Story Sent in by Rita:
My friend Paula set me up on a date with her friend, Brad. Brad was a carpenter who did a lot of odd jobs and didn't have much of an income. We went out for a quick coffee date just to get acquainted. He was nice, and he clearly loved carpentry, although he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder, as if the reasons for his lack of financial stability were everyone else's fault but his own.
He did pay for the coffees, and said that he wanted to make me a proper dinner at his place. We arranged a time, and about a week later, I showed up to the address he had given me.
It was a trailer park off the main highway. I arrived with a homemade quiche. When I knocked on the door to the address that Brad had given me, a pencil-thin guy with a sweat-soaked undershirt came to the door. He wasn't Brad.
I said, "Hi, I'm looking for Brad."
The guy looked me up and down, then said, "He's out back."
The guy didn't say anything else, but he watched me walk away. When I made it to the trailer's backyard, I found a tent, lit from the inside by a lantern. I called, "Brad?" and Brad unzipped the tent from the inside.
It was stuffed, positively stuffed, with blankets, pillows, and cushions, like a little fort. There barely seemed to be any room within for one person, let alone two, and the smell was a mix between wet dog and public urinal.
"Come on in!" he said.
"No!" I replied, "Are you kidding me?"
He said, "No place like home."
I said, "Right. Can we go inside the trailer? The guy who owns it is your friend, right?"
Brad said, "That's Jay. His mom owns the trailer, but I can't really use it. It's not mine, and this is where I live."
"Can we go somewhere else?"
He looked all around and said, "This is my home. What's wrong with it? Am I too poor for you or something?"
"That has nothing to do with it. I don't want to cram in there, and it smells awful."
Wrong thing to say. He gave me a stunned look, then said, "What the hell is wrong with the way my place smells? I empty a can of Lysol into it every week! It smells like a bed of roses!"
"I'm going to go." I turned and walked off.
"A bed of roses! A bed of roses!" he called after me, over and over.
I made it back to my car. Jay, from the doorway of his mother's trailer, was still there, looking at me as I left. I don't let Paula set me up with anyone anymore.
Story Sent in by Rita: