My Worst First Date – A Play-by-Play Highlight Reel

My Worst First Date – A Play-by-Play Highlight Reel

[Author’s note: The following story of my youth is completely true. It is the saga of my first – and worst – date ever. No exaggerations are needed to convey my humiliation. Perhaps this play-by-play highlight reel will help you appreciate the magnitude of my fiasco. TEJ]

This is a play-by-play look at my very first – and worst – date ever. I was only 16 and had no clue of first date protocol. I actually tried this suave move. Epic fail!

This is a play-by-play look at my very first – and worst – date ever. I was only 16 and had no clue of first date protocol. I actually tried this suave move. Epic fail!

Brad Braykizharte: Welcome to another episode of WORST FIRST DATES. I’m your host, Brad Braykizharte, along with my co-host, Craig Krashenberne.

This week on WFD, we take a trip in the Way Back Machine to May 1971, to witness the cringe-worthy first-date-astrophy of Tim Jones. Our hero’s maiden voyage into dating was akin to the sinking of the Titanic. Many experts consider Tim’s shipwreck one of the most traumatic close encounters of the worst kind in the annals of teenage dating.

Craig Krashenberne: That’s right, Brad. This one truly belongs in the WFD Hall of Fame.

Brad: I’d say Hall of LAME, eh, Craig?

Craig: Touché, pal. Tonight’s episode is titled The Strike Out King. Where should we begin, Brad?

Brad: Let’s start by painting the picture of how deeply infatuated our protagonist, young Tim (age 16), was with the attractive and alluring Suzie. He was besotted, over the moon, gaga, smitten…. You get the picture?

Craig: Indeed, I do.

Brad: In fact, unsuspecting Suzie lived right across the street, so Tim would gaze upon her house through his bedroom window, dreaming of holding her hand.

Craig: Sounds like a creeper, if you ask me.

Brad: Our hero was painfully shy and had no clue how to talk to girls, let alone how to ask one out. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he attended a private all-boys’ military academy where Dating 101 was not part of the curriculum.

Craig: To top it off, the boy had absolutely no fashion sense! For his first date with Suzie, the bonehead wore lavender corduroy bell-bottoms held up with a shiny white belt, and a lime green polyester shirt. Strike One! Are we sure he wasn’t gay?

Brad: Jury’s still out on that one. But enough about his fashion blunder. Let’s talk about the chauffer service he enlists to drive them to the movies.

Craig: Pretty classy move – except for one minor detail: the driver is his older brother. Because Tim doesn’t have his driver’s license yet.

Brad: True. Strike Two! And he hasn’t even left the driveway! Let’s deduct 30 coolness points right there.

Craig: Yeah, not a good start for his first romantic outing. But I’m sure he makes up for his initial faux pas by choosing a hilarious comedy, right?

Brad: That’s a big Negatory, Craig-O-Matic. He takes her to see WILLARD! 

Craig: Wait, Willard?? The creepy horror film about a young psycho dude who gets bullied, then trains hundreds of rats to kill people in revenge? Talk about bringing the plane down for a hard crash landing! The kid is going down in flames! Were there any survivors?

Me, circa 1971. What lass could resist the charms of this lad? Answer: All of them. I possessed the animal magnetism of a monkfish. Which is fitting, since I attended an all-boys’ school.

Me, circa 1971. What lass could resist the charms of this lad? Answer: All of them. I possessed the animal magnetism of a monkfish. Which is fitting, since I attended an all-boys’ school.

Brad: Barely. But let’s take a gander at Tim’s next Casanova move, shall we?

Craig: No, no, no. I can’t bear to look.

Brad: He does the “stretch maneuver” – reaching his hand out, extending it around Suzie’s back and landing his arm on her shoulder.

Craig: Oh, no, he didn’t! I thought they outlawed that first date move back in 1964.

Brad: Tim wasn’t much of a student of history. Apparently, he saw an episode of Bonanza where Little Joe put his arm around a woman he’d rescued from a burning house, and she swooned in his embrace.

Craig: Bonanza, eh? A great how-to manual for wooing – if the year was 1867. So, how does our little buddy’s daring maneuver work out?

Brad: You don’t want to know.

Craig: Well, now you gotta tell me.

Brad: Let’s just say, his grave is pretty well dug by then. Little Miss Suzie stiffens up like a cement pillar, her eyes glued to the screen. Apparently staring at ravenous rats devouring human flesh was less upsetting than having to make eye contact with Tim. After 20 minutes, Tim’s arm starts cramping up badly, but he feels stuck and leaves it there the rest of the show. He was committed.

Brad: You mean he should have been committed, for such an ill-conceived lame move. But you know, as awkward as that was, that isn’t the worst part – not by a long shot. Remember?

Craig: How can I forget? As the movie ends, Tim asks Suzie if she’d like to go out for ice cream, to which she tersely replies –

Brad: “I’d love to”? 

Craig: Not exactly. She said –

Brad: Oh, I remember: “Can you take me home pleeeeze – now?” Boom! DOWN GOES FRAZIER! The ref should have stopped it right then and there. And Tim doesn’t have a car, remember? So, he calls his brother on his cell phone, right?

Craig: No, dude. It’s 1971. His choice is calling up his brother on a pay phone – either that or hitchhiking. Only one small problem – Tim has no change and the concession stand is now closed. So, he asks Suzie for a quarter, but she didn’t bring a purse.

Brad: So, you’re saying they hitchhiked home?

Craig: Not quite. He literally goes panhandling, begging complete strangers for money to place the call.

Brad: Strike Four! Are you allowed four strikes on a first date?

Craig: Buddy, it ain’t over. Tim ultimately hits up eight people before one of them gives him 25 cents. By this time, the theater is closed. They’re forced to stand and wait outside – just the two of them, until Tim’s brother arrives. By now, Suzie is shivering, from the cold night air – or from the horrors of Willard – or perhaps from the traumatic memory of Tim’s arm around her shoulder. Of course, Tim didn’t wear a jacket, so no chivalry points there. 45 minutes later, the getaway car finally shows up.

Above: How I imagined my very first date might end. Below: A rough approximation of how it actually went. Her favorite part of our evening? When it was finally over.

Above: How I imagined my very first date might end. Below: A rough approximation of how it actually went. Her favorite part of our evening? When it was finally over.

Brad: Speaking of cars, this has turned into a five-car pile-up. But next comes my favorite part. Tim gallantly opens the car door to let his date into the back seat. Remember?

Craig: Oh yeah. That’s when Suzie speaks for only the second time that evening. As Tim endeavors also to sit in the back seat, she whispers, “Would you mind sitting in the front?” 

Brad: No way! She didn’t!

Craig: As God is my witness.

Brad: Strike… um… how many strikes is he up to? The kid is dying out there. Quick, get a medic. I’m not sure we can resuscitate the boy.

Craig: Suzie never says a word the entire way home.

Brad: Awkward.

Craig: But the final nail in the coffin is when they pull into her driveway. Tim’s father had taught him, “A gentleman always walks the young lady to her door.” Kind of hard to do when your date is literally sprinting to her front door and shouts, “Thank you, bye.” without even a glance back at the bewildered Tim.

Brad: Wow, that’s brutal. Those passengers on the Hindenburg suffered a less harrowing outing! At least for them, their agony was over quickly.

Craig: And here’s the amazing twist. Tim and Suzie went out for two years, and she totally fell for him.

Brad: Really? Did not see that coming.

Craig: No, you idiot. They never went out again.

Brad: Yeah, that makes more sense.

Craig: Experts say it’s a wonder this debacle didn’t cause him to re-evaluate his sexual orientation.

Brad: That’s all the time we have for WORST FIRST DATES. Stay tuned next week, when we’ll dissect the worst first date of Bill Gates, king of the nerds.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2021

A Story of Sex and Debauchery from My Youth

A Story of Sex and Debauchery from My Youth

This is the steamy story of Leonardo – and his many romantic conquests. His sexual desire was insatiable. The fairer sex was no match for his animal magnetism.

This is the steamy story of Leonardo – and his many romantic conquests. His sexual desire was insatiable. The fairer sex was no match for his animal magnetism.

When I was a young child, I had a very unusual friend who, how should I put this delicately – had some rather strong urges. His name was Leonardo. I met him when I was in seventh grade. Leonardo was the unemotional, quiet type. But there was one thing I noticed that was a bit odd about Leonardo. He seemed to have an unusual sexual appetite, particularly for someone so young. He fooled around a lot. When it came to romance, Leonardo was an animal.

He pursued sexual relationships with too many partners to recall. There were Lucy, Angel, Daisy, Chloe and Pepper, to name a few. But Leonardo didn’t always stay in his own lane. There were also Charlie, Toby and Max, and many others. Honestly, I couldn’t keep up with Leonardo’s endless series of objet’s d’amour.

His relationships never seemed to last very long. As soon as he got bored with one partner, Leo, as I called him, was off to his next roll in the hay. This went on for years. From what I could tell, he never gave these dalliances a moment’s reflection. Before long, Leonardo was off in search of his next Mona Lisa.

To be honest, I never said anything to Leo about my disapproval. I had no idea what his appeal was. What was his magnetic power over all these girls – and guys? What exactly did they see in him? Even at his youthful age, it was obvious to me that Leo had no discernable skills of any kind – other than his apparent sexual prowess. Not to be judgmental, he never came across to me as being very smart. It was not like he had six-pack abs or a killer smile. And he never cleaned up his place. It was always a total pigpen. But none of that seemed to matter in his relentless pursuit of sexual partners.

Then one day, a few years into our friendship, I introduced Leo to a new friend – Alexander. I thought they might hit it off as buddies. When I first saw them interact, I noticed that they just stared at each other, completely speechless, almost like they knew each other from somewhere but couldn’t place it. Then Leo whistled at Alexander. I have no idea why. But I could tell that they seemed to connect in some odd, almost intimate way.

As time went on, Alexander and Leo hung out together every day. They were almost inseparable. I never could quite figure out the nature of their friendship. Leo never talked about it – at least not with me. But it became clear that he had feelings for Alexander.

Then one day, I stopped by to find Leo and Alexander lying together – with a baby. And not just any baby. It turned out to be Leo’s baby! That’s when, to my shock, I discovered that Alexander was in fact Alexandra – a girl!  But she had never once corrected me when I called her Alexander. I had no idea. Leo was way too young to be a dad, I thought.

I am not one to judge, so I tried to be happy for Leo and Alexander, er, I mean Alexandra. But I wondered quietly, how long would it be before Leo abandoned Alexandra and their offspring? I was 18 when this happened. And it was time for me to head off to college.

I remember the day I finally said goodbye to Leo. I was at a loss for words. He couldn’t speak either. As I headed out the door, Leo just looked back at me, silently, with those impenetrable dark eyes. He too must have been sad because he couldn’t even muster up a smile. He just whistled and turned away. Then he started eating a carrot, something he always liked to do. Because Leo loved carrots, just like any other guinea pig.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

Note: This is a true story. Leonardo was my guinea pig. I got him for my birthday in seventh grade. He routinely had sex with any guinea pig placed in the same cage with him, including Alexander, who I purchased (thinking it was a male) at the pet store to keep Leonardo company.

PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, let me know by posting a comment, giving it a Like or sharing this post on Facebook.

Check out my latest humor book: YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE: Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2019

A Valentine Story – Love and Romance in Aisle 7

A Valentine Story – Love and Romance in Aisle 7

Author’s note: Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I thought I would celebrate with a true story about love and romance. Sometimes you never know when or where love will find you, as this story proves. Their names have been changed out of respect for their privacy but the story is exactly what happened. – tej]

“Pardon me, sir. But do you play bridge?” That’s how it all started. A simple question, posed by a middle-aged woman to a complete stranger. To be more specific, Beth was emboldened to ask this question in Aisle 7 of the grocery store, somewhere between the shampoo section and men’s shaving cream.

“Um, well, uh, yeah, I do”, stammered the elderly man, confused by the query and not sure why this mysterious woman was accosting him in the middle of a store. His name was Ed – a kindly fellow, well into his 80s, with a warm, jovial smile. He was just minding his own business. But Beth was not finished. “My mother plays bridge. Would you like to meet my mother sometime?”

More stammering. More confusion. Mixed with an extra helping of embarrassment. Ed was caught in a deer-in-the-headlights moment. He had no idea what the correct answer was to this audacious inquiry. So, being the gentleman that he was, and not wanting to offend this lady in Aisle 7, he replied, in his noticeably southern drawl, “I dunno. Well, um, I guess that would be ahhhlrahhht.”

Apparently by “sometime,” Beth meant NOW. Because before Ed had time to ask her name, she was on the phone with her mom. “Mom, meet Ed. Ed, meet my mom, Margaret.” And then she handed the phone to Ed and walked away. Suddenly there were now two deer caught in the headlights – and neither of them knew what to say. Margaret wanted to say, “Beth, why are you trying to embarrass me? Hang up this phone this instant!” But Margaret was raised to be polite and instead told Ed, “What a pleasure it is to make your acquaintance,” hoping this awkward situation would be over quickly, never to be discussed again.

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When planning a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway, don’t forget to invite your wife

When planning a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway, don’t forget to invite your wife

Every year it seems like thousands of people come to me for advice on how to improve their love life. Most people call me the Love Doctor (except for my wife, who usually calls me by her pet name, “you bastard”).

Every year it seems like thousands of people come to me for advice on how to improve their love life. Most people call me the Love Doctor (except for my wife, who usually calls me by her pet name, “you bastard”).

For years people the world over have sought my advice as a foremost authority on matters of the heart. Perhaps it’s because I’m half-German. Or maybe because I got an A- in French in high school the language of love. I don’t actually have any formalized training in this arena. And I still don’t quite understand position #27 of the Kama Sutra.

My love advice credentials stem from a series of devastating, soul-crushing, failed romances in my formative youth, all of which ended catastrophically. (To this day, I still can’t look at a wrist corsage without suffering traumatic flashbacks.) 

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, officially recognized by Hallmark as the one day each year men are expected to demonstrate their love for their wife by buying a sappy card with flowers and chirping birds, inside of which is written a banal poem with hackneyed rhymes like “you’re my wife” and “rest of my life”. Oh, and don’t forget the heart-shaped box of chocolates. Here’s a useful tip: Make sure you leave at least 5 chocolates for your wife – I’d suggest the caramel-centered ones. You know how much she loves caramel. The other 364 days you guys can go back to not showering and channel-surfing between ESPN 1 and ESPN 2. Your job is done. 

Continue reading “When planning a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway, don’t forget to invite your wife” »

I’ve been having an affair. Please don’t tell my wife.

I’ve been having an affair. Please don’t tell my wife.

Okay, I admit it. I’m not perfect. I don’t like vegetables. I tend to look down on anybody from the South named Earl or Cletus. I sometimes just mouth the words during the national anthem instead of singing. And last month, when a volunteer knocked on my front door collecting for Greenpeace I told him I gave at the office. I hadn’t. What can I say? I’m not perfect.

So when my wife took both our girls recently on a two-week trip out of town, I had the entire house to myself. I have never had that much independence and freedom in the entire 24 years of our marriage. And well, a man has certain needs, if you know what I mean.

While my wife and kids were away, something I am not proud of, well, it just happened.  I got swept up by a woman who just wowed me. I started spending time with her each evening, in my otherwise empty house. I would close my blinds for privacy and take the phone off the hook. And then I would just stare at her somewhat awkwardly – usually saying very few words. In my defense, the attraction was purely intellectual. Before I knew it, a most unexpected long distance relationship began. You see, I live in Seattle. She lives in New York City.

Continue reading “I’ve been having an affair. Please don’t tell my wife.” »