pulled out his steaming corndog. He squirted some neon yellow mustard in an artistic zigzag on the top and plopped down on the other couch. Scott envied Patrick’s masterful lounging, but couldn’t indulge to the full extent while eating. He contented himself with a slouch that would have made his mother and each of her posture protecting predecessors cringe and roll over in their graves simultaneously; an act that would almost certainly, and quite ironically, lead to poor posture.
“I’m going to need some more data before I can give a complete analysis and dispense my sage-like advice.” Scott’s corndog smelled heavenly. Well, if not heavenly it smelled edible and potentially filling, and Patrick was very much considering exchanging his dating guidance for one of those corndogs. He’d have to consider it further; these things weren’t rushed into.
“Do you remember when I was telling you about New Testament girl?” Patrick gave an affirmative sound. It wasn’t quite as articulate as an u-huh, but it was more indicative than a grunt. “Well I’ve been sitting two seats behind her for almost a month now, and figured we’d progressed to the point in our relationship where we should start going steady.”
“You said three seats back?”
“No, two seats back.”
“I was about to say, you’re moving a bit too fast for thee seats back. But two seats back, freak man, waiting a month? You’ve been a gentleman. That’s about as slow as you can go without putting her in a coma. Are you directly behind or at an angle?”
“Directly behind.”
“Well that explains some of it. If you were two seats back and at an angle you’d be in for sure. It’s a much better position. Straight back is a bit more iffy; not as much eye-contact you know. Still, by all accounts you two should be making out by now. Well, it is a religion class. Not making out quite yet, but definitely with some serious finger-fused handholding.”
“That’s what I thought. So last week I made my move. I’d calculated the duration and inclination of sunlight, and with daylight savings time coming up figured it was the perfect time.” He was right there, Patrick had used the equinox to get some dates himself. Scott continued “So after we were getting out of class I walked up and in my oh-so-casual and suave manner told her ‘Vu es voluptuosa et pulchra puella. Adamo vu venustae! Volo complectare. Amplectore! Adii inculto sine sua cura. Commodo, continuus sumus adaugemus quam nemo.’”
“It didn’t work?” With that Patrick was surprised enough to open his eyes. Luckily this sudden movement didn’t displace his position too much. “Latin always works! Chicks dig the classical languages. You must have botched the pronunciation.”
“I guess it’s possible. But when it didn’t work I tried switching to Pig Latin instead. It didn’t work either, she totally shot me down.” Scott’s had finished his corndog and was chewing the stick to get the last bit of petrochemicals out of it.
“Well that was a rookie mistake. You never use Pig Latin for pickup lines. Girls find it insulting.”
“I wasn’t calling her fat or anything. I was kind of calling her stupid for not jumping all over my Latin, but that’s okay. I’m down with dating dumb girls, I can’t be too picky. So anyway, that was last week. I gave her about two and a half days to change her mind and call me, but she hadn’t yet so I took another try . . .”
“So you gave her your phone number?”
“No way! I don’t want her to think I’m obsessed or something. Chicks get scared when you’re too forward. It’s like hitting a dog.”
Patrick tried to look confused without taxing any of his facial muscles. “I’m not following you. I’m not sure if you’ve gone over my head, but I suspect you’re just not making sense.”
Scott switched to his best professor impersonation, which wasn’t overly convincing. “Girls are like dogs, no derogatory expletive-conjuring comparison intended. If you’re driving down the highway and hit a dog, the dog’s not likely to go on a date with you. They don’t really like getting wrapped around your grill and having their legs grated to Taco Bell byproduct against the asphalt. It’s not a problem with you, or even with your car. It’s just the manner in which you were introduced. That same dog would love to take a ride with you in that car, and later become your girlfriend, if you stop and pick her up, all subtle-like. If you’re too forward, you hit the dog and have a big mess to clean up.”
“That is the worst analogy ever. I really need to call up your high school English teacher and reprimand him for leading you so far astray.”
“Shutup. Point being, she’d be scared off if I’d given her my number. I’ve already found hers using Google, but she doesn’t need to know that. I came up with a much better idea. I’ve been tapping my phone number on my desk in Morse Code all during class for the past three weeks. It’s been subliminally implanted in her head.”
“That’s genius!” Patrick jumped up at the sheer thought of the possibilities of this new tactic. So much for his hard-core relaxing. But it was worth the sacrifice. “Why didn’t I think of that! It’s going to save me so much money over my normal sky-writing!”
“So back to New Testament girl. She still hadn’t called me after 60 hours, so I tried a sure-fire, oldie-but-goody. As she was walking across the grass outside the JSB I pushed her down and ran away. Not too fast of course; she doesn’t look like a very sporty girl so I took a leisurely pace so she could catch me. But she didn’t even try.”
“Weird. That never fails. It’s been common procedure since second grade.” Now that he was up, Patrick went and helped himself to one of Scott's corndogs. Hopefully Scott's lady troubles would distracted him enough that he wouldn’t notice the theft. “But keep in mind, she was walking across the grass, so she must be kind of a rebel. She’s probably not going to follow all of the rules.”
“Yeah, I hadn’t considered that. So that brings me to today. I realized I didn’t have a date for this weekend, and needed some action, so pulled out the big guns. You know how in the movies the guy will get all those rose petals and sprinkle them all over the bed? It shows undying love or something along those lines”
“You put rose petals all over her bed? That’s way cool man. That’s sure fire.”
The microwave finished Patrick’s corndog. He was going to have to eat it quick before Scott figured out he was eating his food.
“Well I didn’t have any rose petals. Where do you buy rose petals? I mean I could buy roses and depetal them myself but that doesn’t seem like the American way. Plus I don’t have any money, so I got creative. Girls dig creative guys. We still had the garbage bags full of grass clippings from when I mowed the lawn last week, so I used those instead.”
“You’re on fire Scott. If this didn’t win her over she doesn’t deserve you. How’d you get the grass onto her bed?”
“Well no one was home when I stopped by her apartment. I was going to have the roommates help me, but they weren’t around. I thought about kicking down the door, you know, showing her how ripped my quads are, but some girls don’t like guys that are too conscious of their own bodies. But their window was open a little. So I dumped the bag of grass clippings through it.”
“Honestly Scott,” Patrick paused to add the corndog’s wooden skeletal remains to the precarious tower of trash reaching out of the garbage can. “I don’t know why you’re asking me to figure out this girl for you. You seem to be doing everything right, other than the Pig Latin debacle. I take it from your stupid freakin girls comment that the grass didn’t work.”
“Well I was leaving with the empty trash bag and she was coming up the stairs. I asked if she had any allergies, you know, just to be safe, and she said she didn’t think I was her type. I asked if the fact that I’d just dumped a bunch of grass clippings through her window would change her mind, but she just said I was sweet, but that it wasn’t going to work out. I mean really, what’s the deal? How much grass does a guy need to get a date? I just can’t figure girls out.”
Scott had gotten everything he could out of his corndog stick, and apparently out of Patrick. He had noticed Patrick's poorly concealed subterfuge, but since he’d eaten a piece of Patrick's pizza for breakfast he’d call it even. Patrick sat back down on the couch and pondered; he even put on his pondering face. After a minute a figurative light bulb appeared over his head. It looked to be at least 60 watt, perhaps 80.
“I’ve got it.” He gave a smug little smile at having solved the puzzle. “She’s a lesbian.”
The quintessential truth of it all hit Scott like something with a great deal of mass traveling at a recklessly high velocity. “I can’t believe I didn’t see it! Well then, that explains it. That’s a load off.” Scott sat back and showed his new relief by slouching even further. “So there’s this girl in my blacksmithing class . . .”

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