Rule Number Four.

For your consideration, I offer a dull anecdote involving an old buddy, henceforth called “The Mole.” He’s hosting a soirée in Maryland in August, and called to talk me into driving 800 miles to feast on roasted pig. I told him I have some work-related commitments that might prevent me from going, and that after having been out of town for the last half of June, with another week-long trip planned in July, I didn’t know whether I’d be up for yet another long haul in early August. He said he understood, but that he now had a new reason for me to attend.

The Mole’s girlfriend had asked if he had any single friends who would be attending the pig roast because her cousin, who is single, would be attending. He said he might, and called me.

Right away, I was ticked off. The Mole knows that I hate being set up on dates. In fact, it’s Rule Number Four in my book, which he should have learned 14 years ago on the first day of Viscariello Friend Orientation.

Why no set-ups? Two reasons. The nice version of the first reason is that I have the best idea of what’s good for me, other people don’t. Second, I have found matchmakers to be insufferable.

And yet, here was my old friend saying, “I know how you feel about set-ups, but…”

I figured he was trying to score points with his girlfriend by asking me to meet her cousin. So, being his pal, and being by nature a forgiving person, I used my other cell phone to remotely arm the autodestruct mechanism I secretly built into his house, and let him go ahead with his pitch.

The cousin had an unusual name–let’s say, “Coolina”–which led me to ask whether her parents were hippies. The Mole said they were too old for that, which led me to assume that they were actually beatniks. Of course, I was joking. Names really don’t matter to me, aside from the Three Forbidden Names (see “Rule Number One,” My Book, pp. 15-71).

But the Mole went on to describe Coolina in such a way that I had to remind him that he was trying to talk me in to meeting her rather than out of it. To wit:

• He said that she was blonde—I prefer brunettes. De gustibus non est disputandum.

• He said that she was 36 or 37 years old—which is a coupla years over my upper limit.


• He said she lived in New York and loved it there—I refuse to live the vortex of myopia that is New York.

• Worst of all, he said she had no kids and wanted no kids—which is a blatant violation of Rule Number Three (My Book, pp. 106-124).

In short, he had described a woman who would be absolutely perfect for me only if every day of the rest of my life were Opposite Day. It was as though the part of his brain melted by his love for his girlfriend were the part that remembered anything about me. I would have been offended, but I understand perfectly well that love makes us do stupid things.

I typed the DETONATE command into my other cell phone, and held my thumb over the Send key. I told the Mole, “If I can even find time to drive 800 miles to your party, I’m doing it to hang out with you and my other friends, not to try to hit it off with some woman who meets none of my criteria. You’re asking me to break my rules—rules you know. Rules that work. I realize that you’re trying to do your girl a favor, but what’s she going to think when I show up and there’s absolutely no attraction between me and her cousin? Won’t she get pissed off at you? What are you thinking, Mole?”

The Mole said, “Coolina works for [a major multinational bank]. She’s a vice president.”

I said, “I’m there.”

3 Responses to “Protected: Rule Number Four.”

  1. Doctor Hmnahmna Says:
    June 30th, 2007 at 4:47 PMActually, I think Rule 4 is B.S. Especially since a blind date is how Mrs. Hmnahmna and I got together. Don’t knock it until you try it.

    If you want to stop off here before making final approach to the Mole’s lair, you’re welcome to do so.

  2. VDV Says:
    July 1st, 2007 at 11:49 AMRemarkably, there are only three problems with your comment:

    1. Tried it. Knocking it.

    2. Dr. Hmnahmna liked blind dates, therefore my dislike of them is BS. There’s got to be a name for this fallacy. “Egocentric”?

    3. Blind dating worked out fine for you, but was a disaster for your wife. Ba-dum-CHING! Thank you, I’ll be here all week, please tip your waitress.

    My rules are for me, not for you. For instance, Rules One (concerning names) and Two (classified) would also not apply to you.

  3. gatorbob Says:
    July 5th, 2007 at 7:40 AMIt’s been a while since the Gator was on the dating scene, but let me add my rule of thumb – take a look at your date’s record collection. If she’s got Miles Davis – Kind of Blue, propose on the spot; if there’s any Ramones or AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” there is certainly potential, but if there is any Michael Bolton or Kenny G., grab those pants and start running….

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