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On a balmy, breezy Friday night in the winter of 1994, I pulled up to Tim's house for our first date. I was driving my maroon 1993 Toyota Celica with the sunroof tilted up to look sporty. I drove that car around Los Angeles with the pride of a tiger. I had my car washed that day so that it would sparkle like a marquise diamond, and I had the car wash add "new car" scent air freshener, which surprisingly works.
I was looking as good as I possibly could in my black button-down shirt and faded jeans with deliberately ripped holes in the knees. I was wearing edgy sneakers to seem laid-back and hip. My hair was as spiky as I could make it. I had the confidence of a bull charging a matador's red cape.
The omnipresent Los Angeles palm trees were swaying gently in the wind, like a Las Vegas showgirl's headdress center stage. The trees appeared to dance, and the rustling branches created a sound that was soothing and relaxing. It was just windy enough to blow the smog away.
It was a very clear night-the operative word being clear because the air in Los Angeles is rarely clear. When the air is clear in LA, it puts true Angelenos in a great mood and almost everyone comes across as nearly friendly-almost human. Calm down, I said almost!
I had been looking forward to my date all day long. Not working the day before gave me plenty of time to go the gym, get a haircut, and drink plenty of water so that my skin looked fantastic. Unfortunately, having the day off before this date gave me way too much time to fantasize how great he might be. I was happy. I was excited. Too excited.
It took me forty-five minutes to drive six miles to Tim's house, so I really had to pee when I arrived. Going anywhere in a car in LA is quite often a mini road trip. I figured I could hold my bladder until we got to the restaurant. From the curb, Tim's house was charming, extremely well kempt, and manicured, which pleasantly surprised me.
I called Tim from my console-mounted car phone (hey, it was 1994), and he came out, looking more attractive than I remembered. The reason I didn't remember Tim well is because I had met him at a bar, and I was really drunk at the time. (So perhaps he didn't remember what I looked like also?) Oh well, too late. Whatever he remembered, as he walked toward my car, all I could think was, This guy is hot!
It seemed like it took him an hour to get to my car, as if he were walking in slow motion. I was thinking of so many things. I bet he's witty, smart, good in bed. And hopefully he has a huge penis. (Hey, let's face it; no one hopes that a guy has a small dick.)
With those visions still floating around in my head (like soap bubbles with tiny little fairy godmothers inside them), Tim opened my car door, plopped down, and before he could even close the door...he farted.
My imaginary soap bubbles quickly popped like nuclear explosions. The fairy godmothers shrieking out in horror as Tim let one rip with the roar of a ferocious lion defending its young. This was not a petite little quiet fart that easily could have been passed off as a leather seat noise, but a loud, horrendous, male fart. The kind of fart a bunch of guys watching the Super Bowl do on purpose to make each other laugh.
I didn't know what to do next. I froze up, deadpan expression, like a person on a diet caught going into the refrigerator at 2:00 a.m. Should I have pretended like I was sleepwalking?
I made the split-second decision to ignore Tim's form of nonverbal communication. At which point Tim chimed in with, "I had a bean burrito for lunch."
I was completely silent. My mouth was wide open as I stared directly ahead, my nostrils internally closed off at prison lockdown.
I had a gut feeling this night would not end well.
Tim closed the door and I thought, Oh my god, how the hell do I carefully and discreetly roll down the windows? So many thoughts were going through my head. This time, my thoughts were not fantastical. I was perplexed. I was offended. And...I also thought it was funny. But I didn't know what the social filter would be for addressing a first date, first impression, first fart together.
At last I decided to ignore it and drive on. Hey, we all make mistakes, right? He was probably more embarrassed than I was.
I decided to ignore the entire incident, until...
Ten minutes later, while we were still driving to dinner, Tim leaned back, lifted up his knees with his hands, looked over at me, farted again, and said, "Take that."
I had an internal freak-out. I started wondering, Could I sue? He was on my leather seats, which I suddenly valued much more than I valued him. I had also gone out of my way to have my car smell like a new car. Conversely, this douche-lord was going out of his way to have my car smell like his lunch.
What a pig.
Although the date was not physically over, it was mentally over. I realized I was about to head into a parallel universe for the night where no one (except oneself) ever makes sense. Moreover, I felt like I was caught in one of those hidden-camera-show moments where the whole show is based on my reaction, except there was no camera and no show.
We went to dinner and all I could think about was-you guessed it-the fart. He was talking about his siblings, his mom, his job, and all I could hear and see and smell were a couple of big farts. They say first impressions last a lifetime, so how could we have any future together? I looked at the bright side-it was Friday night and I wasn't at home alone watching old episodes of Bewitched on TV Land. So instead of abandoning the date, I thought, Two can play this game, and I began to eat my own body weight in food. He wanted to act like a pig, so I would show him I was up for the challenge. Unfortunately, my overeating did not phase him at all.
It was clear Tim was missing a few marbles-the important ones that change the game.
I will spare you the boring dinner details. However, I did make him pay the bill.
When we got back to his place, I was prepared to come to a slow roll and push him out. However, I decided to just act civil.
I came to a stop and quickly said, "I have to wake up early." And in the middle of my sentence he had the nerve to lean in for a kiss.
I made the instantaneous decision to go ahead and let him kiss me, and I reciprocated. I thought this could be his last chance for him to make me forget about the rest of the entire evening. That didn't happen. The kiss was terrible and sloppy and wet, a little bit like what it might be like to make out with a thirsty elephant. Thankfully, the kiss did not cause him to continue with his ridiculous anal outbursts.
He got out of my car and I was happy to see him go.
Tim called me the next day and left a voicemail message: "Hey, Eddie, I had a great time last night, when are you taking me out-" I pressed the delete button as fast as I could.
I saw Tim out several weeks later at a restaurant in Los Feliz and told my friends who were with me the story. From then on we decided to always refer to him as Inflatulation.