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It’s Only a Really Bad Date If Someone Dies

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By William Thomas

Have you ever told a little white lie to get out of a date?  Ever faked a headache or pretended to cough into the phone while canceling a date?  Everybody’s had a nightmarish date.  Like the guy who booked a table for two with a great view and it turned out to be Hooters.  Like the woman who said she’d love to see you again as long as it’s on Skype.  Like the date who showed up pregnant and when you mentioned it, she stormed out calling you Captain Obvious.  Or the guy you thought really liked you until you caught him discreetly giving the waiter twenty bucks to leave the washroom window open.  Or the time one of you showed up 30 pounds heavier and 12 years older than your dating profile while the other was in the final stage of transgendering.  Oh yeah, dating— more car wrecks than on icy roads in Georgia.  But have you ever faked your own death to avoid a bad date?  No?  Meet Anna Gray.

According to The Mirror in Britain, 29-year-old Anna Gray of Somerset met a guy online and dated him a few times.  After three dates and a dinner, Anna knew it was over.  So she picked up her phone and texted him saying she just wasn’t that into him.  While Anna’s feelings for the guy went Arctic Vortex, he … as a Brit,  he has the right to remain oblivious to everything going on around him, except football scores and the temperature of beer … he still had the hots for her.  (Wot?  My beautiful Anna!)

Okay, he replied which both surprised and pleased Anna.  Not entirely focused, he was actually watching in painful disbelief as Bradford City stunned his beloved Chelsea with two late goals.  Wow!, he thought, I should tell my dear, sweet Anna about this!

“I think we need to have a date tonight,” he texted.  “I will be around your house in 30 minutes.”

Now pretending to be her own sister, Anna immediately messaged him back with bad news.  Anna, she said, had been rushed to the nearby hospital the previous night with a very serious illness.  So … long recovery … if and when … don’t hold your breath … goodbye.

Quick as a cat, but still thick as a post, the guy texts back:  “Oh thanks.  What ward is she on and I’ll visit her now?”

Digging herself deeper into this deception, “Anna’s sister” replied:  “They are only letting family members in at the moment.  Will let you know.”

“Hey,” tweeted the guy looking up as he walked aimlessly around the city live-streaming Manchester United getting their clocks cleaned by Swansea City, “I’m outside that hospital now.”

At this point in the story, you’re realizing how tickety boo—sorry, how absolutely easy peasy—it is to write a British stage comedy.  You take a bunch of queer coincidences, an impending death, unrequited love and you throw in a headmaster who likes to be caned, a wedding interrupted by a funeral, a bulldog named Churchill and a wicked Helen Mirren who happens to carry a riding crop in her kit.  Next thing you know, Hugh Grant is begging to play the lead for scale.

At this point, as the noose of deceit tightened around her neck, Anna Gray must have contemplated killing herself.  So — ah, what the hell — she did.

After an appropriate minute of silence, Anna’s sinister sister sent the guy the coup de grâce:  “I am really sorry to tell you but we lost her last night.”

“Great,” said the guy.  “I’ll switch the tulips for white funeral lilies and be right up!”  Okay, that one I made up, but the rest is absolutely true.

The death notice ended the relationship.  Nobody knows if the guy – “Wow!  Liverpool nil, Everton nil!” – actually took the hint or was so upset by the death of his Anna that his grief muted his response.

A few months later, Anna Gray was back and dating on the original site when the jilted man spotted her active profile.  Hmm, he must have wondered, back from the dead?  Maybe a fresh start?  I’ll just go to her flat and ask her out on a date!

In fact, he sent Anna a bunch of horrible messages which must have been fairly close to the truth because she acknowledged she probably deserved them.  “Karma is a bitch,” is how she put it.

Now with the stalker out of her life, Anna’s engaged to be married.  Although her fiancé is completely infatuated with Anna, it’s those text messages from her twisted sister that he fears the most.

Speed dating, blind dating, online dating — what was once referred to as “courting” can be very complicated today.  Today there are more bad dates than good ones, more feelings hurt than friendships made.  It’s enough to make a guy named Chad with short hair and perfect teeth curse at Christian Mingle.

For comments, ideas and

copies of The True Story

of  Wainfleet, go to

www.williamthomas.ca.

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