99 Problems

24 Jun

As I descended the stairs to Fat Cat on Tuesday night, I had no idea what I was in for.  The full-figured 24-year-old Canadian I was meeting had chosen the venue, and my coworkers had warned me that I wasn’t going to like it.  They were right.

The place is a huge basement, with florescent lighting, pool and ping pong tables, darts, board games, and a slew of ratty couches.  It was packed with students and young professionals, and I was instantly transported to my college years in Missouri.  Except back then I was actually in someone’s basement, not a bar trying to look like someone’s basement.  I was afraid I would get bedbugs if I sat on any of the couches, so I waited for my date at one of the four lone barstools- feeling out of place without my messenger bag and ironic Salvation Army tee.  While I waited, a tiny man who looked like he had just hit puberty (and was wearing five shirts layered on top of one another) literally leap-frogged onto the barstool next to me and asked me if I came there often.  “No” I said a little too forcefully, simultaneously noticing the salsa band setting up in the corner.  Oh god.  I contemplated leaving as images of giant trouser gyration situations floated through my mind.

“Dennis” showed up and I reached my hand out for him to shake it, but he said “Oh, come on!” and pulled me in for a big hug.  He was wearing a shirt that wasn’t doing him any favors, a torn pair of stonewashed jeans, and a pair of two-foot-long sensible New Balances.  They were seriously the longest sneakers I ever did see.  I don’t remember why I had decided to meet him in person… probably because he was 6’3” and lately I’ve only been going out with men who are at least five inches taller than I am.  He had sent me a couple texts that week that just said “Hey you”, which seemed out of place coming from someone three years my junior.  I could tell he was a huge dweeb from his profile, but nothing could have prepared me for the next hour and a half.

Dennis bought us beers, took a large sip, swished it around in his mouth like mouthwash, and said “I’ll get the first round if you get rounds two, three, and four.”  I would soon find out that he wasn’t joking, as I ended up buying his next two beers.  We relocated to one of the couches, and I tried to figure out whether bugs were crawling on me or if it was just my leg hair blowing in the extreme wind gust generated by the industrial-strength fan.  He said “OK, now you have to tell me everything about yourself starting from the day you were born and don’t leave anything out, GO!”  I tried to give him a brief overview of my time here on Earth, but kept getting distracted by the queer faces he was making.  As I was talking, he kept turning his head away, then snapping it back to look at me with an open-mouth fascinated/surprised/insane look on his face.  Each time I would lose my train of thought due to his off-putting faces, he would histrionically tip his head to the side and in a loud, nauseating voice squeal “EEEELABORATE?!”  After awhile, I gave up and told him to talk about himself.

The tone of his voice sounded like Pete’s from “Mad Men” and he ended every sentence with a smack of the lips and an “Mmmhmm.”  He looked exactly like a cross between my high school choir teacher, a lava lamp, and Alf.  His job was something involving math, but no numbers… I stopped listening because the salsa band had begun to play and he had moved his leg onto mine in one fell swoop.  I jumped up and procured another round of beers.  When I returned, he again scooted himself close enough so that we were almost touching, and asked me about my theatre experience.  He shared that he had been involved in two plays during high school, one of which was “The Crucible.”  He had enjoyed being in “The Crucible” so much that he and his best friend would do poetry jams about it at their local coffee house.  He told me he didn’t know if I was prepared for his favorite line from their “Crucible”-inspired poetry because, to this day, he thinks it’s the funniest thing he’s ever heard.  I told him I was ready and he beamed and said “I got 99 problems but a WITCH ain’t one!” then proceeded to belly laugh for five minutes.  If someone informed me that a colossal meteorite was about to crash into Earth and kill us all, it would be funnier than that joke.

I guess at that point he had really warmed up to me, because he was on a roll with horrific jokes.  He made actor jokes, OKCupid jokes, jokes about how he had been wearing the same underwear for a week, and a boatload of jokes about being Jewish.  Each was about as funny as a concrete block.  One of his jokes revolved around the fact that he wasn’t brought up Jewish in a religious way– unless you count being raised on Mel Brooks movies.  I told him I have been obsessed with Madeline Kahn ever since I was a little kid, to which he responded “Who?”  I asked if he had ever happened upon movies like “Blazing Saddles”, “History of the World p.1”, or “Young Frankenstein” in his vast study of Mel Brooks films.

I went to the bathroom and when I returned, I lamented over how the ladies room was out of order, so I had to go in a stall next to a man peeing in a urinal.  Dennis scooted all the way over to my side of the couch, put his hand on my leg and said “Hey, if you want to see a penis, I’ll show you my penis.”  I told him to get back on his quadrant of the couch and stay there.  After that, I think he finally got the message that this was not going to go anywhere.  We left the bar and I walked five blocks out of my way so I wouldn’t have to take the train with him.

It’s not that I was mad I paid for his drinks… I just felt like someone should’ve paid me $20 to babysit him for 90 minutes.  Geez.  I still had four more blind dates to go this week and I was already exhausted.

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One Response to “99 Problems”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Thanks for the Franks « What's in the Box? - October 2, 2012

    […]  The totally un-dateable weirdos/psychos such as Chad, Jonah, Dennis, and Tall […]

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