Fast Fiction

Girls — by D. A. Hosek

1. Assuming I have a two percent chance of a girl saying yes if I ask her out, and I continue at my present rate of asking out two girls per year, I should have a date by the time I’m middle-aged. Two, if I’m lucky.

2. Back in high school, I would slip a note through the ventilation slots of a girl’s locker. This avoided the difficulty of talking to the girl at the price of making it harder to get a response. Sometimes the girl had one of her friends hand me a note telling me that she was flattered but she wanted to be “just friends.” More often my notes disappeared into the black hole of girlitude.

After one note was sucked into the black hole, I wrote a second note, saying that the least she could do was answer. Then a third note, suggesting that if she liked, she could write her rejection on a brick and throw it at me.

Still no answer. What was I supposed to do?

I went to her house, rang the doorbell and handed her a brick then walked away.

The next day, there was a note in my locker saying that she was flattered, but she wanted to be “just friends.”

3. Point onefouronefiveninetwosixfivethreefiveeightninesevenninethreetwothreeeightfour sixtwosix etcetera. Knowing pi to one hundred and forty-seven digits does not impress girls. Having a level twenty-one paladin with a +3 sword of sharpness does not impress girls even though the sword of sharpness is really cool: if you roll a twenty on the attack die, you can chop off a limb of your opponent or even his head.

If you have sons and you don’t want them to get any girls pregnant, teach them lots of math and how to play Dungeons and Dragons. You will have no worries. I guarantee it.

4. I’ve always been nervous calling girls on the phone. My roommate in college tried to cure me of my phobia by doing role-playing exercises with me. I would pretend to call a girl I was interested in and he would play her. Even in that situation, I hung up my imaginary phone as soon as he said hello.

When he persuaded me to move on to actually calling the girl, I froze as soon as she answered the phone. I covered the receiver and whispered “Line! Line!” to my roommate so he could tell me what to say.

He rolled on the floor laughing.

Somehow I managed to talk to the girl. After I stammered out my request for a date, she told me that she was flattered but she wanted to be “just friends.”

5. Should I ask a girl out? I have worked out a formula for determining if a girl is so far out of my league that there’s no point in even trying. I should only ask her out if the following equation is true:

(P  × t + 2F) ÷ (d + C) ≤ g

where P is pulchritude (that means how beautiful she is), t is how long she’s lived in the area (the longer she’s been here, the more likely it is that she’s already found a boyfriend), F is the number of her friends who have already rejected me (the fact that F is in the exponent means that I’m doomed). d is her desperation index, C is the cleverness of the way that I ask her out and g is my current geekery index.

6. Girls speak a mysterious language. A recent rejection, with translation:

Girl: I’m flattered.

Translation: No I’m not.

Girl: I’m kind of seeing someone right now.

Translation: If you move a little to the right, I’ll have a clear view.

Girl: I’ll keep you in mind if things change.

Translation: As soon as you’re out of sight, I’m going to tell all my friends and we’ll laugh until we turn blue.

7. I am happy to report that my streak finally came to an end. There’s this girl, let’s call her Amy because that’s her name. She’s beautiful, her eyes colored #436EEE and breasts forming perfect parabolas and I thought I had a chance of her saying yes, especially given the cleverness index of what I had in mind. The value of C was off the charts, F was zero, t was small and I’ve been working on bringing down g by practicing acting like the cool guys on television.

I wanted to do something big. I wanted to do something guaranteed to make an impression. I bought flowers. I bought balloons. I wore a top hat, white tie and tails like Fred Astaire. I hired an a cappella group through Craigslist. I surprised her at the store where she worked.

Amy said no. She said I embarrassed her. She asked me never to come to her work again.

She didn’t say we should be just friends.
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D. A. Hosek lives outside Chicago with his wife and kids. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Westerly, Headland, The Southampton Review, Monkeybicycle and elsewhere.