‘Is this a gay bar?’ asked my date.
I glanced around at the startling magnitude of homosexual stereotypes in the room. There was a nagging sense that we had stumbled into Elton John’s baby shower.
‘No,’ I answered defensively. ‘Don’t be a homophobe.’
My usual technique before messing things up is to get a drink into the girl’s hand, therefore at least trapping her with me for its duration. So this immediate setback of sexual confusion was something of a new record. This was the first time I’d ever chosen a date venue; with a social life akin to that of an agoraphobic table leg, it’s unsurprising I chose poorly.
Every other night I had been there it had not been a gay bar. The way I saw it, as long as our drinks weren’t served clenched between the buttocks of oiled beefcake, the mistake could be forgiven.
It was now abundantly clear that my date suspected me of being a closeted homosexual. My order of rose wine only exacerbated such conjecture. As we pushed through the crowded bar she paled when I squeezed past anyone crotch-facing-butt. That I did not order whisky decanted in a human skull and navigate the room by garrotting anyone in my path is proof irrefutable that I must be a flagrant gay. Undoubtedly the following song looped in her head.
I launched into a number of masculine topics. Red-blooded action movies; my predilection for the breasts of the human female; the structural integrity of Stalin’s moustache. Rather quickly, her eyes began to wander. This is hardly unusual for a girl who has somehow found herself in conversation with me. However, I noticed her paying particular attention to the low neckline of my t-shirt.
Suddenly she grabbed my collar and fastened the buttons at record pace. Before I might mistake this for intimacy she took flight to the toilet.
It’s then I noticed that the others at our table, aside from a pair of attractive girls beside me, were gay men. All sporting low-necked t-shirts. Wine and outrage gave me the confidence to broadcast my dismay. I turned to the girls beside me.
‘Excuse me?’ I gave the nearest girl an ignominious poke. ‘Is it me,’ I whispered, leaning in conspiratorially, ‘or are there a lot of lesbians here?’
‘Yes,’ they replied in unison. ‘We’re lesbians.’
A sensible man would have evacuated this conversation, bundled up his scant remaining dignity and simply fled the bar before his date returned to find him being assaulted by a pair of affronted lesbians. I am not a sensible man.
‘No way! I bellowed. ‘You look so normal!’
She didn’t punch me so I continued to dig my grave.
‘No offence or anything, but lesbians are always a bit of a disappointment, you know? They’re never like the porn.’
This was the juncture whereupon I should have been knocked unconscious and my anal virginity removed with shards of glass. Instead, they decided to humour me.
‘We agree with you. That’s why we watch porn together.’
Giddy excitement forced me to my feet. I pulled the nearest girl into a hug and then showered them both with badly-aimed but supremely enthusiastic high-fives. If only my date could have overheard my profound sexual ignorance! This whole misunderstanding would be cleared up!
Unfortunately, she returned to find me jumping vigorously up and down, flapping my wrists, and hugging a pair of lesbians.
The date lasted ten more minutes.