I think that I must look like a fun project to lame-ass men, because all the tools in the tool kit seem to gravitate towards me. After several months, I finally broke my involuntary resolution not to go out with men and agreed to meet up with a guy I’d just met for a few drinks.
Of course, I missed a few red flags along the way, the first being his website I came across when I accidentally googled his first and last name. The website was selling his services as a motivational speaker, or rather, “word artist” as I believe he asked to be called (since when did "motivational speaker" become politcally incorrect?). Unfortunately, I had pumped my volume setting up to “11” when I opened up the page—porno muzak blared from my speakers, and both couples who had just taken a seat next to me in the coffee shop suddenly remembered they all had appointments far, far away from me. Great. Where was I going to find another Starbucks in town? Even worse, gems such as “Happiness is not chance, but a choice” littered the page. If he was a word artist, then he was a really bad one. Like so bad they could have created a Museum of Bad Word Art that just displayed his website. I know, I know, I’m such the word art snob.
Despite this, I boldly set out to meet the man I was pretty sure I was not going to like. A girl’s got to drink, right? In his website profile, he compared himself to an amusement park ride—something about how experiencing him was the same as riding a roller coaster—so I made sure not to eat anything before-hand as I didn’t want to do a repeat performance of that time I took a spin on Space Mountain right after lunch. Let me tell you, those people below me were none too pleased I chose to have a sausage with all the fixins that day.
Our conversation started as most do: very awkwardly and with lots of “umms” and “likes” and “oh-fuck-I-shouldn’t-have-admitted-I-watch-Oprahs” sprinkled throughout. Things were actually pretty OK until he started to tell a story.
“Now before I begin,” he said, (rather dramatically), “I want to tell you that I label everyone for the benefit of the listener. For instance, if I were to tell you a story about my friend Bob, you’d forget his name immediately afterwards. But if Bob was one of my four best friends, who I call the four horsemen, I would call him "the horseman" when talking about him so that you would remember him better.”
I sat up straighter in my chair. “The four horsemen? Like of the apocalypse? Why do I need to remember his name anyway? Is there going to be a pop quiz later? Do I need to run out and get a #2 pencil?”
Ignoring my questions, my date went into a story about one of his four horsemen; he must have referenced this horseman at least 100 times throughout the story. I tried to keep a straight face whenever he mentioned his friend, the horseman, but I couldn’t help a little smile creeping out every now and then. I’m sure I looked constipated.
After another painful conversation about how he was going to save the world by becoming a lawyer, it was finally time to go. This guy had actually made me look forward to taking Boston’s public transit. As I sat on the T, gazing out the window and reflecting on yet another lame date, I began to cheer up at the story I could surely tell about it. And, in the spirit of the guy who has a label for everyone, I have decided to label my date “Tool” to make it easier on you, my dear reader, so that you may remember him long after the four horsemen of the apocalypse have destroyed all of mankind, and hopefully all word art as well.