Beth smiled grimly at the man across the table from her. "Let's
stick to business, shall we?"
"If you insist."
She glared. "I insist. You've said you can get me great
dates, however, I think we need to define the terminology we'll
be using. Great for me indicates a man who is handsome--"
Spencer interrupted. "Aha! Looks are important."
Her knife was calling to her. "Intelligent," she
grated out between clenched teeth. "Sensitive. And not
"Then you'll have to change things around." He pulled
a folder from his briefcase. "Instead of saying 'looking
to meet good man' say 'Are you worthy?' It implies your confident
and above clichés."
"Looking to meet good man is not a cliché."
"It's the most cliché of clichés."
Beth threw her napkin over her knife, just to eliminate temptation. "Let's
"Romantic walks." He shook his head. "It means
The napkin came off the knife. A knife that had cut through
approximately twenty-seven Weight Watchers points worth of
food. "I'm not fat."
"No, but a man will read between the lines. It implies
that you don't want to do anything to break a sweat. Including
sex. No wonder you're having problems here."
"I understand," she said, suddenly comprehending
why his wife divorced him.
"The 'good wine' bit isn't bad."
"Thank you for that vote of confidence."
He continued on, ignoring her. "If you'd said martinis
or cosmopolitans, you might get a livelier crowd. Just as long
as you don't mention beer."
"Beer means you're fat."
"I hate beer."
He looked her over. "And it shows."
Quickly she changed the subject. "Old movies? I suppose
I should say action movies, right?"
"No, the average single man will read 'old movies' and
think that he can put up with it, and then get laid on the
couch. Old movies are a great aphrodisiac."
"Do you think old movies are a great aphrodisiac?" she
asked, suddenly curious.
He frowned for a moment, as if he'd never considered the idea
of aphrodisiacs. "No."
She folded her hands together gracefully, the image of calm. "Ah,
but you're not the average single man."
She polished off the last of her wine. No dessert tonight.
It was getting late, and she was feeling fat. "So how
would you rewrite my ad?"
He looked up in the air, his pen twirling idly. Then he looked
at her, frowned. The pen twirled again. "Are you worthy?
Sexy blonde who savors a great cabernet wants to wile away
hours with a man. Life is hectic enough. I need someone who
appreciates a classic movie and a lazy Saturday night. Dave
Eggers fans need not apply."
It was good. And he really thought she was sexy? Not that
it mattered, of course. All she wanted was great dates with
someone other than him.
And so it came to pass. Beth smiled and held out her hand.
"Mr. James, I believe we have a deal."
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