Fiction: Need a Date by Steve Slavin

Need a Date?

by Steve Slavin

 

I’m gonna be honest with yuh, OK? A lotta guys lie about their age, and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s a liar. I’m pushin’ fifty. That’s right – the big five-oh.

Yuh don’t believe me? Yuh wanna see my driver’s license? OK already! It says fifty-three. Yuh can’t lie tuh Motor Vehicle or they’ll take away yer license.

So, duh yuh need a date? Because I happen tuh run a dating service. It’s very sophisticated, very discrete. I only take the most refined clients. No one hasta know I’m gettin’ paid tuh go out with a lady. Even yuh!

I know yuh must be wondering – how can that be? Am I right? So, I’ll tell yuh. I’ll give yuh an actual example.

 

2

One day this lady calls me and says she wants tuh fix me up with her niece. The poor girl had just gone through a very bad divorce, so could I pretend I was dating her?

“Fine,” I said. “I’m a good actor.” But in this case, I would be a little too good.

The niece turned out tuh be this plain Jane, if yuh follow what I’m tellin’ yuh. I mean, I wouldn’t throw her outta bed or anything. But on the other hand, she wasn’t no Playboy bunny, neither.

So I go pick her up on this date, and as soon as she gets in my car, she’s all over me. Well, we’re making out like crazy, and soon she sez, “Duh yuh think we could go someplace?”

Well, before I tell yuh what happens, I’m gonna level with yuh. I run a completely legit outfit. This ain’t no male prostitution ring.

So, I take her back tuh my place, and we go at it all night. Lemme tell yuh, it was the easiest money I ever made. It turns out the aunt was loaded, so when I told her that these services were extra, she just doubled my hourly rate.

 

Well, soon we’re seein’ each other twice a week, and then three times a week. Between her payin’ the babysitter and the aunt payin’ me, I figured the president should give me a medal for this economic stimulus package.

But things started getting’ a little hairy. The girl – OK, she was on the wrong side of forty – she tells me she’s in love with me.

Shit!

So I tell the aunt. She thinks about it for a minute, and then she says I better break if off. She didn’t want me to break her niece’s heart.

OK, I tell her. I call the girl, and when I give her the bad news, she starts crying. I felt like a complete piece of shit. I mean, if it wasn’t for the money, I’d never ever have done something like that to a girl I was dating. I had this friend, Eddie, who used tuh say, “Don’t start up with a girl unless you want tuh keep seein’ her.”

There’s no way I’d ever have gotten involved with a girl like that, but a job’s a job.  She was nice an all, but she wasn’t exactly a looker, if yuh get what I mean. So, am I right or wrong?

Anyway, I was a little sad for a day or two. Then an envelope arrived from the aunt. It made me feel a whole lot better.

 

3

Business was so good, I hired my friend, Jimmy, who I knew from high school. A retired policeman, he was looking to pick up a few bucks.

One day I got a call from what sounded like a rather old lady. She wanted a young man who would “go.”

“Go where?” I asked myself. Then I guessed she must have meant go to bed. I explained that anything that happened between her and her date would be OK, but I could not discuss that over the phone. That seemed to satisfy her because she started to cackle. Then, just before hanging up, she said, “Whatever.”

I told Jimmy about the call, and he seemed game. I gave him the address and he went there a few hours later. It was to be a dinner date at her apartment, which happened to be on Park Avenue in the sixties. Not too shabby.

When Jimmy rang the bell, a uniformed servant about Jimmy’s age opened the door, and then led him down a long hallway and into a huge dining room. There were two place settings at either end of a twenty-foot table. After Jimmy was seated, the servant asked if he would like a cocktail.

Two minutes later, Jimmy had his Dewar’s on the rocks.

“Will there be anything else, sir?”

“Yes. I was curious about what we would be having for dinner.”

“Would prime rib be satisfactory?”

“Most satisfactory! Could I have it medium rare?”

“Of course! There will also be a salad, dinner rolls, and a baked potato.”

“Excellent!”

The servant went back into the kitchen and returned with another drink, which he placed at the other end of the table.

A minute later she made her entrance. She leaned on a walker and seemed not to notice Jimmy until she had been seated.

“I’m so glad you could join me, young man. My name is Martha.”

“I’ve very happy to be here, Martha. My name is Jimmy.”

“Well Jimmy, you look very nice. And I hope you have a very pleasant evening.”

“Thank you.”

Then she lifted what appeared to be a small radio to her ear and seemed to listen attentively. After several minutes she looked up, and seemed almost surprised to see Jimmy. She smiled at him and confided that they were expecting rain tomorrow.

Just then the servant came back to announce, “Dinner is served.”

The prime rib was excellent, as was the rest of the meal. Jimmy wasn’t sure what his dinner companion was eating, but she seemed much more absorbed by the weather than by whatever it was that she was spooning down.

And then she stood, bid him good night, and made her way out of the room. The servant came back, handed Jimmy an envelope, and asked if they could talk for a few minutes.

“Of course!”

He sat a couple of seats down from Jimmy. He apologized for anything Mrs. Charles might have said to him. It turned out that she called dating services two or three times a week, and sometimes said some rather crude things.

“Yes, I’ve heard something to that effect.”

“Well, I just wish my mother…”

“Your mother?”

Jimmy now realized that he had been taken in by their whole charade.

“Jimmy, I am so embarrassed!”

“Tell me….”

“George.”

“Tell me, George. Why do you go along with this craziness?”

“Well, she just loves this role playing. She gets a big kick out of having me dress up like a butler.”

“And what’s with the radio?”

“It has just one station – and all it has are constantly updated weather reports.”

“That’s strange!”

“You want strange? My mother has not left the house in nearly twenty years.”

Jimmy was thinking that if he had an apartment like this, maybe he wouldn’t leave either.

 

4

Have yuh been wondering how much of a market  there is for this kind of business? Yuh  know the old saying, “There’s someone for everyone”?

Well, I hate to be the one tuh bring yuh the bad news, but that just ain’t true for older women who are lookin’ for someone tuh date. That’s because of a simple fact: women live longer than men.

In other words, the guys who they would of dated are already dead. So, what fun would they be?

So why not turn a bad thing into a good thing? Instead of trying to find men who aren’t already dead, get yuhself a younger guy – a guy like me or Jimmy. Trust me, yuh could do a lot worse.

Anyway, my phone is ringing off the hook, so I’m looking to hire at least one more part-timer. If y’er interested, stop by anytime for a chat. Oh – and make sure yuh bring yer driver’s license.

 

A recovering economics professor, Steve Slavin earns a living writing math and economics books.

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