"St. Pete or Bust! 2000" story # 8

St. Petersburg, Florida           October 16, 2000

For the second straight week, my illustrious "Date of the Week" program got itself into loads of trouble. Because I had failed to meet my cute Southern Bell (with the smile of a lamb, a caring voice with which to call me "darlin'," and the daisy-field smell of a girl totally pure from city-life evils) during my recent hitchhiking trip to Georgia, I once again had to scramble to find a date.
     It was 9 p.m. on a Sunday - the "Date of the Week" program faced a three-hour life expectancy. A blond girl turned me down. I then asked out a Greek.
     I crossed my fingers, hoping she'd accept. C'mon, c'mon, C'MON! ...To my horror, she said no.
     Two hours remained in the week, and the "Date of the Week" program hung by a thread. I stumbled around campus, as desperate for a date as a homeless person searching the grass for change is desperate for a quarter. I was pathetic.
     ...But, then, out of nowhere, I made a miraculous recovery to SAVE the "Date of the Week" program - and in grand fashion, too, because my date was a Bulgarian model. That's pretty similar to a homeless person finding a $500 bill resting on top of the gutter. Woohoohooeee!
     Unfortunately, my experience with models isn't good, and the only advice I can offer is: MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE # 5 - When it comes to dating models, DON'T take Modern Oddyseus' advice.
     (Here's a flashback...my last date with a model. She came from the African continent - absolutely beautiful - and I thought she digged me. Riding home from the restaurant, I made my move. I told her to kiss me in the Zulu language, "(click)-mbula!" She didn't know what to say. I assumed this meant she wanted to kiss me, so I put my arm around her and leaned in. Meanwhile, the car I was driving started to veer off the bridge towards the water, and my date shrieked. It was probably one of the most-frightened moments of her life. I sadly returned my hands to the steering wheel and quickly drove her home.)
     To stay on the safe side, I decided not to make any moves during last week's date. Instead, Hristiana and I made things for eachother out of clay. She has a real knack for sculpture, too. (remember MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE # 3? - When you have a talented date, try to get them to make you something that's valuable and that you need (such as a handsome paperweight to sit on your endtable.)
     We sat on a picnic table overlooking the bay, and the conversation was great. Hristiana is no Michaelangelo, but when we made eachother our "favorite animal", she made a swan so detailed that she nearly convinced me that it was my favorite animal too. But it's not - I made a squid.
     We did some abstracts, then combined forces to create a deserted island scene. The island turned out really well, with a monkey resting amid fallen coconuts and sipping from a tropical drink. The scene was mostly Hristiana's creation, though, because everything I tried to make only caused her to frown and say, "Oh, actually, I don't think we need that for the island. We won't use it." My poor sculpting achieved respectability only when I made a figurine of Hristiana wearing a lifejacket for "memories of one another." For Hristiana's memory of me, she made an ice cream cone.

I wanted to promote "Modern Oddyseus' Travel Annals" at my college cafeteria the other day. My friend, Luke, quieted down the hundreds of people eating lunch. I stood up on a chair and said aloud, "In 1968, Dennett D'Angelo ate 2 1/2 pounds of ice cream in 90 seconds - a world record. I will now attempt to break that record."
     A crowd of thirty or so people gathered around me, as I focused on 41 ounces of ice cream. "Go!" said Dexter, timing me with his watch.
     This was the moment my all-ice cream-diet had been training me for for years. My teeth have dullified (de-sharpilated?) from never using them to tear meat, and my throat has smoothened out like a seal's hide. My mouth has adapted into the perfect ice cream-eating machine!
     I put the first spoonful of Vanilla Custard into my mouth. People screamed all around me. "Quicker, quicker!" "More, Justin, more!" I shoved spoonful after spoonful into my mouth. "Come on, stuff it all in there!" I struggled to swallow what I put in my mouth, but I couldn't keep up. With every spoonful, my mouth kept expanding and expanding.
     "Thirty seconds are up!" said Dexter.
     "Mmmmm!" I yelled. Time was going QUICK. I kept grabbing more spoonfuls, though the thick ice cream never wanted to go down my mouth. "Catch up, Justin!" Just when I thought my cheeks would explode, I started missing my mouth with the spoon and smearing the ice cream on my face.
     "Thirty seconds left!" said Dexter.
     I didn't know where all this ice cream could possibly go. I figured it was going to start coming out my ears or eyeballs.
     "Fifteen seconds left!" said Dexter.
     I tried grabbing the huge chunk of ice cream that remained on my plate, but I couldn't lift it. It was about this time when I realized I wasn't going to break the record. Dexter called, "Time!" and I weighed the results.
     It turns out I only ate 10 ounces of the 41 I needed to break the record. I wasn't even close. What a miserable defeat. Apparently, this character Dennett D'Angelo must've subscribed to an all-ice cream-diet far superior to mine. I should consult his doctor.
     I took a lot of heat for not finishing that ice cream, including from Pansyckas. Rrrggghhh! I said to him, "Pansyckas, it was a world record! ...A WORLD RECORD!!! Do you own a world record!?"
     "Mmmm, yes," he said.
     I think he's lying.

Another week, another date.
     Date of the Week VI became the greatest challenge the "Date of the Week" program has ever faced. The week was wreaked full of cancellations.
     First, a Swiss girl couldn't come to dinner because she had class. Then, on Sunday, an American cancelled out on our date to go chase armadillos. How could she have missed out on CHASING ARMADILLOS? She's got to be kicking herself over that.
     At 5 p.m, the clock was ticking on another week. I recovered and found another girl to go to dinner with, but she was nowhere to be found at our 8 o'clock rendezvous time. Where could she be?
     My morale was at an all-time low. Three strikes and you're out, they say. I suppose it's time to take the shovels out from the closet and bury the glorious "Date of the Week" program...It had witnessed the first Greek sprinter to win an Olympic medal in 2000 years; it had watched calmly as two presidential candidates came to its town; it had survived the fire of Yugoslavia's big round building; but, it couldn't survive week six.
     "Date of the Week" program... b. September 6, 2000. d. October 15, 2000. May she Rest In Pea...
     No, no! I can't let it go out this way. I need to find strength. I should...I must...I will...
     "Press On!!!"
     I sprinted to the library, as fast as the Greek Achile in historic times. I found Eduarda, a nice, sandy-skinned girl from Brazil. She was studying, but would she accompany me on a short date???
     I bit my lip in anticipation of the answer.
     Waahaaaooo! Modern Oddyseus' "Date of the Week" program will live to see another week!!!
     Our date was a Portuguese dinner. I'm trying to learn Portuguese, so I asked Eduarda if she'd agree to speak only Portuguese with me while I treated her to Denny's.
     For my first conversation of speaking only Portuguese, I did pretty well. Some other people in the restaurant overheard us speaking, and they complemented us on how cute it was that we tried speaking another language together. They were right - it was cute. MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE # 6 - Whenever possible, it's always a turn-on to the opposite sex if you speak with an accent.
     As for our dinner - what did we eat? Gelado, ofcourse. (Portuguese for ice cream) No world records tonight, but atleast "Date of the Week" lives on thanks to Eduarda.
     Listen carefully, because this is the most important advice I'm ever going to give you. If you're not already, you should be taking notes. MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE # 7 - PRESS ON!!!

later, Modern Oddyseus

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