Sunday, August 31, 2008

Roller Derby

Last night Darren, Eli and I were enjoying a drink in the basement bar of the Grasshopper when "Hook" by Blues Traveler came on. I started singing along between sips of my beer, and I noticed a pretty blonde girl around the corner of the bar who was also singing along. Before long, we noticed each other, and at that point, she busted out with a challenge.

"I can beat any of you at drinking a car bomb," she said.

"No you can't," I said. "You just can't."

"If I lose, I buy the round," she said. "If you lose, you buy it. Okay?"

"Okay," I said. "You've got money on you, right? Because you're going to need it to buy the round." Understand, dear reader, that when it comes to contests of drinking things very fast, I've been nearly unmatched since college. Darren and Eli knew this and kept egging the whole situation on. Not that it really mattered.

"Pauly!" she yelled. "Three car bombs!" Darren was to be the timekeeper, and Eli, this girl and I were to partake of the Irish car bombs. Eventually the first round was poured, the time was counted, the drinks were drunk, and in the end, I beat her pretty handily. All observers agreed. It was at that point that she challenged me to another round. She implied that she'd somehow been holding back, like she was Inigo Montoya or something. I cheerfully agreed, and when the second round came, it was virtually identical to the first, though a bit splashier.

So it turned out, in talking to Pauly the bartender, that this girl was a player for the local roller derby. She was quite attractive, and she was wearing an outfit that left little to the imagination. She started to leave to use the bathroom, and as she walked by me, she started spanking me. Full-on spanking me. So I turned to her and said, "Oh, wait, I thought I was the one who spanked you." At that point, she turned around and presented, waiting for me to comply. I did, twice, confused throughout as to what was going on.

I don't have much more to say than that. It was weird, but it was also barely beyond the status quo for me and my friends.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Perils of Public Geekery

Today I went to the mall with my friend Darren for lunch. He went to Eddie Bauer to buy a shirt, and as we were standing up at the counter, I was talking to him about my last two blog entries, and about the quandary posed by the definition of Dr. Sam Beckett's lifetime. After about a minute, the clerk behind the register turned to me and spoke without preamble.

"Do you have a girlfriend?" she asked.

"Um...uh, no," I stammered, a little unnerved by how forthright her question was.

"I could tell," she said.

I stood there a little dumbfounded, not knowing whether to laugh or be insulted. After a pregnant pause, she followed up with, "I don't mean that as an insult, of course." Ever nonconfrontational, I replied with, "Oh, no, not at all." Without sarcasm, even, if you can believe it. She started going on about something inane, wherein a bunch of guys were paired with one girl tell you the truth, it didn't make a lot of sense, and I expect she was just trying to cover her ass.

It got me thinking. I understand the joke she was trying to make. I was speaking quite geekily (self-consciously, of course; as though there were any other way to refer to an aspect of Quantum Leap as "an existential quandary"), and she was trying to leverage the stereotype of geeks as socially inept. I get it. I'm not without a sense of humor. But the way that she felt comfortable berating a perfect stranger got under my skin a bit. Did she think it made it all right to say, "I don't mean that as an insult, of course"? What if I'd gone up to her and said, "People think you're ugly, right? I could tell." Would it be more acceptable if I assured her afterwards that I didn't mean it as an insult? Somehow I don't think so.

I also had a case of thinking of wonderful responses a couple of minutes after the fact, some blustery, some self-deprecating. Here's a sampling.

Clerk: Do you have a girlfriend?
Fargus: Yeah. She's in New York at the Hot Chicks Convention. She's the President.

Clerk: Do you have a girlfriend?
Fargus: Yeah. She's at a modeling show in Paris. She's running the lights.

Clerk: Do you have a girlfriend?
Fargus: It's none of your goddamn business. Give my friend his credit card back so we can get the hell out of here.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Random Thought #2.1

*Geek Alert*

In writing that last post, I recalled that Project Quantum Leap went live in 1999, according to the show's timeline. Ostensibly, Dr. Beckett can leap within his lifetime. It's an open question (so far as I know) whether the inception of Project Quantum Leap represents the end of the lifetime in which the good doctor can leap. If so, I guess the last post winds up being one level more hypothetical than otherwise.


Random Thought #2

If Dr. Sam Beckett's (de facto) mission through Project Quantum Leap is to leap "from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong," you'd think he could get a lot of mileage by leaping into Katherine Harris for the last quarter or so of the year 2000.


Friday, August 08, 2008