This one time in high school, the planets aligned, and I was asked to the girls-choice Valentines dance by secret crush, Lilly. Lilly was something else. She sewed her own clothes, she dyed her own hair, and I’m pretty sure she subsisted entirely on a diet of seaweed and soy milk. She spent her afternoons picking up litter and caring for stray dogs. One time, during class, the teacher stopped his lecture because he noticed that Lillie was turning blue. Lilly explained that she was trying to reduce carbon emissions by breathing less.
I really wanted to impress her, so I went shopping for suits. I found this great deal on a wool one, but then I remembered that, according to Lilly, wool was made by animal exploitation. All of the other suits had polyester in them, and according to Lilly, polyester is poisoning the oceans. Soon it was the day of the dance, and I had no idea what I was going to wear. So I made my own suit.
I thought it would impress if my suit was made entirely out of recycled materials, so I raided a newspaper bin and started paper-mache-ing some pants. I knew Lilly had this thing against refined starches, so instead of flour, I held it all together with mud. It’s more earthy that way. For the coat, I made a chain mail out of soda can tabs, which I also reinforced with mud and topped off with a layer of moss … you know, for style. For my hair, I used the most eco-friendly stiffening agent … mud … and topped it off with a hat made out of an abandoned bird’s nest. I’d never felt closer to mother nature.
When Lilly arrived on my doorstep, I opened the door slowly, so as not to give her a heart attack. Thus you could imagine my confusion at the look of horror on her face. I explained that she was looking at a genuine, one-hundred percent recycled suit, but I could change it she wanted. She said, “No, that’s okay.” But I could tell she was feeling awkward. This was probably because, despite her principles, she had chosen to wear a polyester dress. I guess nobody’s perfect.
Anyway, I took a seat in her dad’s Porsche, which was kind of hard to do without breaking my pants and leaving dirty everywhere. I just pretended nothing had happened. Then Lilly drove us to a restaurant. But after parking, we still had to walk a ways, which proved to be a formidable challenge within my stiff enclosure. I moved so slowly, I must have looked like a tree, which would explain why a dog urinated on my leg. I just pretended nothing had happened.
In the restaurant – one of the most expensive places in town – Lilly and I both ordered salads with vegan dressing. I was enraptured by the sound of her voice as she talked about her efforts to save the monkeys in Asia. But it was hard to focus, because I had the uncomfortable feeling that little things were crawling on my body. That was when I realized that I had an ant infestation. Ants started crawling up my neck and out of my sleeves. I would have ignored them, had not Lilly screamed.
“What?” I asked. “Oh my goodness! What kind of establishment is this?” When the waiter came, I complained about the ants, and they got us a new table. Of course, that didn’t stop the ants from coming, though I was able to cover them up with some conveniently-placed dinner napkins.
The dance was at the county courthouse. Again we parked and we were walking to our destination, when I noticed that three or four dogs were following me, sniffing with curiosity. I tried to kick them away, but they wouldn’t leave. So, not wanting to call unnecessary attention to myself, I just continued to walk as they took turns marking me as their territory.
The highlight of the evening was when, at last, Lilly and I were slow dancing to Nat King Cole. As we gazed into each other’s eyes, a squirrel crawled out of my jacket and leapt onto Lilly’s head. It happened so fast, she didn’t even see the squirrel, though she screamed as she felt it clawing around her body. I promptly beat the squirrel off of her, then tried to cover up what was happening by pretending I was getting fresh with her, which must have succeeded, because she slapped me in the face and walked off. Given the circumstances, this was probably the best possible outcome.
Around this time, someone must have thought it was a good idea to open a window, which, in reality, was a terrible idea, because it allowed a pelican to fly in and nest on my head. I tried to cover up the pelican by rearranging my hair, but I don’t think the illusion was working very well, because I was getting a lot of stairs. Needless to say, the night wasn’t turning out too well.
I went outside to get some air. That was when I was accosted by a mob of ten or twenty dogs. Not only were they interested in my scent, they seemed to have a certain fascination with a cat that had somehow managed to get stuck to my back. I hadn’t noticed that before.
Anyway, the dogs were really violent, so I ran back into the courthouse, where Lilly was waiting for me. Apparently she was ready to give me a second chance, which was nice. I must have accidentally left the door open, because soon I was accosted by the mob of barking dogs. In a panic, I pulled the cat off of me and threw it. Fortunately, this succeeded in dissuading the dogs from my body. Unfortunately, the cat landed on Lilly.
So if ever you have a date, and you’re dreading the goodnight kiss, just wear a one-hundred percent recycled suit, and I can guarantee you won’t get one.