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Too Stupid for Cupid

Baseball fans, this one's for you. Over at Bugs & Cranks, the latest Braves report awaits your darting eyeballs:

Braves Lose; Cox Retiring -- Has the outcome of a single spring training game driven the Braves' manager over the edge? Or am I full of shit? And where does Prague come into it?

This next one's for everyone. Free skate, folks. No pushing.

I've never been good at setting people up on dates. Which is fine, because I've frankly never wanted to set people up on dates. I believe in letting nature take its course. If fate, pheremones, and a fifth of Cuervo don't do the trick, don't come crying to me.

"I believe in letting nature take its course. If fate, pheremones, and a fifth of Cuervo don't do the trick, don't come crying to me."

Occasionally, though, I've been asked to play matchmaker, and I've squirmed uneasily through every minute of it. It's just not the sort of thing I'm good at -- and it's so complicated. First, I'm supposed to make a bunch of friends, making sure that most of them are single. Or at least in crappy relationships that have no chance of working out long-term. Same difference, really.

Then, I'm supposed to actually pay attention to these friends, as they yap away about what they like, and what they don't like, and what they're looking for in a perfect 'soulmate'.

Please. If I'm not going to listen when my wife talks about that stuff, I'm certainly not going to listen to my friends. Don't these people have blogs for this kind of crap?

Worst of all, though, is the final step -- I'm expected to think, really hard, about two people who might be able to tolerate each other for the next sixty years or so. And then tell them both, which is when all hell breaks loose. And somehow I, who was only trying to help -- nay, who was specifically recreuited to help -- become the 'bad guy'. It's not just a thankless job; it should come with hazard pay.

If the two people in question already know each other, the fiasco begins immediately. Right away, they start bitching about what a lousy match they'd be. 'She's too old,' one might cry. Or 'He's my cousin!' Or 'Dude, I don't date dudes!'

Blah, blah, blah. Look, I'm doing the best I can with the material available. If you're not willing to compromise just a little on matters of age, or relatedness, or inherent sexual preference, then there's little hope for you. You'll die unwanted and alone with that attitude.

On the other hand, if the people don't know each other, it ends up even worse. Then I have to describe each of them to the other. Which means I have to lie about whatever blemishes and shortcomings they have. And of course they have shortcomings -- why else would they be asking me for relationship advice?

This always goes about as poorly as you'd expect:

Hopeful Single Guy: So, her name's Janet, eh? Tell me about her.
Me: Well. She's... local. Lives right in Cambridge.
Hopeful Single Guy: Good, good. What does she do for a living?
Me: She's an ambassador... of sorts.
Hopeful Single Guy: Really? How cool! To what country?
Me: To the general public, you might say.
Hopeful Single Guy: Oh, like in a museum or something?
Me: Well, near a museum.
Hopeful Single Guy: I don't get it.
Me: She holds the door open to the subway entrance downtown for spare change.
Hopeful Single Guy: Oh. Right. Okay. Well, is she good looking?
Me: Define 'good'.
Hopeful Single Guy: Oh, Jesus.

As awkward as that is, it's actually better when the details come out up front. Otherwise, the two people in question actually meet, recoil in horror at the sight of the other, and take turns beating the shit out of you for setting them up with a bug-eyed retarded freak.

(Which is, again, not my fault. You're coming to me, here, not some Hollywood pretty boy. I can only hook you up with the sort of people who are willing to spend time with me in the first place. We bug-eyed retarded freaks of a feather stick together.)

Eventually, I started refusing to help people. Now when one of my single friends even gets near me, I scream, 'No way! Get yourself a dildo, or a sex doll or something! I'm OUT!!'

To be sure, this has caused a fair amount of confusion and embarrasment for these friends. And my wife. And often, various innocent bystanders. Nevertheless, it's still preferable to performing any service that might conceivably fall under the loose heading of 'matchmaking'. I may be pudgy, but I am nowhere near fat, winged, or sappy enough to be your Cupid. Move it along, Romeos.

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