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An exploraition in dating

This is my technique: I sit outside the MIT entrance at 77 Mass. Ave., with a stolen fraternity sweatshirt around my neck, and a baseball cap on my head. (It's an appropriate enough place to put a hat. And after all, people can look at me and try to guess whether my hair is washed or covered by three-day-old grease.) Around my neck is a sign announcing: "In A Few Years, I Will Be Working For A Lucrative Engineering Firm And Will Be Driving A Red Sports Car." As usual, within five minutes, a youngish woman sidles up to me, a money-hungry look dancing in her eyes.

"Hi," says she, "My name is Sylvia."

"Ah, good. Come to dinner with me."

We ended up in an Indian restaurant a few minutes later. I like to go to ethnic-type places, because my cultural diversity really turns on the babes. What can I say . . . I have a knack with women.

"So, uh, Stacey."

"Sylvia."

"Yeah! Tell me about yourself."

"Well, gee," she says, running her be-ringed fingers through her dyed-blond hair, "There's not too much to say, I guess. Um, I was brought up on the sun-stung shores of Trinidad, and . . . ."

"Shush. Here comes the waiter."

A pudgy little man wearing a curry-stained smock and brandishing a pitcher of water came to the two of us. He gave a toothy smile and then said a bunch of things I didn't understand. I asked him to repeat what he said. Once again, I was confused.

"Hey!" I cried, "Speakie English, huh? Huh?! Learn to enunciate, okay?" My date slumped over the table and hung her head between her hands. What a character! She was probably guffawing over my savage wit, and how I was able to put the waiter in his place! "Look, my good man," I continued, affecting a British accent, "You had better listen up to me. I am not going to deal with your silly antics anymore. We English are not amused. So you had better watch out; we could, if we wanted to, take your smarmy country by force again. By God! India shall be ours!"

"Yes," he managed to say, no doubt impressed by my threat, "So what do you want to eat this evening?"

"A hamburger. And fries." He was about to say something, probably how American cuisine is not generally served in an Indian restaurant, but I cut him off, saying "You heard me! A hamburger and fries! And bring some ketchup, too. Donna over here will have . . ."

"Sylvia!"

"Yeah, what's-her-face will have the same. Now leave us alone!"

He wandered off. In much the same way I have a knack with women, I know how to treat riff-raff like Indian waiters. My date seemed a little distraught, for some reason. I offered her a piece of chocolate that, after rummaging around in my back pocket, I had managed to find.

"Oh! Thanks!" she said. "Eating chocolate is one of the more sensual things you can do with your mouth, you know." Then she gave me an odd grin.

That is one thing I hate about women, you know. They never tell you what they mean. They don't even hint at what they're thinking about. Why do men have to make all the moves, huh? It's the Nineties, after all. It's about time that women began to put something into relationships, right? Take as an example her behavior a few minutes later. She leaned across the table and said something to the effect that there were some crumbs on my lips. As she got closer to my face, I began to laugh.

"Hey!" I said. "How could there be crumbs? I haven't eaten yet. And ugh! Your breath is awful!" She slumped back in her seat, and strangely enough, she actually looked dejected. Wow! What acting! I could tell that she was secretly amused at the little joke I pulled. Trust me, she was. I just have this sixth sense when it comes to understanding women.

The waiter returned with the food, but I noticed that there were no chopsticks with the meal. "Yo, what gives? Where are the chopsticks?" The little man mumbled something about the fact that Indians don't use chopsticks, but I knew he was fooling me. What kidders! I prodded him with one of my forks, and with a yelp he went back to the kitchens. Seconds later he came back with two pieces of wood which would serve as chopsticks.

"Oh, while you're at it," I said, "Could you bring me a beer?"

"Of course, sir. May I see your ID?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah, sure. Okay." I pulled my driver's license out of my wallet and showed it to the surly waiter. I gave a "Jeez! What a dork this guy is!" look to my female friend.

"Er, excuse me, sir, but according to this, you're only 19."

"Do you have a problem with that, my good man?"

"Well, the drinking age is 21."

"It most certainly is not. Perhaps you should check with your management."

"Sorry, but you really must be 21 to drink."

"But, uh," I said, trying to think of an excuse, "Oh! But where I come from -- New Jersey -- the drinking age is 18."

"No, sir, I'm pretty sure that the age is 21, for all states. I'm sorry." With that he walked away. Sylvia began to laugh. I began to realize that she was laughing at me, not with me. So I gave a Jack Nicholson smile, and waited for the meal to end. When we finally got the check (forty dollars and twenty-three cents for two Bismati-Burgers and two Tandori-'Taters) I said to her:

"Sorry, Suzie, but I just remembered that there's this new game on Athena, and so I must rush. Perhaps I'll see you later, okay?" And with that I ran out of the restaurant and back to MIT. For the past few weeks, I have seen her around campus, stopping people at random and asking them if they know me. Aww, the poor girl misses me!

Ah, dating. There are those who see it as a means to an end. I call it an art.

[gfwho]

Tech columnist Jason Merkoski is actually about as dense as he makes himself out to be.

As usual, within five minutes, a youngish woman sidles up to me, a money-hungry look dancing in her eyes.