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Rant #8
(published Late in the Year, 2000)
I Dated a Playboy Playmate
by Ellen Hayes

Five AM is not what you could call Prime Time for technical support. At least as far as actual revenue-generation is concerned. The West Coast is finally in bed, the East Coast hasn't woken up yet, Alaska and Hawaii can't call us directly, and we don't have a foreign language department. And any poor sucker up at this hour is either too bleary-eyed or too frustrated to read the tiny little sticker that has the tech support number.

Not like we planned it that way, of course. Heh.

Anyway, five is a dead time. It's a really good time to paint your nails, wander around and have philosophical discussions, listen to music, write (ahem), do your homework, cut your hair (your own or someone else's) . . . anything.

One particular night, I was discussing war strategies with a couple guys, and in particular whether 'weapons of mass destruction' were really viable as weapons, or whether they were merely deterrents of no practical use.

You can also discuss national policy at five in the morning.

Anyway, I had just made the point that bio-weapons aren't really developed yet, when another of the perverts started shushing everyone and turned up his radio.

Note, this was five in the morning, or did I mention that already? Anyway, so it was kind of surprising to hear the graveyard DJ talking to some female who claimed to be a Playhouse Playmate. I guess that's what they call bunnies nowadays. Usually only the morning crew gets to meet people like Playmates or porn stars or whatever. In fact, I don't think the graveyard DJ really gets to meet anyone, except maybe the pizza delivery guys or something like that.

And she was claiming that she wanted to go out with a 'nice guy' the next night, because she was tired of rich assholes. "I'd like to be able to say I'm tired of dating rich guys," me and this gay guy said at the same time. The resulting laughter from that drowned out several sentences after that and got me lightly beaten.

"Hey, you should call," someone said to me.

"What, me? She said nice GUY, remember?"

"Aren't all them women bi or something?" asked one, and another (not the brightest bulb in our string) claimed to have seen her eating some other chick's snatch in one 'spread' which started some more laughter. Sad, kind of.

With an over-the-shoulder "Ah, shuddafuckup," I went into the break room to fix a late dinner.

And, THERE was the breakroom phone, hanging on the wall.

Looking at me.

"Stop it!" I snapped at it.

It was still there when I looked back. "QUIT IT!"

The timer beeped and my nuklar-waved dinner - it said that on the door, 'NUKLARWAVR' - was ready.

And that damned phone was still there!

"Alright alright," I sighed, and opened the door to let my dinner cool off and went to the phone.

I dialed, thinking, *What the hell am I doing?* You never get into radio stations when they're offering a free CD, much less some date with a chick-who-gets-naked-for-a-living. So it was kind of hopel-

"Hello KXXX!" [Actual call letters deleted for the lawyers]

"&^@$!" was the first thing out of my mouth. I don't startle gracefully. "Oh, %^# sorry! I got through?" *No duh!* "Um, I was calling for the date thing? With Angelica?" That was her 'name', Angelica.

There was silence, and I thought that the DJ had hung up because of me cursing, and I was going to start cursing again just about the time he mentioned, "You're a girl?"

"Well, yeah," I admitted. "But, I mean..."

Now, here's where I show off the social graces that not all the perverts have. Some of them would have said, 'But we decided that she had to be bi because of that series she did with So-and-so, you know, licking her-' which I knew just HAD to be a bad idea. Saying that, not being bi.

So, what I said was, "I mean, if you limit the contest to just guys, it's discrimination. And, maybe she'd LIKE to go out with a girl. Has she ever gone out with one before?"

There was a flurry of girlish giggles, which made me a bit nauseous, but then she said on the phone line, "No, not like this."

"You're kidding," said the DJ.

"No!" her and I both protested at the same time. "I'm completely serious," I continued. "She's got to be better than my last boyfriend," I added speciously; the last boyfriend wasn't bad, just I wasn't his type or something. Or something.

Both of them started laughing, and I held the phone away from my head so I wouldn't start too, because I can be heard for blocks when I get really amused, and then people would want to know what I was up to, and I didn't want to talk about it.

When the laughter stopped, I put it back to my ear. "Okay, okay," the DJ said, "okay, we'll let you answer the questions." They had come up with three questions to ask callers. Luckily, I can think on my feet, because I hadn't heard the originals on the radio. "Okay, first question."

Angelica asked, me I hoped, "What..." and then she started giggling.

"What what?" I asked back. Scintillating, I tell you. At least she laughed some more.

She cleared her throat, and asked in a rush, "What do you look for in a woman?" before she started to laugh and then it sounded like she fell off a chair or dropped the phone or something.

I waited for a bit, then asked, "Do I wait for her to get back, or answer it now?"

"Um, you can answer it now," said the DJ, who sounded a little breathless himself.

"Well, what I look for in a woman... fun to talk to for hours," I decided quickly. "Everything else is secondary." Especially when you carefully defined 'fun', but I didn't mention that on the air; there's too many ways to take that statement, many of which would not reflect well on me at all.

"That's cool," Angelica gasped. Back on the air. "Um, and, and the second question was, is I mean, is, what would you get me for a present?"

I chuckled. "I'm poor, lady. Is this 'What WOULD I get you?' or 'What would I LIKE to get you if I had the money?'"

She made a really unattractive 'yurp' noise and fell off the phone again. The DJ snorted for a few moments, then said, "Both." You could hear Angelica having hysterics in the background before he shut his own microphone off.

"Ur. What I'd LIKE to get Angelica..." *Think, stupid!* My shoulder hurt, and that provided the spark. "...Is one of those full body spa treatments; the massage, the facial, a manicure and pedicure, foot massage, the works. But like I said, I'm poor, and can't afford that for her..." Or me. Damnit. "...So what I would actually end up getting her..." I'd done this once for a girl and it went over well, but she broke up with me so I figured it was ethical enough to re-use the same idea now. "...Is a really nice silk rose, so she could keep it and remember a fun time for as long as she wanted to keep the rose and remember it."

Momma must've kissed the Blarney Stone or something. Or maybe it was having to talk to lusers all night long, I dunno.

"Wow," Angelica said, "That's really sweet!"

'Hot ^#$&^ you think so?' I almost said. But this would be a bad time to say something. Especially that.

"Sooooo...." Angelica continued, "What would you do on the date?"

"Ah. You're new to town, aren't you?" I confirmed.

"Yeah," she admitted.

"Well, in that case, there's a couple of good-" and then I caught a Big Clue. "Oooh, no. We'd get a pizza from [perfectly awesome pizza place I shan't mention either], you like pizza right?" I hoped so; some image professionals didn't eat normal food.

"Oh, yeah," she admitted, and giggled some more.

"And then," before I could fall off whatever track of BS I was following, "we could go to a nice park, there's a nice one on the lake, and watch the sun set, and just talk a lot, 'cause I bet you have a lot of cool things to say," I said, smiling to myself. Privately, I thought that she'd probably be limited to "Wow!" and "Cool!" and other monosyllabic utterances, but that's one of those 'tact' things I'd learned, not to mention when I thought that. This job had done wonders for my social skills, even if it didn't improve my opinion of the general mass of humanity any.

"Oh, smooth," commented the DJ, and I wanted to snap something nasty at him, but I bit my Broca's area, virtually speaking, and managed to not think of anything to say long enough to not say anything.

"Um, that would be nice," Angelica managed to get out before starting to giggle again.

"So, we'll, uh," the DJ snorted or chuckled or made some kind of noise indicating stifled merriment, "uh, we'll take a few more callers, and then she'll pick which one she wants to go out with, so stay on the line, okay?"

"Sure," I said; as if I was going to hang up now.

The phone clicked, and clicked, and I waited to hear a dial tone, but I got lucky or the DJ missed or something, because I never did get one.

The cord was long, so I could go over and pull my dinner out and start stuffing my face with it, which is exactly the reason there was a long cord on the handset. I was pretty sure I wasn't gonna win, and it took a long time, and I almost gave up and hung up, but I figured that at least it was keeping me away from 'real work' so I'd stick with it. One pervert came in to see what I was doing, and I made hushing motions over the phone and told him, "I'm busy, okay?" and he left.

One other thing you learn, working on the phones all day; any time you don't have to talk or listen, is good time on the phone. I'll happily wait on hold while at work for hours, if necessary. It's not my nickel then, and if I'm on a call, I can't be forced to take another one.

As long as I don't have to go to the bathroom, which I did not.

I'd finished my dinner and was reading yesterday's paper when the phone clicked again.

"Hello?" I said, hoping it wasn't Call Waiting.

"Hi," Angelica said nervously, and started to giggle.

"Hi Angelica," I said back, rolling my eyes. "What's up?" *Got the wrong button, didn't you?* I thought.

"Um, you won.." she got out before she got the giggles and dropped the phone again.

"FaaaaaaanTAStic!" I shouted, in case they were recording this for the rest of the radio bit. *Oh, shit, how do I get out of work tomorrow?* I was thinking. "That is so cool-"

The DJ pattered, "Alright, so stay on the line for a minute, okay?And what station keeps you going all night long?"

"KXXX!" I snapped off, really REALLY hoping I was remembering the right station call letters. Apparently I was, because he didn't scream or anything, and then some other voice, one I hadn't heard yet, came on and asked me a lot of stuff like my name and my age and my driver's license number and so on and so forth. Whoever it was didn't have a sense of humor either, which was kind of sad. Maybe he left it in his locker or something.

I swallowed my usual civil liberties speech and answered all of the questions, and then he told me that Angelica would be at the radio station at 7 PM the next day would that be acceptable.

It took me a moment to realize he was asking me a question.

"Uh, yeah, that's fine... listen, is this for real? I mean, did I really win and am I going on a date with her?"

"Yes," he sneered at me, "what did you think?"

"Sorry, I've never won anything on the radio before, much less a date," I said back, deliberately going for an apologetic tone. Weasel. *Feel REAL guilty, weasel boy...*

"Oh, well, yes, you really won," he said, sounding a little more human. "Do you know where the station is located?" I said no, and he gave me directions, and reminded me to be there at 7 PM. And then he hung up.

I came out of the break room shaking my head, wondering what the hell I was going to wear.

And the rest of the perverts, damn them, gave me a standing ovation. The #&$^&ers had been listening to me on the radio!

So how'd Ellen's date with Angelica go? Read the tantalizing conlusion in this week's Poor Mojo's Penny Dreadfuls

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