After watching the success Evan Marriott had on “Joe Millionaire,” I decided it would be fun to try to create my own reality show. And even though I didn’t have the resources to re-create anything close to the $50 million yarn Fox spun on national TV, I do know how to lie. So I thought, “what is the one thing that girls are attracted to as much as money, if not more?”
The answer: rock stars. Girls love rock stars.
To make the lie more believable, I decided instead of being a current rock star, I would be an ex-rock-star-turned-GW-student. I made up a band, called The Reversals (they never made it big, but I went on a nationwide tour with them before coming to college, and we played in the Warped Tour).
In the spirit of “Joe Millionaire,” at the end of the date, if things had worked out and I wanted to ask for a phone number, I would have to reveal the lie and explain I had never been in any band, much less a popular one. So I put an ad in The Hatchet asking if anyone was “interested in dating an ex-musician” and waited for some unsuspecting girl to e-mail back. Eventually, Alicia responded to the call.
Things got off to a good enough start when we met at The Hatchet office. Alicia was by no means unattractive and she seemed impressed when I told her The Reversals had played the Warped Tour, which she had heard of.
“That’s really cool,” she said. I made up some stories about what it was like to play in front of fans who weren’t really there to see you, but the band after you and attempted to explain why we never recorded an album.
I figured if I was going to be a believable ex-rock star, I should smoke a lot of cigarettes during the date. This didn’t go over that well, because it turned out Alicia was allergic to cigarette smoke. And when we got to the Froggy Bottom Pub, it turned out she was also allergic to beer.
“Do they have strawberry margaritas?” she asked.
“I don’t think so,” I said. “Do you want a mixed drink?”
“No, that’s OK. I’ll just have a water.”
So I hit the bar and came back with one beer and one water. Considering her allergies, the smoky, beer-filled tavern was a less- than-perfect location. I pulled out the tape recorder and asked her to say something amusing so I could test if it was recording or not.
“Something amusing,” she said.
After I had run out of fake rock star stories to tell, we ended up just talking about the same stuff people talk about when they’re first introduced. Because we are both seniors, I asked her if she had any plans for next year.
“I want to work in a women’s organization in China. That’s my minor. Women’s studies,” she said.
Just then, John Mayer came on the stereo.
“Do you like John Mayer?” I asked.
“He’s all right. But no, I don’t really like him. And I’m not attracted to him, either. Everyone thinks he’s hot, but whatever,” Alicia responded.
I agreed. John Mayer sucks. But aside from both disliking John Mayer and both having allergies (I can’t eat peanuts), we were pretty much out of things to talk about. Even though I had a cold at the time and was on a lot of cold medication, all of which read, “DO NOT MIX WITH ALCOHOL,” I figured I’d take my chances and took a large gulp of my beer.
“All my friends were teasing me about the date, saying that I was going to go out with a Hanson brother,” she said.
“That would have been awesome. Although their follow-up album was not nearly as good as their first,” I said. And with that I just admitted to having listened to and possibly purchased a Hanson CD. Any ex-rock star coolness I might have still had going for me instantly vanished at that point.
“But the first album was sooo good,” I said, digging my hole even deeper.
It turned out Alicia’s beer allergy stemmed from the fact that she can’t eat wheat.
“I think it has something to do with the hops they use. I can’t eat wheat bread, either,” Alicia said.
“Can you eat white bread?” I asked. God, that was a dumb thing to say.
“No because that’s also made with wheat.”
“Yeah, of course.”
Then we talked about allergies some more and how you’d think evolution would have taken care of them for us by now. We talked about wisdom teeth and how it sucks that we have to get them removed. Then we stared at the tape recorder and talked to our photographer, Jeff, and checked out his digital camera. It was really nice. She started complaining about the smoke. The area was a little smoky, but not at all that bad for a bar.
I finally finished my beer and asked if she wanted to go someplace else to get something to eat. I was kind of ready to go home, but it would have felt like cheating if we went home too soon. Reality dating shows are all about forcing people who don’t get along to spend as much time together as possible.
Because I had selected Froggy, I asked her where she wanted to go next.
It turned out that our photographer was still a freshman with an excess of points and, with a little pleading, Alicia convinced him to treat us both to dinner at J Street. On the way there, I had another cigarette, even though I really didn’t want one, just to keep up with my ex-rock star persona. When we got to J Street, I threw it on the ground.
“Oh no,” she said. “Tell me you’re going to pick that up.”
I looked at the butt lying on the ground. “How ’bout if I just kick it to the curb.” I kicked it and it landed next to several other discarded butts. “Better?”
“No,” she said. “What if some animal comes along and tries to eat it?”
“Oh please,” I said. “This is the city. I’m sure that the squirrels and pigeons have figured out not to eat cigarettes butts by now.”
“How do you know? They have really small brains,” Alicia said.
“Well, maybe they really like cigarette butts,” I said, trying a different approach. “It’s toasted whole leaf tobacco. Maybe it’s like a special treat for them.”
She continued to look at me. I asked her what real harm it was doing on the street.
“It’s bad because people like me have to look at it and walk over it and animals could eat it.”
There are no ash trays outside J Street anymore, so I asked her what I should do with the butt.
“Throw it in the trashcan,” she said.
“All right,” I said. “But if I start a fire, it’s your fault.”
Inside J Street she excused herself to use the bathroom and I realized I had completely forgotten her name. I asked Jeff the photographer if he remembered it, but funnily enough, he couldn’t either. So I had to call my editor at The Hatchet office on my cell phone.
“Her name’s Alicia. A-lish-a,” she said.
“Thanks,” I replied, just as Alicia was coming out of the bathroom.
We got some sushi with Jeff’s GWorld card and went up to the Hippodrome to eat because the main dining hall was fairly crowded.
It was getting abundantly clear at this point that the date wasn’t going anywhere at all. So finally Jeff decided to go, saying he had more than enough photos for the article. Having our date declared dead by our photographer, we both decided it was a good time to go home. At this point, I knew that a second date wouldn’t happen, so I didn’t bother to tell her that I wasn’t a musician. No numbers were exchanged and I got home just as the alcohol and cold medication were mixing together in one beautiful concoction and I took a five-hour nap.
Alicia was a nice enough girl, but unless I find myself in China campaigning for women’s rights issues in the future, I doubt I’ll have a reason to look her up again. However, it should be noted that, thanks to Jeff’s meal points, I managed to spend only three dollars on the entire date.