Cynthia and Captian Backfire

I am such a retard. Honestly.  I know, I know… you are thinking, “No Paul, you are not quite that stupid, you are cool”.  NO. I’m a buffoon.  Trust me.  Let me explain. Remember Cynthia, from the post  called “30 Day Challenge”? (click here to see it if you need a refresher)

Okay. Now that you know who “Cynthia” is, let me bring you up to speed.

That all took place about a month ago. Not long after I wrote that post, I stopped seeing her at Smith’s. I figured that she had quit. Last week, I was buying beer and cookies, and I saw her again.  I was thrilled that she was still within reach in some way!

One thing I learned in Neil Strauss’s first book on the topic of dating, “The Game”, is the 3 Second Rule. That is – when you see someone that you are attracted to, if you hesitate more than 3 seconds, you’ve blown it.  You must simply ACT, immediately, and not spend time getting all weird in your own head.   Well, I pretty much turned it into the 300 Second rule. I promised myself that if I ever saw her again, I would just approach. I’d say HI, I’d do SOMETHING, anything.   An old man was chatting her up, and one thing I have a very hard time with is approaching a girl who is in dialogue with someone else at the moment. It’s doable, I’ve done it before, but it’s a fucking bold move, one best accomplished with at least 32 oz of beer in one’s belly.  I walked past her isle, thinking I’d make another pass and chat her up when the old man had left.  Upon my second pass, she was talking to a middle aged woman about something.


Everyone wants to talk to Cynthia.

Pass 3: she’s gone.  I circle the store like an angry house fly.  GONE.

Dammit. DAMMIT. The 3 Second Rule is vindicated yet again.

I now do my grocery shopping in very small batches, so as to give me opportunities to run into hotties at the store, as I am buying a few oddities. Staples. Bananas. Beer. Sandpaper. You know. Things a bachelor needs.

Today I went in for my macaroni and cheese supplies.  VOILA! Cynthia was there!!

I did not hesitate. I went straight into the organic potato chip section where she was working.  Made solid eye contact. Said “Hi”.  It was a good, solid, confident “Hi”.  So far so good.

She was straightening up the displays. In front of me are several types of multi-root, organic, funky hippie chips.  I grab a bag, turn to her and ask, “Are these any good?”

Smooth. I know.

She begins telling me about how good they are, and shows me her favorite brand.  I try to expand the conversation by telling her about the root chips that the Chow Truck makes in house. She’s never seen it. I abandon that train of thought. She grabs another one of her favorite bags of organic treats, and shows me the nutrition label, talking about how good they really are.

“Yeah, but let’s be honest. We are talking about chips here”, I say to her. This is my tactic to see if she’ll invest a little more in trying to convince me.  She’s towing the line. She’s not disengaging, but she’s not digging in either.  I grab one of the bags she recommends, and saunter off to find some shower gel.

My moment  of glory is coming up.  Stay with me.

I’ve got my goods, I’m about to go check out. I decide to make one last round of chat with Cynthia, just to see if anything else comes of it.

She’s still in the same spot. I start walking down her isle. I lift the bag of chips out of my basket and say to her, “I’m going to try these”.

“You are?”

“Yeah. They had better be good”

“Oh they are. I love them”.

“If they are gross….”

YOU READY?  Here is the most romantic thing I’ve ever said to a woman…  Let’s rewind a little so you can take in the set up once more…

“If they are gross, I’m coming after you”.






Could I have said anything more creepy?



I have no idea where that came from.

NO, that’s a lie I know exactly where that came from… I obeyed the 3 second rule. I was not THINKING ahead, I was just acting on my feet.  Yes, dear reader, on some level, I think the idea of stalking a grocery store employee for vengeance because a $3.50 bag of tree hugger chips were gross, is funny.

I know in my heart of hearts that I’m the most gentle person in the world, so I think it’s funny to suggest that I’m dangerous and creepy.

I know, I know….  I cannot expect perfect strangers to GET THAT.


Why did I say it?

John Mayer had it right:

“Oh, another social casualty
Score one more for me
How could I forget?
Mama said “think before speaking”
No filter in my head
Oh, what’s a boy to do
I guess he better find one soon

Oh, the way she feels about me has changed
Thanks for playing, try again.
How could I forget?
Mama said “think before speaking”
No filter in my head
Oh, what’s a boy to do
I guess he better find one

I’m never speaking up again
It only hurts me
I’d rather be a mystery
Than she desert me

Oh I’m never speaking up again
Starting now… Starting now

One more thing
Why is it my fault?
So maybe I try too hard
But it’s all because of this desire
I just wanna be liked
I just wanna be funny
Looks like the jokes on me
So call me captain backfire

I’m never speaking up again
it only hurts me
I’d rather be a mystery
than she desert me

oh i’m never speaking up again
i’m never speaking up again
i’m never speaking up again
Starting now, starting now..”

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