. . .start out nice things will probably end poorly. Well, not poorly for me but sometimes I spill things on others.
My girlfriend and I walk into a place for dinner and find a couple of seats at the bar. I sit next to this guy and he immediately says,
“You can sit here. I’ll be leaving.”
I smile at him and say, “Was it something I said?” He laughs and says no.
“That’s okay,” I say. “It would have been.”
He nervously laughs and hurries out the door. I get so much elbow room this way.
My girlfriend and I order and are just about done when this couple sits next to us. The conversation was civil and, as often happens, turns to cats. Turns out they have four and a dog. My girlfriend starts talking about the cats, using their full names, and when she gets to Bunda she lets go with his full moniker and the guy says,
“What was that name? How do you spell it?”
So, slowly and with the pride of someone who gives too many names to her cats, my girlfiend spells Bunda’s last name. The guy gleefully begins reciting ‘Bun de Schwagger’ over and over again like he’s come down with some feline infused influenza.
It was all in feline frivolity until my girlfriend mentioned Kitty Porn. The guy thought it was a riot but the wife, who I think should up her medication, flew off into her own little world where I’m a horrible person and should be flogged with something suitably flogable.
My girlfriend, who, to remind everyone, came up with the name in the first place, and brought it up this time skates away scot-free. I, on the other hand, am branded like a cow at a scarification bar.
I could tell by the husbands inaction that her flipping behavior wasn’t out of the ordinary. I could also tell by her vibrating eyes that something chemical (whether the wine got to her or her synapses were trying to run an Imax movie through an eight millimeter projector will remain up for debate) was spilling out of her brain pan.
She’s watching me with disdain and suspicion. I’m not paying attention. After all, it’s probably the eighth or ninth such look of that ilk I’ve received that day. She leans into my girlfriend and whispers something. She listens and then leans back laughing and answering her question with no.
I look over and the woman is glaring at me. So I strap on the smile that tends to make people glaring at me refrain from such activities because I’ll smile at them until their heads explodes. It’s a gift really.
When the woman breaks from me to pull her husband into her conspiracy my girlfriend leans over and tells me that the woman asked if I smack her around because she senses that I’m that type of person. My girlfriend laughs and wonders why she’d say such a thing. I remind her it’s not the first time something like that has happened.
A few years ago we were drinking in a seaside town (made famous by ‘The Perfect Storm’ and the Gloucester fisherman) and it just so happened a parade was happening.
We’re watching the parade go by when a group of guys walking with a pretty uniform gait of dismay pass by and one guy runs out of the group right up to me, stares at me while handing her a flier.
The banner the guys were marching behind was ‘Men Against Violence To Women.’ she laughs while reading the flier but I tell her I’m insulted. I’d watched this group of ‘reformed’ batterers doing a stint of community service all the way down the parade route and not once did any of those guys get out of line and hand a flier to anyone. I would have been totally pissed off if she wasn’t there for me to smack around to reliveve my tension.
We’re laughing about that as the husband, still singing ‘Bun de Schwagger’, collects his wife and leave. My girlfriend and I laugh about this as we settle back with our drinks. Funny things tend to just walk right up to us and sit down.
Like this next group of guys. At first, as usually happens, the group takes turns stealing furtive glances toward my girlfriend. This happens all the time and we pay it no mind. But this time it got our attention. Because one of the guys started to pay a little more attention to me.
After a few minutes the guy can’t control himself. So he says, “Hey, Rick!”
Not being nor having ever been named Rick I decline to respond. But the guy will have none of that. He fights to get my attention and tells me that I’m Rick and that I was a swimmer. I explain that I am not Rick and swimming is not one of my strong suits. No swimwear pun intended.
But the guy is adamant. He tells me I am Rick and I was one hell of a swimmer. I explain the best swimming I’ve ever done was when I was sperm but he won’t accept the fact.
Even his friends are trying to convince him that I am not this fabled Rick but he keeps going on that he knows me. If I’m not Rick he’s sure he knows me.
So he spends the next five minutes naming everything he’s every done; everywhere he’s ever gone; anyone he’s ever met and you know what? Not one of them had the slightest connection to me.
I’m trying to get out of this easily. I don’t want to yank out my truncheon tongue and beat him moistly about the head and shoulders but this guy is not letting go.
My girlfriends told him I’m not Rick. His friends have told him I’m not a swimmer. I’ve told him I’ve never been to the University of Illinois. I even offer to buy him a drink to fill his face which is something I’m sure Rick would never do.
But he just won’t let it go. So I lean back and smile. As you’ve come to know it’s never a good thing when I smile. I tell him there may be one thing he knows me from.
“I don’t know if you’re a fan but you could have seen me on film. I am a former child porn star.”
His friends laugh, the guy turns beet red and trundles down into his beery silence. See? That’s all I wanted. Is that too much to ask?