Sunday, January 30, 2011

PG-13 + XXX = XOXO

At about 6:00 p.m. yesterday, I ducked into a doorway downtown to wait for a bus. A couple, about my age, ducked in soon after to wait while "that clown brings the car around." They had just seen "Little Fockers," which neither of them enjoyed, but they were in good spirits and seemed open about their plans for the rest of the evening.

The woman kept teasing the man about how he couldn't handle the cold, and he kept trying to convince her to eat at a nearby restaurant (presumably so he didn't have to go back outside again). Then their conversation took an interesting turn:

MAN: "Well where you wanna go, then?"
WOMAN:  "I don't know. Gimme your thoughts."
MAN: "Sex World."
WOMAN: "What? I just asked for your thoughts."
MAN: "And I gave 'em. We goin' to Sex World!"
WOMAN:  [laughing] "We're not going to Sex World."
MAN: "Oh, I see, cuz you can't handle any more than this."

At this point, they were cuddling and kissing. I knew I couldn't bolt, however, because they'd think they scared the uptight white girl away. Finally their car arrived, and I exited shortly after they did. But it left me wondering . . . would they go to Sex World?  Before or after dinner? Was he really too much to handle? And, most importantly, how the hell did Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro get this guy so randy?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Small Humiliations: Part III

When I was a kid, this magical event occurred about every four weeks.  A man would pull up to our house in a big truck marked "Schwan's" and proceed to deliver boxes of various frozen meats and the occasional ice cream treat. This was just a small supplement to my mom's usual grocery trips, which was what made it so special.

Now, the Schwan's man would stop by on the appointed day, but not necessarily at a pre-determined hour. Kind of like the cable guy, but he could get away with it, because you can't really stay mad at someone when you have an orange sherbet "pushup" in your mouth.

One day, when I was about 14, the doorbell rang. Because it was immediately after school, I naturally expected my friend Nathan to have moseyed the block between our houses, in order that we might lounge about listening to hardcore gangsta rap that was banned by our mothers. And, because we were typically goofy and juvenile together ... like I said, 14 ... I decided to greet him appropriately at the door.

Our front door was wooden, with a window at the top covered by a sheer yellow curtain. Can you picture it? So, after hearing the doorbell, I crept (crept, mind you, stealthy as your average rhinoceros no doubt, for a surprise attack) up to the door, whipped the curtain open, and pressed my face violently against the glass.

It was mid-monster-mug, eyes crossed, nose smashed, that I noticed the man standing in our garage was not, as I expected, my friend Nathan, but Bob, our friendly neighborhood Schwan's man.

I can't say for certain what types of things a frozen food deliveryman sees on his rounds, but they must have been more shocking than a teenage girl drooling at the window, because Bob merely looked perplexed.

Realizing my mistake, I carefully peeled my lips off the glass, opened the door, and said, "Uh, we don't need anything today, thanks," and shut it again.

And here's a reason to love small towns. Because Bob had serviced our area for years before this incident, he continued to periodically show up at our door for years afterward. So I got to relive the embarrassment many, many times over. But I did learn the precautionary measure of checking the calendar in the kitchen for a tiny little swan-shaped sticker before greeting any future guests with a gruesome-faced slobber.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Small Humiliations: Part II

I honestly intended this series to be focused on my own embarrassing moments, but I also honestly intended not to go to Starbucks and buy a coffee this morning, which is where I overheard the following conversation between two men who appeared to have met for something business-related.

Man #1 (bustling in from outside, obviously cold):  "I just did something really stupid."
Man #2:  "Oh yeah?"
Man #1:  "I just put my change in the wrong meter."
Man #2:  "How'd you do that?"
Man #1:  "It was a black car that looked just like mine.  I didn't even notice until I locked my car with my remote, and the lights flashed on a car a couple spots down the street."
Man #2 (laughing now):  "How much change did you put in?"
Man #1:  "All of it. It was completely empty."  (walking up to the counter)  "I'm gonna need a couple more dollars' worth. I fed the wrong meter, if you can believe that."

The guy behind the counter then cracked up, as did several other people in line. Although this mistake registers about a 1.5 on the humil-o-meter, what struck me funniest was that the man seemed unable to stop himself from admitting what he'd done. It was like he couldn't believe it and needed someone else to verify it. It made me wish I had the very same story to share, just so he wouldn't feel so alone.

I also couldn't stop thinking about how happy and perplexed the person whose meter he topped off would be upon returning to that identical black car later on. One man's misspent cash is another man's pleasure, perhaps.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Small Humiliations: Part I

In the interest of overcoming my apparent hibernatory tendencies this winter (I currently arrive home from work, curl up under my heated throw, sleep for a couple hours, rouse myself for some food and television, and then ... exhausted ... retire to bed), I'm starting a new series detailing some of my more embarrassing moments.

A couple years ago I went to get my hair cut at a discount chain, which shall remain nameless. I typically cheap out on haircuts, mainly because I keep mine very short and can't justify $40 a month in upkeep. The adventurous part of this strategy is that I might get a different stylist each time, which is also the downside in certain situations.

In this particular instance, it was not only a new stylist, but also a new establishment. The girl was quite young and eager to make a good impression. She washed my hair and then stood behind me asking me questions to get a feel for what I wanted.  In the course of the questioning, we had the following exchange:

STYLIST:  "Have you ever had your hair long?"
ME:  "Not since high school."
STYLIST:  "Do you ever think about growing it out again?"
ME:  "Well, sometimes I toy with the idea, but you know you have to go through that ugly stage."
STYLIST:  (very sympathetically, with her hand on my shoulder)  "Awwwww ......"


STYLIST:  "Oh!  You mean the hair!"

I haven't been back since.