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I wrote the book on first date disasters

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POSTED September 19, 2009 2:07 a.m.
First dates and disasters are one in the same for me.

My best first date ever ended with me trying to figure what to do when I spotted slugs and snails inching across her patio. Looking for something romantic to do or say I asked if she’d ever tried killing snails with salt. When she said “no,” we were off to the races.

The only problem was I neglected to suggest we hose down the cement after we spent an evening under the stars dashing salt on slimy mollusks and watching them bubble and foam on a cool April evening. You could say she was a bit more than surprised to wake up the next day and discover a mess on her patio.

That, for me, was the best first date. I’m the type who’d steal my first kiss about three seconds before the Titanic hits the ice berg. Disasters and first dates are one in the same for me.

The two candidates for my worst experience all center around taking first dates to the Music Circus in Sacramento. Back in the day – hey I’m 53 years old, OK – it was held in a big tent and not inside the Sacramento Convention Center. Stars like Carole Channing would handle leads in various musicals that ran for a week each throughout the summer.

One of those dates involved my Volvo 740 that I affectionately alternated between calling “The Volvo from Hell” and “The Swedish Mechanic’s Full Employment Act.”

Dinner and the show went fine. It was leaving Sacramento and taking her home to Auburn that proved fatal to any chances for a second date.

She happened to have fairly long hair that was blowing out the window as we merged onto Business 80. She started to put the power window up and perhaps 20 strands or so of her hair got caught. She went to push the button to get the window to go down and it wouldn’t budge.

There is nothing more interesting than driving 30 miles while praying that every time you work the power button that the window will budge. She stopped talking to me at about Rocklin. It could have something to do with the somewhat painful way her head was leaning and her words that were something to the effect “if I have to cut my hair I’m going to kill you.” (Actually, she wasn’t that nice but you probably already figured that.)

The window finally came down near the Highway 49 exit. I definitely didn’t get a kiss, a good night or even a polite go to hell. Northing but an icy look that definitely said there wouldn’t be a second date.

My hands-down all-time-worst-date was also at the Music Circus. It had nothing to do with the fact Jennifer was an IRS auditor up for promotion to become an IRS agent.

It was intermission. Things were going well. We were walking toward the concession area outside when I noticed Aloha Petite Schafer out of the corner of my eye. First, it was never good to be seen on a date by anybody from Lincoln as they immediately wanted to know your business. Aloha, though, was even more so someone I wanted to avoid that night. She hadn’t seen me for close to six months.

I tried to move away but then see saw me.

To this day I can still hear the words she blurted out rather loud: “Oh my god, Dennis! What happened to you! My god, you look like you’ve lost a hundred pounds! Are you sick?”
People literally started moving away which is no easy trick considering the crowd had been virtually shoulder to shoulder.

I need to explain a few things. I had indeed lost 125 pounds going from 320 to 195 pounds in the span of less than six months. Also in that morning’s Sacramento Bee was a screaming headline that stated severe weight loss was one of the indicators of AIDS.

I now had to reassure Jennifer that not only I didn’t have AIDS but that just six months prior I made Rodney Dangerfield look like Barney Fife.

I wasn’t what I call a way to impress on the first date.

Even so, we ended up dating for six months.
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