I was at a shopping mall. A woman texting almost walked right into me. I was ascending the escalator, she climbed the stairs without her eyes leaving her little screen. “I’m surprised you chose the stairs while texting instead of the elevator.” She laughed. We found ourselves in a conversation. She was waiting for a friend to see the new Tarantino movie. I wasn’t particularly witty that evening, nor was I dressed for success. I had a lazy summer beard, my glasses on, and Tevas on my feet (Yes, Tevas and no this incident didn’t take place in 1992). In spite of my sloppiness she was hanging on to my every word. So I asked her, “Would you like to grab a coffee sometime?” She seemed genuinely excited and we exchanged numbers.
The next day I called her. We spoke for a few moments and discussed our Labor Day Weekend plans. She was free on Friday, the night that my friend Jay Flatts would be hosting a stand up comedy night. I’m not a fan of stand-up comedy, nor am I a fan of dating, but from mathematics I remembered two negatives equal a positive.
Friday night she would meet me at my house and we would head to The Comedy Store from there. I cleaned up my place and then my brother came home. He sat in the living room, turned on the TV and was wearing nothing but boxers.
“I have a girl coming over.”
“So would you mind putting a shirt on and maybe some pants.” He’s a sensitive young man, so I added, “I don’t want you stealing her from me.”
A few minutes later she knocked on the door. I have terrible vision, but I never wear my glasses. If I see people too clearly all I see are their flaws. The day I met her I had my spectacles on. I hoped with them off I might find her more attractive. My cell phone rang. It was her right outside my door. I gave her a tour of my new house and I found myself no more attracted to her. This night would require alcohol.
I drove us to the Sunset Strip. We made small talk in the car. I was trying to figure out her age. She had to be older than me, but she was giving me no context in which I could place her birth year. We parked at the Saddle Ranch parking lot (cheapest parking spot in the Strip) and walked into the club. My friend, Cory, was sitting in the front row with his girlfriend and had saved us two seats. The only problem was that the stage was a semi-circle and we were all the way at the periphery. Half the comedians had terrible stage presence and we were forced to look at their hips or asses depending how far upstage they stood.
The cocktail waitress came up to me. “There’s a two drink minimum.”
“I’ll take a beer.” I said.
“You have to get two of them.”
“Can you bring me one now and one later?”
“No, you have to get them both now.” They’re very fascist at these comedy clubs. My date ordered two Perriers. Great, that will loosen her up (yes, Perrier, and no, this incident didn’t take place in 1988).
Jay, brought, the energy. He was all over the stage. He made me laugh in spite of hearing much of his routine at our weekly poker game. His best joke was, “I’ve been trying these dating web sites. My favorite is Jdate. It’s a Jewish dating site. I like it because it’s a little bit cheaper.”
Many of the other comedians were predictable. Adam Sandler had a spot on line in that movie about comedians, Funny People. He’s berating Seth Rogan. “All your jokes are about masturbating or farts. Don’t you ever want to get laid?” None of these comics would be fucking tonight.
After the umpteenth vibrator joke and twenty-second joke about why white people are different from black people I could sense her boredom. I kept asking, “Do you want to go?” She shook her head every time.
It went on forever. There were about twenty comedians. Jay had to introduce each one. Around the half way point I noticed he was coming on stage holding a beer bottle. Then the next time I noticed he had a different beer bottle. No fair! The comics were getting sloshed and the audience was stranded without a cocktail waitress in sight.
After learning from one comic that homosexuals were noble as they would be our only line of defense against the aliens and their anal probes, the jokes were over. In the amount of time that one could watch Lawrence of Arabia the crowd had thinned from 150 to 20. Jay invited Cory and I on stage for a photo. We got in about twenty different poses. I asked the date if she wanted to get in a picture. All of the evening’s jokes killed her sense of humor. She said she had to get up early for work in the morning. We drove back to my place. She was silent and due to osmosis I was talking like I was a stand-up comic. You know that rhythm they have where a joke from earlier in their routine figures into their final punchline? She was walking to her car. I figured I’d take one last stab, “Do you want to come inside for a drink?”
“Are you sure? I’ve got Perrier.”