The Cost of Forgetting Is Worth a Free TV

It’s funny, you don’t realize how many people you’ve met in a city until you start seeing some of the same ones in different places regularly. It’s a common idea that most people stick to familiar nightlife spots because people like to drink in places that they’re comfortable with. Makes sense right? Most people have a “regular” spot or a “go to.”

I usually rotate between a larger pool of places- on one particular night I ended up at a spot I frequent nearly once a week. It’s called “Mr. Days.” Imagine a pretty standard sports bar with two levels. It usually doesn’t take too long to get a drink and there’s a dance floor that caters to a younger crowd. There’s usually not too much riff raff and average age is probably 24ish.

I usually hit this bar after I’ve had a good number of drinks while in the company of a handful of friends. One night, I broke off from my group and did my wondering thing. While cruising solo coming back from the bathroom, I spotted a blond and brunette (7 and 8 out of 10) standing by themselves near the top of the steps on the second level.

“Hey! What are you two out celebrating tonight?” I asked as I walked up.

“What?” One of them asked giving me a look like she was offended that I ruined their private and very important conversation.

“Uh, we remember you; you used that line on us already.” One of the girls said trying to cut my confidence in half as they both burst into obnoxious laughter.

“Oh? So we’ve met before? I’m sorry I don’t remember you guys.” I said nonchalantly with a charming smile as this was not the first time I’d ever encountered bitch with an attitude at bar, “And where did we meet?”

“Don’t worry about it,” blurted out one of the girls still laughing as she did a hair flip turn and walked away.

“No wait, I’m serious, I tend to meet a fair amount of people when I go out with friends. I don’t always remember everyone I talk to; especially if it’s the end of the night. Do you remember my name or even what we talked about?” I asked the one that hadn’t already started to walk away.

“You got my number over at Spider Kelly’s.” She said folding her arms.

“Alright, let me check my phone, what’s your name?” I asked pulling my phone out of my pocket and scrolling through my contacts.

“It’s Heather.” She said confidently.

“Well hey Heather, my name is Taylor.” I said extending my hand to shake hers.

Mistake… I should have gotten her to admit she didn’t remember my name to put us on similar playing fields.

“Is my number in your phone?” She asked ignoring my extended hand while fixing her gaze on my phone.

I let out a big sigh, “Ok, it’s entirely possible. I wouldn’t write it off that we’ve met. Let’s see,” I shuffled through my contacts and pulled up the only random ‘Heather’ in my phone without a last name or notes in it. I opened the details to display the number.

“Is this you?” I asked smiling turning the screen towards her.

“Oh my god, that’s my number. What a creep!” she shrieked turning away and rushing towards a nearby group of about five guys only ten feet away.

This was not the response I expected. “Hey Heather, we’re not done here?” I called after her.

I stood there perplexed for a moment. I was under the impression that if we had met and she acknowledged that I had already taken her number down this shouldn’t have been a shocker to see it in my phone. I scratched my head while I watched her approach the nearby group of guys and use exaggerated body language while appearing to explain our brief encounter. This was followed by uproarious laughter as she turned sideways and pointed directly at me, “Yeah! He’s standing right there! What a fucking weirdo -right?!”

More laughter. What the hell was going on here? I walked over in an unassuming fashion to quell what could be an over blown misunderstanding. Just as I came up next to her, she darted around the guys and headed towards another group nearby.

“Hey wait!” I yelled after her as she vanished behind a torrent of moving people.

I turned and looked at the first group of guys, “What did that girl say about me to you guys?”

“Dude,” one of the chubby guys pipped up, “leave her alone man.”

I gave him an “oh really” face as two of the guys in the group mumbled something unintelligible to each other while nodding and staring at me.

I not sure what compelled me to try and explain myself to these idiots, maybe it was the booze, “Clearly the situation wasn’t explained properly… I don’t even know that girl, I must have met her bla-”

In mid sentence I spot heather out of the corner of my eye, pointing at me and laughing while standing with a different group of people closer to the bar (mostly made up of girls). They were having a great little laugh at my expense. This was quickly getting out of hand.

“The fuck is this?!” I yelled after her as I walked away from the guys to do damage control.

I approached the second group and began to explain the situation to blank stares. As I looked past them, I saw Heather talking and gesturing in my direction while standing with yet another large group further away.

“Oh Godamnit!” I yelled standing in the middle of the upstairs walking away from a second group of people that was convinced that I’m was a crazy stalker of sorts.

“That’s still pretty creepy,” one of the girls said stirring her drink with a straw and lifting it to her lips while she looked side to side at her friends who were nodding in agreement. They all appeared deeply concerned that a stalker (me) was in their midst.

I walked away running my fingers through my hair and over my face.“Well…” I said trying to find the right words, “well-you’re a fucking idiot.”

My entire evening was being poisoned. I’ve never experienced anyone making such a concerted effort to sabotage my night. What made it worse was that it had come from fucking nowhere. I didn’t even understand what was going on. I hadn’t done anything wrong here. When I made one more attempt at trying to quell the situation the looney bitch took off running through a crowd. Even if I were to somehow try to turn the situation around on her, I still don’t appear to be a good guy. My game was shaken enough to bring me into a shallow hole of frustration and put me in a despondent mood. Part of me knew I had persevered through worse, but given that it was a less crowded night and I was in a sour mood; I didn’t think I had any business being at that bar anymore.

This was a first. Being bested by an idiot girl at a bar using an odd and larger scale game of telephone.

Before I go any further in this story, I have to note that it’s my personal belief that you should never let anyone control your thoughts, feelings, or attitude unless their existence has a major significance on your life. And even then, I don’t think there is any reason that you should ever let someone get you down on yourself.

I left the bar a few minutes later with friends trying to figure out what to do with these feelings of angst. I had been taken for a ride. I felt cheated and unfairly beaten. I’m fully aware that in some situations I probably deserved that type of embarrassment or action done onto me, but not for this. I don’t even know what “this” was?!

It’s not like I had been sending her “cock pix” via text. As I pondered over a cigarette once we got back, I begin to pull up a hazy memory of meeting this Heather girl the week before at the bar she had mentioned just before last call. I probably got her number with little more than a minute of conversation. I likely did it as an immature drunk confidence boost to be able to say, “well tonight wasn’t a complete waste of time.” I doubt I had any intentions of actually calling but it’s like getting a useless consolation prize.

If you’ve read any of my stories, you’d know that I’m not one to be defeated so easily.

Upon waking the next morning, I set my mind to using Heather’s number against her. What types of things can you do with a random phone number? A quick google search for “spam a phone number” turned up limited options. Most of the options required me to sign up for a service and then a confirmation via text that I wanted to be spammed. I also wanted to stay stealthy and remain distanced from the project. It seemed that craigslist was the perfect solution for my problem.

I got on the free section of craigslist and clicked “post an ad,” I then I began crafting the perfect “free stuff” ad ever made using an old e-mail address. It read something like this:

“I’m moving today and I’ve been trying to sell my Phillips 42 inch plasma TV, it’s about 4 years old but works perfectly. I originally posted it for $350 but at this point it just needs to be out of my apartment. I can help you move it, I just need it out of here. I’ll be home for a few more hours. My phone doesn’t get e-mails right now so you can call me and I’ll let you know where I live.
-Heather (703)###-####”

BOOM! Right?! I posted the ad with a big smile and kicked my feet up while staring at the ceiling. This ad covered all the bases. Who wouldn’t want a new flat screen tv? And the story checks out, it’s worth something, and I’ll even help you get this thing out of my life. Come here and get yo freeeeeee money! I imagined the hundreds of phone calls she was getting. I could practically hear the irate craigslisters moans when they found out there was no free tv but just a bitch with an attitude problem on the line. It was by no means the nicest solution, but I felt justified that I offered up a pantheon of awkward moments in response for an unnecessary wrong doing to me. Cleaned my hands with that one and walked away thinking little of it.

-Flash forward a few months-

I was drinking at a little hole in the wall bar not far from Mr. Days. I took a smoke break and sat down with a friend on metal patio chairs near the front door outside. A slightly chubby girl approached me and tapped my shoulder, “Do you know my friend?”

“Um, Maybe,” I said looking around starting to laugh at the vagueness of her question. “I know lots of people’s friends. Is she real or imaginary?”

“No, you’re the fucking creep that put my friend’s number on craigslist.” She said folding her arms and squinting at me.

I hadn’t even made the connection yet, “You’ve got the wrong guy, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Was this a casual encounters thing? Who is your friend?”

“Her name is Heather, you got her number, and stalked her.” She said raising her voice trying to draw more attention to her tirade.

I looked around to see if people were watching me and they were, “What are you on drugs? Hunny, you must have me confused with someone else. I don’t have the slightest clue as to what you’re talking about. I’m not sure you realize how bizarre this sounds to other people. Let me get this straight, a girl I don’t know thinks I put her number on craigslist. Does she have any proof?”

“She knows it was you. My friend doesn’t even want to come over here because she recognized you and is scared to come near.” Said the bigger girl.

I begin to realize that I AM the guy she’s talking about, but I stick to my guns. That loony bitch isn’t going to get me twice.

“Is this how you pick up guys at bars or something because I could teach you some way better techniques.” I said laughing at her while my friend blew smoke in her face and began to laugh too.

“You should apologize to my friend right now. She got phone calls from strange people all day.” Said the girl.

I cracked a big smile; success!

“Apologize to your friend for putting you up to this? Or for you being a total nutjob? Nah, I don’t think so. I’m sorry that I’m entertained by this.” I said tapping some ash off the end of my cigarette.

“You do realize you sound quite crazy” my friend chimed in.

I leaned back and fixed my eyes on this girl, “this is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. What kind of chick walks around accusing strangers of playing weird child games. I don’t know you or your friend but if you’re going to be rude about this entire thing, we can end this discussion right now. You must be out of your mind to walk up to someone you don’t know with such a bizarre accusation. As a matter of fact, if the person who did it was questioned, why the hell would they give you a straight answer either way? Tell your friend to grow up and if she’s afraid to come drink here because of what appears to be a misunderstanding, I say you leave her outside. But I’m not going to play stupid games through a translator. If she wants to come by and apologize to me I’ll be here.”

As I finished my last words more of my friends came to my defense. And reassured the girl that I had nothing to do with such a scandalous act.

“Taylor’s a great guy, that’s something he would never do.” I heard one of them say sincerely.

The girl looked at me puzzled and then stood up tall and peered over her shoulder to where no doubt her friends were waiting. “I’m sorry, you seem like a really nice guy. This was stupid. I feel stupid.”

“It’s ok hun, you should feel a little stupid. You take care of that loony friend of yours. Don’t let her get you into too much trouble” I said as she backed away from the table with a confused look on her face.

By now the rest of my friends had gathered and one was giving me an incredulous look. “Did you really post a girl’s number on craigslist?!”

I burst out laughing, “Of course I did?! Why would you put that type of behavior past me? That girl’s friend was a total cunt!”

A roar of laughter erupted as we flicked our cigarettes into the street and headed to an empty spot at the bar for more drinks.

-Update-

Almost four months had passed since my encounter with the fat friend that tried to out me in front of my buddy’s at bar. I had all but forgotten about the incident as I do enough drinking to clear my personal long term browser history pretty much every week. I was out with a mixed group of people in DC at a larger bar that was notorious for getting over crowded. I separated myself from my friends momentarily and went outside so my ears would stop ringing from the obnoxiously loud dance floor. Once outside I discovered there was easily a dozen or so people hanging around on the patio section doing the same thing I was.

I pulled out a cigarette and lit it up as I posted up near one of the corners of the patio. I looked around at the line outside and took a few drags off my cigarette as two drunk girls walked over and positioned themselves to smoke only a few feet away from me.

One of the girls put her back towards me as she fished through her purse looking for a lighter while an unlit cigarette dangled from her lower lip.

“Need a light?” I asked pulling my lighter out and sparking the lighter near her cigarette.

“FUCK YOU FAGGOT!” She wailed at me.

I drew back and straightened up, “What the fuck is your problem?” I asked aggressively.

“You’re the fucking creeper that put my friend’s number on craigslist!” She screamed drawing in the attention of others around us.

“Calm the fuck down, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about hunny.” I said totally taken back by her level of aggression.

“FUCK YOU! Go somewhere and die!” She screamed even louder.

Looking around and not wanting the unnecessary attention I had to clarify, “This again? You’re the loony cunt from that one night across Mr. Days, aren’t you?”

“You’re lucky we’re in public because I’d tear you’re balls off right here if I could get away with it.” She yelled red-faced at me as her friend restrained her.

People on the street and the entire patio looked on with interest.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about you crazy bitch, but you’re an awful mess. You look ridiculous.” I said turning away and dropping my cigarette to the ground. I wasn’t about to get escorted out over dramatics that I didn’t start. This bitch was clearly over-served and in the mood to cause trouble.

I gulped my drink down and posted up at the bar next to one of my friends.

“Everything alright?” My friend asked me as I guess my face was giving away the fact that I was pissed about having to deal with this thing yet again.

“Yeah man, dramatics. I’ll tell you later.” I said trying to keep my eyes focused on the bartender to rein in another drink.

I looked to my other side and saw a familiar looking cute girl with both of her forearms flat on the bar trying to get a drink as well. We made eye contact.

“You look familiar,” she said inquisitively. “Do I know you from somewhere?”

I put two and two together. “Your name is Heather, my name is Taylor,” I looked up and saw the bartender was waiting on me to order, “I’ll have a whiskey-coke.”

I glanced back to the girl as I leaned up against the bar.

She looked at me more confused than ever, “I put your number on craigslist. Run bitch.”

Her facial expression went from a smile to a look of horror. She spun around and took off in the opposite direction flailing her arms vanishing into the crowd.

The bartender placed my drink in front of me and moved down the line. I brought the glass to my lips, pulled in a mouthful of whiskey, and stared hard straight ahead.

“Holy shit dude.” Said my friend next to me in disbelief.

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