Courting the Ladies

Readers of this blog will have picked out the various, highly-successful courting tips that we have dropped across various posts.  If you are a new reader, or someone of poor memory you can read about meatballs, multi-colored sneakers, and the $300 wardrobe.  Aside from those colossally effective tips I have some more for those still on the auction block.

Often you can learn even more from failure than success.  By now we should have volumes of useful knowledge.  Unfortunately we are left a pile of failures, but we like to think of some of these as sort of successful.

The first of these tips is more for camp counselors.  I was at a week long camp in the Catskill Mountains.  This was a co-ed camp for budding young adults between the ages of 13-15. They could have called it “Caligula Camp” given barely supervised new teens about to burst with seminal fluids. The best example is a game I call “Blind Grope”.

They took us all into a large, flat, open grass field. The camp counsellors stood at the borders to keep us corralled in the field. They blindfolded all of us and set us out. The object was to find the murderer before everyone was dead. A few people were murderers and a few more police, and the rest where bystanders. When you touched a person you both paused a moment. Bystanders say nothing. If someone whispers “murder” then you scream “MURDER” (causing the other bind players fleeing the area – only walking, no running). The police whispered police and if you were a murderer you where then caught.

The real “objective” was simple. Grab some boob. As you would expect, and as I confirmed when I was finally “murdered”, hence leaving the field of play and removing my blindfold with the other victims, was the boys expended one are out to encounter boobage, and the other arm jealously guarded the package. The boys moved about quickly to cover as much area as possible, obviously spending more time if they ran into a girl. The girls were well informed to take small, quiet steps and used both arms to fully protect their upper assets.

When you were “out” and got to watch the field of play it was very entertaining. The climax of the game was one girl who took the offensive. She had either played this game before, or was well aware of the perverted minds of young boys. Instead of guarding herself, she moved with brisk steps of force with her arms pistoning forward in a downward angle. This action felled more than a few boys. She seems to have a sense for boys approaching as she never caused damage to another female. I expect she is a CEO somewhere today.

The next tale of courtship also took place in a camping situation. This time there where only a few of us, and we took a canoeing trip for a week in Canada. We spent most of the week on a peninsula on one side of a lake. The lake was bordered by mostly permanent residents, but a few homes rented out for the summer. The one directly across form out camp site was rented to two older women who we watched for two days as they utterly failed to use a canoe. They were drunk every time we saw them. While some people drunk dial and others wander the Tops isle, still other try to get into a canoe. They continuously fell into the water and screamed at each other.

After two days they managed to get into the canoe, but also padding in the same direction, thus managing to propel themselves across the lake and towards us. As they approached all staring in order to get a closer view at what a train-wreck looks like close up. Suddenly they came into focus. Our eyes were torn asunder by the vision of two nasty old drunks that were topless this entire time. As we averted out eyes to avoid permanent blindness, we heard the cry of the Northern Light Hag, “Get a good look perverts!”

I cannot leave this particular story with such a crime against nature. During the canoeing to the peninsula we portaged (that means carry your fucking canoe over land) across an all girls camp. Enjoying the brief time, but soon forgetting about it we were surprised a few days later, to see some of the females from this camp canoeing towards us. They setup camp no more than 20 yards away. Their 19-ish women counselor was as lacks as our 19-ish male counsellor.

I should mention that there is normally a qualified staff member with these canoeing expeditions, but they ran out of staff and since our guide lived in the area, was 19, and had been on the trip a few times they deputized him. He lead us away from the normal paths, and into a den of disgust (the old women above) and love (see below).

The female campers were no match for the combination of Canadian wildlife, a sparking lake, and dirty boys catching frogs. Through some Druidic magic the even closed as were paired up around a roaring fire. Each couple encased in their own blanket. Being a gentleman I shant disclose what may or may not have occurred that night under the stars.

Now we will leave the romantic camping settings and escape to a simple phrase handed down from a guru of lotharioism. The proper procedure, according to this casanova is to whisper gently into a woman’s ear, “I want to eat you into utter submission.” Like an angry Republican from Texas the shock and awe of this statement will roll over her with such speed as to leave her defenses shattered. I cannot give any further details, but I will back up the perhaps surprising performance of this quip with a statistic. Two out of three times this has been employed it has bet with success.

The occasionally mentioned, but universally loved Rob gives us our next parable of love. Rob had been in a prolonged dry spell when New Year’s Eve rolled around. Many of the usual crew were gathered at our beloved Anacone’s. After the compulsory toast at the stroke of midnight we actually engaged in a round of declaring resolutions. When it came upon Rob to make his decree he raise his glass and gleefully yelled out, “I declare this The Year of Rob!” He consummated the proclamation by grabbing the mammary gland of the woman next to him. Again we witnessed shock and awe. It was a good thing the woman was a friend of ours. As this was out of character, and he had imbibed several quotas of intoxicants there was no rebut. Over the next year Rob made good. He found a new girlfriend that lasted several years.

The New Year’s following the successful year of Rob leads us into our final tale of seduction. I made a similar decree as to being “The Year of Aaron.” holding more of a strict character than Rob I set forth a rule. “I will ask out at least one new woman a month.” In January I asked out Chris’s sister, but given he pervious exposure to my juvenile antics there was not surprise on either part to the answer. February I asked out some woman I can’t recall other than this we of a slightly more serious attempt that the paper-attempt of January. No dice. With March approaching I had used my two options for asking out a woman without any fear. Now I knew I had to actually encounter a real life situation.

In preparation I read “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” This seemed to be a useful skill to acquire, no matter what kind of “conquest” you were out for. The point from this well-known tome that stuck with me is the tactic of asking a person two questions they cannot say no to before getting to the real question on the third try. The idea is that they are in the habit of saying yes with the first two questions, so that when you get to the third they will reactively say yes.

I set my sights on a buxom woman who was playing volleyball in Delaware Park. This is when Chris and I had been playing weekly volleyball with the alternatives. I later learned they did not like this woman. During the game I managed to flirt successfully with her. Before I knew it the game was over and people began to leave. She was only an occasional player so I knew I had to make my move. I volunteered to stay and help take down the equipment. Chris and JP where present and both knew what I was up to. They left, hiding out in the nearby parking lot so as to be the first to find out what happened. I continued the flirting, ask me not what I did exactly as I was in a haze. As I walked with her to her car I entered stage one. Damn! I was still surrounded by a cloudy haze. I had asked question one, but I did not know what I said! I have blown it already!

I saw her mouth move, and hear a “Yes.” Somehow I had not shot my self in the foot. I had to expunge this cloud out of my hear and think clearly. Before I could clear my head entirely I found I was already half way through my second question! What the hell was I gonna do now? I had no choice but to complete my question. Now I was done for sure. I managed to clear my head, now awaiting a sure-fired denial to an unknown question.

Somehow my luck held as I was gifted with a miraculous second affirmative. Now I was where I wanted to be. I finally had a clear mind. I had put in the pre-work, and all I had to close the deal with deliver my closer. I took a breath and confidently fired my final salvo. “Do you eat?” Her response was a collage of confusion and smirk. “What?” was her reply. I then asked he out, to which she told me she was engaged. I was still elated as I had executed my plan and it did not end in catastrophe. We parted and i started the trek towards the parking lot to make my after action report. As I strutted away, proud in my own accomplishment, I heard her yell. “Hey!” I looked back, her voluminous upper half protruding from her car door. “Nice line.”

And with an Aesoply ending I leave you with this. Into every life a little love must stumble, even if by remarkable luck, but place your bet upon a tactic of shock and awe.

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The Official Story: Dan

Dan has previously posted the details of some of the minor Comstock characters. But who is this main character himself? In what may become a series I present to you an in depth look at the man himself, Dan.

To coincide with the title of this piece let us start with where Dan came from. Dan started as an unknown freshman at a well known local Catholic school. Dan and another unknown freshman, Matt, crossed paths, and found there was something of a friendship there. I do not know the details of their first meeting, perhaps they themselves can shed light on that incident. Who would have guessed the road their chance meeting led them down. The important thing was that it was Dan’s fault we all come to know Dan, and it was Matt’s fault we all came to know Dan.

When this duo encroached upon the gamer club at said Catholic school the radius of their infection was astonishing. Not only sinking claws into other students, but reaching into across two-lane roads that should have been four lane roads. A surprisingly long half-life did this collision of carbon did have. I myself felt safe, but through my friendship with Louis I was infected.

Dan is someone you have to experience. I used to feel I had to interact with him in order to keep an eye on him, and while that was true for a period, the majority of the time I wanted to see what weird people and experiences he would bring about. Life is to be enjoyed, so if you ever have a “Dan” in your life, I suggest you get all you can from the relationship. Although you need to take a break from Dan every now and then.

I am not going to attempt to organize the following incidents in any fashion, as that would be counter to the spirit of “Dan”. So here they are, strewn about, much like your sense of decency after encountering Dan.

Dan has a knack of making a lasting impression on almost anything he encounters. I obtained a board game about computer hacking. The player in the lead, at the end of each round, was given a cardboard shuiken and declared the “Net Ninja”. As with any game our group took part in, the fun was being a jerk within the rules. As such, when Dan became the “Net Ninja” he made a motion across the table as if to “hit” us all with the shuriken and boisterously declaired, “I am the Net Ninja! WHAAAAAA!”

You have already heard of Dan’s Dashwood Society. There is a lost video I saw once of the antics of the Society one Friday Medicine Hour. This included Mucabala Dan running naked, except for a long fake beard through the Tops parking lot. Another portion was Dan himself, in his Reverend garb, drinking a conyak and being interviewed by Brian. The interview was a good 45 minutes long, and as the interview progressed Dan threw more sheets to the wind, and became more belligerent. Hard to imagine.

Dan was an early inscribed name on The Plaque along with the original name, that being of Larry. A rare evening together with the two forces of chaos gave us witness to this exchange:

Larry: *blah, blah, blah* anal sex *blah, blah, blah*
Dan: *blah, blah, blah* anal sex *blah, blah, blah*
Larry: “There are no feelings for her when you are about to finish. Those last few strokes are POWER strokes.”
Dan: “They ARE!”

GENEROSITY

Every now and again Dan would surprise us with his generosity, like when he was approved for a Discover card. Suddenly he was always offering to buy you a Coke or coffee at Denny’s or Tom’s. These where his favorite late night hang outs. Often with himself, writing, and finding more strange creatures of the night.

The most generous display of Dan’s generosity was already detailed in The Night of Revelations, but another generous moment was when Dan showed up to our weekly “poker” night with Sake. This was a time of relative inexperience with the world, and so the knowledge that Sake was to be served warm was unknown to any of us. Despite that lack of critical knowledge, the sign of the Sake coming in a giant jug should have been a tip off. Dan, Rob, and myself where quite eager to sip the Oriental treat. We all took at a swig, and the taste was dreadful. We all endeavored to complete the glass we had already drawn. Dan gave up, while Rob and I finished the glass, the worse for doing so. Recanting this story invokes responses of dejected head shaking.

When we all used to get together Sundays Dan would show up early (which was merely on time) in order to perform a dramatic reading of the Weekly World News. It was a chargeable performance listening to the normal stories of “Bat Boy Found!” and the readings of “Dear Abby” which Dan was particularly fond of since she answered her letters in a a Dan-esque manner, i.e. “Dear Loser, Get a life and stop bothering me.”.

SIDEKICKS

I arrived at Dan’s place to pick him up, and as usual, waited for him to finish whatever he was doing (never ask) in the kitchen. I took note of a new addition – a fresh hole in the wall. I say fresh because I had been in the kitchen two days prior, and no hole was present. When Dan emerged I inquired. “Oh, Mucabala Dan did that with a dildo.”

As we can judge by the high popularity of the Tracy Mehm post some of you remember when the story of this Dan associate was in the news. Some may remember another story in the news. The story of a naked man stuck on Goat Island, and how they had to helicopter him to safety. The man was drunk and jumped into the river to ride over Niagara Falls. The extreme cold of the river sobered him immediately. He managed to get to Goat Island before plummeting over the Falls, although the raging water stripped him of his clothes. This young man of good judgement was stuck on the island until morning. A good use of the $10,000 it cost to rescue him. This was one of Dan’s friends.

PERSONALITY

Dan is never one to shy away from awkward situations, especially if that means having a conversations with total strangers. When Louis was about to leave the state for grad school we where all over at his place for a party.

Louis: *slight panic* “Hey! Where’s Dan?” (it is always wise to keep an eye on the whereabouts of Dan at a party)
Aaron: “Last I saw he was outside.”

Dan was indeed outside. He had become a welcome member of the table old retired guys drinking and smoking in the car port. They all loved Dan. This brings me to another point about Dan, at least the old Dan. When I brought Chris around I wanted him about Dan. I said if he is nice to you he is setting you up for something. Just to get to me, Dan was always nice to Chris.

When Mike’s wedding came around I was curious as to who I would be sitting at my table. I thought perhaps Paul, if he showed, but I knew, as soon as I learnt he was attending, Dan would be there, and so I was not worried about a boring time, with no stories. Dan rambled on to a female guest at the table for 15 minutes before she revealed he already knew her. Dan quickly recovered and then hit on her pregnant friend, who was married, but the husband was out of the country (they where in the military). I later found Dan and Mike’s mom laughing it up on the balcony during a smoke break. Still more humorous was that Dan had rented a car for the first time to drive up to the wedding. What does he pick as his first rental car? A bright red Corvette, manual, which Dan does not know how to drive. I watched in amusement as he “drove” (jerked) away with a smile.

SKILLS

Dan has dipped his toe into the cooking water. He attempted to make jell-o form his own toe nail clippings. It takes a lot of clippings to have enough for jell-o. Dan was kind enough to leave these in a CLEAR container on the kitchen counter for all to see. Tragically, Dan’s mom threw out the container, thinking it something gone bad when Dan had near collected enough. Distraught, he tried again, and successfully made a smaller batch. I don’t know who tasted the finished product, but I’m sure that feat earned them a place in the Dashwood Society.

Dan has dabbled in the arts as well. For a time he created a comic strip “Unspeakably Violent Jack”. As with many things, Dan drew inspiration from him friends. The “Unspeakably Violent Jack” character was based on his own, thank god only, imagination. Other reoccurring characters where “Dastardly Evil Matt” (Matt), “Cubicly Rubix Louis” (Louis), and “Musically Bloated Brian” (Brian). There are others that hopefully Dan will remind us of, and more importantly I hope Dan can post the comics themselves. To show this is a seasonal post, I recall one of the comics that outlined how to head-butt Santa from the back and push his skull out his face.

Perhaps Dan’s most impressive skill was self-gratification. In the middle of Denny’s he boasted ho he could masturbate without using his hands. And immediately proceeded to demonstrate by holding his arms in the arm, and gyrating his pelvis in an unspeakable manner. The typical Dan grin was fully apparent. Dan must have been exceptionally successful that night for no more than 30 seconds of god-less pelvis gyrating has passed before he quickly excused himself to the restroom.

For better or worse you now know more about the character of “Dan”.

Origins of the Madisons

Many moons ago. White Men come to Dennys…

It was the halcyon days of youth (over 11 years ago). We were 23 and spending too much time at Dennys and other unreputable spots; smoking, laughing, drinking coffee, and talking lots and lots of shit. An entire night’s entertainment for only $1.25 plus tip.

Those were the days when we were passionate and argued loudly about shit that:

A. Doesn’t matter, and

B. Was completely out of our control.

Still the energy was there. The pumping explosion of adrenaline that coursed through you and gave a soaring high. As we spoke and yelled and laughed, the elation was sustained by every drop of coffee and puff of smoke. The mind was razor tight, and words tumbled from the lips without thought or hesitation. You became a vehicle for the divine, an inspired object, and it was beautiful. It was so euphoric that you could barely remember what was said, and later some person would come up and say,

“Hey Dan. Remember when last week when you pissed off that Southern Girl; you asked if her parents met through mail order?”

And all that remained was the dimmest of recollections. Still the longing for the next night of bullshit and laughter never ceased. This was all done without the use of drugs or alcohol.

There were many circling through our cabal then. Many who were only half seen at Comstock, many who weren’t seen at all. The Dashwood Society was in full swing, and we were legion: Myself “The Reverend”, Big Brian, Jeff Death, Mahatma Nick, Dr. I, Gay Bill, Dr. Harkey, Ensign Raiff “Flying Armadillo Boy“, Nurse Pam, Eric the Martyr, Lint, Withy, Counter Frank, Big Chief Strait-Jacket, Mr. Craik, The Mystery Man, Beldar Boy, Furher Frank, Crazy Lisa, Porno Lisa, Monkey Head, Some Pregnant Blonde, Ranji, Mattress Boy, Loudmouth Dan, Fat Frank, Shark Man, Disco Dan “The Dancing Man”, The Greatful Head, Coffee John, Saigon, Crazy Cooney (Whose ex-wife apparently started Sesame Street), Psycho Carrie, Amy, etc.. (This is excluding Comstock regulars, Rocky members, gaming guys, and the Frank Clan.)

And out of all of them, I know the whereabouts of, perhaps, 5. I’ve got anecdotes and stories of what happened to them, but nothing within the last 5 years.

With all of this talent, we had very little achieved to our credit. The Burroughs Show, which I wasn’t involved in, Big Brian put together, and used many Dashwood regulars, the possession of some animal pornography tapes, plus piss and shit eating films, (This was in the days before you could find it so easily on the internet) and that was all. The Madison-Felix Awards were our longest lasting and crowning achievement, and it came by accident.

The year was 1994. The Academy Awards were over, and we were pissed. The Best Actor category was of particular interest to us. We were rooting for Nigel Hawthorne in “The Madness of King George.” We loved the movie, every second of it. “If there’s any justice in the world,” We cried,” he should win!”

He lost.

Best Actor went to Tom Hanks for “Forest Gump.” A film about a retard who sits on a bench and harasses strangers. We were shocked, appalled, livid, and carried on like, in the long run, it really mattered, or would affect our lives. Which it did.

The night was waxing on, as we were, occupying a booth at Dennys. Three that night: Myself, Big Brian, and Saigon. Big Brian (for those outside the know) looks like a big hippy Woody Allen. He perpetually wears black on black over his massive frame, a tilted beret on his head, full of curling locks. The smell of nicotine and stale tar constantly wafts about him. A consummate smoke hound, he used to keep a metal bowl full of his butts and when he was low on cash, would root through it looking for any scrap of unburnt tobacco, and assemble a make shift cigarette. One of those bizarre geniuses that bottomed out in High School, and only his natural Irish perverseness kept him from achieving later academic success. He’s the only person that I’ve met that actually learned to speak French in a High School French class, yet he failed the class. 6’4” with a size 15 shoe, and a boxing trainer, he was definitely a person who could intimidate. Yet short skinny guys with toothpick arms always seemed confident that they could beat him up. Eric the Martyr was one, Schultz another.

Saigon was a mad scientist in the making. A walking encyclopedia and had a natural intelligence that could give Louis a run for his money. He was studying genetic engineering at the time, and in his odd reserved-yet-gleeful manner, showed off his strain of flies-without-wings that he had developed. He was extremely skinny with a shaved head, and an intense emaciated look with large eyes that just stared. He looked like a death camp survivor who had fattened himself up to 92 pounds a few weeks after Auschwitz.

The diner was packed that night. Pat Travers had been playing the town, and the place was full of every drunken mullet in North Tonawanda. We ignored this, concentrating on our bitching and whining. Oh the humanity!

We reached a crescendo, when finally an illiterate from the next booth turned his boil laden neck and yelled, “Shut the fuck up. You don’t like it, do your own fucking show.” Then erupted into laughter with the rest of the car wash attendants, with whom he was sharing his dining experience.

Inspiration! That was it! We would do our own show. How hard could it be? We would show this person, whom we never saw again. And Toothless Jim, if you can read this, my hat is off to you sir! Without your wit and candor we may have wallowed in obscurity until our nether days. Yea beyond even.

We were The Eggmen! The world was our walrus! We descended on the task with fevered impulses. What would we call it? “The Felixes.” Our Felix Unger to Hollywood’s Oscar Madison. And we created categories that people actually cared about, like “Best Key grip”, “Best Best Boy”, “Best Gaffer”, “Most Annoying Use of a Child in a Film”, “The William Shatner Award for Acting Excellence”, “The Alan Ormsby Award for Over Acting Achievement”, “Best Unintentional Cameo”, “ Most Predictable Plot”, “Pretty Boy Actor You’d Most Like to Whack”, “Ditzy Actress you Most Like to Strangle”, “Best Comedic Performance in a Non-Comedic Role” (Which turned into our nastiest category, The Miracle Worker anyone? When she learns to say “Waaaater“), and the list goes on. Plus our Lifetime Achievement Awards given to people everyone knew, but were never recognized by the industry. You’re welcome, George Peppard.

And we needed an award, a symbol for our step into the limelight. We always said that the Madisons had an operating budget of five dollars, but we went all out for the award. A faux marble base was obtained from some downtown shack. We took a Kodak VHS cassette (the fancy kind) and liberally decorated it with glittering golden spray paint. Using the finest store bought Krazy Glue, we affixed our golden symbol to it’s base, and viola; history was born.

We assembled our tapes and, using the magic of two VCRs hooked up to each other, we created the master tape (which has since been lost to the ages). The first year was held in the back of a bar. I forget the name, but it had a TV arraigned around a few tables. Brian and myself presented it, but kept tripping over each other’s feet, so it was decided that Brian should handle it after that. The first show was a mild success. People came, ate and had a few chuckles. The highlight, to me, was Fat Frank, giving away the award for, “Best Plot for an Ernest Film”, standing at the podium, waxing philosophical about how wonderful and inspiring the Ernest films were to him.

To be honest, Big Brian and I had initially considered the show a one time joke. We would do it, have a few laughs, and then move on. Then something happened. I’m not sure about Brian, but I was unsatisfied with the the way it turned out. I wanted something bigger. Brian, I figured, thought that the joke could last as well. One day we looked at each other and said, “You know that awards show was fun. We should do it again.” And it turned from a one time joke into an annual event.

We pressed on and found our home for the next decade, The Screening Room. A place of wonder and enjoyment. The screen filled an entire side of a wall. The tables were café style, with candles on them. Beer and wine was served. Smoking was allowed (Always a prerequisite for Brian). It could be had cheap, and the owner was a film buff. It was perfect. We rented it for a night, and made ourselves at home.

Then disaster struck. I discovered that there was another awards show called The Felixes. Imagine the horror to know someone had ripped off your idea 5 years before you had even thought of it. Brian was informed and we deliberated. The natural solution was presented and pounced upon. We changed the name.

We were now The Madisons. A crisp alluring name, for the discriminating executive. All was right with the world, except for the bad taste in my mouth, I had really liked the name Felix. Another year passed and we discovered that the Felixes had folded. HA! Brian and I deliberated again, this time in confidence, and decided not to drop the name Madison. After all they were both the show. Flip sides of the same coin. So we created an amalgamation, so we were dubbed, and remained, “The Madison-Felix Awards.”

There is no room here to describe all of the stories surrounding “The Madison-Felix Awards,” but I will tell some in the future. We lasted for 10 years (9 longer than we thought we would). We went through rejection letters from the stars, cease-and desist letters from lawyers, a potential lawsuit from the Academy Awards (how they found out about us, I don’t know), and almost had an honest-to-God celebrity show up.

The show was more than a show. As we all grew and drifted apart, it was the one time when people who normally didn’t see each other would come together and enjoy themselves. People I wouldn’t see for another year. I miss it. Good bye old friend, and rest in peace.

We All Have our Crosses to Bear

I can’t quite remember which year this occurred, but I am fairly certain it would have been 1993 or 1994. Matt was driving his father’s pickup truck and agreed to take a few of my family members up to the Brighton Field Days. Brighton Field Days was a local event in our neighborhood in which the volunteer fire company sold a lot of beer to drunks in a beer tent, for fundraising purposes. In any case, Matt was driving, I was in the middle of the seat, and my father was in the passenger seat (not exactly sober already). My sister and her friend were in the bed of the pickup truck.

It turns out that Matt was not very proficient at driving the truck, and made a lane switch to the right side without looking. Lower than the pickup truck, and cruising near the truck’s blind spot anyhow, was some kind of low-rider car. It had to slam on its brakes and go off the road, tires squealing and bumping as it jumped the curb in front of the Dairy Queen. Matt was planning to drop us off there anyhow, and I have no idea whether he pulled over because of the near catastrophe or just because he was in a fog (as usual), but we stopped and got out of the car. Naturally, the two guys in the car that we almost steamrolled got out too, and they were none too happy.

“HOW MANY FUCKING LANES DO YOU PEOPLE TAKE UP!?!?!” the guy shouted as he got out of the driver’s seat and moved forward. At this point, Matt cowered in the driver’s seat and my dad exited out of the right hand side. In his slow, semi-drunken way, my father responded:

“Apparently, a few more than you were willing to give.”

This was not the response that the hostile driver was expecting. He began to sputter as he blurted out:

“But you almost ran us off the god damn road!”

My dad shuffled forward a bit further and stated, nonchalantly: “We all have our crosses to bear, son.”

Now this guy, who had gotten out of the car full of anger and ready to kick Matt’s ass, was completely dumbfounded. I honestly think he had no clue what the hell to say to that. In any case, he was at the front of his car and his passenger was just giving us a completely blank look (in shock). The driver tried one more time, stuttering as he said:

“But.. but… I had to go up on the curb to get out of your way! You almost ran into my car!”

My dad responded by thrusting out his hand and grabbing the driver’s hand in a firm handshake. He loudly said, with no hesitation whatsoever:

“Great move! You just avoided an accident!”

With this congratulations, he literally put the guy back into his car by the shoulder (and, I should note, into the wrong side of the vehicle) – then walked away, as did the rest of us. Matt took off before anything else could occur and I looked back to see the driver shaking his head in disbelief as he returned to the driver’s side of the car. Since that day, I will always remember Matt’s obliviousness, which was only eclipsed by the driver’s blank look and inability to respond to my dad’s incongruous, almost shockingly calm, responses.