"St. Pete or Bust! 2000" story # 3

St. Petersburg, Florida           September 12, 2000

To pass the time away on our roadtrip to St. Pete, Luke invented a game where he, Cory, and I took turns saying what we looked forward to at our school this semester. We went on for a good hour, coming up with ideas like, "Studying Swahili," "Snorkelling at the beach," and "Throwing merengue-and-ice cream parties." It's gonna be a good semester.
     But there was one thing, for sure, that none of us were looking forward to, and his name...is Pansyckas!!! Why, just one thought of that rotten scoundrel causes the veins to stick out on my neck and my teeth to grind.
     "Argh, Pansyckas!" I'd say, writhing in tortured agony.
     "That Pansyckas just burns my a*s!" Cory would say, pounding on the dashboard.
     "Pansyckas" is the nickname of a student at my school. But not just any student, oh no - Pansyckas has managed to collect for himself every miserable personality trait known to man.
     He's as cheap as the old widow who gives her grandkids just a tin of peanut brittle every christmas. When Pansyckas goes out to eat, he only orders water, and I've heard rumors he lived in a closet this summer. The lousy coot pinches his pennies so hard I think he's trying to squeeze each one into two pennies.
     He's a weight-lifting maniac, also. Now that I think about it, Pansyckas does spend money sometimes - but only to buy himself Power-Bars and to rent Arnold Schwartenegger's workout videos. The kid's body has developed the shape of a large turnip. On top of the turnip, sits his stupid-looking head. He has the fruity smile of a little kid that other kids like to pick on, but with a grumpy old man's glasses which barely fit around his muscle-inflated face.
     Arrgghh! Just picturing him is enough to make me want to rip out every hair of my head. That blasted Pansyckas!
     But above all, Pansyckas is a pansy. He once got scared while watching an ocean video, because two-inch harmless worms were coming out of the sea-floor. "I wouldn't snorkel there," he said in his nasally voice, "those guys are scary." Another time, he canceled on a Bahamas cruise that he and I had planned, only one week before we were set to go...
     The day after I arrived at Eckerd College, I spotted Pansyckas walking in my direction. I tried not to let him see me, but it was no use.
     "Hey, Justin." He gave a goofy grin.
     I did my best to calm down and keep my breathing relaxed. "Hi, Pansyckas," I said (he hates that nickname). "So, are you ready to sell your half of the Bahamas cruise so it can finally be used?"
     "Hmmmm, no. I was thinking we could find a time when we could go together."
     I was absolutely shocked. My mouth hung open. Was Pansyckas implying that I go with him!? I'd rather jump off the side of the boat and SWIM to the Bahamas! My ability to formulate a sentence left me at this time. I could only respond by sticking out the veins in my neck, grinding my teeth, and saying, "AAArrrggghhh, Pansyckasssss! YugottasellthBuhmmmus-cruzzzrrryulousyrotnscouuuunddrrrggghhhhpnsyckssss!"
     Not such a good start to the semester after all.

On the lighter side of things, I DO have some big plans for this semester. I'm especially excited for the "Date of the Week" program, for which I hope to take a girl out on a date every week.
     A good friend of mine, Charity, became my first date of the semester. Charity is half-Filipino, with tight black curls and a round face that's usually happy.
     We went for ballroom-dance lessons, which started at 11:30 in the morning. At such an early time, in St. Petersburg (nicknamed "Wrinkle-City" because of the high percentage of retired people here), it was no surprise that Charity and I were the youngest people at the lessons.
     A 61-year old guy stood next to me, and I'm sure the other dancers would've been calling HIM a "young whipper-snapper" if Charity and I hadn't been there. We watched the dance instructor display the moves for the "Balero" ball-room dancing routine. It was a pretty slow-moving dance. Charity and I were a little disappointed (we'd hoped to be twisting and spinning around and shaking like crazy to some jazzed-up music), but I think the dance met the desires of all the seventy-year olds quite perfectly.
     It came time for everybody to try the dance. This is gonna be a piece of cake, I thought, no problem at all. I think Charity thought the same thing. But, after five minutes, we were the only couple that didn't have the dance moves down. Man, those old people can bust a move!
     I felt like I was really disappointing my date. Compared to me, any of the other guys could've passed for Michael Jackson - except for their white hair, bifocals, and the canes they needed to walk with, ofcourse. "This isn't working here," I said. "I don't know what I'm doing, I must be messing us up."
     Charity said, "Well, I don't know what I'm doing either."
     "Oh...reeeally? You don't know what YOU're doing? In that case, I meant to say I DO know what I'm doing - I guess you must be messing us up." (Ha, ha, that was one of my smarter moves. Let that be MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE # 1 - Always pass blame to the girl!)
     To find out what she was doing wrong, Charity danced momentarily with the class instructor. After she'd finished dancing with him, she said, "Oh, I see what the problem was. The GUY is supposed to be leading me!"
     So, it turns out I was doing everything wrong. But, just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, a four-foot tall guy started barking up at me: "What are you doing, for pete's sake!? This is a three-step!"
     This old guy had a real attitude, and he cut in between me and Charity and started dancing with my date! He justified it by telling me, "These are free lessons I'm giving you."
     Finally, he stopped dancing with Charity so he could tell me: "First of all, you're wearing the wrong shoes. And just LOOK! at your clothes - they're all wrong too!"
     I figured I'd try to complement the guy to get him off my back. "You look pretty sharp in that blue suit you got on," I said.
     He shook his head slowly towards me as if he couldn't believe such an incredible idiot was standing before him. "That's the point!"
     The man watched as I started dancing with Charity again. He still wasn't happy. "C'mon!" he told me. "Hold her tighter! That's what makes this fun!"
     When the guy left, Charity dubbed him "The Dance Nazi." He might be mean, but he's fair - and he helped to teach me an important lesson...if I'm ever trying to impress a girl, I shouldn't take her ballroom-dancing.

Just the other day, I got a message on my machine from Charity. She was laughing hysterically, and she told me she'd found a wallet on her car. "And guess whose wallet it was?" she said. Was it mine? Was it Cory's? Was it the Dance Nazi's!?
     "It's Pansyckas'!!!" Charity's message went on to say. And then, she entered into a fit of laughter, which I joined her in. Ha, ha, ha. Stupid Pansyckas!
     I brought Pansyckas his wallet later that day. Some girl was in the room, and she wanted to know how we knew eachother.
     "How do I know Pansyckas?" I said. "He's the thorn in my side...the club on my foot..." Pansyckas is the bane of my existence!
     He'd only lost the wallet five or six hours earlier, and Pansyckas had already canceled his credit card and video card. He planned to go, first thing in the morning, to cancel his library card, so that nobody could take out a bunch of movies "and just screw me," he said.
     Knowing Pansyckas' as you do now, how much money do you suppose was in the wallet? Fifty bucks? Twenty bucks? Five bucks?
     How about 21 cents...but no man has ever been happier to get 21 cents than ol' Pansyckas! He's probably at home now, clencing that money tight between his fists, hoping he'll open them and see 42 cents...or atleast 22...so he'll be that much closer to buying another PowerBar.
     "Arrgghh! That Pansyckas really boils my bunyons! Rrrekkefreekkkkerrrrgggghh- ppnnnsseeeckssssssss!"

go to the previous story                                                                                   go to the next story

J. Breen's modern-o.com