The Walk

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People who know me can tell you that I am nothing if not efficient, as evidenced by this conversation that I have frequently:

OTHER PERSON: Eric, you’re nothing!
ME: No I’m not. I’m efficient.
OTHER PERSON: Oh, yeah. I forgot.

I’m interested in cutting out the unnecessaries in life. For example, I think my wristwatch could be made more efficient by removing the feature that tells me what day of the week it is. I don’t need this, and no one else does, either. I mean, whose brain is so full of activity that they can’t remember what day it is? Even if I forget for a second, in the time it takes me to lift my arm and look at my watch, I’m probably going to remember. And anyone who really, truly, can’t tell what day it is without looking at his watch is probably so dumb he can’t tell time anyway. He should get a watch that JUST tells him what day it is. Let him get the more advanced time-telling watch later on, once he’s built up to it.

Anyway, in the past I have proposed several social reforms that would cut down on time and money spent. I proposed, for example, that traditional wedding receptions be done away with, since no one wants to go to them anyway, including the bride and groom. But in order to allow the newlyweds to still get their presents, I suggested that the bride’s teen-age brother sit at a card table at a major intersection and let well-wishers pull up to the curb, drop off their gifts, and drive away. That way, the happy couple gets their free stuff — the reason receptions were invented in the first place — and no one has to waste an entire evening grazing on nut cups and second-rate wedding cake.

That idea was immensely popular, especially in terms of people who didn’t do it. My newest idea, I hope, will be even more successful at making society more efficient, especially for college students.

The problem college males have is The Walk. The Walk is when, in an attempt to more exactly define their relationship, a girl will say, “Let’s go for a walk.” Of course she has no interest in walking; if she wanted cardiovascular fitness, she would go jogging, or blather a mile a minute on the phone for an hour. She doesn’t want to go for a walk. She wants to go for a TALK.

Nothing is more dreaded than The Walk, because not only does it involve Defining the Relationship (man’s worst fear), but it also involves physical exertion. If it were The Sit, or The Lie-Down, it would be easier for guys to deal with. It’s bad enough they have to talk about their feelings and stuff; now they have to WALK somewhere, too?!

The reason The Walk is necessary, though, is that college students have no privacy. Not only do universities distribute their Social Security numbers like Halloween candy to anyone who wants them, but the students are crammed into campus-approved housing with as many roommates as fire codes will allow (and those fire codes are getting looser, thanks to fire-marshal palm-greasings from not a few landlords, I’m certain). It’s not uncommon to see six guys sharing an apartment that would not normally be considered large enough to house a gerbil.

So with roommates all over the place, there’s never anyplace to talk. Which is why women — those plucky, resourceful gals — invented The Walk. My plan to thwart the women and eliminate The Walk is two-fold:

1) Get it out in the open. If a girl wants to go for The Walk, let the guy have the option of instead saying to his roommates, “Everyone get out! We’re having a talk!” The roommates will then go to Denny’s and come back either when the couple has discussed their relationship to the woman’s satisfaction, or never, whichever comes first.

2) No talking. This will render Step 1 unnecessary, of course. Girls are constantly trying to figure out whether the guys they’re dating like them. It’s usually obvious, of course, but they want SPECIFICS. The trouble is, we don’t know any specifics. All we’ve thought of so far is, “I like girl. Girl make happy. I spend more time with girl.” Talking about it will not define it any more clearly than that, I assure you, because we really don’t have any feelings, much less vocabulary enough to express them.

So my proposal: less walking, less talking, more kissing. Woo-hoo! Thank you and good night.

Were my comments about The Walk based on personal experience? Possibly. I certainly did live in an apartment complex that afforded its tenants about as much privacy as a circus monkey, making The Walk a common practice. (We often referred to the complex as "the fishbowl.") That's all I'm saying.

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