A Thousand Words A Day

A writing journal _____________________________ PROFESSORBLOG@HOTMAIL.COM

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Reader, writer, podcast listener, and TV watcher. And real nice guy.

Monday, January 06, 2003

The following is the rest of a story for my writing group. The assignment was to write a short story based on a fortune cookie fortune. Mine was "Quantity is no substitute for Quality, even when it is the only one you have." As was pointed out by many participants at the first meeting, where fortune cookies were consumed, this is really an aphorism and not a fortune. As a matter of fact, these days most fortune cookies weemed to contain little more than short pithy phrases and not actual fortune, but that is probably being way too picky. So without further ado, here is the conclusion to "Fifty-Two Pick Up." I am not a short story writer, I must admit and I must say as a way of covering myself for the quality of this particular piece. I use the word piece, because it is probably a piece of *%$@# . . . But enough authorial whining. Here it is. Enjoy.

I introduced myself and we shook hands. I maintained eye contact through it and held her hand half a beat longer than casual. I ordered her a drink.

“Your friend’s sure up and down a lot,” she commented, as a twinkle came and went in her soft green eyes.

So, they’d been keeping close tabs on us. “He’s got his way to meet women,” I said, chuckling.

“And you have yours?” Marcia was slowly leaning my direction.

I eyed her with a sly grin. At least I hoped it was a sly grin. “Yup. I just sit here drinking a beer, and the wait for the best-looking woman to be left alone at her table.”

She chuckled. “Does that work every time?”

“Worked tonight,” I answered.

“You are a smooth one, Mister.”

“I try.”

“And your friend?” she asked.

I considered the question. “Well, he tries in his own way.”

“I’m disappointed you two didn’t try with us.”

“We’re usually not a good team. Our styles are way too different.” This was true. It was one of those "guilt by association" things. I didn't a potential pick-up to think that his style was mine, too. I mean, we were friends, we'd known each other since seventh grade. But this was one area where our approaches were different. One hundred and eighty degrees different.

“Who’s more successful?” she asked.

“Tonight, I've been.” I raised my glass toward her and smiled. I almost winked, but I don’t think that would have been the right move. Keep it smooth, man, keep it smooth.

I asked Marcia for her number and she gave it to me. She leaned in and kissed me on the cheek. “We’re just about done here,” she told me, indicating the blonde. She was returning from the rest room. “Give me a call when you can.”

“How soon can I?” I asked in a voice that I hoped was suave, but which I feared was desperate.

She checked her watch. “I’ll be home in half an hour.”

I grinned and stood, making way for the blonde friend to sit back down.

When I got back to our spot, Lance was still gone. Or maybe he’d been back and was gone again, it was hard to tell.

All I knew was that he would not have as good a night with the ladies as I’d had. He might get a number, maybe a real number, maybe even more than one. Sometimes it happened. But as usual, I got the best one. There was absolutely no doubt about that one.

Lance just didn’t understand that when it came to women, quantity is no substitute for quality, even when it’s the only one you have.


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