“Years ago, my friend called me up and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a friend who needs a date tonight! She’s really cute and funny. She’s going to a BBQ but her ex-BF is gonna be there and she just wants a good guy on her arm to make sure he doesn’t try to bother her.’
Given that I hadn’t had a decent date in months and it seemed like the nice thing to do, foolish, foolish me decided to say yes.
She showed up and picked me up in her car to take me to the BBQ. We made small talk and I learned she was a high school dropout. I value intelligence in a girl but hey, I know that these things happen so I tried to withhold judgment. Also, she was pretty cute, which didn’t hurt.
We drove out into the middle of the suburbs and got out of her car to go to the BBQ. Turns out that we were the first ones there, which, ‘okay fine, I like to be early.’ The only people in the house were the hostess, whom I shall call, ‘Mrs. Crazy’, the host (‘Mr. Crazy’), the hostesses’ grandpa (‘Old Crazy’), and their toddler, ‘Crazy Jr.’
Trouble began immediately because we were not followed outside to the backyard. A glance through the window showed that there was no BBQ grill set up whatsoever. I shrugged this off as it still being early. I tried to make small talk and politely asked Mrs. Crazy if she knew my friend who’d set me up on this blind date with this girl.
Mrs. Crazy responded venomously, ‘Do you mean the guy who got me sent TO PRISON and caused me to ALMOST LOSE MY BABY?!?’
‘Uh,’ I replied in shock. Turns out that my idiot friend reported her for stealing from his job and while she was in lock-up for the night, she had gotten into a fight with another lady inmate. My date then took Mrs. Crazy aside and they had a conversation. It was decided that I was allowed to stay as my date convinced her it wasn’t my fault that my friend got her arrested for stealing. Hooray?
A half-hour passed uncomfortably and I asked what they’d be grilling today.
Mr. Crazy blinked and said, ‘Oh, yeah, I guess we should go outside.’
So we headed outside. Everyone sat down, including Mr. Crazy. Crazy Jr. got up and waddled around the backyard in a poop-filled diaper as Old Crazy mumbled to himself in a chair. Everyone else was still seated. I looked at Mr. Crazy, looked around for a grill, then looked back at Mr. Crazy.
‘So, when are the other guests arriving?’ I asked politely.
‘I dunno. Soon, probably. We should wait for them,’ replied Mr. Crazy with a shrug.
I glanced over at my date, who smiled apologetically. I just nodded and smiled at Mr. Crazy, as I was raised with good manners and began patiently awaiting the other guests.
Flash forward two freaking hours. Nobody else had shown up. Mr. and Mrs. Crazy show no signs of this being odd or of any urge to cook and grill meat. Eventually, they and my date meandered back inside. I stayed outside with Crazy Jr., still waddling around the backyard in his own feces. His supposed guardian, Old Crazy and I were getting pretty angry at this situation. I was hungry and there was no food, just nasty drinks which I wouldn’t drink on a full stomach, much less an empty one.
Eventually, I went inside to find my date, Mrs. Crazy and Mr. Crazy talking. I asked my date as politely as I could if she thought her ex-BF would show up with a strong hint that I actually meant, ‘IS ANYBODY GOING TO SHOW UP TO THIS SHAM OF A BBQ?’
She just shrugged. ‘Maybe.’
It had been almost three hours now with no food in the home of somebody who hated one of my friends. I was now stuck in the suburbs with no idea how to get home. I didn’t have money for a cab or know the address (my phone wasn’t a smartphone back then). At this point, I insinuated that I REALLY should be going.
My date pouted and said, ‘No, no, don’t leave! We can play games!’
I counted to ten in my head and thought, ‘Fine, we’ll play some Scattergories or something and then I can finally leave this awkward place. Maybe, now that it is abundantly clear that nobody is showing up, they may even cook and grill me some meat or at least a freaking hot dog.’
As I followed them downstairs into their rec room/basement (God only knows what happens to Old Crazy and Crazy Jr. after this point), I loudly asked Mr. Crazy if he was going to BBQ anything tonight.
‘Oh, yeah, food,’ he said. Seriously, that was his exact phrasing. ‘I’ll go cook something up. Mrs. Crazy, you get everyone started.’
Mrs. Crazy got me and my date seated on a couch and then asked me a question, ‘Have you ever played Dungeons and Dragons before?’
I stare at her. At this point in my life, I’d never Tabletop RPG’d and the idea of doing so with this group sounded about as appealing as dental surgery.
‘No,’ I told her in my least enthused tone of voice, ‘Never.’
She didn’t get the hint and instead said, ‘You’re going to be in for a treat! Mr. Crazy’s an awesome Dungeon Master!’
She handed me a freaking tome the size of a textbook and I stared at it dumbly. This was definitely not freaking Scattergories.
Mrs. Crazy handed me some dice and started to explain the rules, most of which I ignored as I was staring at my date and trying to communicate with just my face that I was freaking done. Time to leave. Now. In fact, the time to leave was three hours ago. My date, however, was too enamored of the magical freaking adventure we were apparently about to embark on to even care about me anymore.
Finally, the kicker – I heard Mr. Crazy coming downstairs. Thank God, I thought. At least this terrible, TERRIBLE date would have some kind of food as I was starving. I was so hungry at this point that I thought I’d eat anything, no matter if he charred it or just handed me a hot dog with no bun. But no, he didn’t bring down BBQ, burgers, or hot dogs – he brought down a big plate of fish sticks.
Half-cooked, room temperature freaking fish sticks.
And the worst part? I was so hungry, I ate five of them before the taste made me feel sick. I was shoveling these rancid half-cooked pieces of fish in my face as he was asking me what character class was I, what race was I, and so on. I ended up giving him random answers and ended up being a goblin werewolf warrior or some other random nonsense. I don’t even remember. All I was really thinking was, ‘God, these are totally disgusting…but I’m so hungry…I want to go home right now,’ on a loop.
He tried to start our magical adventure into IDontCareArnia but I told him I needed to use the bathroom, half-tempted to immediately puke up the half-cooked fish sticks I just ate. I ran into their bathroom and heard either Old Crazy or Crazy Jr. crying in the distance. I locked the door and proceeded to text everyone I knew with a car who was free that evening to ‘COME GET ME’. I figured I’d just leave quietly and walk to the nearest intersection I could find where I could give them directions. I contemplated texting my dear, sweet friend who set me up about exactly how much FUN I was having but decided that I need to scream at him in person about this night instead.
Nobody got back to me. I was lost and abandoned in this suburban prison. With reluctance and growing nausea, I headed back downstairs.
As the game began, I responded only in noncommittal grunts and single-syllable words, glaring at my date as if to say, ‘I WANT TO LEAVE NOW.’ I fake yawned several times. I stared at my watch repeatedly. Nobody was taking the freaking subtle hints. They were too enraptured by Mr. Crazy DM’s droning description of thatch huts and orc corpses or whatever.
Finally, I just took my phone out and openly started scrolling through my texts, desperately hoping that someone with a car had gotten back to me. I muttered, ‘C’mon, Ryan!’ just loud enough that Mrs. Crazy heard me.
‘Did you say…Ryan?’ she said with a familiar tone in her voice. I prepared myself for the worst – somehow my other friend set her house on fire and killed her parents or something. That’s about how this night has gone so far.
‘Yeah,’ I replied warily. ‘Why?’
‘Oh, I knew this guy named Ryan in high school,’ she says with obvious disgust. ‘Everyone said he blew some guy under the bleachers.’
Suddenly, I saw my only way out of here. I had been afraid of inciting the wrath of Mrs. Crazy, but now I saw that my only hope to leave this garbage dump was to deliberately anger this thieving witch. At this point, it would be the only real pleasure I derived from the entire evening.
‘I never heard that about Ryan, but he and I have been friends for YEARS! GREAT guy!’ I announced with a big grin on my face. ‘We hang out ALL THE TIME!’
Mrs. Crazy faked a smile and got up to whisper in Mr. Crazy’s ear. Mr. Crazy was dismayed to be dragged away from his DMing duties, but they went to another room. Miracle of miracles, they finally came out and said to my date that they were having SO much FUN, but they’re both really tired and that we should probably go.
I held back a sigh of relief and a loud praising of God before nodding and running up the stairs without so much as a goodbye. Eventually, my date came up as well and saw me standing by the door and glaring at her. She drove me home in near-total silence and I pointedly did not ask if I could see her again or try for so much as a hug. I slammed the door as I got out of her car and stalked back up into my house.
Five minutes later, my friend called me.
‘So, how’d it go?’ he asked me excitedly.
I hung up on him and didn’t talk to him for three days, which is the amount of time it takes my anger to lower from ‘strangle you’ levels to ‘yell at you’ levels.
I have never been on another blind date since and never will again.”