Monday, January 18, 2010

Week of 01/18/2010

Harry’s Ugly Date
– by David Matthews 2

Once upon a time on the campus of America University… there was a college student name Harry.

Harry was the president of the Alpha Delta Ka-Ch’ing fraternity. It wasn’t exactly a position that he earned, though. Like most things in his life, Harry sort of “fell into” this position. It gave him something to do, and it wasn’t like his frat brothers were too eager to shoulder the burdens anyway.

One day, Harry told his fraternity brothers that the Homecoming Dance was coming up, and Harry didn’t have a date. Harry really wasn’t that good in this department anyway. These things are usually just… handed to him.

This caused some concern for his frat brothers, because Alpha Delta Ka-Ch’ing always prided itself in making sure that EVERY fraternity brother was there… and there with a date! And this year, more than any other, they REALLY wanted to rub that detail into the faces of their rival fraternity, Gamma Omega Krappa, especially after they were caught in some compromising positions… including a few involving farm animals.

But BMOC Max reassured Harry and the other frat brothers that he’s got them covered on this. He’ll find Harry THE BEST date for the Homecoming Dance. Harry was relieved, and so were the other frat brothers. But it was Max and his friends that were the ones that were now worried. They certainly didn’t want to set Harry up with a looker, and at the same time they knew that nobody in their circle of friends were willing to be seen with Harry. He wasn’t really the “entertaining” kind of guy. Harry was the kind of guy that only his family could love.

Time goes by, and Harry starts to get a little worried. The Homecoming Dance WAS getting closer and closer. And the Gamma Omega Krappa boys were taking great pride in taunting and jeering Harry for his social awkwardness. They even began to spread nasty rumors about Harry and his shortcomings. Anything to make it less and less likely that Harry would have a date for the dance.

And that WOULD be a shame for the Alpha Beta Ka-Ch’ing fraternity, wouldn’t it? After all, the GOKs may be rude, crude, obnoxious, irredeemable, dishonorable, disrespectful, and guilty of taking too many liberties with people, places… and a few farm animals… but at least THEY all had no problems getting dates to the Homecoming Dance!

Well after so much hassle and hand-wringing, Max and his buddies managed to pull through and present Harry with his date to the Homecoming Dance. And they were so happy about pulling off that little coup! They were busy giving themselves high-fives and patting themselves on the back. They couldn’t WAIT to introduce Harry to his date.

So that night, at the Homecoming Dance, all eyes were waiting for the Fraternity President of Alpha Beta Ka-Ch’ing to show up, and they didn’t have to wait very long.

In walks Harry along with his date, and there is an absolute glow about Harry as he’s there with his date, which makes the situation even more surreal when you consider the woman that was hooked on his arm.

She was clearly an older woman. Nobody could ever mistake her for being under-21. She was also clearly on the heavy side, a detail that was only magnified by her choice of attire, which was a black tube top with bare midriff and a black miniskirt that was just a little bit too short. She had a hard ruddy face, with heavy makeup, ratty hair, and an overabundance of perfume. When she spoke, she had a gravely voice like she smoked fifty cigarettes a day. And it was clear when she spoke that she had very little education.

And yet Harry acted as though this woman, who resembled more of a veteran street walker than any hint of a college student, was the most beautiful woman in the world. He couldn’t help but crow about the fact that Max and his fellow frat brothers REALLY came through like they said they would.

Max, of course, was laughing in the other side of the dance hall with his frat brothers. They knew that Harry would make the best of anything he was given, and they couldn’t help but see it proven by getting someone at the last minute off-the-street.

But then later that night, Harry did something that even Max didn’t expect. Harry got up on stage before the announcement of the Homecoming King and Queen election. It seems that Harry, in his anticipation of having a date to the Homecoming Dance, had nominated himself and his date - listed as “to be named later” - for Homecoming King and Queen. But they weren’t listed on the ballots. To Harry, that was inexcusable.

So Harry took to the stage and demanded that he and his lovely date, Hope Faith Charity, be listed on the ballots before any voting took place. He also used the opportunity to speak out against all of the snickering and back-talking that he had been hearing during the dance about his date. Hope is a BEAUTIFUL woman, he declared, and she supposedly didn’t deserve the kind of treatment that these “enlightened students” of America University have been giving her.

Unfortunately the more he protested, the more he was ridiculed amongst the students, and his “lovely” date Hope certainly didn’t appreciate the kind of added attention being foisted on her. The GOK’s certainly were milking this self-destruction up for all that it was worth. And BMOC Max and his fellow Alpha Delta Ka-Ch’ing frat brother were suddenly regretting their choice.

It was certainly not a good evening for Alpha Delta Ka-Ch’ing, or for anyone associated with the fraternity. And although he would never admit to it… it wasn’t a good evening for Harry either.

The story, of course, parallels certain current events in Washington, but the overall message is the same no matter how you tell the tale.

Harry may choose to treat his ugly date as a godsend, but let’s get brutally honest here… that doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to equally swallow our pride and act as though his ugly date is the most beautiful woman in the world. In fact the more that Harry and his friends doth protest, the more that we will being to suspect that the real joke… is on us.

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