Story Sent in by Steve:
Natalie was one of those rare women who actually contacted me first on a dating site. Her words were warm and witty, and after checking out her profile, I had a good feeling about writing her back. She seemed very grateful for my response, and it was in short order that we ended up out on a date.
We lived by a restaurant with a back deck that stretched right out, over a river. I hadn't been there in a while (it was a bit pricey) but it was a nice place and as I said, I had a good feeling about Natalie.
We arrived together at the restaurant, we were seated out on the back deck, and then the problems began.
"How much of the native habitat do you think they ruined by building this deck here?" she asked.
I replied, "I don't really know. The restaurant's been around a while, so I'm sure that the local wildlife have recovered."
"Wildlife never recovers," she corrected me, "Ask any extinct animal. Wait, they're dead, so you can't!"
I said, "I don't think any animals were made extinct by the building of this deck."
She said, "But I'm sure it didn't help them out any. Birds, insects, our fish cousins, so many unborn thanks to this place." She tapped the wooden floor with her foot.
"Our fish cousins?"
She said, "Run your tongue along the roof of your mouth. Those bumps used to be gills. Evolution, remember? We're more closely related to fish than to any other animals."
"Except for apes. What were apes before they were apes, though?"
"I don't know. Pre-apes?"
She said, "Fish. I understand you didn't know how passionate I was about this before I came out here with you, but if we go out again, you will remember, won't you?"
She ordered an encrusted salmon for dinner. I ordered pasta. We went on to other topics, but every few minutes or so, without fail, she'd glance at the river and say, "Those poor fish. Gone forever."
"How's your salmon?" I finally asked her.
"Delicious! And your pasta?"
As I walked her back to her car afterward, I asked her, "Were you really serious about that fish stuff before?"
"Never more serious about anything in my entire life."
"Then why did you order salmon for dinner?"
That stopped her cold. She stood and thought for a minute before she replied, "It was already dead, so there was nothing wrong with eating it."
I said, "But now the restaurant will have to order more salmon stock, since they're one down because of you. Another salmon will die."
She said, "And I bet you'll never let me forget it! It was just a fucking fish! Why does every guy have a problem with me?"
"I don't understand," I said.
"Forget it. Goodnight." She gave me a quick hug, stepped into her car, and I never saw her again.
Story Sent in by Steve: