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One of Those Weird People

(The final episode of my comedy series, Below the Belt, is locked and loaded. You'll never look at Chinese food the same way again. -JMG)

Story Sent in by Phyllis:

James wrote me online. He seemed polite and managed to keep it in his pants during our emails, so we went out on a date together.

Not long after we sat down together for lunch, he leaned in and asked me, "You have any nude pics I could see?"

I took a moment to process the words and then said, "No. Why would you ask that?"

He went into full recovery mode and said, "Oh, you thought I was asking about nude photos of you? Ha ha ha! No. No. No way. Not you. No way. I'm not like that. No."

I asked, "So... which nude photos were you talking about?"

"Oh, I dunno. I mean, you have pets?" The way he cringed told me that he said it way faster than his mind could stop him.

I said, "You want to see nude photos of my... pets?"

"Well pets are usually nude, right? Or are you one of those weird people who dresses up her pets in pet robes?"

"I don't put pet... robes on my pets, no."


"But I'm still confused as to why you want to see nude photos of my pets."

"Just any photos of your pets, okay? They don't have to be nude."

"But you specified nude pics."

He hissed, "I changed my mind, okay? Now I don't want to see them anymore. Stop asking me stuff."

We didn't have much to talk about for the rest of the date and didn't make much conversation during the meal (why I stuck around, I don't know).

At the end of the date, he cleared his throat loudly and said, "You never asked to see my nude pics."

I feigned interest and asked, "Oh, you have nude pics of your pets I can see?"

His face fell. "No."

"Oh. Then I guess we're both disappointed."

Last date with that wacko.


Belabor Day

(Below the Belt's epic finale awaits you. Don't keep the last episode of this comedy web series waiting. -JMG)

Story Sent in by Benjamin:

Suzanne called me shortly before our date to ask if we could meet an hour later. I told her that was okay. Still, I was miffed.

Twenty minutes later, she called me to ask where I was. I told her I was at home, but that I'd likely run an errand or two before we met up at the restaurant.

"Uh... I'm at the restaurant now," she said, "Earlier than I thought."

I told her, "You might have to wait a little bit. I was banking on you being the hour late that you said you'd be."

She groaned into the phone and said, "Just be here soon. I'm not gonna wait around forever."

I didn't hurry and I made it there around 25 minutes later. I sat across from her and she said, "What took you?"

I said, "I told you I was going to run an errand before coming here, since I was banking on having the extra time after you said you'd be an hour late."

She replied, "So you just went ahead and ran your stupid errand? Even though I told you I could make it here earlier? Are you serious?"

I said, "Yes. I'm not at your beck and call. Now, if we're done inconveniencing each other–"

"Inconveniencing? That's what I am to you? An inconvenience?"

"No," I said, "Look, we're both here. Let's just have dinner–"

"No," she said, taking on a nasty tone, "You made me wait. You inconvenienced me. I want an apology or I walk. Apologize."

I stared at her. "You mean it?" I asked.

"Yes. Apologize or date's over."

I sat back. "Okay. It's a deal. Bye."

She stared at me. "Are you serious? Are you really being really serious, right now? Really? Seriously? Really serious?"

I said, "Yep. Have a good night."

She gave me another stare, then stood up and said, "You have seriously inconvenienced me, tonight. Thanks a lot, dick."

It was a little awkward when I bumped into our waiter when I stood up to leave. "Date crash and burn," I told him. He wished me a good evening, and I made for home.


Ice Cream Misses

Story Sent in by Ruth:

On my first date with Robert, he took me out for ice cream. We sat next to each other at the shop's outdoor seating area and enjoyed our ice cream cones.

Then, as I raised my cone to have some, Robert smashed his head in and shoved his mouth against my ice cream, causing it to hit my face. I shouted and backed away, wiping myself off with a napkin. I asked him why he did that, and he said that he wanted to give me an ice cream kiss.

"More like an ice cream collision," I said.

When I was cleaned up and went for more ice cream, he did it again! This time, he took a big bite out of my cone.

I stood up and wiped the mess off my face. "Stop it!" I said to him.

"Ice cream kisses," he said with a shrug, as if that was supposed to excuse his behavior.

"Will you stop it?" I asked him, losing my patience. I was ready to sit somewhere else to enjoy what was left of my ice cream.

He stood up and said, "I'll never stop. Never."

He went for my ice cream again, but I dodged it away from him. We finished our snacks in relative silence, I told him I had to be somewhere, and that was the end of it all.


Corny. Cheesy. Crazy.

Story Sent in by James:

I met Grace at one of my county's big annual community dinners. She was behind a food table, passing out creamed corn. I don't even like creamed corn, but I went up for two extra helpings because I wanted to talk to her. Amazingly, we hit it off and we sat down together and she gave me her number. During that time, I neglected to tell her that I didn't really like creamed corn at all. Most of it sat uneaten on my plate.

Our first date was fine. We went out to the movies and then to dinner. I think we both had fun.

On our second date, it was cold out so we remained at her place. She cooked... creamed corn. A pot full of it. "I remember you like it," she said, "I made it the same way as at the dinner - with a little bit of cheese mixed in."

Finally, I had to fess up. I told her that I didn't really like creamed corn at all... that I had just gone up to grab more because I wanted to talk to her. I thought she'd laugh it off or find it cute and funny.

She didn't. She got really serious and said, "So you lied to me?"

I said, "I mean, I don't hate creamed corn... I just don't like it that much. And I just wanted to talk to you."

"But you lied to me about liking creamed corn. You completely lied."

"To be fair, I never said I liked it."

"You did, but that's okay," she said. She was evidently very proud of her recipe. I had tasted it and thought that it was better than most I'd tried, but it was still what it was.

She went into the kitchen and I heard a tremendous bang. I bolted in and found that she had completely upended the creamed corn pot, and it was splattered all over the floor, spreading everywhere.

"Let me help you clean up," I started.

"No!" she shrieked, "I don't want liars in my house! Go! Go! Liar! Liar!"

I went. Didn't see her again for a while, until the following year's big dinner, as a matter of fact. I debated going, having a feeling she'd be there, and she was. I gave her a cordial hello, but she acted like she didn't even know me.


An Army of None

Story Sent in by Katherine:

I had been seeing Joe for a couple of weeks. Things were moving briskly, and when I invited him over for dinner one particular night, it was understood (at least on my part) that if he made a move to sleep with me, I'd be fine with it.

After dinner, we sat and talked for a bit on my couch. He inched closer to me, I inched closer to him, and the kissing started.

A few minutes later, he said, "I've been working on a great pick-up line for you."

As if he needed a pick-up line at that point. But I had a good sense of humor and was ready to play along. "What's your pick-up line?"

He gave me a serious look and said, "I want to invade your pants."

I cracked up. Wouldn't you? His line didn't kill the mood, but it was a funny thing to say.

Joe must've taken my reaction the wrong way, because he stood up and left. I let him leave, mostly out of surprise, and I called him to tell him that he could come back and invade if he wanted to, but it went to his voicemail. So I spent the night alone.

I didn't hear from him for the entirety of the next day. But that evening, I discovered about a thousand little green army men in the hallway outside my apartment, facing my door. Of course it had to be Joe. I had to laugh at that, too, despite the fact that it was weird as anything. I called him up and it went to his voicemail again.

I never heard from Joe again after that, and so I became the owner of a thousand little army figures. Most of them wound up at a thrift store, but a few still turn up around my apartment every now and again, hopelessly seeking to invade.