It's a Man's Life

Story Sent in by Angelica:

I used to write a dating column for a local paper. It was, perhaps, a silly endeavor. After all, there were only so many people who read it in the surrounding counties, and whenever a guy I was dating found out about it, he'd ask, "Oh, so you're just doing research?" or "I'm not going to show up in it, am I? Ha ha!" I therefore usually kept it on the DL. In any event, I tried to keep it general and did my best to only use dates I had been on as examples when I had to, and of course, I always changed the names of those unfortunate souls.

Enter Clark. I told him from the get-go that I was in journalism, but I never specifically mentioned what it was that I wrote. If he ever read that particular paper, then there was an even chance that he already knew. As it turned out, he did already know, but not because I told him. He kept quiet about it until we met in person at a local mom and pop coffee house. We sat down together on our first date and he pulled out three papers: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times.

"Behold, three papers," he said, "Which do you most want to write for?"

"The New York Times," I replied.

He opened up The New York Times in front of his face and read it to himself, without saying another word to me. I asked him, "So… how was work this week?"

He replied, "In the 50s, women would fetch men a pipe or their slippers while they read the paper."

"It's 2009, and women don't really do that anymore," I said.

"You write a dating column," he said, not lowering the paper, "I've read it."

Oh boy. "Yes, I do."

He put the paper down and said, "Let me tell you something: the men of this town have had it with you. We're going to revolt, and you'll never write for another paper again, much less The New York Times."

"You're going to revolt?"

He said, "You're not the only one who talks down to men. A lot of women do, and a lot of women read your column. We're not stupid. If you bring me a pipe and slippers now, then I'll go back to my men and tell them that you've repaid the debt."


He repeated, "Bring me a pipe and slippers. Know your place, and I'll report back to my men that you know your place and that you're not a threat and we therefore won't revolt. Need me to use smaller words?"

I had to ask, "Are you nuts?"

He said, "No. There's almost two dozen of us who are sick of your column, and you're just getting too close to certain things. Bring me a pipe and slippers. I'll wait here. Otherwise I'm not responsible for what happens next: you are."

"Two dozen guys read my column?" I mused, "That's great."

He stuck out his sneaker-clad feet from under the table. "You're not doing as I asked. We just want to make sure that you remember certain things."

I smiled, said, "Okay," then stood up and left the coffee shop. I then went into a local drug store, browsed their toy aisle, and found a little bag of plastic army men. I bought them and returned to the coffee shop. To my slight surprise, Clark was still there, on his cell phone. When he saw me, he hung up, then sat back in his seat.

I pulled out the bag of army men and opened them up.

"What are you doing?" he asked. I didn't answer, but I set them all up on the table, guns and weapons facing him. He asked, "Did you bring me slippers and a pipe? Did you?"

I didn't answer, but I continued to set up the men until the bag was empty and there was a small plastic army facing him. I then lowered myself down so that my head was almost touching the table, and I gave him a dastardly smirk.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

I replied, "This is what I think of you and your 'men.'" I then knocked the army men over with a hand and said, "I'm not bringing you anything but a lot of hurt." I then gave him a toothy smile.

He said, "Okay, nutjob," then finished his coffee and left. Goal achieved: sometimes you have to fight lunacy with lunacy. As for Clark and his supposed "men," I never heard from any of them, but to be safe, I didn't write a thing about the incident until now, now that I've moved away and no longer write for that paper.


  1. I hope that Clark reads this blog.

  2. So *this* is what happens when two of those people who employ props to issue bizarre threats wind up on a date with each other. Honestly, I'm surprised you two crazy (and I mean crazy) kids didn't get married.

  3. OP struck the biggest blow for women's lib since Ms. Pac Man!

  4. "you're just getting too close to certain things."

    Crap - does this mean what I think it means? Is OP starting to uncover details of the Male Hegemony Conspiracy? Jared, you need to send me all the information you have about the OP right NOW! I'll relay it on to the Illuminati who run that area. This needs to get buried before it can go any further, do you understand me?!?

  5. Five bucks says OP has a coffee mug that states "Suffering from PMS - Putting up with Men's Sh*t!"

  6. Not really sympathetic to the OP. Apparently the only reason she is dating is to humiliate her dates by writing funny columns about them.

    1. Everyday I am surprised to find people like you who can write comments but apparently lack the ability to read!

      What you are describing is actually THIS site...not the OP's column.

    2. Hey now, we change the names of the people we humiliate here.

  7. All kidding aside, I have to say I agree with Janpieter. If you don't want your dates to judge you based on the fact that you write a dating column, then let me give you a brainstorm - DON'T WRITE ABOUT YOUR OWN DATES IN YOUR COLUMN.

    Granted, this is exactly the same as what we do here, but at least we're upfront about the fact that we're being mean because it's funny - we generally don't pretend that we're nice people in this particular respect (although we may be perfectly wonderful people in other ways). The OP seems to be deluding herself that changing the names of her dates somehow makes it OK for her to make money off her dates by publicizing what should be a personal experience. If the OP was genuinely an ethical person, she would tell her dates about her column beforehand so that they can opt out of being her subject matter if they so choose.

  8. At least, if you're going to write about your own dates, write it in the third person and make it sound like a story someone else sent in.

  9. My impression is that the majority of the dates written about on this site are meant as real, honest dates and only turned into stories after going sour, whereas the OP seems to go on dates only with the intent of writing stories about them. A crucial difference.

  10. We shall call this "The Stepford Wives: The Dating Years: A Prequel." We'll even get Matthew Broderick and Nicole Kidman to reprise their roles, we'll make them look younger with movie magic! You can make the checks out to Lime Cocos, Esquire, thank you for your consideration.

  11. Going to the cops is unnecessary. It's obvious he's just a blowhard who thinks too highly of himself. He and his other basement dwellers wouldn't have done shit. If she had gone to the authorities, they would have laughed at her, and rightly so.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Content Policy

A Bad Case of the Dates reserves the right to publish or not publish any submitted content at any time, and by submitting content to A Bad Case of the Dates, you retain original copyright, but are granting us the right to post, edit, and/or republish your content forever and in any media throughout the universe. If Zeta Reticulans come down from their home planet to harvest bad dating stories, you could become an intergalactic megastar. Go you!

A Bad Case of the Dates is not responsible for user comments. We also reserve the right to delete any comments at any time and for any reason. We're hoping to not have to, though.

Aching to reach us? abadcaseofthedates at gmail dot com.