The Restaurant Tirade
My date and I were drinking coffee and eating ice cream in a restaurant. I was enjoying his
extravagant compliments when I saw a snarling woman walk up behind him.
She addressed him for all to hear and he spun around. He made hasty, embarrassed
introductions. "Does your friend know you're engaged to be married?" she yelled. "How
would you like it if I pulled her long hair out by the roots?" she threatened. Her tirade went
on for 30 minutes.
You may wonder why I let it go on for so long. Well, when you're a senior citizen, you don't
get this kind of excitement.
Shopping at Sears
I was not impressed when my date showed up in 100 percent polyester, including outdated
bell-bottoms that were checkered and much too short, revealing white socks and slip-on,
His car didn't look much better. I've never made it a point to ask guys what kind of car
they drive, but it's worth knowing if a car is safe to ride in. His definitely wasn't. It was a
huge, old "boat-style" car, rusted out and sporting a crack in the windshield. Beneath my
feet was a factory recall notice from 1968.
As we journeyed on, my only hope was that he would make it safely to the restaurant he had
chosen for me, one of his favorites, he said. He pulled into the parking lot of a place known
for its "blue plate specials" and rubbery quiche.
After that he treated me to a free concert, but we agreed the band was pretty bad. He
suggested we continue the evening by shopping at Sears for a bicycle he had seen in a sale
The Short-of-Change Artist
My date asked me to go with him and some friends to a Raiders game on one of those bus
package deals... The bus provided free beer in cans and he wanted me to smuggle several
cans into the coliseum. I gave him my jacket and said he could take the responsibility for
After the game, we emerged to a parking lot of about 10,000 buses that looked alike. All
10,000 had their motors running, and we began walking through the fumes looking for our
bus. As we walked we came upon dozens of beer-filled men relieving themselves against
the tires of the closely parked buses.
Then, one by one, those buses pulled away without us. Finally, it was just me and my date in
a dark parking lot in a strange neighborhood. We walked across the street to a liquor store,
where he went to the men's room again. Then he called a cab and I had to pay the $26 fare
because he had no money.
Less than Fine Dining
At 5-foot-10 and 250 pounds, my date panted heavily after walking eight blocks to the
restaurant. It was a sports bar filled with shouting, swearing, drinking men watching a
In the middle of eating our dinner a fight erupted at the next table. Food flew in the air
and tables were turned over. It took several bouncers to end the fight, which left one man
with torn clothing and a broken nose.
My date seemed oblivious to the surroundings and couldn't understand why I wasn't eating.
I told him I felt sick and needed some air. I needed a long walk to recover from the
The Laundry List of Losers
A miserable date? Just one?
1. The man who claimed his sense of humor was his greatest asset and demonstrated it by
doing Groucho Marx imitations all through dinner at a fancy restaurant.
2. The man who said he saw a "daddy" when he looked in the mirror and asked (on the first
and only date) if I was ovulating.
3. The man who demanded a list of the "specific skills and strengths" that I could bring to a
relationship, as well as an analysis of the "self-destructive patterns" that caused my
4. The man whose first words were "I'm sorry, I've got to concentrate on getting well
tonight" and who spent most of the evening stuffing Vicks Vaporub up his nose.
Oh, never mind; it goes downhill from there.
Self-realization and Sushi
After attending a religious ceremony at my date's "self-realization temple" and eating a
sushi dinner, we returned to my apartment for poetry reading. He had found many scraps
of paper buried in his battered car, which he admitted to sleeping in often. He insisted on
reading all of them in his most dramatic voice.
After I had a few glasses of wine during his reading, I had the courage to show him some
of my poetry. He read one or two, tossed them aside and said, "I'll reserve judgement on
He then began a lengthy tirade on the artistic soul and how it can feel any emotion, whether
it be male or female.
Then he wanted to select different music. He started going through my albums because, he
said, they were better than the tapes, which were made from those very same albums. He
became very upset when I told him the turntable didn't work. He told me that I should
take better care of my things. This harassment from a guy who sleeps in his car?
I finally got him out of my apartment after fighting off more than just a first-date kiss.
Hell is other people.
Hell is paved with good samaritans.
William M. Holden
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