The true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate. Which is how I ended up going to my first social mixer. And I learned something: Most people just want to be entertained. And enjoy the moment – even if it includes an annoyance like me…

I went, a tad reluctantly, to a social mixer last night. I think it was for professionals. Or perhaps just anybody on this planet with an actual job looking for women or men also with jobs, in order to meet, greet and copulate. After all, social mixers are defined as events for all sorts of ‘social intercourse’.

And I was the Ace of hearts.

Really…

They had cut each card in a playing deck in half, and upon entering you were handed a half. And one of the greeting activities was seeking the other half to match your card.

Hmm… obviously I don’t drink enough.

And, like I said, I had the ‘top-half’ of the ace of hearts. Perhaps being on top was supposed to presage something to cure that most powerful of human emotions – horniness. Then I recalled that all playing cards are both top and/or bottom.

But of course! No doubt much like the interchangeable roles of men and women today. I mean is it my turn to be tied up, or her turn to wear the French maid’s uniform?

I am soooo forgetful. No doubt because of the long and longer lapses in ‘turns.’ Gee, just when was my last turn?

You were also required to fill out a name tag. With your first name, occupation and hobby.
So I put down “Drew.” Which is actually my name. And for occupation, I printed very clearly: ‘I sell white women in Africa.’ Which was once really sort of true – except it was more of a leasing arrangement. But I won’t bore you stiff right now with my array of past manifestations. And for hobby I wrote: ‘Exorcising demons.’ Which is the same thing I do for a living. As well as in the morning bathroom mirror.

Hmm…

Obviously truth is often stranger than fiction. And, do I need to remind you, I am very strange. Besides, if you aren’t enjoying yourself you should at least be annoying. And that’s pleasurable for me.

Furthermore I am not fluent in ceremonious platitudes. I don’t care how you are feeling. Just take your clothes off and I will feel for you.

At least I’ll feel better. I mean, do you have a better idea? Moreover, as that great lady once said: Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
So I said to the first ‘woman’ standing nearby: If you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody please come over here and sit by me.

She did. And, of course, as soon as I put on my glasses I realized I needed another drink. Lots of them! I mean it only takes one drink to make me go blind; I’m just not sure if it’s the 13th one… or 14th. Just cut the crap, G-d, let there be total darkness… And quickly.

Fortunately she was the 9 of Diamonds.

The gathering was in a grand and intimate garden atrium in a quaint hotel and restaurant verging on the bricks and mortar setting of Philadelphia’s founding history of Independence Hall, across from the Liberty Bell. Which, of course, was cracked long before it arrived here. And is now mostly indicative of the cracked-pots running our cities, states and country.

Hmm…

But that’s another story for another drink. And I promised not to bore you stiff with the past.

Anyway, Maggie — the 9 of Diamonds — turned out to be an eye surgeon. Her hobby she listed as gardening.

Really.

So the only thing I could do was take my glasses off. And keep them off. For she had planted herself like a potted Rhododendron right in my line of clean escape.

On the fortuitous side, she was downright bawdy. And one of the first words out of her wonderfully unfiltered mouth was that she couldn’t understand all those people she had met tonight who claimed they go to the gym three or four or five times a week.

“Hell,” she said, “I go right pass those gyms almost every day – right to my TV set. What a workout!”

Obviously!

But I must admit that what she may have lacked in pulchritude she did more than compensate in brains, and, more importantly, wit.

And, of course, I am not averse to flattery. Right away she asked: ‘What’s a good-looking guy like you doing here?’

And I could only reply: “Looking to get laid.”

“What a coincidence,” she chuckled. “But I am looking for an old guy. One that’ll die after one night with me. And leave me all his money.”

“What a coincidence,” I said between smiling teeth. “So am I.”

So we began scouring the faces and bodies for frail prospects. All the while I continued my heavy consumption. Thank g-d for bourbon.

At this point, several worn-down souls bulging in undersized dresses and over-sized, untucked shirts gathered about as Maggie and I continued laughing and anointing the near-dead ones.

And then came Gerald. He was neither frail nor gasping. But he was self-possessed. One of those who deems to be the center of attention with slow plodding stories about his yawning golf escapades. And although a tad overly fluffy in build he was neat and tidy from his coiffed pompadour to his sockless feet dipped into tasseled Gucci’s.

In other words, as I had warned Maggie, here comes a lawyer – my least favorite ethnic. And a perfect target for my annoyance. His being a lowly 3 of Clubs somehow seemed apropos.

“So what’s your handicap, Gerry. I mean besides your profession?”

Gerry grit his teeth and did a slow burn.

Maggie interjected that she just had to try golf again. She was terrible the other five or six times she had tried. Obviously she was giving Gerry an opening. But then I injected: ‘He isn’t old enough for you, girlfriend.’

‘He will be when I’m done with him,’ she roared.

Obviously Maggie is convicted of the Lithuanian adage: Well behaved girls rarely make history.

Anyway, Gerry, didn’t quite know how to readjust. So to help him out I wondered: Anyone heard any good pick-up lines tonight? I mean besides Mike (the 4 of Hearts) over there telling everybody he’s just looking for companionship.

“Not since you told me to take off my clothes because you are vestiphobic,” said the plump school teacher. She was the 8 of Hearts and declared ‘home decorating’ as her hobby. “That sounded interesting. But I don’t think I quite know what ‘that’ means.”

“Which part?” I asked.

A smoldering Gerry, seeking to be the arbiter of improper salacious innuendo, then informed us that he recently had a blind date.

“And she saw her way to you?” intoned a perky 7 of Spades.

Even though the 7 of Spades, who listed her hobby as antiques, may have lacked a certain ‘luster’ I was really beginning to enjoy her and the rest of this crowd’s bon vivant. And it wasn’t only at my laissez-faire wise-acre bequest. They just seemed glad to be past worrying about ceremonious proprieties.

Gerry huffed and puffed a bit before continuing. He said he was annoyed when after awaiting his blind date’s arrival 45-minutes past the set time, he telephoned her. And she said she had just returned from working out at the gym. And she would be coming along soon.

“There goes another one to the gym again,” snorted Maggie.

“And..” I wondered aloud. “Isn’t it amazing what a horny man will put up with? What? You couldn’t believe someone would keep a lawyer waiting? I bet you were gonna to bill her for your time.”

Gerry just shook his drooped head. But continued that when she did finally arrive, and got herself seated with a drink, her first words were: Do you think I need a boob job? And poor Gerry said that between his annoyance and fluster he didn’t know what to say.

And suddenly another woman reeking of cheap perfume and garbed in a rather sparse dress with no name tag wiggled into a seat with us. Her body language, beneath a hard face, said she was a social vampire. That you could have her if you could afford to buy her a drink at del Frisco’s. That’s where women go to work the spacious bar and restaurant to see which men are able to buy them at least one of the way-overpriced drinks.

And Miss Perfume offered: ‘Well I guess it depended on how much bigger she wanted to be.’

‘Or perhaps smaller,’ suggested Maggie.

Hmm…

And when Gerry reluctantly gazed towards me I noted that when my niece was 13 and complained of her tiny boobs I simply informed her: ‘Anything over a mouthful is wasted.’

Most of the folks seemed naughtily amused – particularly Miss Perfume and her hippopotamus side-kick who had been hitting on one of Maggie’s near-dead prospects.
But Gerry snapped at little ol’ me: ‘You know, you’re the most supercilious bastard…”

Yada-yada-yada….

And when his vitriolic burp passed I simply informed him: “You know Gerry, I resemble that.” And I tossed him a penny. He was obviously caught unawares. “That’s the change for your two-cents.’

And then Maggie warned: ‘He seems mad. Perhaps you should watch out.’

“For what?.. He’s a lawyer… One of those pusillanimous purveyors of parsimonious pathos… He’s not going to do anything unless he gets paid?”

But of course!

And Gerry soon capitulated. Or perhaps simply surrendered. I mean when I was about to finally depart, declaring I had a cigar party to attend with a girl named Monaca, Gerry handed me his card. He said that if I ever wanted to play golf sometime to just call.

I replied that he would be the second person on my list.

‘Who’s the first?’ he wondered.

“Anybody else,” I said, before adding, “Why don’t you take Maggie? She’ll probably kill you.”

Hmm… I could almost see Maggie assessing the prospect. But Maggie requested I give her one of my cards. However, I said I must have left them in my other pants. ‘But here,’ I offered, ‘take Gerry’s.’

Believe it or not, each morning I awake to the laughing pleasure of being me.

To tell you the truth, as I was leaving, I was trying to figure out why I actually enjoyed – at least didn’t really mind – my first – and probably last — mixer experience with people I don’t intend to ever meet and greet again. Perhaps it’s because that people really are much more than what they first superficially appear. That looks can be deceiving. And that, once more, light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people may often seem not too bright – until you hear them speak.

In other words we should be more curious about each other and less judgmental. And tolerate annoying people – like me.

And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…

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