Enter Sandman

Well, I haven’t found my Latin lover yet, but I am pretty sure I know what the Spanish Inquisition was like.
On Saturday, I went out with Nat and her sister Baby G to listen to some boy music because Nat’s boyfriend is in twelve different bands, one of which was playing that night. Prior to the band starting, we all made a quick run to Walgreen’s to pick up earplugs and candy bars, because that’s how we party. We opted for the flattering blue earplugs that were noise reduction rated up to 33 decibels. Oh, and I got a new Hershey bar with caramel. It was extra creamy, just like the wrapper promised.
Shortly after arriving at the bar, Nat and I saw an empty stool and set our coats on it. The gentleman next to us teased us about there being a one coat minimum per stool. I laughed. And thus began the Inquisition:
So are you ladies here to see the bands?
Yes. How about-
Are they any good? Who are the bands?
Actually, I don’t really know. My friend’s boyfriend is in one of them.
Reeeeallly? [It’s important that you understand the way this man said the word “really.” There’s a movie character from like, the 1940’s or 1950’s, who had a pencil-thin mustache and would drum his fingers together while working at some front desk somewhere and say, “Yessssss?” and “May I help yoooooouuuuu?” and “Oh, reeeeeeally?” in an overly dramatic and high-pitched manner. Because it was exactly like that guy.]
[Nat had just handed me my beer when I turned to her to draw her into what I suspected could be a strange conversation, yet she had somehow completely vaporized. Her body had reappeared halfway across the bar, next to her sister and boyfriend. I was all alone.]
Uh, yeah. So he’s in the band, but I’ve never heard them. Are you here to see any of the bands?
No. So where are you from? Were you born and raised in Chicago? Have you lived here all your life?
Uh, no. I’m originally from Wisconsin. [MORON! Why did you say that?]
Reeeeallly? Wisconsin? You’re kidding? Where in Wisconsin?
Milwaukee. [Why are you saying these things? Stop answering!]
Reeeeallly? Milwaukee? So is your family still there? Do you have a big family? Brothers? Sisters?
I have three brothers. [Good, Jenny, you’ve found your lies.]
Reeeeallly? Three brothers? And so are you the youngest? Do they call you the baby? I mean, would they actually say that you’re the baby of the family?
No, they would say I was the girl.
Mmm hmm. And so how long have you lived in Chicago? Do you like Chicago?
Yes, I like Chicago a lot. Do you live here? [Maybe if I ask a question he’ll stop asking me questions. Flawed logic, I now understand that.]
Yes. So what do you like to do for fun? Do you like movies, the arts, literature, what?
Uh… sure [glancing over at Nat, who is engaged in some hilarious conversation with a group of friends].
Okay, so if you had to pick just one of those things to do, and you could only do one thing, what would it be?
Uh, movies, I guess. [Seriously, Jenny. WTF? Why are you still answering these questions? Are you doing this just to have something to write about, because that’s really f*d up.]
Reeeeallly? So what movies do you want to win the Oscars? Have you seen Brokeback Mountain? How about Walk the Line? Who are your favorite actors?
Brokeback Mountain was good. I didn’t see Walk the Line – was it good?
Huh? I don’t know, I didn’t see it. But if you had to pick one movie to win the entire Oscars, what would it be?
King Kong.
Yes, really. It was brilliant.
Did you cry?
Of course.
Reeeeallly? Now, had you seen the original? Did you know how it ended?
Reeeeallly? Well, who was it who got you to see the original? Did you just watch it on your own, or did someone tell you to watch it? A friend? Mother? Father? Boyfriend?
[Oh please tell me that this 10 minute rapid fire question session was not just one really elaborate prelude to asking me if I have a boyfriend.] You know, it’s been so long, I just can’t remember. And speaking of a long time, I should really go join my friends now.
Okay, I just have two more questions.
[Are you f*ing kidding me?] Okay.
So how would you describe your musical tastes?
Yes, really. Okay that was two questions – gotta go, bye!
I quickly grabbed my drink and rejoined Baby G and Nat, who had a guilty look on her face.
“Sorry Jen, I didn’t know what to do.”
“Oh you knew exactly what to do. Abandon your friend in enemy territory. Godammit, Nat! You just disappeared!”
“Jenny, I said I was sorry. Maybe you were enjoying his company, how do I know?”
“Um, I think you heard him say ‘Reeeeallly’ at least three times if I’m not mistaken. I could’ve been clubbed and thrown in the back of a van for all you knew.”
“I was keeping an eye on you. You seemed to be doing just fine.”
“Yeah, I was just on a frickin’ speed date, and I didn’t even know it. Nice. I won’t forget this, you know.”
“Look, Jen. I didn’t know how to get you out! We never came up with an exit strategy for these types of things.”
“How about you yank me away with a cane à la Sandman?”
“Hey, maybe that’s it. Just work the word ‘sandman’ into a conversation, and I’ll know to pull you out.”
“So when I turn to you and scream ‘Sandman! SANDMAN!!!!’ as I’m being chloroformed and dragged out on my heels, then will you know to come get me?”
“I’ll be there immediately. Are we good?”
“All is forgiven. Alright, let’s head in. I think the bands are starting.”
“Now you’re pushing your luck, Nat.”

17 Responses to “Enter Sandman”

  1. kris dresen Says:

    Aw, c’mon Jenny, ‘fess up. You’ve edited out the part where your Inner Voice told you to stick it out because this conversation was so incredibly bloggable. You know good content when it’s in front of you, girl.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Jenny,
    Who was that guy? What did he look like? Was he alone at the bar? Or out with friends? What was he wearing? Jeans? Khakis? Corduroys? What color was his hair? How was it styled? Do men have hairstyles? Did you get a good look at his hands? Were they smooth? Calloused? Was he a nail-biter? What about his shoes? Loafers? Pumas? Chuck Taylors? Were you able to avoid him for the rest of the night? Or did he try to engage you again in his banal rapid fire line of questioning?

  3. jenny Says:

    kris – Oh, I edited all right. But only the other fifteen questions he machine-gunned at me. It was surreal.
    Viv – Sandman! SANDMAN!!! OMG – you just gave me a flashback! :)

  4. shari Says:

    Oh I’m so glad you were able to use the “three brothers” and “eclectic” responses. Hope they helped. See?? I’m going to be a very worthy BFF! ;)

  5. Sarah Says:

    One more reason that I don’t regret being married even though it has forced me to live in a virtual retirement community in suburban Detroit:
    These types of people are the only people who ever showed any interest in me in public gathering places. Except usually they were well known mentally damaged, but recovering drug addicts by most other semi-regular patrons of said gathering place or else they were assistant managers of the White Hen across the street.
    And, while all of this is happening, my much more attractive, much better dressed, much more outgoing friends are usually, at this point, making out with someone who is either quite good looking or wearing expensive clothes.
    I reeeeeeeeeally feel for you.
    That is hilarious.

  6. Carrington Says:

    My theory is that he is the embodiment of all those internet quizzes the cool kids are doing today. You know, like “Which CSI City Are You?” or “Which Partridge Family Character Are You?”

    I think if you’d just heard out his final question he would’ve reached behind the bar, pulled out a huge (but low resolution) sign, and handed it to you. It would probably have read something like “You’re DANNY! Mischievous attitude and no respect for authority. You future lies in rehab sessions and getting second billing to Corey Feldman. But you’ll probably also get your own talk show.” You could wear it around your neck, and other people could click on it to find out which Partridge kid they were. Well, except instead of clicking they’d just walk over to the bar, but you get the idea. (Oh yes you do.)

    As a side note, I want to categorically deny that I would keep tweaking my own answers until I got to be Reuben Kinkaid. That’s a vicious rumor, and probably not true as far as you know.

  7. The Scarlett Says:

    I swear this man is following the orders of the evil Dr. Phil. You need to have as many lies prepared as possible! If the guy is creepy (and this one hit a 9.75 on my own personal creep-o-meter), you need to have some menacing answers to throw him off the trail and make him scurry away! I suggest biological clock issues are the way to go!

  8. dee-dee Says:

    I’m so proud of you for pulling out the lies but you really should have said you were from France or something…

  9. Alissa Says:

    How come men never need to discuss exit strategies? A good wing-“man” just knows! At least it was good material for a post!

  10. jenny Says:

    Shari: I was definitely thinking, “WWED” (what would eclectic do?) when I was knee-deep in questions.
    Sarah: If I lived in a semi-retirement community, I’d be getting major play. The seniors tend to like me.
    Carrington: Reuben? Seriously? I’d be trying for Shirley, all the way. She’s the only one with true talent, carrying her bunch of hippy lip-synching fake instrument playing kids along on her coat tails.
    The Scarlett: Something tells me that expressing a desire to procreate would not have turned this man off.
    Dee-Dee: “Pardon? I am sorreee, I come from Pareee. I do not own-dare-stand what you are sayeeeng Monsieur…”
    Alissa: Well, I think we now know that Nat has not earned her wing-man wings yet. She’s no Maverick to my Iceman. Or whatever their names were.

  11. mike Says:

    two thoughts come to mind;
    1) This sounds like the evolution of Speed Dating, and also the precursor to Speed Restraining Orders.
    2) the Sandman escape line reminds me of Joey and Chandler and the utterance of “Bert! Bert! Bert! Bert!” (apologies for the Friends analogy, but my mind is far too cluttered with television and movie references.)
    Great story, though. What’s the band’s name?

  12. Jessica Says:

    It’s so not lame to have stuck around just to have something to write about, though…ya gotta do whatcha gotta do. Sigh.

  13. Coco Says:

    Hi Jenny, I just wanted to thank you for your advice on my blog, I appreciate you taking the time to let me know what you think! I definitely value your opinion and I think I’m going to do what you suggested. I was leaning in that direction already. I love your blog– I wish mine (and my life) were as interesting and fun as yours! :)

  14. jenny Says:

    Mike: Speed restraining orders? I love it! And is it terrible of me to admit that I have no recollection whatsoever of the band’s name? It’s sad, I know…
    Jess: Yes, we bloggers do what we need to do, and much like Peter Jennings putting himself on the front lines to get a good war story, I sometimes put myself belly to the bar to get a good blog entry. I’m just that dedicated.
    Coco: My pleasure – hope that works out okay. And trust me – if my life seems interesting from this site, it’s all smoke and mirrors!

  15. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Man, I remember the days when the crappy lines were at least funny. I mean, what the hell has stalking devolved into? That’s just lazy, in my opinion.

  16. romy Says:

    or should i say, Creeeeeeeepy !
    (sorry, that was below the belt – even with the belt against the bar. or some other, less confusing mixture of images.)
    anyway. i thought it was a cardinal rule : don’t abandon your friends to strange Inquisitive men in bars. especially when said strange Inquisitive men overpronounce their diphthongs.
    but wait. you and shari are BFFs now? i thought *i* was your BFF.

  17. jenny Says:

    TL: Lazy indeed. I at least want an ambitious weirdo!
    Romy: OMG – that guy was a TOTAL diphthong! ;)
    And wait… you are still my BFF. I mean, can’t I have more than one BFF? Okay – you’re my East Coast BFF, and Shari’s my West Coast BFF. So don’t go gettin’ all east side/west side badass on me. There’s plenty of charm bracelets to go around!