Pages Menu
TwitterFacebooklogin
Categories Menu

Posted by on Feb 14, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 0 comments

What’s the Worst Date You’ve Ever Been On?

 

 

Happy Valentines Day!

Let’s do something different.  Today, we’re going to have a little fun.  We’ve earned it, right?  On this special occasion, we’re going to try and recall the absolute worst dates of our lives.

I considered asking my faithful readers to post stories about their best dates.  It is Valentines Day, after all.  Thing is, the very best dates either lead to weddings, or if they’re truly amazing — maybe really wild and happened at the end of the night which might best remain unspoken.

So instead, let’s find some common ground and focus on the worst dates we’ve ever had.  Everyone’s been on a bad date, so we should all be able to play along.

I got married at age 29.  That means I spent about ten years playing the dating game.  Like most everyone, I went out on some good dates and some bad dates.  Most of them, I don’t remember much.

But I sure remember a Saturday night that happened sometime in 1987.

My worst date happened when I was around 25.  I met a girl somewhere, I forgot where exactly.  Attracted to the girl, I gave her my phone number and asked to call if she wanted to go out sometime.  To my surprise, she called just a few days later.  We talked for a few minutes and agreed that I’d pick her up Saturday night and take her out to dinner.  We may even have discussed going to a movie, as well.  I think Platoon had just been released.

Saturday comes around and I’m supposed to pick her up promptly at 6.  I get into my car and the piece of shit won’t start.  The bastard battery was dead.  Frantic, I tried getting a jump start but didn’t have any jumper cables.  Utterly desperate for transport and the clock ticking fast to 6, I called up my friend, Iranian Mike, a gambling buddy of mine who lived about a mile away.  I begged him to borrow his car for the night.  He said okay.  Iranian Mike even agreed to drive his car over and let me have it so I wouldn’t be late for my date.  Man, what a pal.  I think he might have owed me some money, so this made us even.

When Iranian Mike pulled into my apartment complex, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  He drove a dark blue Oldsmobile.  A Cutlass.  It was filthy.  There was dog hair all over the seats.  He had a small Shitzhu and the dog rode in the car all the time.  It was summer in Texas, so the dog shedded like crazy.  Worse, Iranian Mike’s car had a flat tire a few days earlier and was riding on one of those small donut-shaped emergency tires that was only intended as a temporary replacement to make it to a service station.  Iranian Mike tossed me the keys and told me to bring it back in one piece.

I can’t even fathom what must have gone through the girl’s head when I pulled in to pick her up, driving that dark blue Oldsmobile Cutlass of a shitbox with dog hair all over the seats and a tiny tire that made the car pull off to one side.

Hey, the night was still young.  Then, things went downhill from there.

I feel bad not remembering the girl’s name, right now.  So, I have to call her “the girl.”  If you’re reading — sorry girl.  She listened to my sob story about the car not starting and having to borrow a friend’s car at the last second.  I think she kinda’ appreciated the effort.  She even believed me for a second.

We pulled into one of the best Italian restaurants in North Dallas, Lombardi’s on Lower Greenville.  This was my go-to place.  Great food.  Live jazz on weekends.  I’d even made a dinner reservation in advance.  What a gentleman.  A player.

The next 90 minutes were excruciating.  Ever been in a confined space, trapped in a sit-down situation, and within 5 minutes you know it’s already a disaster?  How about this:  Ever been crucified?  That was this date.

We had absolutely nothing in common.  I mean, nothing.  Everything she liked and enjoyed, I detested.  Every topic I brought up, she took no interest in.  But, she had a great ass.  Man, I couldn’t get the check fast enough.

We both went through the motions.  We gave it the old college try.  I remember as we were looking across at each other one of those cozy two-top tables meant for couples truly in love, recalling that many odd relationships start off sailing on rough seas before calmer waters.  Indeed, many love affairs do begin when the two people can’t stand each other.  But this wasn’t that.  She didn’t dislike me.  And I didn’t dislike her.  The date pretty much just ended up like walking up to a stranger on a bus and saying, “hey, let’s hang out together for a couple of hours.”  What would one expect?  Rolling the dice like that, what are the odds it’s going to work out and you’re going to keep hitting your point?  Dating is/was just a numbers game.  Keep tossing and eventually, you hit the 7.  But along the way, there’s a few boxcars and snake-eyes.  This date wasn’t like crapping out.  It was like misfiring with two dice bounding off the table.  A miscue.  A bad roll.

The waiter brought over the check and by this time there was no chance in hell we were going to that movie.  Even if I really wanted to see Platoon.  All I wanted to do was pack her into the passenger seat with all the grey dog hair and wheel her back to her street, prop open the side door, and slow down enough to let her get a running start when the stilettos hit the asphalt.

But first I had to pay the bill.

Uh oh.

Dallas — we have a problem.  When I reached for the check that’s when I suddenly realized this night was about to become so far beyond a humiliation that I think I just lost it right then and there and began to burst out laughing.

A few hours earlier while trying to find a jump start for the car, I’d switched jackets.  That meant I’d left my billfold in the other coat pocket.  The billfold had all my money and credit cards.  So, I was sitting at a dinner table on a Saturday night penniless.  Flat fucking broke.

I think I was laughing by this time.  Crying, maybe.  I don’t remember.  The girl must have thought I was insane.  If there was a bridge nearby, I probably would have jumped off it.

“Umm, you’re not going to believe this, but umm…..”

Whatever syllables followed next from my trembling salty lips aren’t important, nor are they remembered exactly word for word, some three decades later.  However, I do remember this.  My date actually gasped for air.  Then, she just stared.  Sort of like a death stare.  Then, she calmly reached into her purse, tossed some money on the tabletop, and confessed she needed to go to the ladies room immediately.  Yeah, I totally got that.  I could surely understand.  I’m stoked with empathy.  The girl needed to catch her breath.  Take a little break.  I’m sure our date had been quite overwhelming.

Well, I sat there by myself with my hands over my face in silence for the next ten minutes.  The agony seemed a lot longer than that.  It sure seemed like a long time for her to be using the restroom.  So, I left her money on the table and approached to the hostess stand.  I was still clueless.

“Hey, did you see a brunette lady in a polka-dot dress up here?  She’s my date.  I can’t find her.”

 “Yeah, she jumped in a taxi and left five minutes ago.”

Can you believe that?  I didn’t even get a kiss.

Well, at least I got a free dinner out of the worst date of my life.

 

Note:  ‘Tis the season of love.  Now it’s your turn.  Please join our fun at Facebook where readers can post their WORST DATE EVER stories in the “comments” section.  My last poll question got about 230 replies.  This one should be a blast.  CLICK THE LINK BELOW:

 

 

 

__________

 

Read More

Posted by on Feb 13, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Personal, Travel | 0 comments

Ten Things Las Vegas People Secretly Want to Say to Friends and Relatives Who Visit

 

 

How to Lose Freinds, Piss-Off Family Members, and Maintain Your Sanity:  A Las Vegas Crumudgeons’s Dark Confessional on Dealing with Visitors

 

Las Vegas is a terrific place to go on vacation.  Las Vegas is an even better place to live.

Not only is there lots of stuff to do 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week — but someone we know always seems to be in town.  If not, then they’ll visit eventually.  It’s like living inside Grand Central Station, only with about a million video poker machines.

If you live in Las Vegas, people from all those boring places are bound to come and pay you a visit at some point in their lives.  In fact, there’s a 100 percent chance you’ll eventually hear from every old high-school chum, ex-whatever, former co-worker, ballbusting boss, frat brother, step-uncle, old college roommate, softball teammate, and long-lost distant relative, including those whose names you can’t remember and/or have been desperately trying to forget.

One surprise about living here is that locals don’t tend to hang out together much.  Perhaps we’re just too exhausted entertaining all the out-of-towners to have much time left for friends and neighbors.  Visitors expect us to be at their beck and call….acting as their booking agent, tour guide, chauffeur, casino host, maid, cook, banker, and sometimes even the co-signer for bail.

Yes, I did that once.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I do like some of my friends and even enjoy the company of a couple of my relatives.  But I also receive 3 to 4 messages per week on average, saying something to the effect — “Hey Nolan, let’s get together!”  Imagine how high this number might be if I weren’t such an asshat someone with impeccable taste and high standards.  Sure, these social invitations are well-intentioned.  I’d like to accept most of them — especially when they’re buying.  Unfortunately, tough choices have to be made to preserve one’s sanity.

I’ve begun to decline the majority of invitations that I receive.  It’s nothing personal.  I’m just tired of hanging out in casinos for hours at a time, without any sense of purpose.  Most nights, I’d much rather spend my free time at home — getting into political fights with complete strangers on Facebook — rather than sitting in a sportsbook, which all seems so pointless, especially when the shitty team you bet on like the Los Angeles Lakers can’t even cover the pointspread even though they’re playing against the worst team in the NBA that just lost and is in the second game of a back-to-back situation and you found a -9 when every other sportbook in town had it at -10.  And, don’t even get me started on the prospect of grazing up and down The Strip like I’m stuck in the middle of a cattle drive or wading through mall crowds to go see a $140 show.

Screw that, man!

Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas.  Sorry, but I’ve got a headache.  Have fun.  You’re on your own.

Here are ten unspoken secrets that most Las Vegas residents want to say to our dear friends and relatives who come here to visit:

 

[1]  Give us plenty of notice when you’re coming.  Chances are, you planned your Las Vegas vacation several weeks ago, or even months in advance.  Well, we have lives, too.  If you really want to get together, give us as much notice as possible that you’re coming.  I can’t count all the occasions I got text message asking me if I want to get together that same night, and look down and see the message was sent at 3:30 pm.  We can’t drop everything on two hours notice.  It doesn’t work that way.  Warn us please, so we can try and be out of town ourselves.

[2]  Unless it’s an emergency, we won’t go to The Strip!  I realize the main reason 40 million people come to Las Vegas annually is to hang out at fancy casinos and blow tons of money for free drinks.  Flying here and then not going to The Strip would be like taking a trip to Egypt and then skipping the Pyramids.  But hey, you can even see a pyramid here — it’s called Luxor.  Thing is, most locals over the age of 30 don’t go to The Strip — ever.  Crowds, high costs, paid parking, terrible odds on machines, we don’t want to go there.

[3]  Most of us can’t afford $200 dinners every night.  We know you saw a celeb chef on TV  want to try out their new place.  Reality is, that’s just a branding exercise.  A facade.  Famous people get paid lots of money to stamp their names on the sign in front, because, for some inexplicable reason, lots of gullible people want to eat in a place with a famous person’s name on the sign.  Again, have fun!  We’ll stick to our favorite locals’ spot, park for free, get better service, and save about 40 percent on the bill.  Oh, and tap, not sparkling.

[4]  We don’t have connections to grease you with free show tickets.  Sorry, but we can’t pick up the phone, call Alfonse at the Copa Room, and have two front row tickets waiting for you and a special guest at Will Call.  That archaic system ended about the time the Rat Pack died.  But, here’s what we can do:  Direct you to a great website where you can book your own show tickets!  Oh, joy!  One notable exception is something really cool called Half Price Show Tickets, which is a kiosk storefront on The Strip.  Same day, last-minute show tickets are deeply discounted.  Go there, so long as you don’t mind seeing a D-grade show like a juggler or “comedian” at 2 in the afternoon with a two-drink minimum.  If you want tickets to any of the big headliners, it’s best to reserve well in advance.

[5]  Friday and Saturday night are to be avoided at all costs Whatever we said earlier about visiting the mega-casinos — double it twice and turn it sideways when it comes to heading to The Strip on a weekend.  Recently, I made the monumental mistake of meeting someone at Bally’s on a Friday evening at 8 pm and then waited 45 minutes idling in my car to get out of the parking lot.  I hated my ex-friend, after that.  Forget about being anywhere around City Center during a Las Vegas Golden Knights (NHL) home game.  When it comes to holidays, forget-about-it.  I don’t know you.  I don’t want to know you.

[6]  Don’t even think about asking me to do something on an NFL Sunday or a Monday night during football season.  Unless you hit the lottery and need somebody to do some serious partying with, I’m busy.

[7]  Don’t expect me to drop whatever I’m doing to entertain you.  What do I look like, Britney Freaking Spears?  What talents I possess won’t interest you.  Accordingly, your time is best utilized compensating a true professional.  I can’t just drop whatever I’m doing and become your personal servant.  Besides, the poker game I’m likely sitting in on a typical Wednesday night is probably great and I need to play a just few more hours to try and get out of the hole.

[8]  We aren’t forking over our casino comps for you to splurge.  The $62.17 I managed to rake into my account at Stations Casino cost me $2,700 in video poker losses over four months.  I worked damn hard for those comps.  So, don’t expect me to blow them on you.  Yeah, I love you, Mom.  But use your own comp points.

[9]  If we’re picking you up somewhere, be there, on time.  Picking up a friend in front of a 5,500-room hotel isn’t like going through the drive-thru at Wendy’s.  Chances are, we’ve got one shot at seeing you standing outside on the sidewalk.  If you’re late or aren’t there, that means we have to go circle around ten minutes again through the taxi line.  Be where you say you’ll be.  On time.  If there’s any doubt about making the connection, always leave 15 minutes early.  That seems to make just about everyone right on time.

[10]  Buy your own dope.  Las Vegas has gotten to be a tourist destination for dope smokers.  I don’t know shit about that stuff, except that lots of people appear to be happy and having lots of fun.  I have nothing against marijuana or cannabis or whatever it’s called.  Stay high, my friends.  But I’m not becoming your personal pusher.  I’ve got another reputation issues already without being labeled El Broko El Chapo.

 

So, what’s all this mean?  Based on each of my demands, that pretty much leaves just one spot open for visitors who want to get together and hang out with me:  1:30 pm on non-holiday Tuesday afternoons at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Downtown Summerlin, but only if you’re buying (alcohol must be included).

Sound good?  Then, give me a ring!  I can’t wait to see you!

 

__________

 

Read More

Posted by on Feb 6, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 9 comments

Fifty-Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me (and May Not Care) on the Glorious Occasion of My 57th Birthday

 

Nolan Dalla Grandparents

 

57 Things You Don’t Know About Me (and May Not Care) on the Glorious Occasion of My 57th Birthday

 

Writer’s Note:  Time now for another self-indulgent article on the special occasion of my 57th birthday.  This column has become an annual tradition for me.  If you can spare a little generosity to help keep this website going and allow me to pay my webmaster Ernst Dieter Martin a few bucks for all his hard work, I would be most grateful.  Please click the CONTRIBUTE button to the right side if you care to lend your support.  If not, then please enjoy anyways.  I have lots of new exciting projects coming up in the weeks and months ahead.  Thanks for reading.

Read More
css.php