My Romantic Evening with Air Bud
Men brag. Since the dawn of spoken language, men have been broadcasting their sexual adventures to any listener within earshot. Starting in grade school, we men have constructed elaborate metaphors for bedroom exploits, such as the ever-popular baseball analogy where one allocates bases to quantify one’s elicit liaisons. While we’re told “a gentleman never kisses and tells”, we know (after a few beers with the boys) “most men fuck and flaunt it.” And as we grow into men, our perverse parables mature right along with us.
By the time we reach our mid-twenties, simply “getting laid” no longer wins us any Nobels of Nooky. Instead, our narratives must mix elements of the absurd to win the praise of our manly peers. Simply reporting a successful pickup elicits only yawns and perfunctory high-fives. To inspire bear hugs, belly laughs, and a fanfare of admiration that vary on the theme of “YOU’RE THE MAN, BRO!”, men are required to add comedic elements: an unlikely sex location, a jealous lover catching the affair in flagrante delicto, or simply a hilarious sexual pseudonym (i.e. “Call me Spiderman”). Later we may realize such elaborations are merely the accoutrements of the braggadocio; however, at 22, when one’s maturity rivals that of a fifth grader, one scantly recognizes one’s erroneous worldviews.
And who am to pretend I was any different? A quarter-way on my life’s journey, I found myself in dark woods of error. In less literary and more lascivious terms, this meant I wanted to hook up while watching the movie Air Bud. Inspiration for such a ridiculous endeavor was the franchise of one-liners it promised. “Air Bud threw me the assist on this one” or “Air Bud gave me a bone” immediately came to mind; and I was sure the collective creativity of my like-minded acquaintances held a wealth more.
While possibilities for hilarity were limitless, I still needed a willing participant to turn my Air Bud fantasy into a reality. So I invited over a pretty young lady I’d been seeing rather casually. Our affair appeared ripe for consummation so I propositioned her for a night of “silver screen magic” to which she promptly accepted.
I’d cultivated enough seductive sensibility to understand watching a dog play basketball was simply not sufficient to titillate the romantic inclinations of the fairer sex, so I supplemented Air Bud with a dinner of mussels served over candlelight. As our faces bathed in the dancing glow from the candles and we gazed into one another’s eyes, I delicately introduced the subject of the evening’s entertainment.
“So,” I said in a voice that suggested inquiry. “What’s your favorite animal?”
She smiled coyly and whispered, “Dogs.”
Pleased with her response, I twirled my wine glass debonairly. “Would you say you like athletic dogs?”
“Athletic dogs,” she cooed, “are the only dogs.”
“Well,” I continued. “What would you say if I told you we’re going to watch a film – and this film contains some of the gutsiest dog acting this side of Hollywood has ever seen? What if I told you that this film is the inspiring story of an underdog – quite literally – who breaks barriers of canine prejudice to follow his dreams of playing professional basketball?”
She sat stone-faced.
I stared deep into her eyes, “Does the name Air Bud mean anything to you?”
Well. The name seemed to hit its mark as her complexion went crimson with vex. “Air Bud?!” she boomed in a tone that oozed with disgust. “Air Bud is an atrocity! Any movie that forces animals to act is revolting! That poor dog – the things those directors must have subjected him to. I can’t believe you’d ever think something like that is entertainment!”
“Well…” I stammered. “I mean…”
“No!” she interrupted. “Don’t! How could you support animal cruelty? I love animals! All animals! And I think movies like Air Bud are sickening.”
Well. It appeared I’d been seeing this pretty young lady a bit too casually, causing me to overlook her affection for the animal kind. Compulsive dater I am, I know there are certain dating faux pas which are recoverable. Much like a poorly executed golf stroke, the concept of a “mulligan” also applies to modern dating. Rarely does a lone and isolated slipup negate an otherwise cordial evening.
But let an animal lover catch you supporting animal cruelty: you’re fucked.
So that night I enjoyed Air Bud, alone. As Bud tramped across the court to put a press on some unsuspecting humans, I experienced an epiphany on women, life, dating, and dogs. Had I just been discrete, I could’ve been dating a pretty young animal lover. However, because I felt some social obligation to my friends to one-up and impress them, I concocted a plan that over-qualified me for the label “dumbass.” Stupid as the evening was, I realized the immature futility in trying to impress anyone. This is my dating life – all that matters is what impresses me. Never again would I recount the blow-by-blow details of an intimate evening – unless, of course, it’s for a men’s magazine on dating disasters.
About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.