“A Dozen First Date Turnoffs Or Turn-Ons for Emotionally Fragile Academic Douche-Bags, Dipshits, and Other Neurotic Types Who Would Like to Not Eat Dinner Alone for Once,” by Tom Johns

Sep 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

1. Don’t apologize for nervously vomiting on your date. This is to be expected, so a simple “pardon me” will do.

2. Don’t start a savage attack of any PBS or NPR show, one is bound to be a favorite of your date. Saying something like, “Dr. Who is stupid” will usually result in tears and possibly an at-table suicide attempt.

3. Do compliment your date’s PBS tote bag filled with her “on the bus knitting.” Feel free to let her know that you know she is a deluxe PBS giver and ask her if she received her Ken Burns tea cozy, Bill Moyers coasters, or Jim Lehrer anal beads.

4. MFA’s only: Do start talking about Radiohead and compare OK Computer to the Gospel According to Luke—talk about your friend Tandish who writes free verse poetry, but only while listing to “Paranoid Android” on infinite repeat. Feel free to expect someone to care about this. Care not that your date is desperately waiting for her turn to talk about her friend Suzette who only does charcoal sketches to “No Surprises.”

5. Stare at your feet and mumble things about a movie you saw that you can’t remember the title of…and then slowly begin to whimper…this is not a tip, just a prediction of how things will turn out.

6. Stare over your date’s shoulder while she stares over yours. Slowly nurse your salad as it is your only prop until the entrée arrives—never let the waiter take your salad until you can conjure an anecdote that does not involve a work mishap…you can’t do it, can you?

7. Sit quietly and nod in agreement with everything that your date says. Furtively scratch your nose if it itches, but return your hands to their default position: neatly folded in your lap. Single forkfuls of your Applebees Jack Daniel’s Griller Deluxe (be sure to leave half untouched). Don’t stop smiling. Be momma’s brave little girl. You are a catch. You are catch…this is just a date. He doesn’t have to be the one….even though your child bearing years are concluding and every “friend” you have is working on their first divorce.

8. For the love of God just start talking about your cat, you know she has one, too. That and your misery are the things you certainly share—start there.

9. Suggest an after dinner walk in the park or visit to the zoo if it’s still light out; if declined, grab your date by their eyebrows and tear viciously until they feel physically what you feel emotionally 24/7.

10. Realize the date will end in uncontrollable sobbing, hurt feelings, and disappointment for you (and eventually your mother when she hears about it). Enjoy the linguini. Sometime later sit quietly on a park bench and feel a sense of failure when no strangers approach you and make your life worth living.

11. Do not call your date a “dirty lying cunt”—ask her to use her Bennigan’s coupon—disparage her smock—or refer to her choice of entrée as “retarded.”

12. Don’t order dessert, you don’t deserve it, you freak—you’re not worthy of love, you’re not worthy of its sweetness, so why, then, taste any sweetness? Taste only the bile-like vinegar of loneliness and despair forever more and tote around the unused portion of your soul in a sad little doggie bag that will find its way at long last to a tomb in lieu of a dank, lightless office break room refrigerator…you sicken me…go ahead and see the Sandra Bullock movie. See if that helps.


Tom Johns, a lifelong Chicagoan, is not the budding youth that graced this website in the spring of 2009 when there was hope…when there was joy. He’s still “emerging” and like a dipshit, Johns completed his MFA ar Rutgers University-Newark. While there, he enjoyed many chicken dinners via buku (sp?) fellowship bucks–not to mention a fecund, lonely cot, which seldom knew the touch of fresh sheets or the velvet posterior of a young woman Upon graduating, he was issued a copy of Radiohead’s OK Computer, as is custom for MFA’s. He’s been published lots and lots–like ten times, maybe (most recently in a Bizarro Anthology). He also thinks he got close with MAR. You might could reach the author? If’n you wanna, you can try, but he doesn’t check that addy much: johnsta@andromeda.rutgers.edu

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.