This weeks prompt was "your worst date". I don't think I've ever been anyones ideal date so there are a few to chose from. Well at least I never had to run off and join the Foreign Legion or did I?
IF ONLY I COULD FORGET
The worst date I’ve ever been on. Probably most of them. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was probably many a girl’s worst date. Thankfully I’ve forgotten most of them. I had a lot of dates which were disastrous but most of the time I probably just embarrassed the poor girl who didn’t have clue what she’d let herself in for when she agreed to go out with me. I wasn’t what you would call a ladies’ man but I had certain qualities that probably made me attractive to a certain type of girl so I didn’t have too much bother finding dates but most of the time I didn’t actually want to go on them. It’s not that I wasn’t interested in chasing girls. I did but I just wasn’t that keen on catching them. Steady girlfriends just interfered with drinking and all the other stuff you wanted to do with the lads. Girls were an interesting distraction but all to regularly they would snare one of your mates and before you knew it half the gang was going out with their birds on a Friday night instead of coming out to play. Many a good man was broken by going down the girlfriend route. Men destroyed by love and trying to forget. Boys who were once part of a band of brothers had been snared by woman and become forgotten men. Literature is filled with tales of many good men who joined the French Foreign Legion to forget. A bit extreme perhaps but one date I certainly want to forget resulted in my very own Foreign Legion experience.
I forget her name now. She was blonde, shapely and probably out my league anyway. My mate was really keen on her pal and I was his wing man. I was seventeen, stupid and over confident. She was seventeen, stupidly going out with me and totally unsure about what was happening. I had been drinking in and around Paisley for a while. She hadn’t been in a pub before. Being six foot two generally meant I never needed to use my fake ID and I was up for a pint. She had no ID and wasn’t confident about being served so I played safe and took her to the Friars Hall Hotel. It wasn’t a place I usually frequented but it was a safe haven for underage drinkers and the place many youngsters experienced their first drink on licenced premises so I thought we should be Ok despite her misgivings.
My mate and his bird disappeared into the wall of noise and darkness which was being shattered by flashing lights and ear bursting vibrations. The reek of alcohol and smoke was as strong as the testosterone and hormone fuelled atmosphere that was emanating from the dancefloor. As I tried to walk confidently past the doorman his question confused me. In the blistering noise his words were lost but to this day I’m sure he asked me, “have you got the time?” I lifted my wrist and pulled back my sleeve to illustrate my answer and told him, “naw! I don’t have a watch.”
What happened next wasn’t exactly clever but back in the 70’s, bouncers, as they were known as then, weren’t exactly renowned for their tact, diplomacy and brain power. His three mates suddenly appeared to back him up and after bombarding me with a barrage of abuse. They fired me out the door unceremoniously dumping me on my arse in the street. Thankfully I was fast enough to avoid the follow up kicks and punches but as I scrambled off the air was blue as we argued over their customer service methodology.
My date wasn’t impressed. She wanted to know what I was playing at by starting a fight with the bouncers. “What were you playing at with the gesticulations? You should have just shown them your fake ID instead of winding them up,” she protested. I was gobsmacked. I was innocent. I was the victim and she was blaming me. It slowly dawned on me that my brain was working slower than the four Neanderthal’s on the door. She had heard the bouncer asking “Have you got ID?” My response of lifting my fist and exposing my wrist had been seen as a provocative gesture and my efforts to prove I didn’t have a watch or the time had been interpreted as a declaration of war.
Having just lost that skirmish, I was now fighting a losing battle trying to convince my date I wasn’t really a bad boy and we could still save the night. The other half of the foursome had deserted us and probably with nothing else to do she agreed to go to the pictures.
That was the real disaster. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. There was only one movie we could get into and any seat remotely near the back row was already filled by patrons with no interest in the film. Michael York, Terry Thomas and Peter Ustinov must have lost the plot when they signed up to this one. Signing up for the Foreign Legion would have been less painful than sitting through this movie which strangely enough was all about the Foreign Legion. Marty Feldman’s spoof, The Last Remake of Beau Geste was probably a fateful end to a disastrous evening. After that my date declined to accompany me on any more adventures. To be honest it wasn’t my worst date but it was by far the worst movie I’d ever seen. Cringe worthy, farcical, uncouth, stupid, base, unfunny and full of shit jokes may have been how my date described me but they wouldn’t do justice to how bad the movie was. I’ve long since forgotten the girl but sadly even joining the Foreign Legion could never make me forget how bad that movie was.