We’ve all had scary moments when we’re on a first or second date and suddenly discover that this really nice and appealing person is heavily into some weird stuff, hard-core stuff, like…old Lawrence Welk shows. German student drinking songs. fly-fishing, or doily collecting. Maybe it’s serendipity – “Welk? Really? Me too!” – or maybe it’s time to flee.
Sometimes, though, the warning may come not in what the person says but in what the person owns. Here are eight items that, if seen on or around your date, may make you rethink about whom you wish your heart to throb.
1) Hinder Minder
The San Francisco Chronicle’s “Tails of the City” blog alerted me to this disturbing product. The author notes, “I’ve always had dogs with long, straight tails that conveniently keep their more ‘unsightly’ parts under wraps. But for pets with stubby, curly-cue or non-existent nubs, there’s Rear Gear to the rescue.”
There’s no good way to say it, but I’ll try: The Rear Gear is a little tail-hung medallion made to cover a pet’s…extrusion mechanism. This might seem useful for those who own pets and toddlers, to prevent the latter from playing Little Dutch Boy with the former, but I doubt that would work anyway.
My take: I’d worry about a date who worried this much about her dog’s rear end.
2) Ace, King, Queen, Luke
All the fun of nerdom with none of the technology, it’s the Empire Strikes Back 30th Anniversary Edition Deck of playing cards. Solitaire for the dork who can’t get the new Dragon Age: Origins to work on his PC.
My take: A low-tech geek is an oxymoron. Even a compatible wonk will want to tread carefully.
3) TM Aiiieeee!
You may feel that the “Single and Disease-Free” shirt is a highly useful piece of clothing, affirming as it does that the wearer is:
a) single, and
Then again, you only have the shirt’s word for it. Just because it’s 100% cotton doesn’t mean it’s 100% reliable.
My take: Someone who would wear this in public is probably not the kind of person whose availability and health status is of interest to you. Remember suddenly that it’s your night to wash the cat.
4) Maybe You Should Drive
For those who just can’t stand the tiresome job of actually pouring beer from the can into the mouth, there’s the Bierstick. Watch your date inject foamy goodness into the mouths of himself and his buddies! Hey, maybe your date will be the first to hurl!
My take: Rehab waiting to happen. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
5) I [Blech] You
Fat little heart soaps say, “I love you.” Anatomically correct heart soaps say, “I’m concerned about your atrial fibrillation.” Is your date a medical professional? Maybe there’s a reason for the soap. If not, it’s an eyebrow raiser.
My take: We’re looking for a pattern of behavior. Keep an eye out (so to speak) for a spleen-shaped soapdish or a bath brush shaped like a gallbladder.
If your date actually owns a llama farm, or is a veterinarian, the book Making the Most of Your Llama would be normal, even expected, as a fine manual for proper llama care. If your date has this book but no llama farm, but does own a loom, be aware that at some point you’re getting a sweater. (And when she says it’s made from scratch, you’d better believe it.) If your date has this book and profession or hobby that would explain it, llook out.
My take: Don’t believe the “My roommate left that here” line. Demand an explanation.
7) Mullet Over
Yes, the Mullet Wig is obviously a gag. But it’s a $20 gag. Why is your date spending $20 on a gag and not on you? Or did he buy the wig FOR you? In which case, sneak out the bathroom window before the waiter brings the food.
My take: Not an automatic disqualifier, but there had better be a good story to go with it.
8) People Who Live in Crass Houses
Is it even necessary to begin to explain why the Hustler Gold Pole is a ghastly thing to find in a date’s home? And unspeakable if his home is Mom’s basement?
My take: Run.