jennifer called her mother, as she did every saturday at noon. she told her about robert’s proposal.
o honey, that is wonderful! that is the most wonderful news i have ever heard! i am so happy for you.
well, don’t get too excited. he just asked me, that’s all. i didn’t say yes.
not yet, you mean.
well, maybe not ever. i haven’t decided.
haven’t decided? are you serious ? what’s to decide? robert is a wonderful catch for any girl. i can just guarantee you you will never get a better one. just consider. he is
d) a little bit famous
e) knows a lot of the right people
f) is good-looking and in good shape
g) dresses nice
h) is a gentleman
i) isn’t too old
j) went to harvard
k) seems to sort of respect women and
l) isn’t a slob, at last not in public. so what more do you want?
i don’t know. it just that he is… he is… you know…
no, i do not know. he is what?
he’s just… kind of an asshole.
and that’s a problem? as my dad used to say, some people will complain if they get hanged with a brand new rope. surely you are not serious about turning him down.
jennifer wished she had not made the call. well, she had to call, she called every saturday, she just wished she had not mentioned the proposal.
i don’t know, she said. let me think about it. i will talk to you next week.
don’t think about it too long. a guy like robert can find plenty of other girls.
and with that, jennifer’s mother began a long description of her sister peggy’s latest legal problems
a year later.
robert was long gone, and had married a woman five years older than himself, whom he had known for years, since she had been a bartender at a club he and his buddies had frequented when they were underage, when they were still in prep school.
jennifer’s mother had stopped talking about robert, but jennifer still felt kind of bad about letting her down, especially as her mother could have used some of robert’s money for legal and medical bills of her own.
and jennifer just felt kind of depressed in general, because life sucked.
suddenly, she had an idea. an idea for something that would at least break the monotony of her miserable existence.
she would go out in the street and ask the first man she saw if he would like to marry her. ha ha ha!
think i don’t know how to play the newlywed game? well, check this out, my friends!
well.. not absolutely the first guy she saw… not somebody old or smelly or a complete homeless bum … somebody you could at least walk down the street with without being stared at…
jennifer woke up the next day at her usual time, around two o’clock, and decided to put her plan into effect and not give herself the chance to get cold feet.
jennifer went down to the street and started walking toward the corner. there were people standing there, like they were waiting for the bus.
right away she saw a guy who might suit her purpose. not real real old, 28 or 29 maybe, dressed halfway like a slob but not homeless bum dirty. wearing a baseball cap, but it was straight on his head. not gym fit, but not fat either. he was not hideously ugly, but ordinary enough that he should be properly flattered by the attention of a female as fit and well conditioned as jennifer.
excuse me, jennifer addressed him, can i ask you a question?
sure. the man did not seen too surprised by jennifer’s talking to him, and was not quite as awed by jennifer’s person as he should have been.
would you like to marry me?
ha ha. he did not laugh, but spoke the words ha ha.
no, i am serious, jennifer told him.
any particular reason you are asking me?
i just decided i would go out today and ask the first man i saw to marry me. do you have a problem with that?
no, i think it’s very impressively aggressive. too many people today don’t know what they really want.
so you will do it? you will marry me?
well, uh, will you expect me to support you?
oh no, nothing like that. i have my own money.
how nice. then i guess it’s a go, what is your name, by the way?
my name is brandon jones.
jennifer offered brandon her hand and he took it and shook it, not too hard but not limp either.
an older man and an older woman, standing apart from each other, were also waiting for the bus. neither gave any sign that they were listening to jennifer’s and brandon’ s curious conversation, or found it particularly interesting if they were.
so, brandon asked, when do we put this great plan into effect?
as soon as you like. do you know where we can get married? do we have to go to vegas or foxwoods or someplace like that?
no, i have a friend who has a license to marry people. he got one of those preacher certificates in the mail. he can do the job, totally legal.
ha ha, you sound like you have done this before.
i might have, brandon answered wth a trace of a smile. i can call him right now, if you want. he’s a guy that doesn’t have a lot to do , i should be able to get hold of him.
that sounds great.
by the way, do i get a honeymoon out of this?”
why, of course. what’s a marriage without a honeymoon? do you have anyplace in mind?
as a matter of fact, i do. i have a little place of my own upstate. nothing fancy, but it’s private. nice and quiet.
how convenient. i say, we go as soon as your friend marries us.
if that suits you.
i will go home and get packed, and we can meet somewhere. you can get hold of your preacher friend.
all right. brandon pointed across the street, to a burger king. how about if we meet there, at five o’clock?
that is perfect.
any questions? brandon asked. until we meet again?
um - are you a nice guy?
nice enough. i am not a terrorist or a serial killer.
i am glad to hear it. jennifer smiled at brandon, and turned and started back to her apartment.
the bus came, and the man and woman who had apparently paid no attention to the conversation, got on it, leaving brandon to his thoughts.
brandon had thought the whole thing was probably some kind of jimmy kimmel man in the street joke, and he would find a camera and a microphone in his face, but if it was, would it not have happened by now?
maybe the girl, jennifer, was serious. it would not hurt to show up and find out. brandon did not really have “a friend” waiting at a moment’s notice to marry them, but he had a couple of numbers he could call for that purpose if he had to.
and he did have a place upstate, a cabin way back in the hills. brandon had only been telling jennifer half the truth when he told her he was not a terrorist or a serial killer. he did not belong to any terrorist organization or any kind of organization, but he was a serial killer. one who prided himself on picking up halfway hot and innocent young women, not just hookers.
he usually spent some time stalking them and setting them up, carefully getting them to trust him, trying to make sure they did not know his real name and such, or that he could be traced by their friends, if they had any.
this was too good to be true. that was the problem.
it was too easy. the fun was in the challenge. this was no fun.
some people will complain if they get hanged with a brand new rope.