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As circumstances in my life have evolved, I have had the opportunity to dine alone several times recently.  If you have never experienced this wonderful situation, I highly recommend you give it a try.

There are several advantages to dining alone.

You almost always get a table.  Party of one–come on down!  Often, it is in a remote corner of the establishment where you will feel comfortable with your dining experience knowing no one else can see you.  This is often called Loser’s Corner in the restaurant business.  But for those of us that like privacy when we eat, you can’t beat the ambiance.  We are winners!

They should have put a TV on this wall!

They should have put a TV on this wall!

Sometimes, though, you might have to sit outside.  perhaps in the alley.

Table4One

And if things are really tight, you might end up here.  On the bright side, if you need extra napkins, the roll is right there.

ToiletDining

Another advantage is that the meal goes faster.  It takes the chef less time to prepare one meal.  He has fewer burgers to flip so the food arrives quickly.  Also, there is no annoying dinner conversation to slow one down.  It’s hard to talk and chew at the same time, and quite frankly, if you do that, then that’s probably another reason why you are dining alone right now anyway.  You can still carry on those remarkably entertaining conversations in your head, without spewing croutons across the table.

You don’t have to worry about that awkward moment when the waitress asks if this will be separate checks, or if she doesn’t ask, sets the bill down between you and your dinner date leaving the two of you to glance between the check, each other, and pretty much any other point in the restaurant which would be less uncomfortable.

The bill is lower since you’re only paying for one.  The tip is lower as well.  Have I convinced you this is the way to go, yet?

But it’s not all fun and games.  It can still be awkward if you order the lobster.  Especially if you are at Burger King–have it your way apparently does not include surf and turf.  And if you order the most expensive meal, will you get lucky tonight?  Your hand starts to tremble in anticipation.  You drop your lobster in the butter.  There’s a lot of pressure there if you order the lobster.  If your wrist is sore, or you have a headache, you might want to stick with the salad.

But if you are prepared and dine modestly, the evening can be delightful.  Prepare some jokes in your head to entertain yourself.  Other patrons in the restaurant will be envious of you laughing to yourself and making them wish they were dining with you.  At the cool table!  Don’t be rude and ignore yourself while texting on the phone.  After all, if you had someone to text, you wouldn’t be sitting there alone anyway.

And if your restaurant has televisions, you have the choice of seats around the table to have the view of whatever TV you want!

Lone Appétit!

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Science never ceases to amaze me.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester and the University of Innsbruck have determined that red is sexy.

Richard Gray, Science Corespondent, writes:

It seems men really do prefer the lady in red.

A new study has found that men are more attracted to women wearing red compared to other colours because they believe they are less likely to be rejected.

Psychologists behind the research claim the colour red carries subtle but powerful messages about how receptive a woman might be to romantic advances and so men find it more alluring.

The researchers found that men who were shown photographs of women wearing a red shirt found them more attractive compared to when they saw the same women wearing green or white garments.

The study, which tested 96 men from the United States and Austria, also found that the men felt the women would respond positively to their advances.

This man would not be smiling if she were wearing green!

Now, ordinarily, this would not have drawn my attention, other than the fact that someone, somewhere–and it probably involves unsuspecting taxpayers–paid for this study.  But as the father of a 17-year-old daughter, who will be going to school in the fall at St. Francis University (“our colours colors are white and RED!”) this really caught my attention.

My God!  She’s going to be a Red Flash!

She may think she is just representing her school, wearing a red sweatshirt, but this study suggests that she is sending out a clear message to all the men on campus . . . look at me!  I’m sexy.  And I want you!

I don’t want my daughter doing that.

It is rather late in the process to decide she should go elsewhere, like Penn State, where blue is a much more acceptable color, so we are going to have to make sure that all her college apparel is in the more appropriate WHITE color.

Otherwise, she may have her dad seeing red.

If you wear the bad color, or even think that about my daughter that way
I WILL HAUNT YOU DOWN!

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I’m not really sure I understand the concept of Valentine’s Day.  Maybe the problem is that I just don’t understand women.  I don’t, but there’s not enough blog space to get into that.

Apparently, some dude, maybe Rudy Valentino, became known for making women extremely happy one day out of the year, namely, February 14.  We don’t know exactly how this happened, but like any great myth, what probably started as something simple, like accidentally telling his wife that he loved her, blossomed into some folklore tradition, whereupon men must somehow transmutate into romantic storybook lovers satisfying their woman’s every fantasy and desire for one day.  Then, Hallmark got a hold of it and . . .well, you know the rest.  So now it is one of the great burden’s of modern man (amongst others are mall shopping, being sensitive, scented inserts in magazines, Home Interiors, and La Maz.)

But this year, my wife and I decided to be practical.  With the bad economy, lower medicare reimbursement, my daughter starting college and a second teenager getting a driver’s license, we decided not to exchange gifts.  No.  Really.  After all, flowers just die, we don’t need the extra calories in chocolate although that has nothing to do with our current weight status, and my wife actually doesn’t care much for jewelry–she doesn’t usually wear any.

But then I came across this really neat Penn State vase of blue and white flowers, so I thought I would surprise her anyway.  After all, we are Penn State fans although truth be told, the gift was mostly for me.

Alas, when I got on-line last Friday, thinking I still had plenty of time until Tuesday, I discovered that the earliest delivery date was February 21st.  Surprise!  (Jazz hands.)

So then I heard on the radio that Martin’s (our local supermarket) had chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day.  I wanted to pick up a card for her anyway, so off I went.  I generally loathe supermarkets, and today was no exception.  After wandering the aisles aimlessly searching for chocolate-covered strawberries, I finally stopped and asked a guy selling flowers.  Yes, ladies, I was soooo desperate I stopped for directions!

He said:  Um, I think they have strawberries in produce, and there’s chocolate in the candy aisle.

As I sit here typing this now, I even wonder if he worked there.

Seriously?  Do I look like Betty Crocker?  Can you picture me microwaving Hershey Bars and trying to smear the mess on some strawberries?  Okay, maybe you can.   But would you eat them?  I didn’t know there was going to be some assembly required.  Turns out, after inquiring at the bakery, that the store does NOT have chocolate-covered strawberries this year.  Must have been a frost or a chocolate fungus or something catastrophic like that.  I either heard the advertisement wrong, or well, I must have heard the advertisement wrong.  Maybe it was Wal-Mart.  And I am not going there!

I did get her a card.  And I fully intended to buy her some strawberries.  And flowers.  It’s the thought that counts, right?

Yeah.  That’s right up there with those myths like size doesn’t matter and money can’t buy you happiness.

So in the end, as agreed, I gave her nothing for Valentine’s Day.

I wonder if she’ll wear it to bed tonight.

Naw.  She’d probably rather have the strawberries.

But I still wuv her.

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So there I was, living the Eye Life, doing cataract surgery and listening to the radio–hits of the eighties, nineties and today!–when the DJ came on and started talking about this guy in New York who is taking his wife outside in a wheelchair, walking seventy miles, because she likes the outdoors.  Sounded like one of those “feel good” stories, but I thought I’d listen anyway.  I’m way ahead of the story thinking she has some debilitating disease and he’s going to make husbands everywhere else look like puke.

His wife is . . . . wait for it . . . a mannequin.

Good feeling gone.

My first thought was that old Ned had found himself the perfect woman, perhaps at Macy’s or even Victoria’s Secret.  I was picturing this man pushing a life-size Barbie doll down the streets of New York.  But the real story is more bizarre than that, if you can believe it.

Ned Nefer has fell in love with Teagan . . . when she was only a head.  He has since built her a body out of wood.

The dummy is on the right. I think.

Are those eyelashes?

Are those lips real or did someone have plastic woodshop surgery?

What about splinters?

Of course, some might argue that she is the perfect mate.  She doesn’t nag or expect expensive gifts.  With a little bit of polyurethane, she’ll look as good as she did on her wedding night forever.  Other women will envy her.  She doesn’t have to worry about wrinkles.  Maybe just warping.  And termites.  That could be terminal.

But as bizarre as this story may seem, it is not isolated.  There is actually a clinical term for this called agalmatophilia.

Further research unearthed this youtube video of a man marrying a store mannequin . . .

Doesn’t he remind you of Tiny Tim?  Or Grandpa on the Munsters?

Gun oil?  Seriously?  Whatever happened to K-Y jelly?

Will he now be able to get a bigger social security check for being married?

I think the dog barking at the 4:25 mark was speaking now rather than forever holding his peace.

The Church of Proctology?  I’m not even going to.  Go.  There.

And as for someone putting his sex toy (“her lady garden”) between his wife’s legs, well I think we all know what that would mean.  This behavior could become epidemic.

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