Story Sent in by Mira:
Online, Noah was pretty cryptic about what he did for a living. He only said that he worked in small-time imports and sales. We traded messages for about two weeks and at our first date dinner, he asked me about what beauty products I used and to which catalogs I subscribed. I had a feeling that there was a sales pitch coming on, and it arrived soon enough:
He said, "So, have you ever been to the beach?"
"Great! Great place the beach, isn't it? Warm, lots of sand and whatnot. Have you ever built or destroyed a sand castle?"
"Um, both, probably?"
He clapped his hands together. Somehow, I was playing right into his trap. "Great! It feels good to create and it feels good to destroy. We like to dig holes and then seal them back up. Such is being human, am I wrong?"
"Asphalt, for example, can be used to cover over potholes, but also used to build children's playgrounds."
"You're trying to sell me asphalt?"
He leaned in and said, "Not so loud. I sell butt plugs."
I had already had a beer, but I was positive that I had heard him right. "You're trying to sell me butt plugs?"
He smiled. "Well, I'd be honored if you bought more than one, but you can just try one if you want. A free trial, because I like you."
"A trial? So you want me to return it if I don't like it?"
He said, "Usually yes, as these are one of a kind and really top quality: not hollow, and with a finely, hand-sculpted flange."
I cracked up. I couldn't help it. He laughed a little bit, but pressed on with his pitch, "But I can totally let you keep it."
I replied, "So how can I be sure that the one you're giving me for the trial isn't one that someone else has used during another free trial?"
"They have to be retired from circulation after three months, and they're routinely cleaned in an alcohol and saline solution. Rest assured that they're as clean as they were when they were first made. We have to recycle them: custom-made ones typically sell for $499 each. They're hand-sculpted."
I laughed again. "I think I'm okay, but thanks for the offer."
"But this is free. No risk, no obligation."
"Uh, sounds like lots of risk. No thanks."
He said, "Well then, sorry to have taken up your time." He downed his beer in three mighty gulps, belched, put a $20 bill on the table, and left me without another word.
I had never been left on a date before, but in this case, I really didn't mind it.
Story Sent in by Mira: