Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Worst First and Second Date Story You’ll Ever Hear (With the Possible Exception of “Titanic”), Part 2

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Again, the names have been changed in this story.  I have never dated someone named Esmerelda, though it’d be a lot cooler if I had.

Whoosh!  Another wave crashed against the rocks.  I called out Esmerelda’s name.  Suddenly, I heard her call my name back.  I crawled through the maze of gray stone and saw her in the water, stuck between an anchor rock and the jetty block.  I pulled her out of there and lifted her up toward the top of the jetty block, where a man helped her up, then did the same for me.

As it turned out, that first wave had washed at least half of the people right off the jetty block.  I pulled a few more people up out of the anchor rocks. When everyone who was out there was accounted for, I walked Esmerelda back to the car. We both were bloody, bruised, and shaken up.  We went to my house, where we cleaned ourselves off, dressed some wounds, and settled down a bit.

Now, I should’ve taken our near-death experience as a sign from God that we weren’t supposed to be together.  Perhaps, our child would have been the Antichrist and/or caused the Apocalypse.  Or as I like to think:  Maybe, just maybe, our child would have led the resistance against the robots who took over Earth, destroyed most of mankind, and mastered time travel.  Maybe they had sent a cyborg, which looked uncannily like a former Governor of California, from the future to cause that anomalous wave pattern.  Well played, robots.  Well played.  There was only one problem with your plan which your hormonally deficient circuits failed to compute:  You underestimated a 17-year-old boy’s desire to touch boobs.

As I took Esmerelda back to the bed and breakfast, we talked about how we were having a really nice time, until, you know, we almost died.   I asked her if she might like to go out again.  In retrospect, I feel like the clueless actor who infamously asked, “Besides for that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”  And yet, beyond all reason or rational thought, she said she would like that.

On our second date, I took Esmerelda to shoot some pool, and then out to After Hours, a coffeehouse many Point Pleasant kids used to frequent.   We ran into some friends of mine, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, at the coffee shop.  They sat with us, and we were all having a lot of laughs.  There was just one thing that struck me as strange:  Esmerelda had three double espressos.

Before I tell you what happened next, let me explain this:  After Hours offered a wide variety of drinks containing little-to-no caffeine.  Decaffeinated coffee and tea, hot chocolate, “Natters”, which were basically steamed milk with a shot of flavored syrup added.

We left the coffee shop and went driving, which was going to lead ideally to parking.   After we crossed over the bridge which led to the neighboring town of Manasquan, she suddenly lowers her window and starts vomiting outside of the car.  I move to pull over, but she tells me to keep going. 

"It's okay," she says, "I'm just allergic to caffeine."


Before I can really process what was going on, I see police lights flashing behind us.  I have the utmost respect for the police, so please understand this is a very specific statement.  Between 1995 and 1997, certain members of the Manasquan police force liked to pull over teenagers and harass them.  I, myself, was pulled over for no reason on more than a few occasions, and several friends had similar experiences.  In their defense, on that night, they had a very good reason.  

"You must choose..."
I pull over.  Esmerelda jumps out of the car and continues to offer her sacrifice to the asphalt gods.  I had started to get out so I could help her, but then realized that might make the policemen a bit skittish.  I had seen enough episodes of “Cops” to know that the men in blue generally don’t approve of drivers getting out of their cars at traffic stops, and that they usually express this disapproval by pulling out their guns, aiming them at the drivers, and shouting loudly. 

"...You have chosen...poorly."
Both policemen get out of their cruiser.  The shorter cop stands behind my car and watches Esmerelda, as the taller one approaches my window.  “License, registration, insurance….Have you kids been drinking tonight?,” the taller cop asks.  I tell him the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so of course, he doesn't believe us.   He asks me to get out and if he can look inside the car a bit.  I knew there were no drugs in there, so I agreed.  For the next ten minutes, the tall cop searched my car; the short cop grilled me with questions; and Esmerelda continued to exorcise the newly-summoned demon residing in her stomach.  In the end, they found nothing and decided we were not drunk. They did, however, give me a ticket for a broken headlight.  You have a nice night, now.

After Esmerelda finished and felt “much better”, I decided to take her back.  For some guys, vomit is not a deal breaker for hooking up; I am not one of those guys.  We enter Spring Lake, and I turn onto the road where her bed and breakfast was located.  Esmerelda starts throwing up outside the window again, and police lights start flashing behind me AGAIN. 

For the fifth or sixth time that night, I told the story of what happened as a second Spring Lake police cruiser pulled up.  I showed the Spring Lake policeman the ticket the Manasquan cops gave me and explained that they had already searched my car.  He ran a few sobriety tests on me, and here’s  a tip:  It would behoove you to memorize the alphabet backwards so well that when cops ask you to recite your ABCs in reverse, you can ask them if they want you to say it or sing it.  They love that.

Mercifully, the Spring Lake cops decide to let us go without searching the car.  A few minutes later, I walk her up to the door of the bed & breakfast, make sure she gets in alright, and sum up the evening with an "Okay, well, that is that."

Long story short (TOO LATE!): Worst. Dates. Ever…...and I didn’t even get to touch her boobs.

EPILOGUE:  As it turns out, I was the luckiest person in the world on that second date.  “How were you possibly lucky that night?!”  I’ll tell you, Guy Who Always Interrupts… I bought that Monte Carlo from my dad’s friend’s parents for $1,800.  It only needed $700 of work done on it to be in like new condition, so it was a very good deal.  I was thrilled, mostly because it did awesome donuts on the Beaver Dam Court cul de sac when it snowed.  Now, the previous owner was the couple’s other son, who had died of a heart attack.  What they had neglected to tell me was that he died of a heart attack from a cocaine overdose.  Slightly important information, don’t you think?

About six months later, I was driving two of my friends to the closest Taco Bell, which was about a half hour away.*  My friend, Anastasia, was sitting in the back seat, and messing with the head rest of my friend, Natasha, in the front seat.  Well, when Anastasia lifted the head rest up, two little bags of white powder fell to the ground.  She wanted us to try to sell them!!  Hell to the NO!!  I wasn’t messing around with that stuff.  I immediately turned the car around, drove home, showed my dad, and we flushed it down the toilet.  By some miracle, on that second date, those Manasquan cops did not find those little bags of white powder in my car.

*To my beautiful daughters,

Daddy did incredibly stupid things when he was young.  What can I say? Daddy needed his chalupa.  And yes, girls, Daddy knows he used driving a half hour to Taco Bell as his paradigm of stupidity, rather than doing donuts in a residential cul de sac.  At least, the latter didn’t give me gas.  Nevertheless, if I ever find you doing dangerous stunts while operating a motor vehicle, you will be grounded and will lose your car privileges for a month, because that’s how I roll.

Love always,

P.S. And if I ever find you parking with a boy before the age of 25, you will never see the light of day again.  XOXO


  1. LOL. She was allergic to caffeine. You dodged a bullet with this one my friend. The term "dumb as a stump" comes to mind.

  2. loved this story & the place associations! you cracked me up with that line about sponge bob!

    but wait, i thought "benny" was an acronym of sorts, derived from the big towns from which the nj shore tourists (at least for 'our' part of the shore hail: Bayonne, Elizabeth, Newrk, and New York. am i mistaken? i'll need to see your references, please!