Calm down, people. It’s not what you think! This post is totally G-rated.
When I arrived, Mr. TMW was already there. He must have been deliberately early, since I was exactly on time. I don’t know how early he was, but he obviously gave himself ample time to prepare the scenario that I observed as walked toward him:
- Even though he is sitting in an Australian pub, and even though he is supposedly a man, instead of ordering a pint, he is daintily sipping a cup of tea. With a slice of lemon of course.
- As I approached, he closed the book that he was reading. A normal man would have put it away at this point, so that he could focus entirely on the lovely lady who is about to have a date with him. But alas, I didn’t catch myself a normal man. I watched him carefully place the book in the middle of the table.
- When I stopped in front of the table, I glanced down at the book, as he had surely intended for me to do. Fyodor Dostoevsky. That cheeky little voice in my head said, “Shitballs. Can this guy do anything right?” (Sorry… I guess this means that my post is no longer G-rated.)
Who the hell brings Dostoevsky on a date? That’s not sexy. That is just trying way too hard. But hey, I guess I couldn’t really fault a man for trying to make a good impression on me. So I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt for the time being.
But of course, I couldn’t help making a joke about his book. So I smiled and said something along the lines of, “So you’re doing a bit of light reading?”
I was definitely not prepared for what happened next.
Mr. TMW took a one-way trip to crazy town.
Some choice snippets:
“Just because my profession isn’t very intellectual, that doesn’t mean that I’m not an intellectual person.” “I have intellectual pursuits, you know. I am a reflective person. I read all the time.” “I also like to read philosophy. I am a deeply philosophical person.”
I hadn’t even taken off my coat yet. By the time I managed to peel off my coat and scarf, Mr. TMW was already waist-deep in his account of his intellectual and philosophical development since reading Proust at the age of 12.
For the next nine and a half minutes, I could not get a word in edgewise. When he started babbling about the metaphorical underpinnings of Anna Karenina, I decided that this date was over. I did some conspicuous coughing (I actually did have a cold, so this wasn’t entirely faking), said something about how terribly ill I was feeling and about how I should have probably postponed the date in the first place — all the while scrambling to put on my coat as quickly as possible. By the time that the ten-minute mark had passed, I was walking backward out the door, one arm in my coat, scarf trailing from my pocket, gloves were god-knows-where, and mumbling about my mucus buildup.
Ten minutes, my friends. A ten-minute date, during which all I said was, “So you’re doing a bit of light reading?”
Thus ends the story of Mr. Ten Minute Wonder.