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A date with disaster

Bob Kramer

Do you ever try to impress people?

Not me. Those days are over in my life. I had enough experience trying

to impress the girls in high school to last a lifetime. Impressing the


girls never worked for me. In high school I struck out more often than

the mighty Casey.

One year in high school, I really wanted to impress one of the young

ladies in my class. I finally persuaded her to go out with me and made


reservations at a fancy restaurant in Hollywood. I don’t recall the name,

but it sat on top of an office building or hotel. I just remember the

view was great.

I sought the guidance of one of my older friends who always had lots

of girlfriends. After much-needed counseling, I convinced him to loan me

his bright red sports jacket. Since his girlfriend liked the jacket I

knew I would be very impressive.

The fact that it didn’t fit never entered my mind. I was just happy to


borrow this sharp-looking jacket. As it turned out, I think I wore it

with blue pants and a white shirt. My date didn’t know whether to get in

the car or stand and salute.

But there we were, heading to Hollywood for a special dinner.

Everything was great as they parked my car and we entered the elevator.

It was when the elevator reached the restaurant at the top that I could

see things were not going to go as I had hoped.

As it turned out, all the bus boys and waiters were wearing red


jackets. The maitre d’ didn’t know whether to seat us or have me clear

off Table No. 4. I sat for two hours staring out the window, trying not

to think about the fact that my outfit matched the people serving us.

The next year I had my eyes on a different girl. This girl was

smarter; she wanted nothing to do with me. She treated me more coldly

than the walk-in freezer at the 7- Eleven.

After months of rejection, I ran into her one night after school. Just

as a coincidence, I was driving one of my Corvettes instead of the

clunker she was used to seeing me drive. A few days later she asked me to

go to the formal “Backward Dance” with her. Who says a Corvette can’t

help a relationship?

As fate would have it, the night of the dance a big wind came up in

our city. And you know what that meant; I couldn’t take my beautiful

Corvette out of the garage. God forbid I should get dust on my Corvette.

My sister, however, owned an old 1953 Chevrolet that was totally beat

up. The exterior was dinged and the seats were all ripped, the stuffing

falling out. With a small bribe, she consented to loaning me her car. As

I drove away from my house it occurred to me that my date would not be

overly impressed.

Inside her home everything was fine. I had one of those stupid

corsages to give her and you could hardly tell the flower was dead. All

was well, of course, until she saw my sister’s beat-up Chevrolet in her


“Where is your Corvette?,” she asked, as I opened the door for her.

“It was windy tonight,” I answered, as I tried to start the old wreck.

Needless to say, this was not a lasting relationship. When we got to

the dance she had stuffing all over her fancy dress. Again, another lady

that wasn’t too impressed.

The last incident happened right before my graduation from Burroughs.

I was dating a nice young lady who lived off Magnolia Boulevard near

Buena Vista.

We had gone out a few times and I was always trying to impress her. I

was 17 years old and I was always worrying about my appearance when I

wore glasses.

To avoid that, I never wore glasses when she was around. The trouble,

however, was that my nearsightedness left me unable to see distances

without my glasses. For six months I couldn’t find her home.

We used to go to the Pick Wick Drive-in on Alameda. I took her there

12 times and never saw the screen. It got so bad the attendants would

dive into the bushes when they saw me coming.

Looking back I can’t believe how stupid I was to not wear my glasses.

All of this merely to impress this beautiful young lady I was dating.

Come to think of it, I guess I can only assume she was beautiful since I

never saw her clearly.

Now that I really think about it, I remember she wasn’t wearing

glasses either. Perhaps she couldn’t see me clearly, either.

Hey, I wonder if she would like to go out in a 1953 Chevy.

* BOB KRAMER is a Burbank city councilman. Reach him at 238-7950.