I’m not a matchmaker nor have I ever tried to be one…until recently. Our friend, Linda, is a lovely single woman with a steady, well-paying job and a back yard that replicates the perfectly manicured infield at Yankee Stadium, complete with pitcher’s mound and rosin bag! Yes, Linda is THE BIGGEST YANKEE FAN IN THE WORLD! We all have our own crosses to bear, I guess.
Linda’s tried all the computer dating sites including something called E-Horny. After she fed in all the figures and the computer did its homework, it turned out her ideal match was Alex Rodriquez. As much as she loves the Yanks, that would never do. Linda made a promise some time ago never to step in the romantic ring with J-Lo.
Let’s consider this year to be an anomaly, but Linda could probably get into Yankee Stadium anytime she wanted to. I think it may have something to do with those photos she claims to have of Aaron Boone involving a jock strap, a hula dress, a bottle of tequila and some pink flamingos.
Enter Curt: A caring, unattached man in his 40’s who can actually carry on a conversation without using the words ‘I,’ ‘Me’ or ‘Myself’ in a sentence. Unlike many Linda’s dated, Curt never breaks out a mirror so he can have an occasional glance at his favorite person in the world. He visits his mother on Mother’s Day and tries to stop by OTB on Father’s Day to see how dad is faring. He rides a Harley but loathes the typical motorcycle stereotype: the chains, the tattoos and the black leather everything (including underwear). Curt’s the real deal and I thought he might be a great match for Linda. His only character flaw is that baseball leaves him cold. His knowledge of America’s past time is somewhat limited. Other than his knowledge of Jon Fogerty’s song, Centerfield, and that Joe DiMaggio used to date Marilyn Monroe, the concession stand is pretty much closed.
I got them to agree to go out but, before the big day, I cautioned Curt about her obsession with the Yanks. I said WHEN the subject comes up, which it probably would within the first two minutes, just shout, HERE COME THE JUDGE, or ‘VOGT SENDS ONE TO DETROIT.’ That will win you some points.
As for Linda, she demanded to know if he had any issues she should know about. “Issues?” I asked, thinking she would press me about his baseball allegiance. “Yeah, Bob, does he try and impress women with his marvelous array of arm pit noises or will he tap me on the shoulder and say, “Watch this,” as he ‘hocks a loogie’ twenty-five feet into a garbage can?” I assured her that she had never met a guy quite like Curt before. He was a very genuine and talented person. I did however let it slip that he has a slight obsession with the Rubik’s Cube and that he can also recite the alphabet backwards, in Latin while pogo-sticking.
As I’ve mentioned, I hate trying to hook people up, but I must admit, I envisioned giving a toast at their big 25th Wedding anniversary party where their kids, Babe, Derek and Roid would deliver chin quivering, tear dripping, heartfelt memories of mom and dad.
It was showtime and Curt had arranged a very impressive first date. They were going to The Bronx Zoo where I’m sure he will enlighten Linda on the mating habits of the Poison Dart frog. Then it would be off to dinner at Harry’s Hot Dog Haven (buy one, get one free with the purchase of a diet egg cream). What could possibly go wrong? Well, let’s find out. My father always told me to count to three before I said anything stupid. I must have left that part out when training Curt, which may have been why he blurted out to Linda, “What’s with all the homoerotic behavior among ballplayers, anyway?” She stopped in her tracks, shook her head and said, “Say what?” He elaborated, “Why do ballplayers always pat each other on the butt and perform a type of Cirque du Soleil dance with each other after someone does something good? I don’t walk into Hannaford and fondle the guy in the green apron who’s putting out fresh apples?” Oops! That’s what could go wrong. Shortly thereafter, Linda, inexplicably, developed the mother of all headaches, abandoned her half eaten Sabretts, called a cab and told the driver to “Just get the Hell out of here!”
In my postdate meeting with Curt, I told him he really had learn to think before he spoke. I told him he has to know his audience. “Jesus, Curt, why don’t you just go up to Jerry Falwell, Jr. and ask him if he knows of any good pool boys!”
Clearly, my dreams have been shattered to smithereens. There will be no 25th wedding anniversary party. There will be no Christmas cards thanking me for getting these two lovebirds together and, more to the point, there will be no second date. Curt, my friend, you blew it and you made me look bad in the process. From now on, you’re on your own. If you want to try looking for love on E-Horny, knock yourself out but should you notice an ad that reads, ‘Single Gal with dreams of $12 beer and long, romantic walks through Monument Park,’ better keep looking.