Every now and then, as a parent, you just have to step out of the house.
Tonight was one of those nights. It wasn’t at all that I was stressed. Molly, the kids and I had had a nice swim in the pool. The kids and I enjoyed the fine dining of Ore-Ida fries (How come their crinkle cut and tots taste fantastic, but the plain fries have the texture of wet leprechaun’s ass?) and Wegman’s chicken nuggets.
But I needed to get out.
So I grabbed the book I am reading and headed out the door. Molly confirmed a second time that it was fine. I ended up at a box restaurant and ordered a salad and a Sprite – I’m living large – and delved deep into “The Emperor of All Maladies.”
Until I couldn’t.
The couple behind me were on on what appeared to be the worst date in history.
First, I could hear the NerdBro chewing with his mouth open, slobbering all over himself and, I believe, quietly belching several times. Maybe he was speaking Hut.
Then I noticed – again, I couldn’t see them because they were behind me – that he couldn’t have been more condescending and rude to the waitress, who was more than capable. No, in fact, she was a damn good waitress.
But the conversation was 80 percent NerdBro. This is an awful mix. He came across as one of those frat-bros who rates all the women he see’s as a 1 or a 14 on a scale of 1 to 10. But the nerd part killed me. I was pretty much a nerd. Nerd’s shouldn’t be this way. Alas, too many are. He announces “Heat, 10 a.m.” to his friends when an attractive woman is walking toward them on the street. And it’s not that I was ever perfect. God I look back on the times when I just, well, I could have been a better human beings a lot of times. But I’m proud to say I never hit this dude’s level.
At one point, I realized I had yet to hear the woman speak. I mean, this guy could have been prattling on on a phone for all I knew. But I was sure I’d seen a woman at the booth when I sat down. So I peeked in the window next to me and I could make out the reflection of two people.
It was a date. But this guy was talking and talking (while chewing with his mouth open) and talking. And everyone in the restaurant heard everything he had to say, whether it was how stupid his one coworker was (a woman) or how this other coworker was too dependent on her husband. The only male coworker he talked about was his boss, whom he seemed to think was domineering.
This was when I realized this tool was one of those LibertarianNerdBros. This poor girl won the asshole lottery.
We all had to hear about his theories on John Travolta’s character in “Pulp Fiction.” At one point he confused Vincent Vega with Butch Wallace and I really wanted to correct him, but I attempted to move plop into my book.
But how could I? Really, it’s hard to confuse those two characters. One is Jon Travolta, who has “Hair.” The other is Bruce Willis, who doesn’t. One is with Samuel L. Jackson or Uma Thurman in every scene. The other isn’t.
Still no word from his date, whom I’d supposed had jammed a fried pickle in her left eye socket to get the hell out of dodge.
Then we had to hear a soliloquy on the merits of “old pop” versus “new hip.” If these are legit terms, feel free to cut out my heart and feed it to Donald Trump.
And on and on he went. He never asked her a question. Never said excuse me. She was the receptacle for his thoughts. Not her own.
At one point I looked up and noticed the people at other nearby tables were blatantly staring at him. They were all old people, so they could have slipped into a catatonic state from the banana creme pie, or his inane blabbering did them in.
I can’t be sure, but I swear the 80-year-old in the Cosby sweater – it’s 87 degrees outside, by the way – shake her head ever so slightly.
All of a sudden I knew what John Doe in “Seven” felt like when he talked about being on the subway.
I just wanted to turn around and throw my plate frisbee-style off his forehead, climb over the table and throttle the ever-loving life from his being. At this point, I should explain that the book I’ve been trying to read is about the history of cancer. There’s a lot of puss and other nastiness in it. All of that crap was better than Li’l Rand Tarantino.
Then we got to the coup de grace.
LibertarianNerdBro started talking about his requirements for his dates. Sexual requirements. What they need to be willing to do and how he stopped dating this “athletic trainer” because she wouldn’t do follow his guidelines.* Then he talked about why he preferred older women. It was an enlightening discussion of the female psyche, let me tell you.
* I’m sure this behavior predates “Fifty Shades of Shit Grey,” but it’s another reason James and her books can suck three metric tons of shit out of a goose’s ass.
He, at least, had the temerity to lower his voice for this part. Not to the point that I couldn’t drone out his somehow bizarre but also lackluster fantasies.
This didn’t last long. Not for the obvious reason that this woman should have tossed her drink at him or that Cosby sweater had brained him with a corncob. It ended because they left. Together.
And that’s what kills me. More than throttling this guy, I – and everyone in the restaurant – should have walked up to this woman and said, “This dude? He’s not good enough for you. You can do so much better. He’s not good enough for anyone. He needs to wallow in his LibertarianNerdBro cave until he realizes how to think and act like a civilized creature.”
As he walked by, I could feel his sense of entitlement radiate off him like dust of Pigpen.