Tuesday, September 2, 2008

San Francisco Foxes

My cousin Dale was visiting from San Francisco. Even though I hadn't seen him in a long time and he lived way up north, we were able to communicate using a common base. We compared notes on the girls we knew.

He was telling, no, bragging to me, about how fine the girls were that he knew in San Francisco. Incomparable, to hear him tell it. You know, sort of how people from up there like to think their restaurants are better than anyone else's, even though they aren't?

Well, I was getting kind of tired of listening to him rave about how the next one was even finer than the one he had just raved about so I told him it wasn't like everyone down here was ugly. We have some good looking girls, too.

So he asked me to prove it.

I pulled out my Dorsey yearbook and turned to the pictures for my class. He perused the pages.

"Like who?" he said, as his eyes searched the various faces.

"What do you mean, 'like who?'" Was he joking? It should be obvious. I got specific and I pointed at a few that I thought were good examples (names withheld here for my own safety).

Dale stared at my examples with a puzzled look. He pointed to them himself. "You mean her?"

I gave him a puzzled look like he was blind. "Yes, like her. Don't you think she's good looking?"

He pointed at a few more and we went through the same exercise. Yes, he said, they look okay, but.. then he proceeded to tell me more about the foxy Chinese babes he knew at his school, and how Chinese girls were the best.

"Okay, now it's your turn," I told him. "Give me some evidence of what you're raving about. Let's see some of these foxes."

"I don't really have much to show you," he said, "just a couple of pictures in my wallet. But she's fine."

He pulled out his wallet and flipped to a couple of small pictures inside, both of the same girl. I looked at them. She looked like an FOB. I didn't want to be impolite. "Which one is this?" I asked. "Is she the one you said was the best one?"

"No, that's someone else, but she's almost as good looking. See? I told you how foxy they are."

Well it was the same picture he was looking at that I was looking at but I figured his being up in San Francisco must have brainwashed him. The girl in the picture was totally FOB if you asked me. "I don't think she's that good looking. She doesn't look like what you were describing."

Dale looked at me like I was nuts. "You don't think so?"

I pointed back at some of the pictures in my yearbook. "They all look better than her," I declared. It's like, what was the matter with him? There wasn't even room for argument. "No way does she look better than them."

"Naw naw naw," he scoffed while shaking his head. "She's foxy, these others are okay but they don't even come close." He was like a snobby waiter trying to tell a patron that there were supposed to be a roaches in the salad in place of croutons.

"Well I don't think so," I told him. How could he even compare the two?

Two or three years later when I was going to UCLA, Dale called and asked me for a favor. Nancy, his friend, was coming down to Los Angeles for some short class and would be staying at the Holiday Inn by campus. He wanted me to make sure all was okay with her, as in be a tour guide for her. He emphasized how special she was and to give her the red carpet treatment. And, just in the way of physical description, he told me she was a good-looking friend of his.

Sure, I said, no problem. I could handle that. He gave me pertinent information, like her name, and the number of where she was staying, and told me when to give her a call.

Which I did. When she was supposed to have arrived, I dutifully called Nancy. Now, my memory is fuzzy about this so I don't remember exactly why I drove out to the Holiday Inn to see her. Perhaps it was to take her somewhere? It wasn't to show her around but it was for some specific business purpose. Anyway, out I drove and I met this "good-looking" girl who, after seeing her, brought me back to that time when Dale was visiting and we were having our discussion of San Francisco versus Dorsey girls. I wondered if this was another one of those "foxes" he had bragged about and it pointed out to me that his eyesight and taste had gotten no better since that last time.

Not that Nancy looked like an FOB, because she didn't. But she was nothing special in the looks department and not personality-wise, either. Dale had spent a lot of time building her up as some really vivacious, ravishing fox that I would be showing around town. Instead, she was rather aloof and seemed to be surprised that I was expecting to be her tour guide.

She told me she had friends down here and that everything was fine so I didn't need to go to any trouble. She didn't need any more help. So that was that. I left her at the Holiday Inn and drove home wondering what my cousin had been talking about. Maybe she was expecting to go out but after she saw/met me she changed her mind? Perhaps, but I don't think so because the way she described her visit sounded nothing like the way Dale had described it. She sounded like she didn't know what Dale was talking about.

Okay, this is long but I'll keep going. Then another year or two after that debacle, Dale called me again. This time, he and his girlfriend were flying down to Los Angeles and he asked if I could pick him up at LAX. Again, he described his companion to the tune of being some foxy chick.

Sure, I told him, no problem. I could handle that. He gave me their flight information and so on the appointed day, I negotiated the traffic and pulled up to the curb at the arrivals section and waited for him. Back in those days you could park the car and sit in it for a while without being chased away.

I waited and waited. No one appeared. Finally I took the car into the parking lot, then went inside the terminal to look for them. The arrival information said their plane had touched down some time ago. They were nowhere to be seen. I called Amy and told her I was worried, but also upset because I couldn't find them.

I kept looking around, getting madder and madder and finally, like an hour or more after I was supposed to meet them, I happened past a bench in a completely different section of the terminal and there they were, sitting there.

"What happened to you?" I said, trying not to sound too exasperated.

"We've been waiting here," was the simple explanation.

"But this isn't even the terminal you came in on, and.." I stopped. What was the point. So Dale introduced me to his girlfriend and I led them to my car.

And this girlfriend? Well let me just say another couple of years and his vision and taste seemed to have deteriorated substantially. I'm sorry, but she was just flat-out FOB, no way around it.

I guess the third time's not always the charm. I haven't seen Dale in ages. I can't remember the last time I saw him and now he lives in Japan. I've seen pictures of his wife and thankfully he must have gained back his vision and taste (or acquired some) because she's not like the others. I've never met her, but I've seen pictures. So if he ever does run across my blog and reads this, well, he can have a good laugh at how sorry his taste used to be.

Or, he can call me up and argue with me again.

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