Summer '75: The Ducks Unlimited Blind Dinner Date
|Aspen CO. Image courtesy of the Omnibus Postcard Collection|
Gail and Phil had a friend, a woman who was a real estate agent. Some divorced guy from Texas had a crush on her, wanted to meet her.
So a dinner was arranged. Gail, Phil, The Texan, Real Estate Gal [who was seriously not interested in Tex], her sister, and yours truly. Full disclosure: the sister was seriously not interested in me either. I remember her as a tall icy brunette with a Dorothy Hamill bob.
We’re at Tex’s condo somewhere on Aspen Mountain. Got there while there was still light, saw the lifts out the back day. Again, a world light years from my life.
We got situated, the weed circulated. Dinner arrives, a high-dollar chunk of Texas beef with a Bearnaise, and very lush French red wine. Then Phil and Gail bailed, claiming something. So that left me sitting next to Icy Sister, baked as fuck. I didn't have the wit to duck out.
Tex is trying to establish his Cool Guy bona fides with Real Estate Gal, easily twenty years younger than him. I remember standing up at one point in the negotiations, pulling a book down off the shelf, and an old pre-divorce snapshot of him in a speedboat pops out. I put it back.
The conversation is meandering towards ecology. Real Estate Gal is not having it, and finally Tex says “I’m a member of Ducks Unlimited!”
She says “What’s that?”
Before Tex can formulate an answer, me, slumped on a couch, says “...that’s an organization that turns stud ducks loose in the marshes, and when they come back in the fall they shoot them out of the sky...”
Dead silence. Tex gives me the Fatal Stink Eye, then excuses himself.
She looks at me and whispers “thank you for saving me...”
I’m thinking “sure, and I’ll probably won’t have a shot at you, OK...”
Icy Sister is mute. The evening limped to its fatally-wounded conclusion.
To his credit, Tex gave us all a ride home in his white on white ragtop land-yacht Caddy, as I didn’t know where the fuck I was. The wind whistled through every seam as well.
He was not a happy camper and glad to eject me into the chill night.