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How To Have An Unsuccessful First Date

by: McClain

When I was single I wasn't too involved in the dating scene. I'd go out to the occasional club or make attempts at being social, but I didn't go on too many dates. I simply lacked the desire. But when I did go on a date, I always did something to turn off the proverbial appeal switch that is inherent in all attractive women. I'd do something like fart and then laugh at myself as I wafted the stench in her direction. [Note to single men: Women don't like the smell of your ass gas, no matter how funny you think it may be.]

One such debacle of an experience was a restaurant date, which took place quite a while ago. I have transcribed the meeting as my memory serves me. 

When my friend hooked me up with this blind date, all I could do was worry about how she looked. I'm big on first impressions. Looks mean a lot to me. Translation: I'm shallow. All I said was, "She better not be busted. And I swear that if she looks like Quasimodo like the last one did, I'm going to head-butt you." The last one looked like Quasimodo. 

"She's fine, I'm telling you," he'd assure me - which was exactly what I wanted to hear. However, just hearing didn't suffice. I made him scrounge up an old yearbook with her junior year picture in it so I could get an estimation on her guise. 

"Not bad," I said. "Does she still have these braces? I'm not too crazy about braces."

"No, she ditched those her senior year. She's changed a lot, man. She's a lot better now. You know how girls blossom when they get older!" he stated while winking. He was hinting that she was fully endowed. Normally this would interest me, but I didn't give a shit. I just wanted to get it done and over so I could go back home, rent a movie and play video games 'till my eyes crusted over. I knew going into the date that I would screw it all up, so I figured the faster it got over the better. And I knew that her being attractive would just make things worse.

I arrived at the restaurant in jeans, a white button-up shirt and a loose tie. I had my hair all done and my glasses on, and to be quite honest, I was looking pretty damn sharp. I didn't tuck in the shirt because that's what wimps do. Plus I'm kind of a punk, so dressing up has to have some compromise. The last time I got dressed up like this was for a funeral, if that gives you any idea on how little I fancy occasions that require dress up.

She had gotten there before me, so that was my first sign of good luck. When a girl is there early it means she is anxious. She's nervous about meeting me and wanted to get there early. Or it could just mean she got there early. It doesn't really matter.

As I approached her she stood up to shake my hand. As any male will do, I briskly summed her up from head to toe with one simple glance.

"She looks like the typical girl next door," I thought to myself as I gently shook her hand. She was a tad overweight, but nothing unappealing. You could tell she never turned down a free meal, though. And thatís what she was about to get.

Ms. Metal Mouth
I use the colored rubber-bands cuz they
make my braces look all nice and pretty!

Then she smiled. A beam of light gleamed off her braces and blinded me quickly. After a few minutes of inwardly cursing my friend for lying to me about Ms. Metal Mouth, I regained my composure.

"Are you hungry? 'Cause I'm starving! I haven't eaten since last night," she said.

I was surprised she didnít rip off my arm and start chewing on my fingers. Yeah, I knew she was hungry. But no matter how her looks gave away her disposition for devouring, I wanted to make a good impression.

"Yeah, I could eat some livestock right now," I said. Shit. That sounded funnier in my head. I donít know why I was even making a fuss on impressions. I just hoped she wasnít the kind of girl to scarf down on a first date. I didnít bring too much cash, and by the look of things this girl wanted the appetizer, main course and the dessert. 

It didnít take long for me to pull the menu over my eyes. Even though she was cute, in that naughty neighbor sort of way, I just didnít even feel like looking at her. So I opted to get right to the menu. Here comes the part where my faults arouse and ruin the date - not like it mattered.

It was time to order the meal.

Aside from preparation and consumption, there is an art, a virtuosity if you will, in how to eat the food you order. I'm talking about the science of when to eat certain foods. 

This menu featured a barrage of culinary art. I opened up picture-laden menu and begin to feel the saliva run down my chin as I glanced at the picture-perfect manifestation of meats. 

Suddenly my abhoration for what's-her-names' braces was diminished. I had a new infatuation - something new to concentrate on.

"Lemon-baked chicken glazed with Gorgonzola cream sauce!" I said. I couldn't believe I was drooling and I hadn't even seen her naked yet. Well, not with my eyes. 

I gave the rest of the menu a once-over and noticed a special on pot roast. 

This is where the science kicks in. When youíre on a date or attending an important social function, do not order food that might cause you to tussle. A taco is tasty; however, taco interior has the tendency to plunge out of the sides when consumed. Same with oversized burgers, Sloppy Joes and chilidogs. You just canít bite into them without the innards falling out like cake out of a bulimic.

There is more to provisional science than "messiness". Thereís also the "tuff" factor; food that isnít meant to be swallowed with little effort. For example; beef jerky, pot roast and calamari. When you order tuff meat, you end up wrestling with it at the table and in front of your date. You bite into your sandwich only to find that you cannot sever the meat with your teeth, but you canít just pull the meat out of your mouth. Now you're forced to either spit it out or attempt to swallow it whole and maybe choke yourself. It's not good to die on a first date. I know from experience.

"Ah, finally! The food has arrived," I said after 10 long minutes of socially inept, shallow conversation. 

I had ordered a steak. And it was overcooked, so it was a bitch to cut through. Now I was faced with the dilemma of having to wrestle the meat or swallow the giant chunk of flamed-flesh whole. "Be a man!" I thought to myself. "I can chew this up! No problem!" 

It put up one hell of a fight, but being determined to conquer the meat, I gripped it with both hands and locked my mandibles. 

"Whoís the carnivore here?" I asked myself. I am the hunter and this is the prey! I canít let a piece of cow get the best of me!

Picture me now. Shaking the meat in my mouth like a dog does with a chew-toy, sending bits and pieces of garnish and dressing across the room and in to the lap of Destiny (thatís her name). I fell to the floor and gave the roast a diamond-cutter. 

What started as a simple gnawing action turned into me flailing around on the ground with a roast affixed to my face - grunting, sweating, foaming at the mouth, relentlessly attacking my food. 

Meanwhile, my date nibbled on a potato skin and wondered what the hell I was doing. 

After a battle, I quit with the roast. It won. I thought that maybe if I were to order something outlandish, like caviar, I'd impress my date. I don't have the slightest clue about how it tastes, but I hoped that maybe I still had a chance to leave and not look like a complete moron.

I was once told that it tastes like a mix between sardines, salt and nasal discharge. Regardless, I shoveled a heaping spoonful of these black snotball-like eggs in my orifice with a face of anticipation. And of course, she stared at me intently to make sure I didn't do something stupid - like hack it up all over the table. Oh, the pressure. 

Once the slimy texture and rancid piquancy tackled my taste buds I put the food in reverse, spitting it out of my mouth at accelerated forces, such as those used to launch shuttles into space. 

Then the craziest thing happened. She started laughing. And it wasn't an angry laugh, but an embarrassed and lightly humored laugh. 

"I'm sorry," I said. "Sometimes I get carried away. I should have told you to bring a garbage bag like the people do at Gallagher shows," I yammered as black drool dripped down my chin.

"It's okay. I think you're funny," she said.

But this wasnít good. She was taking a liking to me and all I wanted was to go home and play video games. Actions that should have led to Destiny walking out on me backfired and caused the adverse reaction: she thought I was funny. 

Now I had to figure out a way to get her to not think I was funny. Being a slob had magnetized my mojo. Now, being a perfect gentleman just might reverse the enigma. 

Just then she stood up to go to the shitter. Err, restroom. I mean bathroom. Whatever. As she stood up I quickly hopped up and pulled out her chair. She gave me queer look and thanked me with an uncertain face. 

While she was in the potty laying some pipe, I thought of more polite things I could do. Wine? No, too expensive. Buy her flowers? No way Iím going to try and gain her favor by spending more money! The irony was thick. "Iíve got it!" I said to myself. A light bulb popped on over my head. I was going to have one of my friends call the restaurant and pretend that I was needed at work. Sure, itís not romantic or gentleman-like, but it would get me out of the situation.

Upon her return I told her that I had to go.

"Pardon me as I take a brief restroom break to freshen up." That was suave! I sounded like a British prick.

I ducked behind the hall and stealthily tiptoed my way to the phone. I called the friend who had set me up on this date and told him to call the restaurant and ask for me. "Tell the lady that itís an emergency and Iím needed at work!" I demanded.

"I donít want to have anything to do with this," he said. 

"You son of a bitch, DO IT! YOU GOT ME IN TO THIS!" I was speaking in that assertive whisper voice which was borderline discreet. I didnít want to make a scene. 

He agreed and minutes later a phone call followed. A worker approached our table in the midst of an inconsequential conversation I was having with Destiny. 

"Pardon me, sir. Your boss just called and said to go ahead and take tomorrow off. He said something about letting you sleep in and to enjoy your evening," I was told. 

My face turned bright red. I had to think fast. "Uh... Waiter! Excuse me! Iím not sure that call was for me. You must have me confused with someone else!" 

"Youíre McClain, correct?"

I was trying to remember if I had told Destiny my name. If I hadnít I could simply deny the fact. Yeah... I probably did. 
I dismissed the waiter with a look of disgust. A look that emoted, "Iím going to piss on your rotten carcass!"

After the scene, Destiny asked me if I wanted to go to a movie. I couldnít justifiably weasel my way out of the situation, so I agreed and dreaded every moment. I donít even remember the movie. I think it was a romance about an epileptic disc jockey and a Brooklyn whore with a hearing deficit. 

Like I said, the movie didnít matter. All my attention was focused on how I would repay my friend for what he had done. A while later (not soon enough) the date came to an end. 

note: McClain is now happily married to his video games.

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