You call that a bad date, Aniston? Pshaw. I've got a better bad date story than that. I went on the worst worst date in the history of worst dates while in university.
It was 1993, and my girlfriend -- who for the purposes of this narrative will be called Zoetrope -- and I met up with her boyfriend (alias: Kaleidoscope) and his friend (Whirligig) for dinner. Zoetrope and Kaleidoscope were rather keen on setting me up with Whirligig so that we could double date. Because we evidently fancied the fifties, or some such nonsense.
Whirligig and Kaleidoscope had been drinking heavily for many, many hours prior to meeting us at a restaurant off campus. They continued to imbibe during the meal, and Zoetrope ordered a few cocktails. I -- the designated driver and all-around cheapskate -- abstained. We split the check four-ways, because that is what you do when you are a poor student who has the misfortune of sharing a meal with dipsomaniacs.
Then we walked across campus to a cabaret in the students' union building featuring Canadian band 54-40. Once there I lost track of Zoetrope, Whirligig and Kaleidoscope. I wasn't alarmed, as I'd found a good vantage point from which to watch the band and the body surfers. Almost an hour lapsed when I noticed some commotion. Three security guys leapt on stage where the bass player was having his leg dry-humped by an exuberant fan. As the security guards (big beefy fellows who were members of a local rugby club) hauled the molester away, I saw a flash of plaid flannel, and the sight of Doc Martens pinwheeling in the air (this was the early 90s after all).
It was then I decided to get some fresh air. I walked out to the lobby. There pinned to the ground by five security guards was Whirligig. I'd thought that plaid flannel shirt looked familiar. A sixth security guard was conferring with two campus security personnel.
"Well, we'll take him into custody. Even if the band doesn't want to press charges," said the campus cop. "But first I'm calling for back up. If he's just drunk, we'll hold him. Otherwise, we're going to turn him over to the city police."
"He says he's only been drinking alcohol," the security guard was saying. "But there's no way. He's on PCP or something. He's as strong as a bull."
"Yea. He looks like a druggie," said the campus cop.
"Plus he's completely incoherent. I don't understand a thing he's saying."
But I did. Whirligig had craned his neck around in my direction and spotted me. "Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. I looooooooove bass. Bass is awesoooooooooooome. Naaaaaaaaaan. Help meeeeeeeeee!, " he mooed.
So I did what any responsible young woman would do when her date is in a spot of legal trouble. I turned, walked into the ladies room and stayed there until I was certain the asshole had been carted away.
+ + + + + + + + + +
Two parenthetical notes to this story:
First: the campus security ultimately decided that Whirligig was not on drugs and didn't call the city police. Instead they called his mother and she came down to pick him up from the campus drunk tank. She must have been so proud.
Secondly, that was not the only comically tragic encounter I had with Whirligig.
Zoetrope and Kaleidoscope broke up not long after, and my path and Whirligig's didn't cross until months later. This time we met at a house party. Zoetrope and I were alone in the kitchen, both a little tipsy when Whirligig stumbled in. Declaring us his very best friends, he confessed to being confused about his sexual identity.
In retrospect, this ham-fisted, binge-drinking, blowhard probably thought one (or both) of us would offer to sleep with him and give him
Me: Hey, if you wanna be GAY, you should be GAY!
Zoetrope: Yes. WHIRLIGIG, BE GAY IF YOU WANT TO BE GAY.
Me: We don't judge you for being of THE HOMOSEXUAL PERSUASION, WHIRLIGIG.
Whirligig: Okay, well thanks but maybe --
Zoetrope: You know who else is GAY LIKE YOU ARE GAY, WHIRLIGIG?
Zoetrope: George Michael.
Me: George Michael is not GAY?!
Zoetrope: Yup. He's gay.
Me: No. That's silly. Next you're gonna tell me Boy George is gay.
Zoetrope: Nope. Not him. Boy George is straight. I think. Well, WHIRLIGIG, do you think Boy George is GAY THE SAME WAY THAT YOU ARE GAY?
Whirligig: Keep your voices down. People will hear.
Me: Are you worried that people WILL FIND OUT YOU ARE HOMOSEXUAL? OR ARE YOU WORRIED THEY WILL FIND OUT GEORGE MICHAEL IS GAY? Because I found the latter distressing. But the former? Not. At. All.
Whirligig: Fine, but --
Me: YOU BEING GAY DOES MAKE SENSE.
Zoetrope: YES! I agree.
Me: The dry humping!
Zoetrope: YES. NOW THE DRY HUMPING ALL MAKES SENSE.
Whirligig: But --
Zoetrope: We should make a list of all the people we know who are GAY and who would date YOU.
Me: Good idea. I am in the Faculty of Arts, Whirligig. There are many, many homosexuals in my classes. I think we could get you a very well-groomed BOYFRIEND, WHIRLIGIG. But first you need to stop wearing so much flannel.
We continued to talk like this for many more minutes. Long after Whirligig left the room. Long after our well-intentioned LOUDLY SPOKEN WORDS OF COMFORT had been overheard by a few dozen people.
I can't help wondering whatever happened to, Whirligig? Is he still dry humping bassists legs? Did that line ever work on any woman? On any man?
+ + + + + + +
1 This edit was prompted by an email from my mother:
I did read all your blog entries -- even the one you don't want me to talk about. My only comment is that you mixed up a homonym when discussing the homophobe I believe he wanted either "peace of mind" or a "piece of tail"! You may want to edit.