Story Prompts, Articles, and Ramblings - 3. TV Commercials Might be the Reason I'm Alone
A True to Life Tale that is sadly almost completely true
I’m sure most of you are wondering how I could possibly make this statement with a straight face. Or even how I could offer any evidence that could support the above bizarre statement.
There are times, not always, but certain times I can’t make up my simple mind. So in those times, I flip a coin to help me make those hard decisions. For instance, I can’t decide on which pair of pants to wear out to the club to attract all the hot nerdy guys. I flip a coin. Or as I call it, the fate flip.
Or when I can’t decide to call the hot nerdy guy I hooked up with a few nights earlier to see if a round two would be in agreeable. I fate flip. You know important decisions like that. And the only rule I have implemented when I do fate flip, I must adhere to whatever action fate will decreed. With a flip of the coin, fate will choose the path and I must walk down it.
Last Saturday, I was undecided on what I wanted to eat for lunch. I was torn between eating at my favorite Chinese Food restaurant, and ordering a thin-crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut. So torn between these two completely different choices, I called up my roommate, Daniel, and asked his opinion. He paused for a good five or six seconds before he told me to go fuck myself.
I hung up the phone and sat on my bed for a while and pondered his instructions. After carefully considering it from all angles, I came to the conclusion that I could not possibly fuck myself. So I grabbed my phone and called my friend back in Pennsylvania and asked her advice. Ann laughed in my ear and said it was just like a man not to be able to make up his own mind about what he puts in his own stomach. I accused her of being biased based on the fact she’s a vegetarian and doesn’t eat meat. She hung up the phone when I was in mid sentence.
For a while, over an hour, I walked around my apartment, played on my phone, trying to reason out this most important life decision. I went online, browsed different restaurant sites, hoping to get some kind of input from the inter-webs. Surely, something would reach out and grab me by the taste buds demanding I eat that for my lunch. But nothing presented itself. I was still deadlocked between lunch from my favorite Chinese Food restaurant and a thin-crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut.
I looked at the clock and realized I would have to make up my mind quickly or it would be me deciding on dinner. And I really didn’t have the energy to try and tackle that kind of decision on an empty stomach and whilst sober. I admit it, I’m not that good.
So I decided it was time for a fate flip to choose lunch for me.
I went to my closet and grabbed my large plastic jug that I kept all my spare change inside and brought it to my bed. Some of you might be wondering if I have a lucky quarter that I use when I throw myself into the hands of fate. Matter of fact, I never use the same quarter for a fate flip more than once. And I have a good reason for this, I don’t want to take the chance that two separate fate flips would merge into one if I use the same quarter. How do I know the path fate chose from the previous flip won’t interfere with the current fate flip. I don’t know if it would be affected but neither do you. And I won’t take that chance.
To find a quarter that is fate flip worthy is an arduous task in and of itself. It must be shiny and newer one, no dull quarters would ever be allowed. The edges must be as close to round as possible to ensure a smooth flip. No scratches, no dents, no imperfections are allowed. Rhode Island quarters, as well as Florida quarters are strictly forbidden, the reason should be fairly obvious to anyone that follows presidential elections over the last few years.
So it took a better part of a half hour to find the perfect fate flip quarter. I finally decided on a shiny new California quarter minted in 2005. I understand it was a very good year to find fate flip quarters.
Just like I have a process to find the perfect fate flip quarter, I also have an entire process how I perform the fate flip. I hold the quarter, balanced on my left thumb, and say to myself while looking into a mirror, “I designate thin-crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut heads, and my favorite Chinese Food restaurant tails.”
I have found that if I say this aloud, then it becomes legally binding and I must adhere to the fate flip and the outcome of said flip.
So I take a deep breath and perform the perfect fate flip with the perfect California quarter and wait for the path fate was about to choose for me.
At that very moment, a commercial for Pizza Hut appears on my TV. An angel chorus rang out, like a beacon from a lighthouse, a beam of light shot out of the TV and right into my brain that cut away all the indecision and cleared out the darkness of my mind and my probably low blood sugar.
Pizza, that looks great. Pizza it is.
I almost miss in the catching of the coin. And if I were to drop the fate flip coin, that would render the fate flip useless and would have to find another shiny perfect quarter. But it lands in my left hand and I cover it quickly with my right. Much like a child would peek from his bed into the darkness, I look at the fate flip in my hand with some trepidation. The commercial on the TV had pushed my indecision clearly to the side of thin-crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut.
Tails, the fate flip had chosen the path and it was lunch from my favorite Chinese Food restaurant. Fuck.
So due to the stupid TV commercial, I now have an overpowering craving for thin-crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut. But I had engaged the rule of the fate flip and that was a bargain I could not afford to ignore or run the risk of angering the fates. I take the fate flip most seriously.
I look at the coin in my hand and then back to the TV and that amazing Pizza Hut commercial, and I’m paralyzed. For the first time since I had invoked the power of the fate flip, I was considering not walking the path chosen. For more than a few moments, I was caught in the throes of complete chaos. For twenty years I had lived by a strict code of ethics and now, due to a stupid TV commercial I was contemplating throwing everything away like some kind of degenerate.
Then it hit me, best two out of three. I gesture triumphantly to myself in the mirror, like I’m the smartest person that ever graced the earth. And at the time, I would pass a lie detector test claiming I was the smartest person ever.
I shake my body, as if to clear away any residual fate flip dust that might be clinging to it, and say loudly to the mirror, “I designate lunch from my favorite Chinese Food restaurant heads, and thin-crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut tails.
Fuck me, it showed up heads.
If I were a decent human being, a person that was worthy to walk the earth among the masses with my head held high, then I submit to the fate flip and walk the path that had been chosen, now without a doubt, and head to lunch at my favorite Chinese Food restaurant.
But apparently I’m not a good human, and I don’t deserve to be around anyone because I don’t resemble anything like a human. It’s not fair, I want thin-crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut, and I made up my mind. Does it really matter that I made up my mind twenty seconds too late? Would the fate flip really hold it against me if I didn’t walk the path that was chosen?
I look at that shiny new California quarter, I look at the TV, I look at the coin, and I look at myself in the mirror. I simply chose to ignore the disapproving look I gave myself.
“You promised to always adhere to the path chosen,” a little voice in the back of my head accused. “Remember the rules,” a different but just as outspoken voice chimed in.
Just this once I can chose a different path; no one’s really going to know I went against the fate flip. I won’t tell anyone. And if I were to think about it, it’s not really my fault at all, it’s really the damned TV’s fault and that god damn commercial that ran while I was fate flipping.
“I can do it this once, right? I promise, I’ll never do it again,” I swear to myself in the mirror. I’m searching for any lifeline that would allow me a thin-crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut.
I throw the coin on my bed, next to my phone. I grab my cell phone and ask Siri for the number of the closest Pizza Hut.
I can hear you thinking, you don’t believe I didn’t know the number to Pizza Hut. Well, you’d be wrong. You want reasons, I’ll give you reasons. First, I’m really lazy and never bother to enter anyone’s number in my phone, including the number to Pizza Hut. Second, if I have to look up the number each time I decide I want a thin-crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut, then I might not be tempted to order as often as I might.
Siri connected me to the closest Pizza Hut and I awaited a bit too eagerly for the Pizza Hut person to pick up and take my order.
As I’m waiting, my mouth is actually salivating and I can taste the decedent carbs, the high sodium pepperoni, and the artery clogging cheese, and I just might be in complete state of nirvana at this very moment as the phone starts to ring. But that feeling starts to fade as the phone keeps ringing, six, seven, eight…what the…the Pizza Hut person answers the phone and asks if I would hold the line. I agree and she promptly hangs up on me.
Before you go and start blowing up the customer service hotline at Pizza Hut, I’m not saying the Pizza Hut person hung up on me deliberately. Accidents happen, right?”
So I hit redial and wait to be re-connected. This time the phone rings for nine times before the Pizza Hut person answers the phone and asks if I could hold the line. Again I agree, because I have already decided to go against the fate flip and have risk angering all that I hold sacred for a thin-crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut. Trust me, I’m all in.
So now I’m waiting, and waiting, five minutes go by, eight minutes go by, ten minutes go by. What the fuck is going on?
I hang up, and hit redial again. I’m not giving up, not after that damn TV commercial, not after going against the fate flip, not after the first two tries got me nowhere, I want this fucking pizza. This time the phone rings five times, then ten times, and then fifteen times, still no answer. I hung up the phone and throw my cell phone and it lands perfectly next to the forgotten shiny California quarter that was to decide the fate flip.
My cell phone and that damn shiny California quarter was staring at me with teary eyes, as if to say, why did you forgo the path that was chosen? Why?
I look at my watch. It’s been almost thirty minutes since I defied the power of the fate flip. My mind went to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie from my youth where one of the turtles is waiting in the sewer for a pizza delivery and says thirty minutes or it’s free. Then my guilt ridden mind switches to a new decade and a new thirty minute reference from a band called TATU and their catchy song thirty minutes.
In a moment it takes, to make plans or mistakes, thirty minutes a blink of an eye, thirty minutes to alter our lives, thirty minutes to make up our mind, thirty minutes to finally decide
I shudder as if it’s suddenly cold in my apartment; I look at the coin next to my phone and silently nod in defeat. I tried to go against the fate flip and the result was I am still hungry and no closer to lunch than I was thirty minutes ago.
I slip on a pair of sneakers and walk out the door, resigned that I will be consuming Chinese Food from my favorite restaurant for lunch.
As I drive the two miles to the restaurant, I can’t get that damn song out of my head. Like somehow it’s now my new theme song that I must endure for the rest of my life.
Lunch is long over by the time I enter into my favorite Chinese Restaurant. And for a moment, I resent the fact I can no longer order the lunch special combo that comes with rice and hot & sour soup. But I shake that feeling off as it is my favorite place after all. I’ll just order the entrée size and have lunch again tomorrow. It would save me the arduous task of deciding what to eat and thusly avoiding the now dreaded fate flip.
Thirty minutes a blink of an eye, thirty minutes to alter our lives
Shut the fuck up I scream in the confines of my head as I wait to order my food. The last thing I want inside my simple mind is two alleged Russian lesbians singing emotional drivel while I contemplate the ramifications of going against the fate flip.
I look around the restaurant as I wait for someone to come and take my order. I look and over to my right, sitting on the chairs that are normally reserved for those that have ordered take away is the hottest guy I’ve seen in months, with or without clothes on. If for some weird twist of fate and Cindy Crawford and Bill Gates would procreate, they could have never produce a hotter nerd than the one I saw sitting there browsing through his phone.
Judging from the way he was sitting, I could tell he was at least as tall as me, slender with untamed dark brown hair than hung in his eyes and a pair of dark framed glasses. He was wearing a T-Shirt with FaceBook’s logo, faded blue jeans that might have been a size to big, sandals without socks, and a rainbow bracelet around his right wrist. Here before me was a hot nerd, amazing taste in Chinese Food and probably gay, I was in nerd heaven.
I mentally checked myself, was my shirt stain free, how did my hair look, did I remember to brush my teeth? Then I realized what shirt I happened to be wearing on that particular day. It was a black T-shirt with rainbow lettering that had a simple phrase, I like Geeks. I smiled; at least he’d know I was family.
My roommate and I frequent this restaurant often, so the guy who came up to take my order recognized me and asked about my roommate. To save time, I reply he’s at home and it was just me today and I would love my usual.
As I am ordering, hot nerd looks over and I see him from the corner of my eye that he checks me out while I exchange brief pleasantries with the order taking person. I turn just slightly so I’m sure he can read my shirt. I venture a look and make eye contact with him, he smiles at me.
I forget about the guy taking my order and walk over to hot nerd and said hi. He smiles and says hi back. He grins and says I like your shirt.
In my head, I think gotcha. The rest of the conversation is the usual between two guys who are attracted to one another. Needless to say, I now have a date tomorrow night with hot nerd. We are going out for Sushi and Sake at this trendy place in San Francisco, and I can’t wait. He’s twenty-six, works at FaceBook and single.
All day long I couldn’t decide what I should eat for lunch. I waited, debated, sought advice, and ended up giving the decision over to the fate flip. But because of a TV commercial, I almost missed out on meeting this hot nerd. This is the proof I offer in my earlier statement that TV commercials might be the reason I’m alone.
I’m sure, some of you, the smarter ones, might argue that if I didn’t see that commercial on TV, then I would’ve went to lunch at my favorite Chinese Food restaurant thirty minutes earlier thus probably missing the fortuitous encounter with hot nerd.
In the moment it take, to make plans or mistakes, thirty minutes a blink of an eye, thirty minutes to alter our lives, thirty minutes to make up our mind, thirty minutes to finally decide
Maybe that damn fate flip chose the right path for me after all. Or maybe I’m full of shit. Maybe.
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