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Like a beacon to the crazy...

Issue Date: Thursday, Jul. 26, 2007

Hi! C’mere you... give us a big hug. Miss me? Yeah, I missed you too. Oh, and you. Annnnd... especially you, mrrrow.

Where have I been? What is this? You don’t trust me or something? I’ve been traveling. No where exciting, just work stuff.

I was in San Antonio last week and was served dinner by Jeffrey Dahmer. And this Saturday I am headed to Montreal.

What? Oh, the Dahmer thing? Well, the explanation isn’t half as creepy as the actual experience, and for fear of Google I may be a bit vague. Oh, who are we kidding? I am totally going to tell you every detail.

In all actuality, I am going to milk this Dahmer thing for all it is worth as I haven’t had anything exciting to write about in about eleventy days months and I am having quite the writers’ block with that whole “Pinky Swear” thing. Yeah, I’ve written a bit more, but... I’ll probably just trash the whole new section and start again as it is bad. BAD.

So, last week...

Wednesday a coworker and I went to San Antonio for a work thingy. We flew in, got to the hotel, walked over to Pat O’Brien’s and had lunch. It started a torrential downpour while we were there but we had to get back for a meeting at three. We waited for a bit then went back to the hotel in the rain, had a meeting, went for drinks with one of the hotel staff that we lurve and then set up.

After setting up, coworker wanted to go back to Pat O’s. As I am a good and proper woman (::snort::) I decided to take a pass at going back for drinks and decided to go check in, go to the hotel restaurant, have a nice quiet dinner and go to bed early as dawn’s ass crack would be arriving in the early hours. Four thirty in the AM in the early hours to be precise.

So I checked in. Went up to my room to freshen up a bit [read: sat on coffee table and stared at the wall for about 15 minutes... then burst into a flurry of activity that included wiping down the phone, tv remote and any other questionable surfaces with Purell®-soaked cloths then boiling my hands] then put the “Privacy” tag on the outside of my door, grabbed Elvira and went downstairs to look at their in-house restaurant menu.

The menu was like “Steak, Steak, Steak, Oh, and did we mention Steak... with a side of Steak? STEAAAAAAAAK!” But they had an interesting salad selection and some yummy looking tortilla soup... so, there ya go. I was in. I looked over and there were two tables occupying the whole place. My merry little table of one would round out the three tables for their early dinner rush.

A very nice hostess seated me and told me that Pale (with a D*) would be serving me that evening.

*I am totally not going to use his real name. You’ll know why later. And you guys can totally figure it out from the obtuse clue I gave above.

I will go ahead and give you guys the whole conversation because it was too surreal to not just step back and let you guys ‘hear’ the same things I did.


A slight, pale man with a receding hairline, small square glasses, a soul patch and a pleasant demeanor approached my table.

Pale: Good evening Miss [totally my real last name**], my name is Pale and I will be serving you tonight. How are you this evening?
me: Very well, and yourself?
Pale: [looking out the window, a slow smile spreads across his features] I am absolutely wonderful. I love this weather.

**I may be a hotel snob but I was not in the least bit taken aback that he knew my name. We frequent their venue often, I am a rockstar and ... the hostess actually asked my name when I first walked into the restaurant... and wrote it down... and gave it to Pale. Ahem.

I turned to look out the window at the soaked people walking around downtown San Antonio, the light looking as grey and filtered as possible through the overcast sky.

me: You like the rain?
Pale: Well, yes. You see... An optometrist once told me that outside of an albino, I have the blondest eyes that he has ever seen.
me: ....
Pale: [points to his eyes] They are very sensitive to sunlight, so I enjoy it when it is overcast like this.
me: Well, yes... you are... quite... pale?
Pale: I know.

He then handed me a menu, told me he would be right back to take my order and that he was going to check on his other tables. I nodded and looked over the menu. Salad, soup. Got it. He made his rounds and then came back to me.

Pale: So, have you decided what you would like to start with?

Now, normally, if you have dined with me, you know that I am all for trying just about anything on a menu unless it is beets or pickled onions or pigs feet or the eggs of a tender young pterodactyl or something. I just have two requests. No Onions. And No Onions. (Or beets... but I normally don’t run into that problem.)

me: I have a few questions.
Pale: Sure, fire away.
me: The tortilla soup, does it come with onions already in the mix or as a garnish?
Pale: Not that I am aware of, but I will definitely ask if it does, and request that they not add them if they are indeed in the ingredients.
me: Thank you. If they are already pre-made in the soup, no biggie, I am not allergic, it is just a preference. And the salad. I was wondering...
Pale: Onions?
me: Yes...
Pale: No onions are in that dish, and I will make sure that they are kept away from your plate. I totally get that about the onions. It’s texture thing right? I totally hate water chestnuts. You think that they are going to be crunchy and then they aren’t or are, I don’t know. Anyway... Anything else?
me: Yes, I would like some water. And could the iceberg lettuce in the salad be replaced with a leafy green of some sort?
Pale: Bottled water?
me: Sure.
Pale: And would more of the watercress suffice instead of the iceberg?
me: That would be wonderful thank you.
Pale: Okay, so [he repeats my order – I nod and he says...] let me clean off some of these extra place settings.

He retreats and I am sitting there waterless, totally wanting to whip my book out of my purse or pull out the old blackberry and check my email, or Google chat or something. But, I just sit. Another waiter comes out with Pale and they start clearing away the three unused place settings.

I’m screaming “WATER!” at Pale in my head.

He brings out the soup.

It was really very good. Tortilla soup... mmmm... it was a hearty broth with avocado and chunks of chicken, there were even some zucchini in the mix. In my head, “WATER!!!!!!!!!!” So, I flagged Pale down.

me: May I have some water please?
Pale: Of course, Aquafina or [I thought he said...] Tao?
me: Either is fine really.
Pale: I’ll bring the Tao. They are the same price but.. [leans in conspiratorially] Tao is just... fancier.
me: Well, who can argue with fancy?

He walks off and comes back with a teeny square bottle of water. He presents it to me like it is the freaking Shroud of Turin. He holds it in his right hand by the neck of the bottle and presents it over his left forearm so I can see the label. Fancy indeed, whatever... just pour it, AM THIRSTY.

me: Thank you.
Pale: You are welcome. So, what brings you into town?
me: [Stopping midbite of soup] I... I’m here on business.
Pale: With a conference? Which group?

I tell him.

Pale: Well, you don’t look like a [another group in house] and I wasn’t sure if you were a [another group in house] but you totally seem like a [our group].
me: Really? Actually I am just the planner. Not a member of the group.
Pale: And where are you from?
me: Dallas. [Taking small sips of soup... thinking “Go away, Eating. Fat girl, eating. Can you please stop talking to me? Alone for a reason, mmmm soup, go away.”]
Pale: Ah, Dallas. I’m not from here originally.
me: Is that so? [Mentally kicking myself.]
Pale: Yes, I was born in blah blah blah blah blah blah and my mother died when I was blah and my father on his number blah wife moved down here and I went to blah school, and my brother is a chef and my Dad used to work for blah and ... whoops, hold on, I need to check on that table.

I continued eating. I also snuck out my blackberry and texted Mister, “The waiter has a crush on me. I know his entire history by now, and I haven’t even finished my fucking soup.” Mister writes back, “He sounds crazy, be safe.”

Oh, little did I know.

Pale: I’m back.
me: Yes...?
Pale: So when I was in blah town going to blah school I thought to myself, “you know... this town isn’t for the likes of me... I need to go where there is more... [dramatically long pause] intelligence”, you follow me?
me: Sure.
Pale: So where did you go to college
me: Stephen F.
Pale: Nac-a-nowhere.
me: You got it.
Pale: So, you know what I am saying.
me: So, you didn’t enjoy [name of his school and town]? [mentally... “Stupid, stupid, stupid... stop asking him questions... your soup is getting cold.”]
Pale: Well, I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I wasn’t married at the time.
me: Ah...
Pale: You see, my ex-wife was a stripper blah blah blah blah didn’t know that until we had been dating for about blah weeks. She was blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

He goes on to describe his ex-wife and everything about their marriage and how she was sleeping with another guy, he caught her, asked her about it... THREE DAYS LATER, and she didn’t fess up. On and on and on... and how he is still in love with her and his current girlfriend is an angel for putting up with it. Y’all, seriously. I could have written the “Pale Biography” by that point. Until... dum Dum DUMMM!

Pale: Now you know everything about me.
me: Seems like it.
Pale: Gotta check on that table, be right back.

He brings my salad, some people I know stopped by to say hello. We chat for a second and then they leave. Pale comes back over and repeats.

Pale: Now you know everything about me.
me: I guess.
Pale: Well, everything except the interesting and inappropriate parts.
me: The inappropriate parts are usually the most interesting. [Metally, “I swear, if you don’t SHUT UP...]

He visibly brightens and then says...

Pale: Well, there is one thing I could tell you that wouldn’t be too inappropriate.

I raised an eyebrow as in “don’t push it, you.” He totally took it as, “Oooh, tell me everything you very intelligent man, I am so very interested in your life and all that it entails!”

Pale: When I was married my wife had a friend of hers come in from Las Vegas. He needed a place to crash for a few days so he stayed on our couch. He kept mentioning that he had robbed a place unarmed and had millions and that the police may be looking for him. This was like back in 2001 or something, when I was living in [town].
me: Okay.
Pale: So, one night we were going out to this gay bar that he frequented and the cops pulled up behind our car and demand that we pull over, get out of the car, lay down on the ground with our hands out. That doesn’t sound like the kind of thing the police would do just for an unarmed robber, right?
me: Not sure...
Pale: The police thought we were all in on whatever Chris... we knew him by Chris but his name was Matthew Frenn... was into. So we all get out of the car and taken into custody. The police had every phone tapped, every room bugged in our apartment. They listened as Chris talked about how he was going to spend his “millions”. But [dramatic pause] it ended up that he hadn’t robbed anything or anyone.
me: What did he do? Oh, and can I have some of that chocolate cake?
Pale: Sure. He killed his step father and his own mother in Vegas.
me: Damn. What did you say his name was? I am totally Googling this when you walk off.
Pale: Ha! Matthew Frenn. With two n’s. Be right back with your cake.

He walks off to take care of the last remaining table’s check, and to get my cake. And I whipped out the blackberry, Google’d Matthew Frenn and wouldn’t you know?

HENDERSON SLAYINGS: 29-year-old man arrested in two deaths.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Las Vegas Review-Journal

The son of a Henderson couple has been arrested in Texas on two counts of murder in connection with a double homicide discovered last week.

Henderson police said Matthew Scott Frenn, 29, was arrested Sunday in San Antonio. Police identified him as the son of a couple who lived at 15 Book Wagon St., where two bodies were found...

So I texted Mister, “Dude. Waiterboy unknowingly harbored a murderer.” Mister replied, “Get up and walk out of there now.” I said, “Can’t yet... cake.” If this guy was going to slay me or anything I thought that he already knew my name and could get my room number from the computer. Might as well have some cake.

I am sure Mister was sitting there chewing his face off with anxiety at his daft wife with “Tell Me Everything” written in neon on her forehead like a beacon to the crazy.

So Pale comes with the cake.

Cake = good.

Then he opens up a whole ‘nother kind of crazy. A kind of crazy that even scared me a little.

Pale: So, I was working at this tire/oil/lube repair shop at this local Wal*Mart.
me: [Mentally, “I just got whiplash... warn me about the sudden topic changes there champ.”] O...kay.
Pale: And I’m not big into talking with large groups of people, or playing around with the fellas.
me: But you’re just fine talking when it’s one on one huh?
Pale: Heh, yeah.
me: [Mentally, “SHUT UP, SUSAN!”]...
Pale: And the guys all thought I was kind of scary, quiet white boy in a predominately Hispanic working environment.
me: I can see where they would be coming from...[Mentally, “I said, SHUT UP!”]
Pale: So they made this AIM account for me under the name of... get this...
me: [Mentally, “Seriously, do NOT say one word.”]...
Pale: Dahmer.
me: Alrighty, check please.

And with that, I bid you a fair adieu. As I will be in Montreal until next week.


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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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