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  NIGHTSPOTS

Dateland
by Jennifer Parello
2003-06-18

This article shared 2088 times since Wed Jun 18, 2003
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My Lady Friend walked into the condo lugging several gallons of bottled water. My Lady Friend tends to whimper when carrying anything heavier than a postage stamp, so the sight of her stoically toting the containers up three flights of stairs captured my attention.

'What are you doing?' I asked.

'Preparing for biological warfare,' she said wearily.

'Oh,' I said, and went back to what I was doing, which was lying on the couch, trying to train my toes to wiggle independently of each other.

'Where are you going to put that stuff?' I asked. I wasn't particularly interested in her answer, but I thought that feigning curiosity in her activities might result in a sexual payoff later in the evening.

'The secret room,' she said. Before I could scream 'No!' she pounded on a false wall that leads to the secret room and began filling my precious sanctuary with her survival garbage.

We didn't know the condo had a secret room until the day we took our final walk-thru. The seller's realtor stood in front of what looked like an ordinary wall and gave it a solid punch. The wall slowly gave way, opening into a small, whitewashed room with an eerie light.

The realtor told us that the previous owner had kept his coin collection in the room. I suspected 'coin collection' was a euphemism for drugs, porn, and under-aged boys.

There are many reasons why I think the former owner of the condo is a moron. He deliberately killed his neighbor's plants by pouring bleach on them. He filled his library with Reader's Digest condensed books. And he covered every available wall surface with jungle-print wallpaper.

But the dumbest thing he did was fail to tell us about the secret room before we bought the place. I would have thrown another $10,000 at him if I had known.

I have long felt that the only thing keeping me from becoming a superhero was the fact I did not have a secret lair—a place where I could perform relatively harmless experiments on my pets and hatch schemes that would thwart my enemies. I immediately painted the room hot pink and installed a combination wet bar/laboratory. I fantasized about the day when the only evidence people on the other side of the false wall had of my whereabouts was the faint tinkling of ice cubes and an occasional strange smell and/or explosion.

My dreams were dashed, however, the moment I saw my Lady Friend stacking can goods in the corner of the room where I had built a conversation pit.

'I bought enough water and food for four of us. It should last us a week,' my Lady Friend said.

'Four of us?' I said numbly.

'You, me, and your parents,' she said.

I thought about what life would be like in a tiny room with my parents and my Lady Friend. My mother would blather on non-stop about my refusal to wear lipstick. And my father and my Lady Friend would attempt to make small talk while desperately hoping that no one brought up the fact that my Lady Friend and I have sex occasionally.

'No offense,' I said, as I looked at my once charming little hideout, now filled with boxes of granola, 'but I'd rather die.'

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This article shared 2088 times since Wed Jun 18, 2003
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