Three Twisted Little Love Stories

Seth Chambers
 

© Copyright 2003 by Seth Chambers

 

Photo of an illuminated heart with Love inside.  (c) 2005 by Richard Loller.

The Quest For Love

According to The Great American Tradition, the way to obtain a partner in romance is this: 1) Go to a tavern, 2) Listen to the band and drink some beer, 3) Strike up some conversations and drink some more beer, 4) Mingle and dance and drink some beer, 5) Drink some MORE beer plus a few mixed drinks with names like, “Fuzzy Navel,” and “Slow Screw Up Against The Wall,” 6) Leave in a drunken haze amidst various other intoxicated people, and 7) See who you wake up with in the morning. And lo! You’ve started a relationship, whether you remember it or not.

Maybe it was immaturity that prompted me to reject this adult method of meeting persons of the opposite sex. But reject it I did and, unsure of what other course to take, I employed the services of GET A MATE, INC.

I stepped through the doors of this dating service with high hopes. The receptionist had me fill out an application, personal history form and an extensive questionnaire while I awaited the next available counselor. My heart began to pound in my chest as I realized that this was the nexus of a great network of available women. This office contained the names, numbers, photos and personal histories of countless single, attractive females in search of mates.

The counselor, herself an attractive young woman, called me into her office. I bounded in, full of expectations. We introduced ourselves and she took my paperwork and read it over while I fidgeted with her stapler.

Reading my personal history, she began to chuckle. I accidentally stapled my thumb. “Something funny in my personal history, Sheila?”

Sheila laughed again and took a red pen from her desk drawer with which she made some slash marks on my questionnaire. I said, “Why’d you cross out my response to question nine?”

Question nine had read: Please describe the physical and psychological traits of the woman you would like to meet.

Sheila said, “Oh, I don’t think you’re the type of guy who can pick and choose his women. Be satisfied with whatever you get, if you get anyone at all.”

I sat in shocked silence while she kept reading and laughing. Eventually the ordeal ended and she looked up at me. Started to speak, laughed, got herself under control, and said, “I have to be honest with you. The truth is, you are not tall enough, handsome enough, or successful enough, nor do you make enough money, to be a prime candidate for our service. I’m afraid that we currently do not have any women on file, how shall I put it gently, desperate enough to resort to... To your particular profile.”

I said, “But will you call me if you get someone?”

“By all means,” she said, and began laughing again. “And what’s your fee?”

“More than what you can afford, shrimp. But we have an excellent payment plan.”

As I slunk out of the office, Sheila brought my paperwork up to the receptionist in order to share the laughter. #

My time at FIND-A-MATE, INC. was a discouraging experience, but I still had not given up on finding a girlfriend. I might be a short, ugly underachiever with money problems, but I am not a quitter. Certainly there must be a woman somewhere who would be interested in me. Maybe there was someone among my friends who might be interested in being more than friends, were I to just ask. I decided to put this hypothesis to the test. The first person I called was Marsha.

“It’s so good to hear from you, Seth,” she said. “I feel you’re someone I can always confide in.”

“I am. What’s on your mind?”

“I don’t know what to do, I’m just so frustrated! I’m really lonely but I don’t know who to go out with. I mean, there’s Rob and John and George, but they’re all obnoxious jerks.”

“You could go out with me,” I told her. Inside I was doing cartwheels and going yes! yes! yes!

“C’mon, Seth, I’m being serious here.”

“So am I.”

“Maybe I’ll go out with all of them.”

“Rob and John and George?”

“Yeah. And maybe Mohammed. They’re such chauvinists. I don’t know, Seth. Where are all the good men these days?”

At this point I decided to just go for it, to throw myself at her. When all else fails, I say, just go for it. “Marsha,” I said, “You are the woman of my fevered dreams. I will devote myself to your happiness and well-being. You are a goddess. Please go out with me.”

There was a moment of stunned silence (if, that is, silence can actually be stunned). Then Marsha said, “Why, thank you, Seth. You are such a good friend. I really needed to hear that, I was feeling so down on myself. You raised my spirits so much! I feel confident now. I think I’ll call up Aaron right now and ask him out. Thank you, my friend.”

We said our good-byes then.

I called other female acquaintances after that but all to no avail. In fact, my exchange with these other women made my humiliation at FIND-A-MATE, INC. seem like Amway pep rallies in comparison.

Now I was getting really discouraged.

The situation called for innovation. Fortunately, inspiration came as I sat in the downtown public park. I was watching people walk their pets around the common grounds when I noticed that foxy young females tended to cluster about even the ugliest, mangiest of dogs. That’s when it hit me: I would walk a dog through the park and let the ladies gather unto me.

Of course, I would need a dog for this venture. So I stopped in at my local Dog Rental Center and picked up a mop of a mutt. Off to the park I went with this dog. We walked. I started to feel dismay, though, because there didn’t seem to be a woman in sight. But then -- suddenly and out of seeming nowhere -- they appeared! They flocked about like Japanese beetles around a beetle trap. And they all headed over to my rental dog. They fluffed his hair and hugged him and talk to him about politics.

“Ooow, what kind of doggy are you?” a slim blonde asked.

“He’s a malamute

sheepdog mix,” I said.

“I was talking to him, not you. Hey, puppy, puppy, what’s your name?”

And so it went. The rental dog got names, phone numbers and dinner dates. I got discouraged. When I returned him to the rental center I tried to pry the cluster of names and phone numbers from his paw but he bit my hand, so I backed off.

I was down but not out. It seemed that the trouble with the pick-up and dating scene was the personal element, the face-to-face aspect. Without that to contend with, I might stand a chance, I told myself. So I did the logical thing and placed a personal ad in my local newspaper’s Lonely Hearts column. An acquaintance of mine, Mark, had once placed an ad in the same column. His ad read:

REAL MAN looking for fine young chicks. If you got the right face and a knockout bod and will not be intimidated by an aggressive substance abuser, forget the wimps and give this MAN a call. Just remember: it’s my way or the highway, babe. No feminists need apply. I am 6’2” tall.

Mark got more dates than he could handle from that ad. I’d often see him with two or three beautiful women at a time, all kissing him and hugging him and competing for his attention. “He’s such a pig,” they would often giggle, but they clung to him anyway.

Remembering Mark’s success, I felt my heart race with anticipation as I placed my own ad. It read:

Nice guy, kind & considerate. Seeks sweet female for companionship, nights out, serious relationship. Interests include theatre, all types of music, and deep conversation.

I received a phone response the first day my ad appeared in the paper. “Hi,” said a pretty voice. “I’m calling about the ‘nice guy’ ad.”

“Yes. Hey, your voice sounds familiar.”

“This is Marsha. Is that you, Seth?”

“Yes.”

“Oh well, never mind. I’ll just try another ad. Call me sometime.”

And she hung up.

I sat by my phone for forty days and forty (lonely) nights, but no more calls came. Now my heart was truly heavy with dispair. It seemed I had exhausted all my options.

In discouragement, I went to The Hole, a little downtown bar. I drank some beer, listened to the band murder Pink Floyd, drank some more beer. Sheila, my FIND0-A-MATE counselor, was there. She came over to my table and said, “Hey, there might be hope for you yet.”

“How’s that?”

“Because we’re thinking of expanding our services. It’ll work like this: we put you in cryogenic hibernation via carbon freezing, like they did to Han Solo, not that there’s any comparison between you and Harrison Ford. But anyway, we carbon freeze you for a year, two years, ten years, however long it takes for us to find you a suitable mate. Maybe a century in your case.”

“Are you serious?”

“To you, it seems instantaneous. No matter how long you have to wait, it won’t seem like any time at all.”

“Hey, this sounds promising,” I said, starting to get excited.

“You know what we’ll call this process? Carbon dating! Ha! It’s a joke! Get it? Carbon dating. Ha ha!”

Then she went staggering off, laughing into her beer. I watched her disappear into the crowd, then ordered another pitcher of ale. I listened to the band, drank some more, and struck up a conversation with the people at the next table. From time to time Sheila came by to taunt me some more. I bought her a pitcher of beer, which she took back to her own table.

The band got louder and the lights blurred and Sheila kept appearing before me. She kept shouting at me and I kept shouting back. We had a few laughs over some inane jokes. We shared a few mixed drinks with weird names. I remember, at one point in the night, moving around the floor very awkwardly, but I don’t recall whether I was dancing or weaving my way to the john.

After that things got as fuzzy as the navels I was drinking. But I remember getting into a cab and Sheila falling in next to me. We got to my place and... Well, when I woke up, Sheila was already awake. Neither of us had any clothes on. And Sheila wasn’t laughing any more.
 
 

***

The Economics Of Love





Author’s Note: I did a massive amount of research into economics for this piece, in order to get the terminology technically accurate. I didn’t just make it all up. I didn’t just b.s. my way through it. Really. Trust me.

Friday, in the middle of the strobe light world of the dance floor, she weaved her way through the millions of swaying

sashaying

staggering bodies. Incredible but true: a slim, trim, beautiful blonde babe coming my way. Dancing with me. Then, shouting to be heard over the torrent of heavy metal thundering out from four hundred thousand woofers and a half million tweeters, she asked me, “Aren’t you the author of Post-War Economic Growth In Industrialized Nations? You look like the guy on the dust jacket.”

She was wearing a skimpy little blouse adorned with GNP statistics and economic-trend charts, so I shouted back, “Yeah, sure, I wrote that book.”

“I was fascinated by your views of the Hirsch/Norham theory of fiscal decline,” she screamed, drawing herself closer to me.

“Thank you.”

“But I don’t understand how it adapts to the Bokker Schematic of Recession.” And yet, despite her lack of understanding, she wrapped her arms around my waist and moved her hips in time with mine.

“Oh?” I screamed. “Why not?”

“Because it contradicts the Prime Rule of Fluctuation.”

“But you’re forgetting something,” I told her, not having the faintest idea of what she was blathering on about.

She stepped back and we danced on, but a look of consternation had come over her face. Then, just as the song ended, she snapped out of it. “Oh!” she said as we wound our way through the crowd to a table. “Because of the Dual Quota Exception.”

“Bingo,” I said, quite impressed by whatever it was she had figured out.

“That’s so ingenious!” she squealed. “And you’re ingenious! In fact, I think you are the greatest -- the most wonderful -- economic theoretician in the Continental United States!”

Then she introduced herself. Her name was Missy. She assumed my name was Sidney something-or-other, the author of that economics book. Soon afterwards, I took Missy home for the night and had sex with her. She screamed out stock-market updates as she orgasmed: “Trading heavy! Oh! Dow Jones up thirty three and a third! Oh my God... Pfizer just went through the roooof!”

Afterwards she arranged my condiments in alphabetical order and converted my personal directory to binary code. Then she went to her car and got her copy of Post-War Economic Growth In Industrialized Nations. The author really did bear quite a resemblance to yours truly. “Please autograph it, Sidney,” Missy begged.

I signed the book, of course, after having Missy clean the wall behind my refrigerator with a wet towel. And since then I’ve picked up my own copy of Post-War Economic Growth In Industrialized Nations. I carry it with me a lot. My social life has blossomed as a result. My walls are clean.

And I don’t even know didley about economics.
 

***

The Apocalypse Of Love

I told My True Love that, for her, I would reach into the sky and pull down the moon, were she to but ask. This was meant purely as a romantic gesture, a whimsical declaration of the depth of my adoration.

Alas, she took it literally. And not only that, but she had captured these words of mine on microcassette, had the recording transcribed, and the transcription officially notarized. Then, with help from her attorney, she had a contract drawn up, along with a court-order forcing me to sign it. In effect, she bound me to my word.

So I followed through, to the chagrin of all humanity. What else could I do?

It was a multi-billion dollar project. I had to max out every credit card I could obtain under every variation of my name I could come up with. But even then I was still short on funds, so I took my plight to the media. Then, almost before I knew it, I was appearing on talk shows and heading fund raisers. Dubbed “The Moon Man,” I was quickly ensnared in a world of controversy. The press praised me as a Heroic Romantic one week, then damned me as a ruthless psychotic the next. But everyone came to know who I was and money poured in from agents, producers and private parties. My life story was made into a Lifetime Movie Of The Week and produced as a rock opera.

Hordes of planetary conservationist liberal-types protested “The Moon Project” and lobbied to have it outlawed. But as the legislators hemmed and hawed and debated amongst themselves, I grew more determined than ever, even to the point of obsession. No longer did I see this as a task that I had been goaded into but as a Labor Of Love.

After acquiring the capital I needed, my next hurder was to commission NASA to build a gigantic Space Arm that could extend from the Earth up to the moon.

“It cannot be done,” was the consensus of twenty ph.d.-level mechanical engineers and astrophysicists.

“Newton once said that if you gave him a big enough lever, he could lift the Earth,” I reminded them.

“That is true,” said one scientist.

“And very inspiring,” said another.

“WE WILL BUILD YOUR SPACE ARM!” they all cried in unison.

And they did. It was a magastructure of such vast proportions that, upon the day of its completion, forty thousand people of all faiths organized pilgramages to worship at its base. It was truly a marvel of technological innovation, workmanship and excess. And when this monstrosity went into operation, it siphoned the energy reserves of seven major cities, causing brownouts all along the eastern seaboard.

But it worked. The end of civilization as well all knew it was televised worldwide. The space arm reached way, way up into the sky and snagged the moon out of its orbit. The moon then lost its centrifugal force and slowly gave into the mutual gravity between it and the Earth.

Then it finally happened: the moon plopped into the Atlantic like a gargantuan doughnut being dunked into a colossal coffee cup. The tidal effects were devestating. The oceans rose up like apocalyptic demons to stomp the continents into pieces until nothing was left but the One Great Sea and a scattering of tiny islands populated by colonies of desperate, frightened survivors.

The world quickly degenerated into savagery. I and my True Love became nomads upon the One Great Sea, drifting about on the floating refuse of the old world.

Now we are universally despised: I for destroying the world and exceeding my credit limit, and my True Love for coercing me into it. We live as hunted creatures, meeting with hostility, persecution and collection notices everywhere we go. But our love and devotion persist even through our adversity.

And yet, I must confess, I sometimes have my doubts. I mean, I look upon my True Love, at her premature wrinkles, two-tone hair and the deposits of cellulite that even the post-destruction famine has not eradicated entirely, and I cannot help but wonder: was she really worth the end of the world?
 
 

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