M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Sunday, May 26, 2002  

My wife Trash is a magnet for random strangers. I can't tell you how many times I've left her alone in an airport for five minutes and come back to find her chatting amiably with someone in a way that indicates they're old friends.

"Where do you know that person from?" I used to ask after her friends went their own ways.

"I just met him/her while you were getting coffee," she'd say offhandedly.

Eventually, I stopped asking because this happened every. Single. Time.

At first she wouldn't believe me when I told her that this is not a commonplace occurrence for most people. It wasn't until other friends of ours started noticing the phenomenon and pointing it out to her that she realized there was anything unusual about it.

Not to blame the victim, but part of it's her fault. When strangers approach her (and they always do), she'll actually encourage them without even meaning to. She can't help it. Her conversational skills are so formidable that even when she's being standoffish she's easier to talk to than Oprah. My standard response to a conversational overture from someone I've never met is to hiss and bare my teeth. Whereas Trash will talk to the stinkiest, ugliest person in the building as if she's getting paid to do so. Factor in her intelligence, sense of humor, and considerable hotness, and you’ve got catnip for people who seem to think the world is one big cocktail party.

So pretty much every foray into public includes an encounter between Trash and one of her "randoms," as we've taken to collectively calling them. It's like she has a subliminal tattoo on her face that says "please tell me about your life. Everyone. You first."

Anyway, her most memorable random in recent months was this guy who was at the bar where our friend's band was playing. We'd noticed him earlier because he was the only one on the dance floor. He was this skinny, geeky little dude with glasses and a polo shirt, the only person I've ever seen mosh alone. He was also the only person I've ever seen dancing to a skipping CD in public. I'm pretty sure he was on X. He appeared to be part of a group at another table, so he really wasn't our problem.

Or so we thought.

So Trash is next to the bar talking to our friend Banana. I borrow Trash’s cell phone to call another friend of ours who is late. She tells me to get it out of her purse which is right next to her on the bar.

I go outside to make the call, then come back and drop the phone in her purse. Then I leave Trash there with Banana for a minute because hey, they're selling bottles of Schlitz for $1.25!

When I come back, X Boy has wedged himself between Trash and Banana. I say wedged because the noise of the bar necessitated close talking, which was what Trash and Banana had been doing. Which was what X Boy was now doing with my wife, leaving Banana to roll her eyes in disbelief.

I didn't hear the following exchange first hand. I heard about it later. This is what transpired during my absence:

X Boy: "Is that your cell phone?"

Note his pointed ignorance of the large man who had just dropped said phone into its owner’s purse, i.e., me.

Trash: "Yeah."

X Boy: "I hope you don't talk on the phone when you're driving."

Trash: "I try not to."

X Boy: "It's dangerous to talk on the phone while driving."

Trash: (noncommittal grunt, which for her is the equivalent of stomping on her interlocutor's foot)

X Boy: "There are other things that are dangerous to do while driving. Changing tapes. Listening to the radio.
Having sex in the back seat."

Trash: (no response, which for her is the equivalent of shooting her interlocutor in the face)

X Boy: "I've never done that last one. But if you'd like to give it a try sometime..."

Trash: (look of disbelief, then turns back to Banana, which for her is the conversational equivalent of cramming a tactical nuclear device up her interlocutor's pee-hole)

My wife has been on the receiving end of some baaad pickup lines. But this was easily the worst. The fact that some guy would go that far, that clumsily, for a line that bad, made me embarrassed to be a biped.

I soon realized that X Boy wasn't part of that other group at all; he was just working the room. That became apparent as our group closed ranks around Trash, with X Boy insistently on the fringes trying to toss more of his non sequitur bons mots into our conversation. Meanwhile, I was staring at him and muttering to Trash, "please? I've never beat up a guy in a bar before."

Sadly, I still haven't.

posted by M. Giant 1:54 PM 0 comments


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