Getting Shafted on a First Date


It’s time for another thrilling installment in the on-going series, “Eric’s Wacky First Dates.” You’ll recall the last installment, where I went out on a Wacky First Date with Michelle and another couple to Mullboons restaurant in Salt Lake City and, between the four of us, paid $75 for our dinners and didn’t have any money left for a tip. Boy, was that ever Wacky, ha-ha.

My latest Wacky First Date was with Brittney and it didn’t cost me anything. This was a double date with my friend Bret, who was going out with a girl named Gina. Bret’s plan was to blindfold our dates and then guide them all around campus so they would have no idea where they were. Doesn’t that sound fun?! No? That’s what our dates thought, too, but they didn’t have much say in the matter, because we were much larger and stronger than they were.

So we led them from Deseret Towers, where we, for lack of a better word, “live,” to the Harris Fine Arts Center (or, as we like to call it, the HFAC), and into the Nelke Experimental Theater. I have seen plays in the Nelke Experimental Theater, and I was even in one once, so I know why they call it an “experimental” theater. It’s because they perform experiments in theater there, such as doing plays with no plots, and not speaking loudly enough for the audience to hear.

Anyway, the theater was dark and empty, so we led our dates down this spiral staircase to the storage area underneath the stage. As I mentioned, it was dark, and I didn’t know there was a platform in the stage that went up and down, nor did I realize that the shaft for the platform to go down into was located right there in the storage area, and — did I mention it was dark? — I proceeded to walk right into the aforementioned shaft and plunge sideways six feet down to the concrete, landing on my right side. It hurt pretty bad, let me tell you, and I let everyone know I was in pain by declaring boldly: “Don’t take off your blindfolds! I’m fine!”

Then Bret hopped down to make sure I was OK, and as soon as he saw that I wasn’t, he immediately put to use the emergency-preparedness knowledge that he gained as an Eagle Scout and began laughing at me. This helped quite a bit, and I was eventually able to stand up. Bret boosted me up to the top of the shaft and I was able to get out, but only after a few boosts were aborted because Bret was laughing too hard (which, as I mentioned, helped tremendously).

We tried to continue our date with the activities we had planned, but we had a bit of trouble, insofar as I kept almost passing out. This hindered our progress considerably, and we wound up just going back to Deseret Towers and loitering in the lobby, along with approximately fourteen other couples, all of whom were making out.

So the date kind of went downhill, so to speak, after my Death Plunge, but it was still reasonably fun. Fun enough to make it a Wacky First Date, anyway, and I’m healing pretty well, especially after the full-body massage I got from a guy named Chuck.

(You think I made that last part up just to be shocking, but you are wrong. But that’s another column.)

(Eric D. Snider is a freshman at BYU from Lake Elsinore, California, and he would like to point out that although he is almost healed now, a sympathy card would sure be nice, and maybe a little money, too.)

In publication, a few things were changed. For one thing, Wacky First Date was not capitalized, which is a shame, because I think capital letters are so funny. Also, the last little bit was edited to "...full-body massage I got from a guy named Chuck. But that's another column." My assurance that the full-body massage part was true was omitted; I guess Earl the Editor figured it was better to let people think I had just made it up.

I didn't, though. There really was a guy named Chuck on the sixth floor of my dorm who was well-versed in some Eastern, Oriental art of massage (although he had a different name for it). He administered a lovely, entirely non-sensual massage that actually helped quite a bit.

Years later, I performed several times in the Nelke Experimental Theater, particularly during the summer of 1997, when I hung out with the Theater People quite a bit and often got roped into performing in their little plays and scenes. And in all my experience with the Nelke Experimental Theater, I never made that same mistake again (i.e., falling in the pit). I learned to respect the moving floor, for it is awesome and its power is great.