The Clueless Looney

When I was in my early twenties, I volunteered my time at a local annual Sci-Fi convention as a nurse. I enjoyed working with the other folks there and I enjoyed the atmosphere as well. Other than providing occasional first aid for a guest or member, I would also participate in miscellaneous areas of the event including the costume contest. I enjoy sewing costumes and I especially enjoyed doing characters that small children found appealing (usually something Disney) to support the family oriented experience the convention president tried to promote. The costumes got attention and one year I caught the attention of one of the men on the guest staff. He was attractive, but I was rather busy that year and didn't have a lot of time to concentrate on getting to know him. Later, at the end of the convention, at a party for the staff, he came over to me and picked me up (no warning and very "officer and a gentleman-esque" on the surface) and carried me to the dance floor which I exited as soon as possible. I don't dance and prefer not to look like the moron I would had I stayed on the dance floor. I excused myself and told him I really wasn't comfortable, but I would be happy to have a short visit with him at the table. He seemed to be a nice enough fellow and explained that he was a police officer. He asked me out and I thought, "Hmmm? Police officer. Hmmm?" So I took the chance and we decided to go to a local state park for a train ride, a visit to the petting zoo, etc. The day he came to pick me up, I dressed carefully, donning a crisp summery outfit with my hair appropriately coifed. He arrived in a sports car he claimed he had purchased for the date. I thought that seemed a bit unusual, but didn't think too much about it beyond that. It looked very attractive on the outside. Stick with me. You'll notice a pattern here. He got out of the car, I thought to open my door, and I noticed he was dressed like Don Johnson complete with a white blazer, pants, an ice-cream colored tank top and a look alike hat. He posed at the back of the car and then got back in. As I opened my own door to sit, I noticed a rather frightening amount of wires hanging about the dash. He suggested that I leave my window down because the car had no working air conditioner and, since the radio was also not working, he kept a boom box in the back seat which he suddenly thrust into my lap on the way to the park. Ok, so I knew that having a good hair day in Atlanta in August was just out of the question and with the 2-60 air conditioning, my crisp appearance was soon to be a memory. As we rolled out of the driveway, he assured me that I had nothing to worry about as he had just visited the doctor recently and received a clean bill of health. As he continued, he specified that he had no "communicable diseases". I tried to remain cool in the face of the announcement, as the yellow caution lights began flashing in my head. I said, "I'm sure that's good to know. By the way, you need to know that I'm celibate," assuming that would put the brakes on any unforeseen and unwanted advances (put a monstrous guffaw here…). Yet instead, he cranked the boom box on my lap to "11", while continuing to attempt to drive and started to drum the dash and steering wheel loudly, while singing (or I assume it could have been some kind of mating call), a song with primarily intelligible language except for the substantial quantity of lyrics being, "Hey, hey hey, hey...hey". The day went on with him laughing too hard at my jokes, telling me more than I needed to know about his personal grooming habits and several stories about his mother. Strange what people think nurses want to hear about on a date. He said something about destiny bringing us together, because I was a nurse and he was a policeman. The word "destiny" was all it took to cause the yellow caution lights to step up to orange. By the way, I later found out he was a "jailer" as he termed it, not a policeman. The day thankfully wore on quickly, though I had to continually refrain from ling at my watch. He began to tell me how he enjoyed writing poetry, which I did from time to time myself. He recited a free form about a time of crisis which he had experienced that seemed to be heartfelt and sweet, though rang like a greeting card. I reduced the caution to yellow again. Too soon. Way too soon! We went to a Mexican restaurant where the decor leaned heavily on taxidermy and smoke. As soon as our dinner arrived, he began to chew his food with his mouth so wide open, I was sure that his head must have a slip hinge surgically implanted in place of his TMJ. It was hard not to notice the food at every stage of mastication. I sat a bit agog at the fact that he used his sleeve in place of a napkin and then went right back to desiccating his burrito, keeping all of his dental work in plain sight at all times. I had the look of a perplexed Vulcan by the end of the meal. Did I mention that eating never got in the way of what ever insight he felt the need to share with me? I caught myself running a mental scenario of having to do the Heimlich maneuver at any time because he sucked in a jalapeno which lodged into his trachea. After some time of the display, I began to envision doing a tracheotomy instead of the Heimlich. By now, his sleeve was encrusted. I had long since lost interest and was looking forward to the date ending. As soon as dinner was over, I suggested he take me home. However, as he was opening my door, and I never saw this coming, he wheeled me around and stuck his burrito laden tongue in to my throat and beyond my gag reflex. I pushed him away and stated that I was ready to go home. It had been a long day and I was tired. I was fresh out of school and still living at home. Thankfully, I thought, my parents would be home. Rather than taking the hint that our date was over upon arriving at the house, he followed me back to my bedroom. Again, I never saw it coming. Remember, my parents were home. With out any warning what so ever, he jumped on top of me, tackling me to the floor saying, "Don't worry, it will only take a minute." I remembered that I was rather good at defending myself in high school and, though I thought I'd never have to fall back on such juvenile tactics, I took my foot and planted it with a solid kick squarely into his groin rendering him a heap of Jell-O quivering in pain. I then physically dragged him to the door and told him to leave. As I was closing the door, he shouted, "Next week they're going to give me a gun. Cool huh? I can't wait to see you again. Can I call you?" My father dragged himself out of bed about that time, apparently not at all bothered by the commotion, and asked how my date was. I summed it up by saying, "I have never become so physically ill after a date that I wanted to wretch till my eyes fell out...till now." An epilogue: This guy did in fact call me. He tried pursuing a relationship for nearly a whole year following. He actually showed up singing, very loudly and very badly, at the office where I worked in the middle of flu season with a bouquet of roses … which I dunked in liquid nitrogen and shattered in front of the most crowded waiting room in history! Our patients actually stood up and cheered, as our P.A. threw him out. What do I remember him saying last ... "I'll call ya, ok?" Thankfully, between the co-volunteers at the convention, and my co-workers at the clinic, he was eventually convinced to go on his merry way.

— Karen, 39

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