A splendid choice this week – the penultimate of Joy’s first list of Rerun submissions. These have been great. We’ll take more any time you like.
I suspect this one has already been in a Literally Rerun (judging from the latest comments), but I love this piece too much to not include it.
‘I sat down and broke out the charm. The site says never do that, never break out the charm; it also says that the only thing a person can try too hard at and still succeed in doing is to look pathetic’. This makes me really wonder what type of dating site Jim found himself on, and what type of people it attracted.
I love the wittiness of this piece. The dialogue and choices of the narrator are so cleverly done that I felt the awkwardness in my bones. Daphne is such a vivid figure that I wish the narrator would step back to save us both her BO and attitude.
What I particularly liked was the actions of the narrator. The moment Daphne shoots him down, he knows what to do. And quite frankly, I’d like to believe I would do the exact same thing. (Perhaps I need to invest in some dwarf hamsters.) Any person who opens a date with a story about their pets will likely get a 10/10 from me, so the ending of this piece was an absolute joy.
Questions for the author:
Q. Did you derive any inspiration whatsoever from a date experience or story for this piece? I’d like to know if there’s anyone out there with as many rescue dwarf hamsters.
Q. Do you think Jim would’ve still given Daphne a chance if she had somehow been absolutely ecstatic about his hamsters, or do you think it already a no-no?
Joy! Thank you for giving this more time on stage and for your questions. Let’s see if I can come up with intelligent replies.
To answer your first question, I would rather contract cholera than online date. Almost got talked into a speed dating event once, but I begged off claiming I had the 24 hour cholera. I enjoy making my mistakes from start to finish in person.
There is a person, however, in my life who rescues all types of animals from neglectful “owners.” And she had gotten a hold of a bunch of gerbils, white rats and dwarf hamsters. The dwarf was a funny little guy named “Smedley.” You could lay a mini muffin in his pen and he’d go at it like a leopardess into a dik dik. Dude was tiny, maybe half the size of your thumb. And he liked to play a game called “Cowardly Lion.” You’d place your finger under him, gently, then sort of lift him into a standing position. He’d start swinging, “C’mon, is that all ya got.”
As for the second question, the person whom Jim is based on would have gone through with the date. He is very sweet and doesn’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Of course, in a pinch, he isn’t above coming down with that pesky 24 hour cholera after dinner.
Thank you again, Joy