I was NOT a good thingy.

The Internet’s full of bad date stories, mostly recounted by the victims. But I’ve been a bad date as often as I’ve had them—like that time with the soldiers, and the bruise, and the weed.

What happened was this: I met these two soldiers on my way home from work. They’d just come back from abroad, and I guess I looked good. They looked sort of scruffy, but I gave them my card (which, let me tell you, talk about naff. It was a do-it-yourself job, on print-and-tear cardstock. It had my name* at the top and my number underneath, then a quote from Don Giovanni:

DELL’EMPIO CHE MI TRASSE AL PASSO ESTREMO QUI ATTENDO LA VENDETTA.

It probably should’ve just said “I’M A WANKER.”)

A day or two passed, and these guys rang me up. They asked who I’d like to date, but I’d forgotten their names. I said they could both come and meet me at Bennigan’s, but while I was waiting, it occurred to me I was a teenager on a date with two soldiers. I thought I’d best establish dominance right off the bat. I did this by ordering for them (potato skins for the table!), and by disagreeing with everything they said for about fifteen minutes.

After a while, the conversation turned to work. I’d had a fight on my last shift, a sort of…suicidal scuffle with a gun-wielding prat. (This was in Texas, so you get the odd gunfight.) During my fight, I’d incurred quite a bruise, a great sunset blotch all down my hip. My soldiers wanted to see it, so I took them home for a peek. I let them both kiss it better, which I thought was quite sweet (of me, not of them. They were just being horny).

After that, things got messy. One of my soldiers started rolling a joint. The other went in the kitchen and stole a bunch of beer. I wouldn’t have minded, except it wasn’t my beer. He stole some chicken as well, and tried to feed it to me. By that time, the joint was rolled, and they wanted to smoke. I couldn’t stop them, so I watched them get high. That part was fun: they went all weird and loopy, and they both brushed my hair. One of them put flowers in it, from a bouquet he’d brought. We’d probably have Insta’d that, but it was 1997.

It was nice being fawned over, but the night wore on, the weed wore off, and my soldiers wanted to fuck. The problem with that was, I’d gone all loose and lazy from them playing with my hair. I didn’t want to have sex, especially with two strangers. I said I’d spank them instead, which was clearly a joke, but then they dropped trou, and what could I do? (I got a shoe and beat them silly. What choice did I have?)

Now, it probably sounds like I wasn’t that bad a date. I paid for dinner. I let my dates kiss my bruise and play with my hair. I even let them smoke weed, which stunk up my whole flat. Except, the thing was…it wasn’t my flat. It was some lady’s flat. I was renting a room. That lady woke up from our slapping and squealing, saw we’d snaked her dinner, and came barging in. I blamed the soldiers for everything, the weed and the theft, the racket, the mess. I said they’d come in and refused to go out…and then she threw them out, and I laughed the whole time. (I don’t know, man. Maybe I was second-hand high.)

Anyway, that was a story about me being a bad date and an even worse tenant. Hoo-ah?

(The funny thing is, I always whine about that lady, how she ate my roast pheasant. Or she ate all the trimmings and left just the bird. I can’t remember for sure. It was ages ago. She ate half my dinner, but I ate hers first. I always leave out that part. What an arsehole I am.)

* Well, a name. I think it said “Mary Kelly,” which isn’t my name.

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