Douglas L Perry, The Author blog

January 5, 2009

Nightmare First Date

Filed under: Stories — douglaslperry @ 10:31 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

We’ve all had bad date experiences, but an ex-girlfriend of mine told me a story once that still brings a smile to my face even after many years. 

Dave (not his real name) was a guy that hung out in my circle of friends from time to time in high school. Dave wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, didn’t have both oars in the water, was a few cards short of a deck, well.. you get the idea. Dave wasn’t real smart. 

But what Dave lacked in brains, he made up for in personality. He was always pleasant, never gave anyone grief, and was actually nice to have around from time to time. Dave drove his Dad’s old four wheel drive pickup, and growing up in snow country, that came in handy once in a while. When you got stuck in a snowbank and needed a tow, a quick call to Dave and you were on your way again. When you needed to get somewhere and the snow was coming down horizontal, call on Dave and he’d get you there. 

Dave wasn’t a model, but he wasn’t an ogre either. He was an average looking guy with a slightly hookish nose, a bit taller than most at about 6’1″. He had short dark hair that was always well groomed, and a lanky frame that was typical of a young teen. 

Liz, my girlfriend at the time, wasn’t cheerleader material, but neither would she be featured at a freak show. She was an average looking midwest girl, around  5’4″ tall, with mid back length reddish brown hair, and sparkling brown eyes. She, like all the other girls her age, complained that her nose was too long, her calves were too fat, and her hair was too straight. 

She used to see Dave at the Dairy Queen, where he worked. When he was on duty he would always give her free ice cream cones. She thought he was paying for them, but we all knew, he just wasn’t ringing them up. He had tried for months to ask her out, and one day she finally relented. The date was set for the next Saturday afternoon. 

Liz waited in the living room as Dave showed up 10 minutes late. Her first inkling that something wasn’t quite right, was when she answered the door and she saw what Dave was wearing. Clumps of mud stuck to dirty work boots, splotches of brown dirt stained his blue jeans, a bright orange vest covered an orange plaid flannel shirt, and to top it all off, a fluorescent  orange baseball cap with a picture of a pheasant was planted on his head. She stood in the doorway for a moment, not really sure what to make of it. 

She invited him in and after the normal small talk she asked him where they were going. He told her it was a big surprise and not to worry, she was going to have a blast. He pointed at her feet and asked her if she had any other shoes. It was a crisp autumn day out and those probably wouldn’t be warm enough. She pulled on some tennis shoes and they set off for the truck. 

Her second inkling was when she pulled herself up into the front seat of the gigantic truck. On the bench between sat two rifles, their barrels pointed into the floorboard near her feet and the stocks resting on the fake tiger skin seatcover. She asked and he told her that one of the guns belonged to him and the other was his father’s. 

They drove a few miles outside the town and talked about mutual friends, school, parents, and her college plans for the future. She stared at him nervously as he turned onto a gravel driveway that led to a broken down farmhouse, surrounded on three sides by groves of thick trees. This was at a time before all the teen horror movies flicks had been released so Liz wasn’t worried about being attacked, but she did have serious concerns what they were here for. She complained to Dave and became increasingly agitated. 

He gave her a hurt look and told her to be patient. Where they were going was just around the next corner, and it was. He pulled through an opening in a wire fence that looked as if it hadn’t been fixed in 20 years and stopped the truck. He grabbed the two rifles, opened his door and got out of the truck. He walked around the truck a rifle held vertically in each hand, and stopped in front of her door. 

He smiled at Liz through the window and cocked his head at the door handle. Still confused she just sat there, until he told her that he couldn’t open the door cause his hands were full. 

Not really sure whether she should or not, Liz opened the door but stayed in the truck. He handed her a rifle and told her this one was hers. She stared at him blankly but took the gun from him for no other reason than for her own safety. When he motioned to her, she got out of the truck and stood waiting to see what he was going to do next. 

He started walking towards the open field but stopped when he turned to see she wasn’t following. He urged her on, but she refused to move another step until he told her what this was all about. 

It turns out, that this was the big surprise, this was the fun date, they were going gopher hunting. 

His uncle paid him 50 cents for each gopher carcass. The gophers dug holes in the field that his uncle’s milk cows would step in, and break their legs. Once their leg was broken he could no longer milk them and they would have to be slaughtered. It was good business to rid the field of gophers so that his milk cows could produce more milk. 

Dave had a great time hunting gophers and thought Liz would too. I did mention that Dave wasn’t too bright didn’t I? Anyway Liz wanted nothing to do with it and made Dave drive her home. That worked out in my favor, and though I never married her, Liz was a good friend for many years. 

So guys, just because you enjoy doing something, doesn’t mean your date will too. Make sure you discuss what you are doing before you go out. You don’t want to be Dave, and have that date be the first, and only date.


  1. oh dear. funny but sad. i disagree with you, however. under no circumstances do you want to date (and possibly marry) someone who doesn’t appreciate your hobbies, joys, and pastimes. I commend poor Dave for having resilence and persistence, and i hope he found a gopher-hunting mama to make him happy. 😛

    Comment by Alex Moore — January 6, 2009 @ 4:53 am

  2. I’m smiling out loud! That was so well told 😀 The funny part is, you’re both right–“just because you enjoy doing something, doesn’t mean your date will too,” and, “under no circumstances do you want to date (and possibly marry) someone who doesn’t appreciate your hobbies, joys, and pastimes.” I, too, hope Dave found his match made in Heaven! 🙂

    Comment by mousewords — January 6, 2009 @ 7:51 am

  3. One should save varmint hunting for the second date.

    Comment by Anthony — January 6, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

  4. LOL, agreed. FYI for those of you that commented, Dave is a real person and the reason that I wrote this was he recently became a friend on one of my social networks. The good news is that he is listed as “in a relationship”, so it seems he may have found his true love after all.

    Comment by douglaslperry — January 6, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

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