by Robin Beringer
"So, do you believe in Aliens?" the guy asking me this is a seemingly-normal man. He is serious.
A professor once told me that when someone asks if you believe in something, itís always best to say, "Yes" because if you say "No" youíd better be prepared for that person to start convincing you. With this thought in the back of my mind and still pressed for an answer, I replied "Well, you really canít prove that they do exist nor can you prove that they donít." Proud of myself, I thought I had found the perfect win-win answer. WRONG!
My date proceeded with what he thought were empirical theories to back his belief ófrom Roswell to Area 51 to Hanger 18 to government conspiracies. "Check please," I desperately flagged at the waiter, nearly spilling my Raspberry margarita.
"On second thought, No, I donít believe in Aliens, but I think the Mothership is hovering for you in the parking lot." I threw a $10 bill on the table and beamed myself out of there.
The following week, I played with fate yet again with a different but still seemingly-normal man at dinner.
"And, what would you like?" the waitress asked.
"Iíll have íem shrimps," he responded. "Iím allergic to shellfish, but thatís OK, I donít let nothing stop me when thereís somethiní I want," he replied.
Oh, God, he means me, I thought. All I have to do is wait for the entrťe, then a little anaphylactic shock, he hits the floor, and I can step over him on my run for the door. I should have been clued in when this man boasted to me over the phone how much money he made and what a fancy car he drove, and then showed up in a Rent-A-Wreck. When he came in and sat down to wait for me to grab a sweater, I noticed that he had two different kinds of socks on, a crew sock and a tube sock. I knew I was in trouble then.
Oh, but I can do you one better than that. He was an actor or so he said, which I later realized translated into still-living-at-home-with-his-mother-waiter-at-Chi-Chiís. Not that Iím knocking the waiting profession or living at home with your parents. But, he was 41 with a bit of a belly overlap (most likely caused by momís home-cooking or by sneaking a plate or two of cheese enchiladas and fried ice cream) and a laugh that sounded like a cross between that of a pretentious member of English Parliament and Holstein Heiferís moo. His license plate read, Adonis. Iím not kidding. As in Greek Adonis.
Now, I donít mean to sound like a cold-hearted bitch, but he was seriously missing the humility factor. Why pretend to boastfully be something that you are not when honesty and humility are ten times more attractive?
During the course of dinner, he ordered a Caesar Salad, with Ranch dressing. The waitress and I tried to explain to him that Caesar Salad has Caesar dressing on it. "Yeah, yeah, I know," he replied, "Itís like an Italian dressing." No, itís like well, itís like, letís seeóCAESAR DRESSING. Well, the waitress being the smart woman she was simply brought him some Ranch dressing on the side.
Four burly gentlemen planted at the bar had been watching the hockey game on the TV in front of them. My date told the waitress upon to turn the volume up on the TV behind him. That TV was showing a NASCAR race. Now exactly why would a person need to have the volume up on a NASCAR race? Did he really need to hear the carís engines? With a hockey game, at least there are plays and penalties called. As the waitress tried desperately to explain that the volume could only be up on one of the TVs, he rudely and loudly said, "Well turn the volume on that hockey game down and then turn this one up."
All four of the hockey fans turned around with a growl as my domineering date issues his command. Note to self: OK Mr. Macho Man, if they come over and kick your ass, I may take the opportunity to get a few licks in myself. The waitress went over to the hockey fans, flirted a little, offered an apology and some free wings, and my date just barely escaped a possible ass-kicking.
As I was getting into my salad, the most interesting thing at the table at the time, I glared up to see that my date had this huge, and I do mean huge, glob of Ranch dressing on the side of his head.
What to do? What to do? Donít laugh, just donít laugh, keep a straight face, yes, keep a straight face, thatís it. Oops canít, look down, just look down. Look at your salad. How in the hell did it get up there? This glob of salad dressing became like the JFK ricocheting bullet theory. Did he slice a crouton and it shot up there? Or maybe a piece of lettuce? But óthe distance?
Every time I mumbled something he turned to say "Uh? What was that?" FA-POWW! SALAD DRESSING. I couldnít see past the glob and would lose my train of thought.
I just gave up and remained silent.
Enter the waitress, "Sir can I get youó" She noticed the glob. Look down, look down. Instead, she looked at me quickly. I felt her pain, the pain of holding in the laughter. I acknowledged her look as if to say Yeah, I know he has a big glob of salad dressing in his hair, doesnít he. She looked down before finishing, "...anything else?"
I couldnít help but revel in the situation. "Hey, Mr. Smarty-pants, bet you donít know about that big glob of salad dressing in your hair," I said to myself.
The rest of dinner was fine, and the conversation mediocre. I was happy with mediocre, as it wins over insane any day. It was after the evening had drawn to a close that things got a littleóslobbery. At my door (as this man was not getting any further than that) my date proceeded as any good actor would to dramatically ask, "May I kiss you goodnight?"
Would it help get you out of my doorway? Uh, Umm. "Well, Uh, OK," I responded.
Then he gave me a kiss I can only compare to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I was expecting a light peckónot tongue-to-tongue combat. On top of that, he basically ended up licking the side of my face. YUCK! If I wanted the side of my face licked, Iíd get a puppy. And besides, he didnít ask me dramatically, Might I lick the whole side of your face? Note to self, Begin reply to this question next time with "Could you define Ďkissí and provide an illustration, please?" And follow with, "For this supposed kiss, by any chance will a rain coat, golashes, umbrella ,or wet suit be required?"
Aliens? Believe in them? Hell, Iíve dated them.
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