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ANTI-VALENTINE'S DAY CONTEST - Polly's Blind Date Disaster...

My date was but two weeks ago, just before v-day. My friend Emmy and her partner John invited me out to dinner with John's friend Gary, 'just to make up four at the table'. (yeh, sure!). I thought, 'what the hell, it could be fun!'

When I saw Gary I thought "Uh, no." He wasn't at all my type, and he was about 20 years older that the guys I like to go out with (he was over 50).

At the dinner table Gary made pleasant conversation, but it wasn't long before he started talking about his most recent bout of depression, (oh dear, now we all go through periods of depression, but we usually manage to keep the details private, especially on a 'date'!). Then he asked me to elaborate on a number of things he seemed to already know about me - 'creepy' was my conclusion, but I batted off any personal enquiries and asked him questions about his own opinions, which he wasn't expecting. After dinner we all went back to Emmy's house for 'drinks'.

Gary and the others wanted my opinion on some artworks he'd brought with him. (yeh yeh, 'why don't you come up and see my etchings?') We all sat down in the loungeroom with cool drinks and continued to chat. Soon enough, Emmy and John went to the kitchen, leaving me alone with Gary (groan). Oh Jesus.

Gary resumed talking about 'his' depression, and about his desire to 'work in a third world country', just to reinforce the impression he was hoping to make as a 'caring, sensitive, and compassionate guy', and playing hard on my (non-existent) sympathy. Obviously feeling comfortable with me, he just lay on the floor like a big blob, with his shirt hanging out of his trousers and barely concealing his grey-haired gut (when the bloody hell are the other two coming back in??). Then he said to me "I might have a bong soon". A 'bong'?, I hadn't heard that word used in years. I just ignored his comment and started planning a polite escape. Being way too polite, I let him go on about himself a bit longer. He said again "I might have a bong soon" (god, you're serious!), "is it OK with you if I do?" I smiled and said, "Hey, do whatever you like, it's got nothing to do with me", and I went to the kitchen to say goodbye to Emmy.

Now, I assumed that Gary would just go outside and have a quiet smoke under a tree and contemplate the unusually warm weather or something, but no. He followed me to the kitchen, and brought out his weed, his bowl and started mulling up at the table. I thought that was just plain rude. But then out came - The Bong.

Jesus F. Christ, you should have seen this thing! It was a plastic orange juice bottle that looked like it had been in his possession since his undergraduate days in the 70s!! It was absolutely filthy, lined with black muck from years and years of 'self-medication' as he called it. And did he go outside and sit under a tree? No, he just lit up at the table. John shrugged his shoulders, Emmy looked like she was having an aneurysm, but I think I may have actually had one. She very politely asked him to smoke outside. I left.

"So, what did Polly think of me?" Gary asked Emmy...

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