The Fox in the Garage Part 8: The Story Of Gary And Me So Far

August 3, 2010

[Linda is holding Terrence and chatting with Sam the Mailman on her driveway.]

-That fox still in there?

-He’s still in there, chewing my hoses like nobody’s business. It’s gotten so bad, I can’t use my hoses anymore. They’re all so gnarly now. Sweet little Terrence doesn’t mind him, though. The other morning they were practically cuddling like they’d just DONE IT and I said, My God, what are you doing? Get up, get up, he could bite at any minute.

-He could. Are you sure you don’t want to me call someone from animal control for you?

-That’s OK. I got a friend coming over tomorrow to kill him. He’s an old friend from ancient history, if you know what I mean. And he better not try anything on me because I got a new friend now. Gary. Putt-putt Gary, ‘member?

-I do. Well. Have yourself a great weekend.

-You got plans this weekend?

-The game on Saturday. We’re playing the Tigers. That’s about it. See ya.

-I got big plans. Gary’s gonna show me the projector he just got. It hooks up to his TV and projects TV shows or movies or what not right on the wall. And it’s huge, he says. He put it in his basement and we’re gonna watch Jurassic Park down there.

-Sounds fun.

-It’s been crazy, him and me. So here’s the story of Gary and me so far: I’m at work one day, going about my day, and in walks this big man. He’s got a Bengal’s jersey on and he’s been drinking. He’s kinda got a beard but he probably wasn’t growing one; he just forgot to shave for a while, which I think is sexy. And he says, I’ll have a Whopper with nothing on it but pickles. And I say, Nothing—

-Nothing but pickles. I know. We talked about this the other day.

-I know, but there’s more to the story now. So I say, Nothing but pickles? That’s a funny order. And he says, That’s the way I like it and you’re supposed to let me have it my way. Which is funny because that’s the old Burger King song, [sings] have it your way. Gary is so funny. And when I give him the Whopper he asks me what time I get off. My boss says nine-thirty but then he also says that Gary is bad news because he likes to come in here drunk and hit on moms. At first I believed him and thought Gary was a creep, but I was so blind back then. My boss is a douchebag. So I just went in the back and kept working as if nothing had happened, as if a golden opportunity hadn’t just walked in and ordered a funny order. But then a few days later Gary came back and left a note and roses for me. I have the note with me right now so let’s read it: How are you? I hope you remember me. I’m Nothing But Pickles. I came here for another Whopper and on my way here I thought about you. These roses are for you. I want to talk to you more. By the way, my real name is Gary and if you wanna call me here’s my number. And that’s his number. So then I was thinking, This guys is so SMOOTH, I better watch out. If he thinks he can come in here and order a strange burger and then a few days later give me note and some roses and then DO IT with me and never call me again, well, he’s never met a customer as tough as me. Some dudes like to hit it and quit it, but that only happens to girls who let themselves be hit and quit.

-OK.

-What you have to do is make sure they can’t quit you. You have to be their sex crack. Like, crack cocaine. That’s my strategy. To be Gary’s sex crack. If you don’t get with the guy on the first or second time you see him then he’ll think you’ve got a problem or something, so you should get with him early on and make it the best time he’s ever gotten with anyone. The next time you see him after that you should say that you don’t actually want a boyfriend and say how much of a hassle having a boyfriend can be. It’s good to talk about your friends’ shitty boyfriends and how unhappy they are together because then he’ll think, Nice. She has all these friends with bad boyfriends so she must not want to have a boyfriend. And though you’re thinking maybe he will want you to be his girlfriend, he doesn’t. He just doesn’t. Maybe he thinks he does when he’s up on you and telling you how good you feel and all that, but he really doesn’t, not unless he’s older, like 28 or 30. But you don’t want him to think that you won’t do it with him because he’s not your boyfriend so you sleep with him and then make him take you out and show him that you’re a fun girl to take out and that you won’t complain about stuff and that you don’t need him to buy you fancy stuff. Ask for a date at Ponderosa; he’ll like that. And when other girls don’t call him back, or if they won’t fuck him unless he’s their boyfriend, he’ll call you and you’ll come over and make him pasta. That will put the idea in his head that you will make food for him so it’s like you’re slowly replacing his mother. But don’t tell him that. You have to worm yourself into his head until he thinks: Linda is a good thing in my life. There’s no hassle with Linda. She won’t let me down and she will make food for me and do it with me just about whenever I want. And after a year of that you tell him he’s more or less your boyfriend so you might as well make it official and if he doesn’t agree then you tell him that he’s ruined your life. And you tell his friends that he cries when he fucks you.

-This has been enlightening, but I should get a move on.

-Real quick let me tell you the rest of Gary and me’s story: So I call him up and say, Hi, it’s Linda from Burger King. Thanks for the roses. I tell him straight up that I want to go out with him because guys don’t want a woman who’s wishy-washy. They want someone who’s like, I’m game, let’s do this. I suggest that we play putt-putt because we can talk during it and because it’s competitive and cute, and also because Luke my ex would never play with me because he thought it was a waste of money. So Gary picks me up. He drives a light blue Toyota Camry because he’s the kind of guy who doesn’t care if you think his car is a piece of shit. And he wore the same Bengal’s jersey that he wore the day we met, probably for two reasons: because he wanted me to think of the day we met and because he wanted me to think that he’s the kind of guy that doesn’t care about what people think about his clothes.

-What player is it?

-Ochocinco. Cool, right?

-Not that cool.

-Anyway, on the way to putt-putt we have this great chat about high school and how he played baseball until he was cut for doing something that wasn’t his fault. He used to party a lot and it turns out we were at the same Fourth of July party but we didn’t know each other back then. Isn’t that crazy? I sang him a Harry Chapin song and he said I had a great voice. And Sam, trust me, I don’t have a great voice. He was just being sweet. Oh, and effing Terrence climbed on his lap like a wild animal.

-So I should get a move on. You can tell me the rest next time.

-Real quick, I swear: So we get the putt-putt place and go in the clubhouse and Gary does all the talking, like a gentlemen. And he pays for everything. Like a gentleman. He even carried the score card. Well, he had to because I was holding Terrence. But he let me keep it afterward as a memento. [she reaches in pocket and pulls out score card and gives it to Sam] Here ya go. He kicked my ass like he knew he would, but I did OK for a first-timer. I told him I was gonna suck but he was so patient with me. Like a fucking gentleman. He even taught me how to hold the putter.

-Let me guess. He got up behind you and put his arms around you when he taught you.

-You know what? YES HE DID. And I know, I know, it’s the oldest trick in the book, and he was rubbing his dick up on my butt, I could feel it, but you know what, who cares? It was innocent. And whatever, I needed a lesson. I was playing so slow that a group of dudes asked to play through. And as they walked by they said, Nice cat, but I think they were being sarcastic dicks about it.

-Well I’m glad you had a nice time. See ya later.

-Wait. I haven’t gotten to the best part. So after we finished playing I said I was thirsty and he said he’d buy me a drink and asked what I wanted. I said, Surprise me, Gary, hoping he would know that I liked Diet Coke. He came back with a Brisk. That ice tea that I hate. But I drank it anyway because the last thing a dude wants is a woman who complains about free stuff.

-That was the best part of the date?

-No. This is the best part: So we’re back in the clubhouse giving our putters back to the guy. And as I hand my putter to him, Terrence wiggles out of my arms and jumps to the ground. He was real scared, and who could blame him? That clubhouse must be a scary place to a cat, with all those putters and colored balls and T-Shirts on the wall. So he starts running around, weaving through folks’ legs. And he’s scratching at shit. It was so funny. He would strut around all slow, rubbing himself on legs and putters that were leaning against the wall. The he’d start up again, hoping from shelf to shelf, knocking down putters. Gary said: I KNEW this was gonna happen. The guy from the putt-putt place got all upset too. He was like: Goddammit. What did I say? I said you could bring the cat as long as you didn’t let it in the clubhouse. Catch him. And I’m like: I’m trying, I’m trying. So I’m calling Terrence and promising him sardines and milk if he settles down. But he won’t settle down. He was having too much fun to settle down. All the folks in the place were petting him. It was the most attention Terrence had gotten in his entire life. The guy from the putt-putt place said he’s gonna call the cops because if Terrence bit someone he’d be liable for it. And I said that Terrence would make a hole-in-one before he bit somebody, mister.

-But you caught him eventually?

-Oh yeah. No big whoop. People get all riled about little things for no reason and they forget to appreciate how funny a thing like a cat loose in putt-putt clubhouse can be. So. After putt-putt we went over to Gary’s place and he showed me a science project he made in high school. He kept it all these years because he said it was the only project he got an A on. How sweet is that? It was about water displacement. You know the Eureka guy, the guy in the bath tub. It was really cool. Gary said he wanted to put me in the tub but I said that was too much for a first date. I just gave him a good handy while we made out on the couch.

[Sam hands her the score card and says] -Later.

NEXT: The Second Hang At The Other Laundromat

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