Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rex in Reserve

Rex's human was giving him the talking to.  Rex's ears were perked up and his head was cocked to one side because he knew that this guy sometimes brought him treats, but it was unclear who was really in charge between the two of them.   Rex's alpha dog personality made it hard for him to really take his human side too seriously -- when he sniffed an opportunity, he generally just took over.  THIS time, however, the guy seemed so earnest that Rex was struggling to understand just what was being asked of him.
"Rex, stay!  Lie down there and stay!  You can't come out of your dog house unless I call you, OK, Rex?"
Rex couldn't read Gary Larson cartoons, but all he heard was:
"Rex, stay!  Lie down blah blah stay!   Blah blah come blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah, Rex?"
Net-net, he was unclear on whether he was meant to come or stay, but the human's tone made him decide to retreat into his dog house for a lie-down of an unspecified duration.  (Dogs aren't good with the concept of time.)

Rex's alter-ego had a date, and the one thing he's learned about online dating dates was "low expectations", as in: imagine you are going to meet the older, heavier-set sister of the object of your desire (as defined by the photos on her dating profile), then imagine that the sister had just had electric shock therapy and couldn't understand your dry wit and conceptual nuances (despite the fact that the profile had made her sound kind of clever).

He was walking along the sidewalk in front of the bar, past the plate glass windows with the throng of people writhing on the other side, wondering just how bad this one would turn out to be.  In his past nine dates, not one woman had looked even close to her profile shots.  Lots of significantly more mature, plumper, not-so-engaging siblings, with rather off-putting senses of style, standing in. 

Pushing through the chattering masses along the outer edge of the bar he spotted two likely candidates sitting side-by-side up ahead on the right, each with an empty stool next to them, their faces blocked from his view by the people around them.  With "excuse me's" and gentle but firm palm pressure applied to the barrier of backs between him and his destination, he pressed forward, getting to about two arm's lengths away before discounting the first woman.

She looked younger than her stated age, was quite adorable and had just the kind of compact, slim-in-all-the-right-places figure that drove Rex to distraction -- like THAT was going to happen!  Ha...  With renewed 'low expectations' he brushed past the back of her chair and, still partially restrained by the crowd around him, reached out with his right hand and rested it gently on the back of the second of the two women to get her attention.  He had to press a bit further along to get past the back of her seat and introduce himself, but as he did so his gaze fell on the space between the two women and onto the cellphone of the first.  She was reading his last text to her, warning her he'd be a couple of minutes late.

It was too late for a reversal.  He was committed to saying something to the second woman, who's rather soft and pliable back was already twisting so she could turn to see who was leaning round her.  She rotated her head toward him with a half smile, her heavily made-up eyes widening under her heavily botoxed forehead. Her unfortunately proportioned face broke into a broader smile revealing a wide row of white caps over blackened roots as he said "Hi", very nearly enunciating something close to "erk-yik" and commanded his face to maintain composure.

"Yie-eye erm, sorry!  I thought you were someone else..."  "Well you can sit here and wait for her if you like," she said, patting the chair beside her and batting long, heavily-clumped, fake eyelashes in some improbable shade of charred flamingo feathers.  His mouth set into a tight-lipped grimace as he decided a single word more would only exacerbate things.  He swiftly pulled back behind her, forcing her to spin in her seat to watch him backtrack.

"Sarah?" he asked of the first woman, now leaning around her on the farthest side away from Madam Erk-Yik, trying to maintain eye contact while the cocked head of the Madam hovered in the immediate background, her expression communicating both curiosity and 'oh sure, she's younger than me' annoyance.  "Hi!" Sarah exclaimed smilingly, leaning toward him and placing her left hand on his upper arm lightly.  "Sorry, I didn't recognize you at first" he said as he squeezed into the closely packed row and sat down, being careful to not get too close.  "Why, I don't look like my photos?" She looked a bit worried.  "No, actually you look better than your photos" he teased, smiling at her.  (In the background Madam harrumphed, Sarah sweetly oblivious, and mercifully Madam's girlfriend arrived her face vanished from his line of sight.)...

Read the rest of this story and the entire collection of Rex's short stories by buying a copy of "Is Rex a Dog?" for $0.99 at Smashbooks by clicking here!

1 comment:

  1. Rex,

    This is my favourite one so far, I laughed out loud many a time. Sounds like there's still hope in internet dating after all.



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