The Pick Up Artist Has Date With Destiny

“Hey there. Come here often?” His opening line was as used up as a toilet paper necklace.

“Yeah, I come here all the time.” Her response was as boring as the drill on the Oklahoma State Capitol Building grounds.

“Well, I don’t. Is it nice?” He was failing like a failboat from Fail Island laden with fail crates full of failure.

“It was until you showed up.” Her comment hurt like running a marathon with a rock in your shoe, except in both shoes, and they’re not your shoes, and they’re 2 sizes too small, and they’re high heels.

“Wow. Thanks a lot, lady. Just trying to be friendly.” He was as low as a snake’s belly, if that snake was crawling through Carlsbad Caverns after an earthquake, and then dug a hole.

“Wait – don’t go.” She was as remorseful as someone who constantly sends telegraphs.

“Oh, what do you want to do now – slam my clothes?” He was as indignant as someone who understood what indignant means, or had Google or an online dictionary, and looked it up so he could make some kind of joke about it, and after he looked it up, decided to go with ‘a kid with his hand caught in a cookie jar’, but then changed his mind, because –

“Hey, do you mind? We’re doing a thing here.”

“Yeah, can we, please?”

Sorry. In fact, I’m as sorry as Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Bill Clinton and John Edwards playing a game of Sorry with a deck of Sorry cards that said nothing but Sorry while that one Paul McCartney and Wings song played in the background. You know, the one where he sings “We’re so sorry, Unc-

“O…kay….”

“Yeah, whatever. ANYWAY, no, I was actually going to ask you if you would join me.” She was as apologetic as Tiger… well, you know.

“You’re not going to abuse me, are you?” He was as suspicious as Angela Lansbury at a family reunion at CIA headquarters reading an Agatha Christie novel about wiretapping.

“No. Please, let me buy you a drink.” She had changed her mind quicker than… well, she was a woman, so there really isn’t anything quicker than that in the whole spectrum of things that change their minds.

“Well… okay.” He was as grateful as people who love parmesan cheese.

“Wait… what?” Because it’s grated?

“Oh god. That’s terrible.” I’m as surprised as-

“SHUT UP! Anyway, the thing is, I just had a bad day. My boyfriend just broke up with me, and the last thing I wanted was another jerk getting in my face, making me feel terrible. So when you came along, I was just more or less taking it out on you, and I’m sorry.” She went on longer than the end of the last Lord of the Rings movie, only without the creepy Elijah Wood smiling creepily at everyone for 15 minutes on that fucking boat.

“I know, right? Anyway, that’s okay. I understand. I haven’t dated anyone in a while since my wife left me, and I just thought you looked nice, so…” He trailed off like a Lewis and Clark expedition, blazing new paths of silence and tension, cutting swaths of not talking through the jungle of wordlessness, and traipsing through the wilderness of shutting the fuck up.

“You don’t look so bad yourself, actually.” She was changing faster than a quick change artist watching a caterpillar in a cocoon in the fall next to a vending machine.

“Thanks. So, what’s your name? And, well, do you come here a lot? It seems nice. Not that loud, and I like the atmosphere and the decor.” He returned to his roots like a BT and Cody Chesnutt appearance on Jimmy Fallon.

“That one was a little obscure, maybe.” You’re questioning me like some kind of inquisition of inquisitiveness and interrogative interrogation, where asking things requires answering things as though I have answers coming out of my b-

“Just ignore him. I’m Susan. I’ve been here a few times. I like it. This wine is my favorite.” She was as friendly as a discount hooker who was behind on her rent.

“Hey!” Well, you were.

“My name’s The Pick Up Artist. I guess you can call me… The? I like that wine. It’s one of my favorites too. I think it actually comes from Maynard James Keenan’s vineyard in Arizona. That’s rare. You know him, right? Tool, and A Perfect Circle? Yeah, he also is a vintner. Gotten some good reviews from what I hear.” His information was as esoteric and recondite as a secret organization with an even more secret organization at the center of the other one, pulling the strings from behind the scenes of that other organization like the cover of Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast album.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t really catch that last part. Could you repeat it?” She was as distracted as a – whoa, hang on, got a phone call. Hello? Where? Yeah, we have bread. Oh, garlic bread? That I don’t know. Well, I can’t. I’m not at home. No, I’m at this – No, not at all. Just doing that narration thing. Yeah. Yeah, she’s pretty, but what does that… they’ll make a great couple, I guess. Can you pick me up some Diet Mountain Dew? Yes, generic is fine.

“Jesus. You mind if we get out of here and go somewhere else?” He was-

“No. By all means, let’s go.” She was-

“Bye!” Okay, fine. You want to be that way? Spoiler alert – they have sex later. They do it as long as the 2000 election followed by a World Series baseball game that goes into extra innings followed by Grandma walking up 64 flights of stairs, and-

“HEY! Stop that!”

“Really? Er, I mean, YEAH, knock it off!”
They left as happy as two people who were thinking of nothing but the fact that they were definitely going to be having a horizontal conversation later, by which I mean they’re going to be doing it nine ways from Sund-

“I heard that!”

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