As you are no doubt aware, there are several really excellent reasons to bring an inflatable doll as your date to a large dinner party.

First off, you're not embarrassing the hostess by throwing off the seating arrangements showing up as a singleton. The inflatable doll is an excellent listener and never interrupts regardless of what flavor of conversation comes his way. He navigates with equal grace both political talk and low-brow gossip, peacefully smiling through all of it as Zen as you please. He's happy to go bar-hopping afterwards, never complains no matter how divey a place you take him, and keeping up with the group is never a problem, which is more than I can say about other people who've been drinking all night. Dude can party all night long or go home early without complaint. He seemed the perfect date.

jeanine fritz

What you might not know, and what I didn't realize a couple of weeks ago when I announced I'd be bringing a date to Camille's birthday party, is that this guy is a bit of a cad. After several drinks, it became obvious the Zen-master is a horrible drunk and grossly lacking in manners. As we left dinner at the Boulder Cafe and wandered into the Kitchen Next Door, the manager asked as kindly as possible that Mr. Stud don a shirt and shoes. None of us had noticed how inappropriately he'd been dressed for the evening, only wearing a small speedo with his name, Mr. Stud, written across the front. (He prefers the Old World, more formal "Mister" over first names but apparently doesn't care a whit for pants.) The only people who change outfits often enough to warrant carrying spare clothes are babies and Mr. Rogers, and they weren't at the party, so the birthday girl had to give up her new scarf and cardigan so Mr. Stud wouldn't get us kicked out of the restaurant.

But his penchant for public nudity was the least of my problems. As the night wore on, and as the drink count climbed, I noticed a few other unsavory things about Mr. Stud. Sure, he was a good listener, but he hadn't asked me a single question all night. While I mentioned my concerns to a friend, out of the corner of my eye I saw him heading off in the direction of the dancefloor with one of my best friends. An hour later, he came back with two strange women, a new green hat, and tequila all over his face. Mr. Stud had been acting like a complete slut.

"WE'RE LEAVING!" I shouted at him while stomping out the door. "Are you coming with us, or staying here with your new friends?" He surfaced a few minutes later, but promptly got in a fight near the grilled cheese stand. I don't know what dirty deeds he'd been up to while my back was turned, but it must've been bad because nearly everyone threw a punch at him. Obviously, I will not be seeing him again. And unless you're wanting the same kind of trouble and heartache I've endured, I recommend not going out with Mr. Stud or anyone he's related to. (They really DO all look alike.)