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Honey, listen. I didn’t sleep with Jessica Alba

Posted: December 4, 2008 9:53 p.m.
Updated: December 5, 2008 4:30 a.m.
 

I've noticed something. Men are different than women. Bow. Smile wanly. Bow some more. Wave. Thank you. I now will accept my Nobel Prize for being a Brain Scientist.

Seriously. Is it just me or have you guys noticed that one gender is from the chromium-based atmosphere of the planet Rigel N-13 in a galaxy yet to be discovered - and the other gender is from Earth?

Being firmly entwined in a loving, nurturing relationship, I'll never cop to which gender lives on Earth and which gender paints their face, tries to appear taller than they actually are and has cooties. And I'm not talking about Anabaptists.

I am loved exceptionally well by a tall, sexy, debilitatingly beautiful blonde who is funny, supportive, kind, considerate and - fortunately for me - near-sighted.

Bonus: She's one hotsy-totsy curvy woman. I love her. Something's been bothering her.

The other evening, we're out to dinner. Being a woman, she has The Gift. She waits until my mouth is full so I can spit out 12 pounds of salad before quietly accusing: "Who's Theresa?"

Why did that make me panic?

All guys have been there. For one fleeting moment in our mangy dog lives, we're innocent. Life's a warm swim.

Then your softer counterpart lets slip a seemingly innocuous Spanish Inquisition query light years beyond Left Field.

I stopped chewing. Every guy in the restaurant stopped chewing. It's like that silence right before a million wildebeests stampede at the watering hole.

My show-stopping girlfriend dabs her mouth. There's a neutral, bureaucratic chill to her voice, like she's a cop laconically going over notes before saying: "We found a dead body in the trunk of your car. Don't insult our intelligence."

She slides a yellow legal pad across the table. "Write it out. You'll feel better. John."
She cups my hand with hers. "You can leave prison still a young man. C'mon, pal. Play ball. Who's ‘Theresa?'"

I'm breathing through my mouth.

Where's my attorney, Rick Patterson (800-676-5295)?

And what did I do with Theresa's corpse?

My mind races, like a Rolodex on steroids. Or - for the benefit of The Signal's new demographic of younger, oppressed newspaper-reading males in a relationship - like an iPhone on mocha latte half-half with 16 hits of espresso.

DO I know a Theresa?

There's my long-missing half-sister, Teresa. I think she's dead. There's Mother Teresa. Likewise, dead. There's Casa Teresa, the home for pregnant unwed mothers 18 and older in Orange County.

I hide the panic. Did my eyes dilate? Sweet merciful saints. WHY do I know that? Calm down, damn you, you're a comedy writer. You're supposed to know stuff like that.

I make a mental note to never, ever scream "Casa Teresa!!" in my sleep. My leggy partner chews slowly, in that feigned, Oh-No.-I'm-Not-Peeved-At-You way only women and serial killers can pull off.

"No, John," she says, tossing her hair out of her face and laughing ice cubes. "Theresa. With an ‘H.' An ‘H,' John. Like the ‘H' - in ‘Ho.'"

J'accuse. She didn't mean 33 percent of Santa's chuckle.

I know they don't have dramatic radio mystery bass "Boom-boom-boom" orchestra music in the Soup Plantation. But I heard it anyway.

A waiter sped by, mouthing - with a Spanish accent: "¡Que muerta! Be careful how you answer, amigo. ..."
"Honey..." My hand cuts the air with small rolling gestures. "I don't know a THHHH-ree-sa," I sputter, like Sylvester the Cat. "I don't know a Four-ree-sa, a Five-ree-sa or a Reesa's Peanut Butter Cup, for that matter."

Crickets blow ice clouds into their tiny hands. Unless you're starring in a James Bond movie, never attempt humor while a woman is interrogating you.

"OK. Fine. What." I finally ask, too tired to insert a question mark.

We stare at one another for five minutes. Her posture is erect, superior, confident, as if she is about to deliver the case-solving evidence at the 58th minute of "Law & Order."

"So," she says, the "Puny Earth Male" silent but implied, "You're telling me you do not know a woman named Theresa. ..."

I stare forlornly at the sprawling buffet. My chili. My baked potato. My corn bread. Colder than Mother MacBeth. We could just as well be holding this Women's Deduction Clinic about the lovely and talented Jessica Alba.

"John. Do you know OF Jessica Alba?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Do you occupy the same continental land mass?"

"Yes, Your Honor."

"Therefore, it is this court's findings that, three oughts-are-ought, carry-the-one, you KNOW - in a woman-taken-in-adultery biblical sense - Jessica Alba."

Gavel bangs. Defendant Guilty. Guy Court is over.

"Let me level with you, my species -" I overtly gesture, Indian style, "- to your species. I - am a guy."
She's disinterested already.

"I think about things like: Hey. I wonder what the beet crop will be like this year? Or: Why in the heck would those two Minnesota players get suspended four games for taking diet pills? Isn't it in their best interest as NFL defensive tackles to stay big?"

I have no idea what I just said. I'm certainly not inferring that, with women, like with dogs, it's the tone of your voice that counts, along with slightly tilting your head to the left while raising a paw.

She folds her arms, as if considering if she can ever trust me again.

"I had a dream," she finally confesses.

I did not blurt out in the crowded restaurant: "OH HOLY MARTIN LUTHER KING CRIPES AND EGYPTIAN MIDGETS WITHOUT THEIR UNDERWEAR, IS THIS WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT?!?!" No. I'm a 21st century guy. I inhale a jagged breath through my nostrils.

I...

Just...

Listen...

Psycho-anthropologists speak of faraway rainforest shamans who recognize no differentiation from the sleeping state and real world. Apparently, ditto with women.

The story unfolded. In my beloved tall, sexy blonde Viking's dream, she was building a house. Me, Mr. Man, was not helping. I was with the Mystery Tramp, Theresa.

That was the whole damn four-second dream. I didn't even get the benefit of any tawdry and steamy details, like Theresa screaming: "Why, John, you're the entire Chatsworth porn industry and a six-pack of Dr. Pepper!"

No. In her dream, my honey "just knew (squint, pursed lips) I was up to something."

And that was it. I've been in semi-trouble for a week. Semi, because she makes it all better by smiling at me.

Still. If I have a disturbing dream involving my attorney (800-676-5295), the next time I see Rick Patterson, I don't throw a drink in his face and sock him.

And bless Rick's heart, he doesn't sock me and give me the cold shoulder until 2016. In fact, if either one of us have a dream about the other, we have the manly resolve to jolly well not mention it.

You know why?

Because we're guys.

From Planet Earth, gosh darn it.

Or at least it's ours until the women from Rigel N-13 come back into the room, squinting at us over something we did in their dreams.

John Boston has earned 117 major national, regional and California awards for writing excellence. His columns appear Fridays and Sundays in The Mighty Signal.

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