Date #27 was a writer who hit on me on MySpace. He was about ten years older than I and, according to his profile, we had little in common. Still, I was bored and hungry (duh, chunky!) and agreed to meet him for appys and drinks at an upscale Asian restaurant.
Date #27 was a writer who hit on me on MySpace. He was about ten years older than I and, according to his profile, we had little in common. In fact, all of his photos were of him with beautiful women, and my photos were pretty true to my actual, chunky self. Still, I was bored and hungry (duh, chunky!) and agreed to meet him for appys and drinks at an upscale Asian restaurant.
As soon as he started talking, a voice in my head told me I might want to casually, but quickly, make for the door. Meanwhile, on the outside, I was smiling and nodding. This guy loved himself so much I was convinced he masturbated in front of a full-length mirror and found his birth parents oddly attractive. Which was funny, because he was not terribly handsome, well-built, or charming.
The one thing he did have was his “book.”
He had just finished his own version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and thought it was fucking genius. I know this because he wouldn’t stop telling me. It was such a blatant rip off of the original that he called it Fear and Loathing in Encino. It chronicled one lost, drug-fueled weekend spent in the Los Angeles suburb.
God, I wish I were kidding.
I’ve been to Encino. It’s in the heart of the San Fernando Valley, and the teens there were the inspiration for the 1982 Moon Unit Zappa smash hit Valley Girl. They still talk like that. I need drugs every time I visit for just that reason (and the heat, my god, Jerry, the heat!). But I didn’t write a book about it.
Apparently he and a friend wanted to recreate the events of the original book, but only got as far as L.A. before their car broke down. So they decided to just get to the debauchery and drug experimentation right there. There were tales of partying with prostitutes, sleeping in a dumpster, and even a few hours in jail. I tried to picture all of this as he spoke, but kept flashing back to Pauley Shore in Encino Man, and then I remembered how Elisabeth Shue in Karate Kid is from Encino, and her rich parents don’t like the less-affluent Daniel-san from Reseda, and I couldn’t focus on what he was saying. Perhaps I was the one on hallucinogens. Or should have been.
For some reason, he was stuck on the brilliance of the title (you know, the one someone else wrote) and repeated it every few sentences.
“Fear and Loathing in Encino. Get it?”
What am I, an idiot? Of course I get it! And yet I nodded, enthusiastically, each time, like there was an award for being the Most Agreeable First Date, and I wanted to run away with it.
The date went on for a few hours, with a bottle of wine consumed between us and several dishes of finger foods severely violated by me for lack of being able to get a word in edgewise. With as much as I love to talk about myself, I found this terribly annoying. I’m fascinating, dammit, and, without my stories, I’m nothing but a gorgeous woman with magnificent breasts. I finally feigned exhaustion and claimed an early wake up call the next morning. He was shocked when he checked his watch.
“Wow! Where did the time go?”
“Into a swirling vortex of your own self-adoration and verbal onanism,” I wanted to say. Instead I just smiled and shrugged.
I only heard from Date #27 one more time. He emailed three days later to ask if I was sure I wouldn’t change my mind and read the book. He said that he liked me enough to let me do that, but I’m pretty sure he was willing to foist it upon anyone who would agree. I didn’t bother responding, but sort of wish I had. I’m sure that book was a gem.