"St. Pete or Bust! 2000" story # 22

St. Petersburg, Florida           January 24, 2001

It hadn't started out this way, nor did it happen all at once. But, 20 weeks into the illustrious program, I've realized "Date of the Week" is by far the most important part of my life.
     My senior thesis in Creative Writing, the most important document in my college education, was due yesterday, but I'd spent most of the previous day looking for and going on a date. "I have 25 pages to write for tomorrow," I told people, "but, first, I need to find a date. 'Date of the Week' is top priority."
     The good news is I found a date. The bad news is that, at 11 p.m., I still had 25 pages to write. My roommate, Ewan "Johnny" Smith, was in a bad situation himself - he still had 12 pages to write that night for his senior exam in History. The good news, though, was that we were eating ice cream at the time. But, more bad news: it finally occurred to us that our 3 1/2 years of slacking off and being lazier than two koalas on welfare was about to catch up to us at the worst time to keep us from graduating. This realization hit us pretty hard.
     "Oh . . . my GOD." I said. "25 pages to write."
     Johnny shook his head. "Oh, no."
     "Oh, dear lord."
     "Oh, no. No, no, no." He rested his head on the table. "What have we done!?"
     "Oh, my God. Oh, my . . . "
     "No, no, no. What have we gotten ourselves into!?"
     It was a long night. Thankfully, both of us were able to finish our assignments, and the hardest parts of our college schedules are now behind us.
     -- which means I'm free now to concentrate on my dating! Of course, you may ask "why" about all these dates. If you're my mom, then you already did ask "why."
     "Why," said my mom, "do you go on all these dates? Is the purpose so that you get to know more people?"
     "No. The purpose is to get kisses." (Duh?)
     This brings me to the introduction of a little stastic I call the MSKGR (Money Spent-to-Kisses Got Ratio), which is a great method for evaluating one's life, especially if you're cheap. I'll apply this statistic to the "Date of the Week" program . . . just a second, now . . . multiply by pi . . . carry the five . . . ah ha! MSKGR: $$ hundreds of dollars $$ -to- 0. Not very good.
     At least I've been learning. Let's review:

"Date of the Week" XVIII was Armina, a small Puerto Rican with a big laugh and long, dark brown hair. Sometimes, she pushes her hair behind her left ear to give her dark, egg-shaped eyes and flirty lashes a wild, come-dance-with-me-in-the-forest look. Grrrr!
     We went out to dinner together, but my mistake was to ignore MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE # 18 - Don't invite the girl's ex-boyfriend to join you on the date. I don't know why that seemed like a good idea at the time.

The following week, I was introduced to Justine, or, as I like to call her, "Frenchy," because she's French. Less than a minute later, we were on a date together. Justine has reddish shoulder-length hair, and she wore a tight, fuzzy grey sweater.
     After going out for ice cream, she came over to my apartment to play board games. I brought out Stratego, a game of strategery that involves moving 40 playing pieces over a battle-field setting. Each piece has a value, hidden to the opponent, which determines its war ranking and, therefore, determines which opposing playing pieces it defeats in battle. A sergeant defeats a general, a general defeats a major, etc. The game ends when one player discovers which piece is the opposing player's flag.
     It's a very intense pasttime. One guy I know once had his nose broken by his brother because he'd defeated him in Stratego. Pansyckas (rrgh!) also used to play the game a lot. I was told of one christmas when Pansyckas and his brother, "Johnny" Peseckas, played Stratego for hours. Pansyckas bragged heavily about his strategery skills and ranted all day long, calling himself "The Great Napolean." As the day unfolded, it became clear that Johnny was far superior to Pansyckas. By the time "The Great Napolean" had lost his third game in a row, he threw a hysterical fit and threw the game board and all 80 pieces into the christmas tree. Ha, ha. There's nothing like a good story about Pansyckas getting beat in something to bring a smile to my face. Rrrgh, stupid Pansyckas!
     Frenchy and I set up our game pieces. To our great pleasure, Ewan "Johnny" Smith took an easily-persuaded break from his senior exam to watch us play. We began. Immediately, the trash-talking started.
     "Hey, Justine," I said. "Judging by your country and its futile military history, I'm guessing I'm gonna kick your a*s!"
     "Yeah," said Johnny, "they fought like a sack of wet rats against the Germans in World War II. Eh, Frenchy?"
     Minutes into the game, I was whipping Justine solidly. Every time one of my men defeated one of hers, I shouted to my game piece, "Good job, Major, way to keep the enemy in check!" or "Nice work, Colonel Patton, continue your assault through the Western battalion!" or "Another battle won by the wily General Edwards, whose trench warfare skills have earned him the purple heart for bravery!" or "Kill those French wussies!"
     It didn't take long for me to find Justine's flag. I pumped my fists in the air and yelled, "Defense Secretary Justin, that brilliant stategeraritor, has devastated the paltry French army. They folded just like the French in World War I at the Battle of Dorset!"
     Justine didn't appreciate the French-bashing, and she countered our insults by saying something irrelevant, like that the French helped America win in our war for independence or something. Blah, blah, blah.
     We played another game. I started out the taunting. "Hey, Justine. The only good thing that's also French is French Fries, and WE invented those!"
     Johnny said, "Your countrymen rolled over like a sack of wet rats in the Franco-Prussian War!"
     I said sarcastically, "Yeah, way to keep control of the Vatican during the Crusades!" (I don't know if the French had anything to do with this, but I never miss a chance to mention the Crusades. The most advanced technology available at that time was elephants. What a fun war.)
     Once again, Colonel Patton ran through Justine's Western planks, and, once again, I crushed her mercilessly. She lost not only due to her poor strategigation, but also because of her poor coordination. Her fingers were extraordinarily long - so long that she couldn't even grip the playing pieces properly, and she kept knocking over everything she touched. MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE # 19 - Don't reveal any deformities. Frenchy's fingers were huge! As Johnny put it, "She has fingers like loaves of bread." In our second game of Stratego, the bottom inch of Justine's middle finger scraped over her flag, revealing its position to me and costing her the game.
     Speaking the only French he knew, Johnny repeated over and over to Justine: "Vu le vu couche avec moi, sessoi?" which means "Will you sleep with me tonight?" And it worked! We all had a little sleepover on Johnny's and my floor (we don't own a bed).
     Johnny continued to make fun of Justine. "Your fingers are so long, I'll bet you could stand in 20-foot water and the tips would still be dry. As dry as a sack of wet rats!"
     "As DRY as a sack of WET rats?" said Justine. "That doesn't even make sense!"
     "Everything makes sense with a sack of wet rats."
     About the most romantic thing to happen on "Date of the Week" XIX was when we sang rounds before going to bed. Ewan "Johnny" Smith LOVES singing rounds, so we all sang to a French song while lying on our floor at 3:30 in the morning.
     "Frerajaca, frerajaca," said Justine. "Dor-me-vu, Dor-me-vu."
     "Frerajaca, frerajaca," sang Johnny.
     "Sep-e-lep-a-tina, sep-e-lep-a-tina," sang Justine.
     "Dor-me-vu, dor-me-vu."
     "Frerajaca, frerajaca," I came in.
     "Ding ding dong."
     "Ding ding dong."
     "Ding ding dong, ding ding dong . . ."
     After that point, the rounds-singing got pretty hot and heavy, and I'm going to have to leave the next two verses up to your imagination.

"Date of the Week" XX was with Carissa, a petite Greek girl with a nice smile that seemed to be constant. We went out to a fancy Italian restaurant, and Carissa said, "This is romantic."
     Similar to Ewan "Johnny" Smith, I know some pick-up lines in foreign languages for when the situation calls. Would this be the fateful date when I said those magic Greek words, "Fee la me," meaning, "Lay a juicy smacker on me, baby!"
     No. No it wouldn't. My MSKGR for the day was an uneconomical 20-to-0. MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE # 20 - Don't pay any attention to MODERN ODDYSEUS' DATING ADVICE. Obviously, with the success rates he's having, Modern Oddyseus knows nothing about girls.

My luck with girls - it's depressing. Perhaps I should just give up the "Date of the Week" program and move on with my life.
     I could never do that, of course. The sad thing is my life would lose all meaning with this dynamic program. Without "Date of the Week", I guess I'd have to concentrate on the next-best thing . . . which is? . . . going to college. And that's hardly important.
     "Date of the Week?" - "Press on!"

later, Modern Oddyseus

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