The boy has a gift for saying precisely the wrong thing.
Welcome to “Boys and Girls” week, readers! This week is all about boys, girls and the messy things that happen when you throw them together. Shall we begin?
My friend W. (and no, she’s not the President of the United States of America) told me a funny story about her ex-boyfriend. I’m not sure if she realizes it, but I think the story explains why the fact that he’s now her ex might actually be a fantastic stroke of luck.
Her ex, whom I’ll refer to as X., was at a bar called My Apartment. My Apartment is the bottom rung of the cheese ladder in Toronto’s club district, a charmless “meet market” serving up watery proletarian beer and blaring with top 40 garbage and jock rock anthems. I think of it as an embassy for the People’s Republic of Suburbia, where plebians from the 905 area code who commute to work can kick off their Fridays with their co-cubicle-workers, trade stories about the hot chick in accounting and their home entertainment systems and eat dangerousl under-done and over-sauced chcicken wings. It’s the kind of place for people whose Blockbuster rentals in the past month outnumber their book purchases in the past year.
X. was there. Worse still, from the sound of it, he had planned to go there.
While there, he had struck up a conversation with a young woman. During the conversation, he found that that she was engaged. As soon as that fact was known, he was overcome by some desire to see the engagement ring.
“C’mon,” he said, “let me see it.”
“Really, I don’t feel like showing it to you right now.”
“Oh, c’mon. I don’t beleieve you’re getting married. You look too young. What are you, twenty-two? C’mon, let me see the ring.”
This little game of tug-of-war kept going until finally, in a fit of beer-fueled brazeness, he grabbed her hand. This was a big mistake.
As the result of what was probably an industrial accident, she had no fingers.
A few days later, X. was having dinner with W. at a cafe near her house (X. and W. are still on friendly terms). X struck up a conversation with a couple at the table beside them, and told them about the incident with the woman at My Apartment, now that it was safely in the past and usable as a “boy, is my face red” anecdote, the kind of harmless ice-breaking story you tell to people you don’t know well.
Once he finished, the woman at the other table smiled and said, “I’m probably the last person you should’ve that story to.”
She held up both her hands to reveal that she had no thumbs.