Monday, July 12, 2004

My Worst Date Ever 1

I'd always been disappointed that women didn't really go for tanned, sinewy dudes who mowed grass for a living. It took me several years to realize that any kind of theoretical sexiness working out in the hot sun evaporated like money at Mardi Gras when you were confronted with sweat, gasoline, and green shins. Granted, I was in great shape, but the girls weren't sticking their phone numbers under the windshield wipers of my truck like I was hoping they would. Nor was I being invited inside for mint juleps by bored socialites.

That said, it took an extra bit of madness to convince me that any woman who IS interested in a dude who is sweaty, smells like gasoline, and has green shins has some serious issues and should be avoided at all costs.

There's also a corollary to this, that says any girl you find walking along the side of the road has got some serious problems, and you should only involve yourself in those problems if a) she's obviously walking away from a Mercedes, or b) her name is Carmen Electra. Pretty, sane girls don't have to walk to the store to buy cigarettes. They have boys to take them.

But back to the date: I had met this girl at a Godfather's Pizza. She was working behind the counter, and had been staring at me as I blew the grass off my feet in the parking lot. I, for one, was quite taken by her eyes, which I later found out was due to an overabundance of mascara (there I was, 22 years old, and still being fooled by painted on eyes) I gave her my pager number, and by the end of the day I was calling her on a pay phone in front of the 7-11 by the shop.

[Now, lest ye think I'm more of a playa than I really am, pagers were always a huge inconvenience for me, but work paid for it, so I was happy to use it in lieu of a home telephone. It's not like I had it on a gold chain or something.]

I'll call this girl "Linda," because I've blotted out her real name. Linda and I agreed to go out on Friday night, and see what we could shake up. I began to get warning klaxons in the back of my head when she insisted we make a stop at a club called "Fritzi's," to visit a friend of hers. Said friend was newly single, so I invited my friend Null along for the ride, anticipating some kind of sketchy double date.

The guy's name was Wayne Null, but I don't want ANYONE to confuse him with my friend Wayne over at Big Cliche. That would be bad. So I'll call him Null, which is appropriate for all sorts of reasons.

I went to grab Wayne on Friday night, after making love to a half pint of Wild Turkey while I showered. While I was waiting for him to roll a couple of joints (him being a forward-looking pothead and all), I made the mistake of telling him how much Linda appeared to like me, and how I was absolutely sure to "get some" that night.

Now, I knew at the time that this was a) kind of immature and, more importantly, b) liable to jinx me. But I figured this was a sure thing, and even if "it" didn't happen, surely something else almost as entertaining would occur. And, with a half pint of Turkey already under my belt, that was all I was really looking for.

To sweeten the pot, Null proposed a wager, which we pinned down (I thought) with Vegas precision. The specifics:

1) I had to achieve full vaginal penetration of Linda, with my penis (no stunt cock).

2) I had to perform this act before sunup on Saturday morning.

3) The winner would receive one $5.00 bill. This was important, as there had been
a recent trend towards paying off bets with pennies, since we were all so broke
from buying quantities of LSD from Null's neighbor.

4) A condom was optional--I'm a stickler for them, but I wasn't about to lose five
bucks because Linda turned out to be allergic to latex.

Her address wasn't hard to find: she lived in a house on May Avenue that was the lone survivor of a plot to raze an entire neighborhood of old frame homes and build expensive condos in their place. It was kind of weird, like being in a tornado zone: acres and acres of land and debris, and a single rather dilapidated house sitting in the middle. I knocked on the screen door.

Linda danced around the corner in a rather frightening outfit, which I will describe to you directly. She was teasing her black hair into something that Robert Smith would have been proud of, and wailing to, of all things, a Bullet Boys album. Yes, that one. The one that was 10 years old back THEN. I managed to get her attention before she started using her hairbrush as a microphone, and she let us in the house. She stood on her toes, grabbed my hair, and yelled into my ear "I'M ALMOST READY! COME BACK TO THE BEDROOM!" Away she danced, leaving me to eyeball Null and snicker, while he grumbled and checked his wallet.

Her bedroom was an 80's metal hair band time capsule. It's like time quit going in there after Bruce Dickinson left Iron Maiden, or for those of you less Maiden-centric, right after Reagan left the White House. The walls were covered with posters of Axl Rose and those dudes from Poison and Warrant, and I think there might have been a Ratt one in there too. Linda was sitting at a vanity, applying more mascara and eye shadow.

Her clothing could best be described as Cyndi Lauper meets, uh, streetwalking hussy.

Starting from the top, big ol' pentagram earrings. A floral print bikini top, covered by a sort of macrame shawl. Short cutoff jeans (I won't get into what constitutes Daisy Dukes here, but they were SHORT), black fishnets, and either red or black high heels. Sorry, boys, I just don't recall.

It was at that point that I realized that girls who throw themselves on dirty lawn guys are weird. And, furthermore, I was going to have to suck it up and be awful fake, for an awful long time, if I was going to have any chance of winning this bet.

Soon, we were drinking another pint of something I'd picked up on the way over (I thought of it as liquid courage), and cruising down May. She put her hand on my thigh as soon as the door was shut, and whispered in my ear "do you mind if we stop off at The Samurai to pick up my paycheck?"

See, folks, there's a lot of specific red flashing lights you're not picking up on if you've never lived in Oklahoma City. The first would have been Fritzi's, which I'll get to in a minute. The Samurai Sake House is another.

Legend has it that the Samurai is owned by a Japanese dude named Achiro, and it has the distinction of having a live band every single night. The drinks are strong, and the clientele runs to the headbanger gone to seed. Not a pleasant place the first time you're in there, especially if your date looks like she might be sleeping with most of the patrons. There was a distinct faux-motorcycle atmosphere to the whole place.

Now, don't get me wrong. There's a sense of community that builds up in bars like this, and I can appreciate a sense of community wherever it may be, or around whatever locus it's built. But this place...this place scared me. It was loud and smoky beyond mortal comprehension, and I couldn't see the band through the smoke until I realized that I was in fact looking towards the pool tables and juke box, and the band was just warming up behind me.

After getting dirty looks from the doorman and bouncers for refusing to pay cover (Linda chirped something at them and dashed through the fog towards the bar), we decamped to the parking lot to smoke a joint and hit the pint. Linda, it turns out, was quite the pothead, so by the time we left the parking lot we had smoked one and she was rolling another out of her special stash.

The other big screeching klaxon horn you should be hearing is Fritzi's. I didn't think the place was still open, actually--I figured the fire department had shut it down just to put it out of its misery.

How to describe it? My friends, Fritzi's was like...disco hell, only with a lot of AC/DC songs and beer so bad I sneaked back to the car for my bottle of Turkey. Fritzi's was three, three, three clubs under one roof: one a live band showcase, one the aforementioned disco hell, and the third...well, I don't know what the third one was. I could barely stomach the disco room, and I had to go through the live band room to get to the pissoir.

Linda's friend was named Carol, I think, and Carol had a hairdo that was as blonde and curly as Linda's was dark and straight. Both do's were about the same height, though, and their outfits were, if not matching, at least of the same school of fashion. Linda's bikini top was glowing under the blacklight as she gyrated close to my left side, and Carol was devouring me with her eyes from dead ahead. Null was off buying drinks for us, and I was stuck like a bug on a pin. I found a place to sit, beside one of those ridiculously small and unstable bar tables that are made for about 2 drinks before they start to wobble precariously (the top was bubbled-up laminated wood).

Then, I heard the unmistakeable straining of Brian Johnson, that screeching weasel who perverted the legacy of AC/DC from one of the greatest rock bands in history to one of the most commercialized, ridiculously overrated wastes of acetate in history. He sounded constipated, even more than usual, and I knew this could only mean one thing. I grabbed my drink, got up, and braced myself against the nearest wooden column.

"She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean"

I briefly saw Null's lanky frame, holding up some drinks that were glowing under the blacklights, being swept into the vortex of the dance floor.

The next three and a half minutes were the kind of thing that one tries to forget about. No, really. It lasted long enough that I actually came to and, overwhelmed by the sheer depravity of it all, began to watch what was going on.

Do you know that part in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," where HST begins to see the lizards partying in the lounge, with all the lights pulsing and blood soaking the carpet? Think about that. Except these aren't lizards. These are 40 year old roofers, former high school wrestling stars. These are 40 year old receptionists out to cut loose, drunk on Mai-Tai's and looking to score, hiking up their already too short skirts and sort of hunching on the legs of those roofers (who were in turn making pelvic thrusts with their too-tight blue jeans). These people are old, yo, and they were all desperately attempting to recapture something of their youth.

And maybe they were. I was still young, and it freaked me out to see people with wrinkles flailing about in an orgiastic frenzy to a song that, not too many years ago, I'd considered a good rock and roll song.

Well, OK, maybe not. But it was definitely weird, and it definitely made me wonder about how old my date and her friend really were. With that in mind, I accompanied Carol to the bathroom, where I was hoping to catch a look at her face under good light. No such luck. Fritzi's was too coy, and didn't have unisex bathrooms, so I drained my lizard and headed back out to the floor.

As I approached, I saw Null's head turn away from Linda's ear, his lips moving, then rapidly turn and walk away. This didn't really bother me--I knew he was having a hard time dealing with this type of crowd (the music had moved on to something by Journey, which had half the people slow dancing and the other half looking for their drinks). I thought naught, until the next day.


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