Monday, February 13, 2006

CONTEST: Take This Book. Please! (Week 2)

Okay, last week I said that I'd confess my own academic misconduct after the contest was over. At first, I was hard-pressed to remember any, other than forgetting to take an exam in second year university, and I was kind of chagrined at what a pussy I was.

But then the floodgates of memory opened up, and woohoo, was I ever a badass! Well, a mid-level badass. But still! I was the kid who, in grade two, finished my assignments during class and WROTE POETRY in the remaining time, so any badassery on my part is good.

In grade 11, I faked my major business project for the term. As in, I didn't do it at all, but pretended I'd handed it in. I hated the teacher (a rare thing for me because, at worst, I usually only feel benign indifference toward the people who try to steer my past the rocky shoals of academia) because he was a misogynist and an asshole. He was also sloppy and disorganized, a fact I used brazenly to my advantage. A couple of weeks after we'd all "handed in" our assignments, I casually asked him if he'd marked mine yet because I was "dying" to know how I did. He said that he hadn't gotten to mine yet. He was one of those teachers that hand assignments back haphazardly to a few people at a time. When about half the class had gotten theirs back, I asked him about mine again. This time he seemed visibly nervous, and he said that he hadn't gotten to mine yet. I asked again a week or two later. Same reply. I didn't ask again, but near the end of the term, when he posted the class list with all our assignment grades, I apparently got an A.

In grade 12, I dictated my best friend's essay on
King Lear to her during the lunch break before it was due. She got an A-minus, and to this day I still have never read King Lear.

In my third year of university, I had, er, pre-conjugal relations in the administration wing's Senate Chamber.

In none of those instances did I get caught. My most embarrassing moment probably has to be when the roles were reversed and I was working as an instructor in a continuing education program on writing for the web at a local community college. I was in my late twenties, and many of my students were only a couple years younger than I. I was also a fairly active member of the city's underground party scene. And I was also really into bellydancing at the time. Friends of mine were throwing this huge, lavish, all-night, Arabian-themed party and procured my services as a dancer. There was only one washroom at the loft where the party was being held, and of course it had a curtain instead of a proper door with a lock LIKE A NORMAL BATHROOM. So I was in the middle of changing into my costume when someone burst in to use the loo. And of course it was one of my students. It's hard to say which one of us was more shocked and appalled. Needless to say, we never spoke of it in class.

But when it comes to academic shenanigans, I am a babe in the woods compared to our guest judge,
Rusty. When I asked Rusty to sum up his entire academic career, he described it as "like watching The Challenger blow up in slow motion." I was a witness for much of it, and can attest that this is true.

And now, from the guy who puts the "rust" in "rusticated," here -- in Rusty's own words -- are the honourable mentions, the grand prize winner, and the winner in Rusty's new surprise category: "Tries hard but needs improvement."
Doris Day's cocaine story. Flawless example of kid logic.

EMC and friends agreed to leave class. This is not an exciting story, but I like the futility of the endeavor. It's like a Sartre novel. The combination of picking on a teacher for no good reason and the sorry escape attempt, coupled with the total lack of consequences, highlights the absurdity of the academic experience.

Anonymous faked an interview for a college religious studies class. Beautiful. This is disrespectful on so many levels. Not only did you burn your program, you also managed to burn an entire profession... evangelical Christian broadcasters, no less. Bravo.

TabloidMan's poisoning-the-teacher story is pretty up there. The youthfully sociopathic guiltless fear made me feel the same hopelessness for the future that I felt while watching A Clockwork Orange. Extra points for this being a Christian school. And the way it finishes, with the poisoning praised by the other kids... pure William Golding. I almost thought we should give you the prize just so you don't come kill us with trumpet cleaner.

Mary (re: stealing another's story, and blowing my mind). Cute, but no cigar. You may be a nerd, but you're a nerd with some life in you. Keep up the effort!

Allie, I went to Catholic school, too, but what kind of crazy Catholic school did you go to? You had to not only read Crime and Punishment, but you had to write a prayer reflecting on each chapter? That's a little freaky. Good on you for using the Cliff's notes to help you along, but I'm afraid you don't win.

Jon didn't hand in a test and bluffed his way to a B-minus. Nice work. You didn't aim too high with the grade, and you played your liberal teacher for the moral relativist he is. You speculated on his weakness of character and won. You don't, however, win the book. I am sorry.

Rebecca the Librarian, while it is cool that you burned your classmates and avoided having to take the course through your knowledge of computers, I'm going to fail you anyway. You see, the problem is that you were too smart for the course. True academic misconduct is always the stupid putting the bite on the smart. [Ed: That is a true -- and brilliant -- observation.] I'm sorry, but no book for you.

Griffin, let me get this straight. You basically wrote something like "blah blah blah blah blah Frank Lloyd Wright blah blah blah blah," and got a B-minus?

Wow. How do you walk with those cojones? It must be like having a pair of exercise balls in your pants.

You win!
For his enviable lack of shame, Griffin wins books by a pair of philosophers who very well might send him to his room to think about what he's done: Nietzsche's Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ and Gide's The Immoralist and Strait is the Gate.

But wait, there's more! Rusty identified one other entry that he wanted to award a special prize to. His comments follow:
Em, you're freaked because you missed out on the film studies seminar to go see a real movie? You did the right thing, trust me. The less you know about film the better.

As a general rule of thumb, most people dislike people who study film. Even people who study film don't really like other people who study film. You did yourself a big favour going to see a movie everybody else sees. This way you have something in common with other people. Remember... the lowest common denominator has been slandered as something undesirable. Don't knock it till you try it.

As for stressing over cutting class, you need to stop worrying and enjoy yourself. You still passed, right? Class will still be there when you decide to go again. I'm sure you'll manage to graduate, or not, but really... who cares? You'll do fine.

You win
The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps. You'll like it. Its weirdly bearded author Marshall T. Savage may be a crazy son of a bitch, but he just may be on to something.
All right, Griffin and Em. You heard the man. To claim your prizes, fire your mailing info over to me at 50books [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thanks to everyone who entered! And remember: there are no losers, only non-winners.

Now on to this week's challenge.

Your Worst Date Ever
In honour of Valentine's Day, the holiday everyone loves to hate, post your worst date story in the comments section of this entry. The person who makes me recoil in horror-slash-disgust-slash-pity the most will win copies of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and Henry James's The Wings of the Dove.

Because as bad as your date story might be (and I have no doubt y'all have some doozies), it always helps to get some perspective.

41 comments:

Karen said...

What you did in the Senate Chamber? Me, on the president's front lawn. Ahh, the university life....

Cheesesteak said...

Well, my first "real" boyfriend at college was the first time I had a significant other at the all-important V-Day. So, I was very excited but had little money though I worked at the university auditorium. So I made a little rose out of the gels (the colored plasticky paper used to create colored light on stage). I came back to the dorm room he was in and I found a used condom under the sheet. We hadn't had sex yet. Turned out he'd hooked up with a guy down the hall. And I'm a girl

Worst to date.

Karen said...

Worst date story that happened to me: My mother made me go out with the rabbi's horrible son. He took me out to brunch. I deliberately ordered bacon.

Worst date story that happened to a friend: Her grandmother wanted to fix her up with a friend's grandson. My friend smartly refused, but the grandmother said, "He's an art restorer!" which appealed to my art-history-major friend. Despite her better instincts, she went. He turned out to be a total greaseball guy, very towny-ish, not even remotely her type. She said, incredulously, "So...you restore art?" He said, "No, I STORE art! I own a buncha warehouses!" (If you're from the Boston area, say that aloud in a Revere accent.)

Rachel said...

I can't decide which of these is worse, so I'll throw them both out there.

The summer after my senior year of high school I was dating two guys at once. They didn't know about one another (or so I thought), and I always had something to do on both Friday AND Saturday night.

Then, out of the blue, they both broke up with me on the same day. I thought that maybe they'd both found out I was two-timing them, but the reality was that they just wanted to break up with me.

For each other.

They are now happily civil-unioned, with two dogs, and are in the process of adopting a baby.

The other one? On our first date, he took me to his house and there was a woman there whom he introduced as his ex-girlfriend. Since it was a first date, I didn't really think I could start asking what she was doing there if she was an ex, but later on he revealed that not only was she an ex-girlfriend, she was also his stepmother.

Kinky.

Gryph said...

Worst date ever? That would probably when I got set up with a guy on my birthday, and he went home with one my best friends. And then later, he cheated on her.

Sharpie said...

Mine seems juvenile, but that's because I'm kinda a kid.

Upon coming out to a friend of mine, he promptly said "Oh! My girlfriend's friend who lives in Germany but is actually French and has a rare disease is also a lesbian! you guys should date!" However, she lived in Germany, so for the time being, he just gave her my e-mail address, forcing me to respond politely to vaguely agrammatical, attemptedly flirtatious e-mails every couple of days.

I was hoping that my non-encouraging responses would stop the whole thing, but a few months later, she e-mailed me that she was coming to visit my friend's girlfriend, and could we meet up while she was here? I didn't respond for a few days, and then my friend asked me if I'd gotten the girl's e-mail. I said "um, yeah," forgetting that a well-placed lie could've helped about here. He said "so, are you guys gonna go out?" Seeing and totally misinterpreting my expression of "hell no!", he said "if you think it'd be awkward, you could double with me and my girlfriend." And there was really no polite way out. I'd dug myself into this.

So, one freezing winter day, I walked into a Starbucks and spent two whole hours talking loudly and in American in-jokes with my friend and his girlfriend, trying as hard as I could to exclude the girl without literally turning away from her. Of course, at the end of the two hours, she said, shyly, that she'd made me a Christmas present. I considered playing the Jew card so as not to take it, but when I saw it, I felt so bad, so I took it kind of out of pity. It was a gigantic, homeknit, three-color scarf. It was lovely, and, she said, good therapy for her hands. My mom then called my cell phone with a "family thing," as we'd planned, and I stuck out my hand for a "God, wasn't that awkward?" handshake. She hugged me. I froze and patted her back in a sort of man-on-man-hug way. I then turned to my friend and his girlfriend, said I'd see them in school after break, and bolted.

I felt like such an ass. She never e-mailed me again, but my relief was tempered by intense guilt. I can't wear the scarf for the same reason.

Andrea said...

I've had two really bad dates via online matching in the last few months.

1) I was really excited about meeting one guy -- he wrote great emails, and was involved in cool projects, like creating a database of environmentally friendly businesses and running a website about yoga. When I finally met him, I found out that the reason that he had started these projects wasn't because he had any interest in the environment or in yoga, but just because "he found a niche and filled it." As we were talking, he leaned back in his chair and said smugly, "Basically, my goal in life is to make as much money as I can while doing as little work as I can." Ugh.

2) I went out for a drink with a guy in sort of a fancy restaurant. We were talking for about an hour when the conversation turned to his dog. Suddenly, he said, "Actually, he's right here!" and reached under the table, where there was a duffle bag that I hadn't noticed before. He unzipped the bag, and the dog's head popped out! I love dogs, but to keep him secretly in a bag for an hour without ever checking on it, even, was just...weird. Apparently he takes the dog with him wherever he goes.

Wing Chun said...

Had to break up some...uh...snuggling to go throw up. Damn you, The Olive Garden!

But maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought, since the fellow proposed about three months later. Sucker!

Carrie Ann said...

I was casually dating A for about a month and a half when I got a prank phone call one night. The guy claimed to be A, but his reedy voice gave him away. I called the real A to ask him who might be pranking me. He said he didn't know, but he'd call me later. When he did, he fessed up that it was his ex-girlfriend and her roommate. She'd gotten my number when she was at his apartment fighting with him on my birthday (ah - so that was why he didn't show up). I said OK, and we agreed to go out that weekend. Then my call waiting beeped - it was the ex. She was crying and apologizing and all I wanted to do was assure her that I wasn't that into her twoo wuv. He was hot, but not worth this aggro.

So we went out, had a number of drinks, and I decided to stay over at his place because it was really far off campus. Plus, one more fling didn't sound so bad. Well, we'd nodded off to sleep at around 3 AM when I heard the phone ring. A's roommate answered and I could hear him tell the person that it would be a bad idea to come over. I thought it might be one of Roommate's many consorts, until five minutes later when the knocking started. While A slept through it all, I lay awake listening to incessant pounding on the front door for about ten minutes until Roommate finally came up from his room and opened the door.

It was a girl, and by that time I knew it couldn't be anyone but the Ex. I heard Roommate insist, "You don't want to do that," right before A's bedroom door opened and Ex walked in. I feigned sleep (in just his tee-shirt, I might add), while she drunkenly poked and prodded A until he woke up. They proceeded to have a whisper fight about whether she could SLEEP OVER. Apparently her prank-calling roommate had stranded her at a party over by A's place, so she logically thought she could come over in the middle of the night, when she knows he's seeing someone else, and just crash there. Instead of calling her a cab, like a normal person would, he finally agreed that she could sleep on his sofa - directly outside his bedroom. Which she did until the next morning when I woke A up to "discuss" this situation with him. The walls were pretty thin, so she heard it all. She even tried to tell me that it was all her fault. But as I left, I implored them to get back together and not subject each other on anyone else. Last I heard, they'd taken my advice.

Ted said...

Friend of a friend:

A lonely guy meets a woman on the internet. She lives across the country. They get to chatting frequently, and eventually she proposes that she travel down to Texas to meet him.

When he picks her up, he realizes that he has a number of misconceptions about her. She looks nothing like her picture, she lives at home, and she's terribly dull in real life. She doesn't want to do anything but eat and watch television, and conversation is terrible. Romance does not bloom.

The visit comes to an end, and the guy offers to drive her back to the airport. She confesses that she does not have a return ticket, and was hoping that she could move in with him. She doesn't even have any money for a return ticket.

He's furious, and calls her mother to try to arrange a ticket home. The mother tells him that she doesn't want her daughter back, and tries to offer him a payoff of $80 to keep her.

That's a bad date.

(The preceeding has been a "friend of a friend" production. I didn't make it up, but I can't actually verify it, and I'll bet that some portion of it is exaggerated. But it's a good story.)

Angie said...

I have two stories that I think are fairly good.

I went out on a date at this HOT guy I met at a friend's birthday party, which happened to be at a duckpin bowling alley. He drove us to the other side of town, which was fine and gave us lots of time to talk. We were playing a "20 questions" kind of game to get to know each other. He disclosed that he was "in a lesbian-vampire cult." Of course, I was like "...And how does that work?" He said that because so many of the girls in the group were attracted to him, they assumed he was a super-powerful vampire and let him in the group. (I will admit the boy was mad-hot, but seriously, that was too much information.) We hung out the rest of the day and then, back at my house, he kissed me (which I do have to admit was awesome) then gave me FINGER ARMOR. You know, those big ring things that cover your whole finger? Yeah, one of those. I sincerely thought this dude was crazy in an "it puts the lotion on it's skin" kind of way, so thank god my mom grounded me the next weekend for breaking curfew and not calling, and I had an awesome excuse to avoid him.

The second bad date was with my current sweetie, who was informed at the early stages of the relationship that I did not respond to the honking of the horn, and if he wanted to get me, he should get out of the car and come to the door. So he came to the door, looking uncomfortable but not wanting to tell me what was going on. When we got in the car, he told me he needed to go back to his apartment to change clothes. I asked why and... it turns out that he had gas that wasn't gas, to put it delicately. To my credit, I did not laugh at all until we got back to the apartment, at which point I could no longer stand up straight. He gave me permission to tell his roommate and best friend, Marc, while he went to shower and Marc and I spent the next fifteen minutes laughing to the point of not breathing. Kyle was an excellent sport about it, and the honking the horn rule was immediately revised.

EMC said...

I got an honourable mention? And you compared it to Sartre? You, sir, have just made my Monday. Awesome.

Lisa said...

Well, there was the one where I was set up by a well-meaning friend and her boyfriend on a blind date with one of his friends, with the sole matching criteria being that we were both Catholic. Other than that, we had nothing in common. Fortunately, my friends had come along for a double date, so it took some of the pressure off. Unfortunately, my date had just found out that the hospital where he was working was closing. So he spent the entire evening grilling my friend's boyfriend (also a doctor) about finding a new job.

But the worst had to the The UnDate: I had "gone out" with this guy a couple times. Both times had been date-like but the exact status of our relationship was still . . . ambiguous.

He was an amateur pilot, so I went on a flight one morning. We planned to fly from the airport in Virginia over DC and out across the Chesapeake Bay. The day started out great---perfect weather, great scenery, much fun.

Then, as we started across the water, he asked if I'd take a couple pictures for him. The combination of focusing through the camera and some bumpy air made me seriously airsick. So airsick that we had to make an emergency landing because I wasn't sure I was going to keep my breakfast down. It didn't help that his idea of sympathy was to describe other people getting sick during flights.

So we land and he tends to the plane while I walk in circles around the airfield, trying to quell the nausea. When I'm a slightly healthier shade of green, we go into the little snack stand and he announces, "Since I paid for the plane, you can pay for lunch." Um, okay. I would have offered, but his demanding it was just a wee bit offputting. Not to mention that I was still in no condition for food.

When we finally start back for Virginia, it's evening and the sun is setting across the bay. And he says, "You know, this would be really romantic if we were on a date."

Well. At least I finally knew what my status was.

Needless to say, between the lingering nausea and his continuing chatter about how great it was that we were such good friends but how he'd love to share something like this with a girlfriend, I was more than ready to get back to the airfield in VA and have this undate over with. Except that when we got to the airfield, he tells me---in an incredibly annoyed and put-out voice---that he needed to get a certain number of hours in and my airsickness had caused him to come up short. So would it be okay if he did a few touch landings or whatever it's called. Basically, he was going to circle the field, touch down, and then fly right back up. Trying to be nice, I agreed that I'd try to last a little longer. But the circling and the up and down just made everything worse. I was getting sicker and sicker and tried explaining this to him. And he got more and more annoyed that he wasn't going to get his hours in. Finally, I just couldn't take it anymore and demanded that he put the plane down. He could keep flying if he wanted to, but I had to get into fresh air on solid ground. Pronto. With much grumbling, he put the plane down.

I had driven, so I drove back to his place, listening the whole time to him talking about how he was taking a break from women after several "psycho" encounters (I later learned the real stories and that he was the one with the issues). At his place, for some unknown reason, I agreed to come inside and order pizza even though I was still iffy on food. Again, he insisted that I ought to pay.

After pizza, I finally decided that it was time to go. At which point, he attempted to pull me down to the couch for some cuddling. He then actually pouted when I insisted that I needed to leave. He honestly had no clue why I wouldn't want to stay.

Tobias said...

I do not have a bad date story. For that, I am lucky. But since we're telling stories anyway, and this is about the closest to a date I've had...

I had this one boyfriend for 5-ish months. Not once did we go on a date. Partly, this was because we went to schools an hour apart. Partly, this was because I was young and stupid (still am, really). Mostly, this is because he jsut wanted sex.

Which I suppose would have been okay, had hee been up front about it, and had the sex been any good.

Oh, and I didn't realize any of this until after we broke up when he took a job two hours from where I go to school without even warning me that it was an option. (Distance didn't work; we hadn't spoken for a couple weeks before he took the job and damn was I glad for the easy out.)

Melissa said...

I have sooo many. You can pick the one you like the best.

1) New boyfriend throws a birthday party, to which he has invited ex-girlfriend. I chat obliviously to other guests while boyfriend has sex with ex-girlfriend outside. Boyfriend comes back inside, confesses, and showers. Instead of leaving (or at the very least, punching him), I stay the night. In the morning we watch news coverage of fires in the local hills. We go on to date for 2 years.

2) Date and I go to see a stupid action movie that date has picked out. Date feels the need to explain movie to me, because I'm blonde and I might not get it otherwise. After the movie, date takes me to McDonald's. On the way home we get in a car accident that is entirely date's fault. I have to wear a neck brace for a week.

3) Date and I are scheduled to go out to dinner and shoot pool. I assume dinner will be first, but date insists that pool is first. Date has 2 beers and gets way too close when trying to teach me how to shoot pool. We finally go to the restaurant, barely making it before they stop serving for the night. Date asks waiter to bring over a candle "to set the mood." Date orders a bottle of wine even though I say I won't have more than half a glass, and finishes it. I have extra food and date takes it in a to-go box. On the way home I hear bottles clinking in the hatchback. Date explains that his roommate is an alcoholic and he can't drink in front of her, so he drinks in his car. The next day, I email date and tell him I don't think it's going to work out. He replies that he has a bunch of other dates so he doesn't care anyway. Then he replies again and says he hopes he didn't come off too cocky. Then he replies again and says he hopes we can be friends. I block his email address.

Lisa said...

During the summer between freshman and sophomore years of college, I worked as a phone operator for a pizza chain. My supervisor was a "sophisticated" older guy. Our first date was a screening of Leonard, Part 6 (AKA worst movie ever made) followed by a trip to Captain D's fast-food seafood emporium (I was a shellfish-allergic vegetarian, and told him so, but as it apparently made no difference to him, I sat and watched him eat.) He wore so much Polo cologne, I came home reeking from simply sitting next to him.

For the second date, he traveled to my college and along the way picked up a nail in his very expensive touring tires. We spent the rest of the weekend looking for someplace to repair the tire because the spare was "dorky looking." More fast food meals, and then he demanded sex because he had driven so far. He did not receive it, and left a day early in a snit.

About two months later, he visited the doctor's office where my mother was a nurse to receive treatment for something unsavory in the genital department, making me ever so grateful for his huffy departure.

Jenny said...

Most of my bad dates weren't truly heinous, but were just bad in the "awkward!" blind date kind of way. BUT.

In college, the guy I was dating invited me to his apartment for dinner on Valentine's Day. I had wanted to go to a concert that was playing on campus later that night, but he had begged off due to a test or a paper or some such. I was vaguely sad about that, but no big deal because we were having dinner together and we were both rather... academically motivated, so the exam excuse didn't seem so out of character.

So I show up for dinner, and another couple is there as well, who I wasn't expecting, but I sort-of know them, so, fine, double date kind of thing, my guy and Other Guy made dinner for us girls. But I was picking up a very weird vibe from Other Guy and his girlfriend. Like they were startled to see me or something. Hmmm.

Anyway, dinner is over and I'm leaving so that my guy can get to the studying, and I mention something about the test or paper or whatever. Other Guy and his girlfriend look at each other all, "I thought we were...going... for dessert?"
Which is when I discover that there WAS no paper due, but my guy had been seeing someone ELSE at the same time and had DOUBLE-BOOKED VALENTINE'S DAY. Sloppily. He was having dinner with me and Other Couple, and then going to dessert and THE CONCERT with another girl and Other Couple. Which explains why they were so confused, since they had no idea what was going on either. What a maroon.

Well, that was the end of that, more or less.

I had the last laugh in the end, though. Six years later, I married Other Guy.

... said...

I was so hard up for a romantic valentines day - that I left a note and a pile of bills for my live-in, umemployed boyfriend. A pathetic sort of scavenger hunt where I paid for everything. I instructed him to go buy me flowers and to meet me downtown where he would get a wonderful surprise. I had booked a fancy hotel room and bought skanky underwear - the whole deal.

I left for work at 9 am and expected to hear from him by noon at the latest. He liked to sleep in, you see. Well, noon passes and then 1 pm, 2 pm...finally at 4 pm he calls. He's downtown and he sounds sullen. He informs me he has the flowers and he's getting bored. I take off from work and go meet him.

There he was with the cheapest, shittiest bundle of sorry-ass weed flowers I had ever seen. Those crappy cheap ones that you get at Safeway for $6. I left enough money for a decent bouquet of roses...on Valentines Day (I know how much that costs). He didn't give me any change.

Long story longer - we had a fight on the street and I had already paid for the hotel in full because I didn't have a credit card. He felt like shit when he found out I had gone through the trouble but we still werent getting along and let's face it, he was being an asshole. We went to the hotel, had bad sex and called it a holiday.

That is one of my better Valentine stories. I hate Valentines day.

Gill said...

I really don't have any heinous date stories, but only funnily awkward ones that still make me giggle years later.
I was a wee lass, on a set-up with my best friend's boy friend's best friend, A, and he walked me out to his front door to wait with me for my cab at the end of the night. A basically grabbed my head and started making out with me. It was my first kiss, and I really wasn't feeling it with this guy, so I was kind of bored and weirded out, and I remarked that his beard/scruff was scratching my face. He paused, looked into my eyes, and busted out the cheesiest effing thing ever: "It doesn't matter.....nothing matters right now." And continued to make out with me. I barely kept a straight face while I said goodbye and jumped into the cab.

Alexandra said...

1) Hm. There was this boy in my literature class who was really intelligent, which I find extremely attractive. So when he suggested we go out for coffee, I agreed. We have a pleasant time, bouncing witty one-liners off of each other and revelling in our shared geeky-but-brilliant sense of humor. Then the conversation turns to politics somehow; this being October 2004, there was really nowhere else for it to turn. I mention that I'm most concerned about Supreme Court nominees. He says he is too:

"Sluts in this country have had thirty years to kill their kids. It's time we changed that."

What? You can't just move on from a comment like that without somehow acknowledging it, and I'm not about to agree. So I decide to politely counter with an argument of my own, something about how women who get abortions aren't by default sluts and how I strongly support and defend a woman's right to choose.

"Oh, don't get me wrong. I believe in defending causes. I just think any woman who defends abortion should be willing to die for that right. Say, in a back alley somewhere."

Okay, so this is not going to be diffused with politeness, obviously. So I say, somewhat provocatively, "You like me. You find me attractive. If we were to sleep together and I were to get pregnant, would you still say that I deserve to die in a back alley?"

"No. You wouldn't get pregnant, though. You're not a slut."

Right. I figure, this guy's insane and has a major virgin/whore complex that I don't want to be part of. So I just say, "You're right, I wouldn't get pregnant. Not because I'm not a slut but because I would never, in a million years, sleep with someone who thought that something we did TOGETHER was any indication whatsoever of any sluttiness on my part."

He hounded me for the rest of the semester and called me a slut every so often, occasionally asking if I'd "found a guy who wanted a bunch of dead babies." It was really creepy. What pissed me off even more was that aside from that one issue, he was totally sweet and intelligent and all-around great, so everyone thought I was crazy for finding him obnoxious. Even I sometimes doubted that the conversation had happened at all; it was that surreal.

Oddly, he called me for months after that class was over "to hang out," saying how I was so great to talk to and how he loved that I wasn't afraid to "challenge" him. I didn't answer and I deleted his voice-mails. Eventually, maybe a year later, he finally stopped.

2) I live near a major military academy, and so am used to seeing cadets in uniform acting self-important. On the train one day, I saw one who looked adorably NOT absorbed in his own excellence, albeit young. I figured he was a first-year and therefore not yet schooled in the art of chest-puffing; I also figured, he's not that much younger than me (at the time) and I'm a strong woman: why should I keep meeting his eye and then both of us looking away? So I get up out of my seat and boldly sit next to him. Introduce myself, we have a great 30-minute conversation, passing the commute nicely. I find out that he's not a first-year, he's a junior -- I say he looks young, and he shrugs. Eventually, we start talking about the pressures of him being a junior, and he says, "Yeah, I'm nervous about applying to college."

What?

Turns out, he was a junior at the military prep high school, which has identical uniforms to the military academy. Making him all of sixteen years old to my twenty-two. The worst part was that we still had twenty minutes left of the train ride, and by that time the train was pretty full, so I couldn't even just get up and walk away. I had to sit there and continue this awkward conversation with a BOY, a high school boy six years my junior. We both just kept saying stupid things like, "Yeah, applying to college is rough," and then we'd both nod for a few minutes until one of us could think of something else to say. I never got off a train so fast in my life.

Jen said...

I have far, FAR too many bad date stories, but my favorite one, which has been retold billions upon billions of times by virtually everyone I know, involves a guy I had been seeing at the end of my senior year of college. He was a smaller guy with big tattoos, from Connecticut (that part's significant, insofar as it's nowhere near the southwest), involved with some intel agency or another (we were in DC).

Scene: Boy and I are doin' a little mattress dancin', as the Dixie Chicks say, at his place. I am on top. Things are going well.

And then, out of NOWHERE, boy grabs a black cowboy hat I had not previously seen, puts it on his head, and announces "Yee haw."

For real. "Yee haw."

I am still on top of him. I am LAUGHING MY ASS OFF. Boy looks sheepish. The laughter continues. He's still wearing the goddamn cowboy hat. I give up, throw my hands in the air, climb out of bed, get dressed, and leave, still laughing. Weirdest date EVER.

(Okay, the weirder date might have been when I was sixteen and dating my confirmation teacher, and he thought it would be hot to lick McDonald's ketchup off my body while we were hooking up in his car...but the cowboy hat story is funnier.)

Katy said...

My worst date was actually with someone I dated for three months, and it was the last date we ever had. We were supposed to be hanging out with two mutual friends, but there was a time mix-up, so the BF and I were left with some time to kill. I was already thinking about breaking up with him, so the smart thing would have been to suggest going to the bar early, but instead I agreed to go back to his apartment for a while. Oh, stupid me.

He apparently thought that meant that we were going to "get it on", and he already had a seduction plan set up. He'd been in Jersey for Thanksgiving, so he took the opportunity to film his parent's fireplace and put it on a DVD, which he then played for me. He did not see the kitschy humor inherent in such a thing, and was quite put out when I did. He also put on a CD of some weird, porno-sounding music and invited me to lay face-down on his bed for a backrub. I do, reluctantly, and he gives me the worst backrub of all time, which he then tries to sequeway into making out. I say, "Yeah, not really in the mood," ask him to turn off the fireplace DVD and the porno music, and we sit awkwardly and watch 'The Wizard of Oz' for the rest of the time.

We then go to the bar to meet our friends and find that only one showed up. We drink plenty, I get sick in the bathroom, and we drive our friend home. BF then attempts to drive me home, only to be stopped by a call from the friend. We go back to her house to find that she has thrown up all over her room. I'm still half drunk and cleaning up puke, while my sober boyfriend "just can't handle it" and scurries off to the living room to escape the smell.

Yeah. Pretty much the worst date ever, especially since I had to endure an awkward, twenty minute long car ride home after all of that.

Rachel said...

I totally forgot about the first/last date with the guy who took me to the movies.

We saw "Ernest Goes to Jail."

If that's not a bad date, I don't know what is.

theorangecouchmentality said...

My most embarrassing date... K was a friend of a friend, and we had met at a bar. I don't date a lot, so I was really excited and extremely nervous about being asked out by such a sweet, good-looking guy. I get all dressed up in my skirtiest skirt and do my hair--two things that I avoid like asparagus. He picked me up early and he showed up with a single yellow rose. He then took me up to one of the prettiest parks in town to watch the sun set... which, sweet, but a little bit much for a first date. And my nerves are starting to settle, but I'm also realizing that I'm finally out on a date with a genuinely nice guy (something I've been begging for for a long time) and I have nothing in common with him. Well fine, I'm going to stick this out and make it work, because I deserve to be with a nice guy, right? So he takes me out to a really nice little corner bistro, we split a bottle of wine, have delicious appetizers and dinner, even split dessert, and the conversation is starting...to...die... But he asks if I want to rent a movie, hang out some more. So I say sure. Because, see, I don't have to talk to him during a movie. So we're at the video store, and suddenly, my stomach starts to hate me. And of course there is no bathroom in the video store. I somehow talk myself into postponing my intestinal revolt until we get back to his place. Now, let me tell you that it is summer, and we're in the south. And I mean the so-humid-you're-never-dry, always hot and sticky south. And he lives in one of those charming, historic-type houses that have been turned into apartments, but, of course, do not have air-conditioning. So I am sooooo sick, I am sweating, and finally, I finish, only to realize that I have totally bombed out this great guy's bathroom. And there is no circulation. And the window is painted shut. There are no matches. No candles. No room spray. No ceiling fan, exhaust fan, spray deoderant, NOTHING. So I, after a brief panic, leave and shut the door behind me, praying that it will somehow magically air out before someone else goes in. K is waiting for me at the bathroom door. "My turn!" he says, ever so enthusiastically. I, very sheepishly, say I'm sorry. And want to die.

He was really sweet about it, said it happens to everyone. He even kissed me goodnight and called me to go out with him again. I never called him back. I know that I will always be that girl. You know the one.

At least the toilet didn't clog.

Anonymous said...

I have a bad double date story. I was a TA, senior tutor for a first year course. I had been "seeing" one of the grad students who was teaching a lab section for the course. Seeing, meaning I was his booty call, but the whole graduate school was pretty incestuous, so people pretty much hooked up with each other with no repercussions. (This was a long time ago).

End of year formal dance, we all decided to get dressed up and go for fun. I wore a new, very fun and skanky black strapless dress, cut up to there, and "come fuck me" black suede shoes.

We all arrived at a house where a bunch of grad students lived, and one of the undergrads arrived. She was probably one of the most stupid people I had ever met. Long blonde hair, parted in the middle, curled, no makeup, honest to god white chiffon dress that buttoned up the front to her neck, long sleeves, white satin shoes. And my date was being very friendly to her, I thought that was odd, but not too unusual, because she was in one of his classes. Nobody could figure out why she was there.

Turned out, he invited her. As a date. As well as me. And he sort of forgot to mention that to me. But to make things work, he asked his friend, who was the most unappealing person on the face of the earth, to give me a ride home when I found out, and got upset, and left. As in, he pre-arranged the ride home, knowing that I would leave. Then unappealing friend thought I would feel better if he tried to make out with me. As in, you're attractive, I don't know what he was thinking, inviting that other girl.

My date didn't know what he did wrong. After all, she was a virgin, it's not like he was cheating on me with her.

They're married now.

Anita said...

When I was in college, my best friend set me up with her boyfriend's friend who was visiting from Florida. We really hit it off great initially, but before we both knew it, he had to return to FL.

He invited me to visit him at his parents' home for the weekend in Tampa. I figured that with his parents there, it probably would be a good way to get to know each other better.

He took me out to a club where we met a whole group of his friends. He was the son of a doctor, and yet by comparison, all of his friends had money. Big money. He was completely intent on impressing these friends the whole night and proceeded to drink and drink. A lot. And dance with at least ten other girls.

I felt a little ignored, but his friends were nice to me so I just tried to be laid back about the situation.

Next stop. A giant YACHT. Owned by one of his so-called friends. Well, the friends' parents anyway. Meanwhile, my date is ignoring me the whole night. He didn't say two words to me.

I'd been drinking as well, and had this not-so-brilliant idea that it might be fun to swim off the yacht. The owner was encouraging so I did - - in a bra and panties - - because I didn't bring a swimsuit.

Well, my date. The one who ignored me the whole night. He went BALLISTIC, screaming how I had embarrassed him and how I couldn't stay at his house now. So, at 3 AM, he kicks me out of his parents' house.

His friends (who seemed to think my date was a wanna-be as well as an idiot) all invited me to come stay with them. Which was very nice given they didn't even know me. But I felt uncomfortable going to people's homes that I had just met, so I made my date take me to the airport.

I had to foot the bill for airfare to get home AND a hotel room to sleep in. At 4 AM.

Delightful.

Mary said...

One time my then-boyfriend and I had a date to go to a Christmas party. It was decided that since I lived out of town, I would meet him at his house and cook our contribution to the party--my world-famous gumbo--there. Except two things:

1) "His" house was also his parents' and 5 siblings' house; and
2) neither he nor his parents and 5 siblings believed in, shall we say, cleaning.

So I ended up making a giant pot of gumbo in a tiny, cramped kitchen that stank of the piles of trash that hadn't been taken out for weeks, and had to keep waving the flies and siblings away (and on one occasion, god help me, fishing a fly out of the gumbo).

Once at the party, of course, any gratitude he might have felt toward me for contributing something that everyone else apparently loved (I left out the part about the fly, although who knows, they might be high in protein or something) evaporated, and I spent most of the night sitting around by myself while he nerded out with his friends about the then-new LOTR movie and various action figures.

Let's just say I didn't feel all that terrible when I broke up with him shortly thereafter.

Dirce said...

Never date a man named Steve.
(sorry to all those Steves out there, but...yeah, you'll see.)

My first date ever was with the stock boy in the department store in worked in. I was 17 years old, a sarcastic drama geek, and I had decided to go out with any guy who had the cajones to ask me. The assistant manager had taken an interest in Steve and told him to ask one of the three high school girls out or else. I was the lucky winner. Steve had graduated a year earlier from my school and all I knew about him was that he could speak Klingon. Fluently. We agreed to go to a movie the upcoming Saturday. He forgot. We made a second attempt. He showed up at my door with a buzz cut and his mom, who acted as chauffeur. We saw "Eye for an Eye", the only movie playing in town, surrounded by angry women. His mom drove me home, I shook his hand, went inside and my mom and I laughed at the entire debacle. For the next two months, I avoided him and he watched me from behind stacks of detergent.

The other Steve was a more serious affair. I didn’t even know it was a date until he got creepy and possessive in the middle of the evening. In my first year at university, one of my friends threw a Halloween party on the other side of town. I lived on campus, so I needed a ride. Steve had a car. So I'm dressed up like a Dead groupie (both Grateful and zombie), flirting my little heart out, working the miniskirt and thigh-high boots for all they're worth, when Steve gets all angry and starts picking fights with everyone. Up until that point, no one had any idea he was even interested in me. A buddy pulls him aside, tries to calm him down and then the party ends. Said buddy grabs me, explains the misunderstanding, I apologize to Steve, no hard feelings, I think. Wrong!
We were driving along a particularly twisty road and I noticed that he was doing 75 in a 50 zone. I asked him to slow down, but he sped up to 100. I was clinging to the "holy shit" handle on the door, begging him to slow down, when we popped the curb; we just missed 2 lampposts and blew out all 4 tires. I jumped out of the car, dry-heaved, and tore a strip off of him.
You'd think that would be it, but no. He left me by the side of the road at 4 in the morning, on Halloween night, dressed like hooker while he went to get help, and he didn't even call me a cab. That was the only time I have ever hitched a ride.

Anonymous said...

i dated a guy in college who could only have sex if something was playing on the radio. on valentine's day, we had sex while "the jerky boys" played on his stereo.
no, i did not date him very much longer after that.

r said...

first date ever is a blind date set up by my mother; she'd bumped into a friend on a trans-atlantic flight, and when friend found out where i go to school, immediatly pressed upon my mother the phone number of a woman she knew with a son at my school. we meet for coffee, the word "essence" is used ie he is super pretentious, i can't get a word in edgewise, and when the date is over we shake hands. i look down for a moment to make sure my laces are done up, look back up with the word good-bye on my lips, only to find him steadily accelerating in the opposite direction. strangely enough, he called me again about three months later. apparently he had a good time...

Mom Appeal said...

the worst date went like this. B. showed up at the door, took one look at me and said I should have told him to dress up more. I offered to change and he just said "no, forget it," in disgust. Then we went to his favorite restaurant - The Olive Garden. Halfway through the meal one of his friends showed up with his date and they sat next to us. B. pointed at my plate and said, "Look how much she eats, dude." Then we went to my friend's apartment where she was having a party with all of her friends from her home town. We didn't know anyone, but B. thought I was being hit on by the guy offering me a stuffed mushroom and proceeded to punch him in the face for "disrespecting" me. My friend threw us out and on the way home we got into a fender bender because I didn't tell him to slow the fuck down - there's a light beyond the hill. When we got to my place, he got out and walked around the car a thousand times while I checked my lipstick in the lighted visor mirror. Then I said thank you and goodnight but he said he needed to stay because he was all pissed off and didn't want to drive the hour home. He slept on my floor and in the morning I told him I was gonna barf so he left only to come back 2 minutes later. Apparently I hadn't closed the lighted visor mirror and his battery was dead. Could I give him a jump? He finally left and I went back to bed. The phone rang 4 hours later and it was him asking if I'd had fun and when could we do it again?

Anonymous said...

Okay -- there was one date that had a bad premise, and then there was one date that was a disaster on paper but had a tremendously happy ending.

Bad premise first -- I went out on a blind date in college with a film student. We decided what we would do is see whatever double feature was playing at the revival house two blocks from campus.

As it turned out, it was a double feature of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and BLADE RUNNER.

We sat through CLOCKWORK, didn't speak during the fifteen-minute intermission, left 20 minutes into BLADE RUNNER, and then stood outside the theater for a moment awkwardly before saying, "So, um...thanks, see ya," and leaving separately. We never saw each other again.

The second - this was the second date with someone who had totally swept me off my feet on our first date. I went into it thinking I was going to try playing it cool and calm, not lose my head...we had planned on a movie, but he'd made a snack for us to meet at his place while we figured out what to see. Nothing fancy, just cheese and crackers. As we're noshing, I feel a bit of a stomachache coming on, but try to tough it out....then it started getting painful enough that he could tell something was going on and offered me some tea, I said thanks, and then when he went to serve it to me I stood up -- and the pain made me black out a second, then stagger to his bathroom when the nausea hit.

He had to carry me to the ER, where I endured 9 hours of testing to find out that what was going on was I had a freak gynecological problem that was going to require emergency surgery. He bravely offered to make all the necessary calls -- to my office, my roommate, my parents -- to tell them what was going on.

The thing was, I had decided I was going to wait until after the second date to inform my parents what was going on, and since our second date was still technically still happening, the way my parents actually found out about him was by getting a call from a stranger at 8 am one Saturday -- "Hello, sir? My name is Richard. You don't know me, but I was on a date with your daughter last night, and there were some complications and she's about to go into surgery."

To soften the blow of that last one, though -- Richard was a total prince who insisted I stay with him for a week after I got out of the hospital so he could look after me, and we dated for another year and a half after that. He's still my best friend, ten years after the fact -- but he gets very nervous when I have cheese and crackers.

Kim

doris day said...

Is it bad that I want to be able to post an entry so bad that I *dreamt* about having a horrible date last night? I've spent all week thinking about my so-so dates and how to embellish them and make them into horror stories..... but I just can't (shaking fist in the air cursing god for lack of suitable entry). Good luck everyone, those are some great stories....

SayUnderpants said...

Many years ago, I agreed to go out with a guy who frequented the shop that I worked at. He picked me up from my house and took me to a fancy little Italian restaurant, but since he “forgot” to make a reservation we were told that the wait for a table would be around 2 hours. He suggested dinner at his house as an alternative. Since I didn't know him well, I wasn't entirely comfortable with that suggestion – it seemed a bit presumptuous and struck me as sort of creepy. For some reason, I went along with it anyway...

When we got to his house I immediately smelled something...like lasagna...already cooking. RED FLAG! Apparently, the Italian restaurant idea was bogus - his one and only intent was to get me back to his house. So, while he was tending to the Lasagna of Deception, I went into the bathroom to try to come up with a way out of the whole mess. When I finally came out of the bathroom, he asked me if I saw the new toothbrush sitting on the bathroom sink. I told him I had, and he said, "That's for you. You know, in case you want to spend the night." At that point I began to feel genuinely ill and asked him to take me home. I was never so happy to get home at 9 o'clock on a Saturday night in my life!

K Jones said...

Thankfully, I am happily married and no longer have to trudge down this long and desperate hallway any more, but for a time, I was a single man destined to attend many first dates. This is one such affair.

I met her at church. She had an easy, comforting smile and a quirky, granola-like personality. She wore the Birkenstocks and cotton sweaters. I'd admired her for several months before I got up the nerve to ask her out. She'd been dating a friend of mine so when they broke up I had to wait the appropriate time before I could proceed.

What to do? A movie? Miniature golf? No. I really wanted to make a good impression. Aha! A play. I went to the trusty Las Vegas Journal Friday Edition where all good things for the weekend are spelled out amidst the gentleman's show ads. There it was. The community theater was presenting "Of Mice and Men". Excellent. I will seem cultured and its not a musical.

She was up for just about anything, so we arranged to meet at the theater. I arrived first and paced nervously hoping I wouldn't be stood up. I wasn't. I cracked a joke when she arrived and she laughed genuinely. A good sign. (The tense shifts)

The play begins. She's never seen it before and can't remember the plot. Excellent. She likes it. She wonders what will happen next. I, of course, know the ending and sense that I should prepare her in some way. She leans forward as they run away. She is on the edge of her seat. I should do something. She will be so disappointed and shocked.

I sense my opportunity. I will place my arm gently on her shoulder so when the shooting takes place I can reassure her in her grief. I quietly lift my arm off of the armrest and begin to extend it out across the back of her empty chair aiming for her delicate shoulder. Then.....

Pow! Lenny shoots Squiggy.

She lurches back toward me in shock and sadness. My elbow. My elbow. In slow motion I see my elbow unable to dodge her pretty little cheekbone. The crunch is heard all the way on the Strip and her face and head recoil in abject horror. Saliva slowly dislodges from her mouth as her pouty lips turn a pretty little black and blue shade.

I...didn't...mean...to...elbow...you...in...the...face.

She looks at me like a deer in the headlights. "So I guess dinner is out of the question?" I quip with a huge hint of defeat.

Typical chick.

Laura said...

This is kind of late, but perhaps there's still time?

I went on a handful of dates my first year of college with this guy. He was smart, and not bad looking, and nice enough, but I just wasn't feeling a spark. Still, I couldn't think of a compelling reason to turn him down when he asked me to come have dinner at his apartment, so I went.

We ate, and watched a video, and there was some awkward conversation, and I excused myself to go pee. When I came out of the bathroom, he went in. And then... the ass-trumpets began. The walls of the place were thin, and his farts... SO loud. SO copious. Resonating musically off the porcelain bowl. He was in there for quite a while, no doubt due to the unpleasant combination of shame and gastrointestinal distress. I winced. I was glad I'd gone in first.

He came out, and instead of following the polite tradition of assuming that people can't hear you while you're in the bathroom, he acknowledged the impromptu butt-concert by saying, "Wow. I'd been holding in my gas all night."

Somehow the evening didn't end there! I felt so bad for him, how embarrassed he must have been, that I stuck around. We eventually ended up making out on his couch. He was cute, so I figured I might as well make the best of the situation. Things began to get more heated, and presently I was able to discern that the boy was somewhat well endowed. He noticed me noticing.

"It's all yours," he beamed.

It was quite late by then, and I'm sure he expected me to spend the night. I made him drive me home at four in the morning, after which I completely lost it, laughing, and never went out with him again.

Courtney said...

I may be a little late for this but I have had many a bad date I'd like to relate. (All thanks to Internet dating - I know....)

1) *I* go and pick him up and before even saying hello he kisses me. Uhhh, WTF? We decide to go play mini-golf at a local pub which is ok. After that we go for dinner at a restaurant that he chose simply because he had a coupon for it. To end the night we go to the movies - not because it's a great date activity but because he has received two free movie admissions out of a cereal box!!!

2) Same guy (don't ask why I tried again.) He picks me up this time in his friends car and asks if I mind going to the car wash with him because he doesn't want to return the car dirty. First we stop to fill up with gas and he asks if I want a drink. He comes back to the car with a litre bottle of iced tea! Lucky me. We head to the car wash where he ropes me into cleaning off the floor mats and he also lies to the attendant and says he knows the owner so the car wash is free. Then we decide to go to a movie and while driving there he uses the shoulder as a passing lane and speeds even though I ask him to slow down. Apparently he "doesn't know how to drive slow." We change our minds about the movie and he's telling me about his camping trip that he's trying to get ready for. I tell him I understand that he has stuff to take care of and he can just take me home. I never talk to him again but he continues to stalk me over MSN getting more and more angry as I don't return his messages.

3) I go for coffee with a guy I'm meeting for the first time and he starts off the conversation by stating that he doesn't understand why people get so upset when babies die. Date OVER!

Wrenae said...

This may be too late, but I'll tell my story anyway:

I had been dating Nature Boy for a while, about 9 months. He was the outdoorsy, hike-for-miles, bike-everywhere type. I am the read-a-book, watch-TV type, and will not leave the house without hair & makeup done. He entreats me to go camping with him, and though I hate the idea of sleeping on the ground and dealing with bugs, I agree to go. But we live in a city, so where shall we camp? He suggests a state park nearby, and we pack up my car with gear, dogs, etc., and head out.

I park in the State Park parking lot, and as we head into the woods, I notice signs that say "Camping permitted in designated areas only" and "No camping without permit." I point these out to Nature Boy. He claims he's camped in the park tons of times, and it's no big deal. We soldier on, hiking through dense foliage, not following any path at all.

Eventually, about 2 miles in and exhausted (well, *I* was) we find a stream and set up camp beside it. The dogs frolic, we build a fire, campground nookie ensues. Camping begins to seem not so bad after all. Until...

Around 11p.m., we hear voices coming through the woods. We think it's other campers or something and quickly get back into our clothes. As they near, we see flashlight beams, and then realize they are yelling. They are yelling MY NAME (First and Last name) as they troop through the forest.

They? are forest rangers. They saw my car in the lot. They could not find record of a permit in my name (after checking the car's registration, natch), and they assumed I had been hiking and gotten injured. They are looking for a helpless girl with a sprained ankle /broken leg/ snakebite. They find a perfectly healthy and libidinous couple, camping in a non-designated area. They are royally pissed.

After lecturing us for about an hour on the illegal campfire, our failure to restrain our dogs, my failure to seek a permit, the value of their time, etc. , they make us pack up and march us out of the forest and back to my car. One ranger writes me a ticket (it was my car, after all, that started this mess, even though I explained that it was all Nature Boy's idea) citing me for the fire and the camping w/o a permit.

We get home after 1 a.m., and I am royally pissed at Nature Boy for the whole incident and his "we don't need a permit" insistence. I *never* get in trouble, and I hate it when authority figures scold me. I really do. Nature Boy agrees to pay for the ticket so I don't have to deal with it anymore.

Sounds like a bad date, but not so awful, right? Well, cut to 3 months later. Nature Boy and I are now living together. We get a knock on the door one Monday morning around 8 a.m. as I am getting ready for work. It's the police. Nature Boy never paid for the ticket, and there's a warrant for my arrest for failure to appear in court. I look at Nature Boy -- "You didn't pay the ticket!?!" -- and he offers to pay the officers then and there. No dice, of course, and he's lucky they didn't assume he was trying to bribe them. The officers are apologetic, but they have no choice. I am *handcuffed* and taken to the waiting police car in front of my apartment building.

I'm sure that the look on my face was one of pure shock and mortification. The officer seems genuinely nice, even as he books me and takes my fingerprints. I am frisked by a nice lady guard who asks what I'm being held for, as her sheet can't possibly be right. Oh, it's correct alright: I'm being jailed for camping.

The magistrate, upon hearing my tale, releases me on my own recognizance, and Nature Boy is waiting in the lobby to pick me up, prepared to post bail if necessary. I end up having to hire a lawyer and, though the Park Rangers refuse to drop or lower the charges, I receive a "Prayer for Judgement" and fine. As long as I don't get arrested again within a year, I will retain a clear record.

Nature Boy paid the fine, and I laid down my own law: No more camping dates for me. Ever.

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