Dating disasters!

You need only dip your toes in the dating pool to discover that the e-coli count often registers in the lethal zone. As evidence, several Hook insiders have gotten together to provide true stories of romance gone wrong. Read 'em and weep.

Oh, sh–!

 Picnics have been pretty devastating for me. On one particular date at a lake at evening-fall, after a light rain, I spread my off-white Burberry raincoat for us to sit upon. Afterwards, I put it back on and spent several hours wandering around wearing it.

But unbeknownst to me, I had spread it out on grass thick-spread with goose excrement. The coat was indelibly and totally soaked from top to bottom with huge dark-green patches of the stuff.

The gal in question was one of very few I ever dated who had a sense of humor, and I suspect she was aware of it the whole time. But to this day she won't admit it. (I still have the coat.) ­Matthew Farrell


Two's company...

 I was had been going out with a girl for a while and thought it would be fun to take her to Trio, a very nice restaurant in the Chicago suburbs. We had been talking about the restaurant for some time– we both waited tables and knew of the acclaim of the chef, but neither of us had enough capital to go.

I finally saved up the princely sum required, made reservations two months in advance, and surprised her with an eight-course dinner, after which we drove back to the city, and I dropped her off at what I thought was her place.

Later that week, I finished work early and decided to pay her a visit. I drove to her house and walked through the door, only to find out she was living with her boyfriend of two years!

Some Trio! –Jamie Clarkson



Oh, deer

 After several mediocre dates with a creepy guy in college, I decided to call things off. One afternoon he asked me to go on a hike. I figured that the woods were not the best place to break-up with such a strange person, so I planned to tell him the bad news on the way home.

As we headed up the Skyline Drive, he was obsessing about seeing the sunset from a certain spot. But as we came around a sharp curve, a deer bolted out in front of us, and another ran into us from the side. As my date swerved, we ran off the road, popping his back tire in the process.

He pulled over, jacked up the car, and crawled underneath to attach the spare. While he was working, I noticed the car slowly tilting backwards and rolling towards him. I screamed, dove through the window, and pulled the emergency brake, moments before he would have been crushed. He finished attaching the spare, and we continued around the mountain.

By then the sun had set, but we pressed on to his favorite spot, which turned out to be two seats carved into a cliff. At that point, he asked me how I felt about our relationship. Since he was a fairly unstable person, I figured that if I told the truth, he would either jump over the edge or push me, so I stalled. I told him goodbye for good when he dropped me off at home.

I guess the date was worse for him he hit a deer, almost got crushed by his car, missed the sunset, and lost the girl. ­Leah Woody


Up yours!

 Fifty years ago, I was in military school, and my brother brought his fiancée over to introduce her to me. They took me out to dinner. When my brother left the table to go to the bathroom, she leaned over toward me conspiratorially and said, "Do you want to see a trick?"

I replied, "Sure, I want to see a trick."

Thereupon she stuck out her tongue and buried it in her nose just like the cows did on our dairy farm. I was really impressed.

My brother must have been, too. He married her!– David Breeden



Caution! Contents under pressure

 It gives you the willies when a blind date who's called to arrange a meeting says, "How'd you like to take a long drive in the country?" My fears were allayed, however, when the guy explained that he meant coming up 29 to Ruckersville. I said I didn't mind driving. Where should we meet?

"I'll pull my red Cadillac right up to the front of the Burger King," he announced. I should have known right then.

Sure enough, there he sat, the nose of his battered '50s-era Caddy practically snuggled against the big glass doors. "Climb in," he said when I approached the passenger's side. As I gingerly eased my way onto the long bench seat, I noticed a strange gray cake-box thing duct-taped to the middle of the steering wheel.

After listening to him confess that "the IRS was after him," complain about the many faults of his former girlfriend, and enumerate the hundred ways the country had gone to hell, I decided it was time to head back to town. But I had to know before I left.

"What's that thing on the steering wheel?" I said as I opened the door for my getaway.

"That? Oh, that's my homemade airbag," he replied proudly. "I know it looks pretty rough right now, but it'll be fine when the glue dries and I can take off the duct tape."

A homemade airbag. I didn't ask, but all the way down 29 and every now and then since ­ I've wondered: What could have been in there? An aerosol can and a balloon, maybe?

Alas, the answer will remain– like the elusive chemistry that separates a bozo from a perfect mate another of life's many mysteries. ­Rosalind Warfield-Brown



Kissitus interruptus

Ahh, first love. The summer before I turned 16, I attended a camp at Wellesley College where I met Mark, my first "boyfriend." Mark lived in a Massachusetts town next to mine, and the Saturday afternoon after camp ended, he invited me to come over to his house. I assured my mother that his parents would be home (he really had told me they would!), and she dropped me off. It took about two seconds for me to realize that Mark and I were actually alone, but being 15 I certainly wasn't complaining.

Before long, he had convinced me to come back to his room to "see some records," and not long after that, he kissed me. I started to get nervous about what I'd gotten myself into, but I needn't have worried.

Moments after the kissing began, the door burst open, and two large men dressed in blue uniforms barged in carrying his grandmother between them on a stretcher. When she saw us, she began desperately struggling to sit up, while pointing at me and screaming in Turkish. I couldn't understand what she was saying, but her message couldn't have been clearer.

It turned out that, while out bicycle riding, his grandmother had been hit by a car, and his mother, father, and five-year-old brother had been at the hospital with her.

I don't remember much else from that day just a desperate call to my mother to please come get me. Mark's mother took him into the kitchen, where I'm sure she wasn't laughing, and my mother picked me up with a stony look on her face. Two weeks later, my family moved to Virginia; Mark and I never spoke again. ­Courteney Stuart