Fantasy Flight: Lonesome Charlie gets dating assists

Even the divorcee's dog is given relief

Hank McFarland

Thirty nine thousand feet above the low lands of South Carolina I pulled the latest edition of Sky Mall out of the seat pocket in front of me. I intended to peruse the latest gadgetry available through the wonders of airline marketing and to see if there might be some incredible invention which could become a life altering experience for a great friend of mine.

Bam! On Page 7 a product jumped off the page and hit me right between the eyes. Toppik… makes thin hair look thick and natural in 30 seconds!  When I looked at the before and after diagrams in the ad the contrast was startling. The “before” scalp on the left looked like west Texas landscape that had been ravaged by a runaway grass fire while the “after” scalp on the right could have been mistaken for a Brazilian rain forest.

“Toppik gives you greater coverage and a thick, full looking head of hair - all in about 30 seconds.” chortled the text. “You simply shake the color-matched fibers over thinning areas.”

Imagine! In the time it takes to walk from the car to your lady friend's front door a person could completely change his appearance for the better.  Simply shake a little moon dust onto your scalp and smile. It was gratifying to know that Toppik comes in eight natural colors, including white for those of us who are enjoying our seventh decade of adventuresome dating.

Page 14 produced more magic. “Gravity Defyer, the first shoes that make you feel like you are defying gravity. Walk with the stride of a champion. Walk with comfort. Be active. Walk taller and with more confidence than ever before.”

The diagram told the story beautifully. An industrial grade master spring under the heel of the shoe, and an absorption stability spring slightly more forward, combined with other advanced engineering features to provide a real bounce to your step.

The ensuing text waxed eloquent. “As soon as you slip your feet into the Gravity Defyer Shoes, you feel energized with power as the scientifically designed springs push you from your heels to your toes and put you in constant movement.”

I stopped reading. My imagination pictured a seventy-something gentleman with flowing white locks, thanks to an assist from Toppik, and with a new spring to his step, kudos to Gravity Defyer, as he prepped for his first date with the attractive fiftyish divorcee who lives just three houses away up the block. He was ready to head out the door, anxious to make a great impression on his new found friend. But wait!

My eyes dropped back to Sky Mall. What other fantastic inventions could be found there to come to the aid of our hero?

The answer appeared on page 20 in the form of a multi-functional Margaritaville and complimentary carrying case, shipped for free. As the old saying goes, “candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.” What could be wrong with arriving for a date with a mixer preset to serve up refreshing daiquiris, mudslides, or margaritas? “This beauty features a double sized ice hopper, a 36 ounce glass pitcher, and a powerful one horsepower motor which makes it the most versatile drink machine ever offered.”  Fiftyish widows have been around long enough to have seen a lot of things, but probably not a suitor arriving with his own drink mixing machine.

My reverie was briefly interrupted by the voice of our pilot, informing us that our flight was about to cross the Virginia border and that a weather front might produce some mild turbulence. The information did not distract me for long, as our hero was ready to head out on his initial date and with his advancing years, probably needed some more ammunition.

Page 29 produced just the right thing. A voice activated R2-D2, a motorized replica of the headstrong little “droid” from the Star Wars films. “This little guy responds to over 40 voice commands, navigates rooms and hallways, and plays games like tag using an infrared sensor to search for people in a room. R2-D2 can also answer yes and no questions, and dance while playing cantina music.”
Obviously, R2-D2 is the answer to an old guy’s dreams. It’s been said that nothing excites ladies like a good game of tag. If she plays hard to get and hides in a closet, R2 will find her. If she’s a little cold, a song and dance routine will warm her up.  Best of all, maybe he can be trained to carry the multi-functional Margaritaville from the car to the house and save some time and energy for the elder generation.

It must be time to get this date underway. I am spending way too much time with this fantasy.  My fertile mind has even come up with a name for our hero…..Charlie, and a semblance of a story. Charlie has been a lonesome guy since his wife suddenly passed away two years ago. He has had his eye on this new divorcee neighbor since she moved in three months ago. But no, Sky Miles keeps coming up with old guy dating aids that just won’t quit.

Page 31 features the Indoor Dog Restroom. Now you may properly wonder what an indoor dog restroom could possibly do to make Charlie’s dating quest easier, but think about this. Suppose this fiftyish widow has a dog. And suppose the dog is quietly resting as our hero and his friend sip on a few refreshing mudslides. Things are getting real cozy on the couch when suddenly a whining develops from the previously quiet dog. It’s time for a doggie break. Indoor Dog Restroom to the rescue!

“This ingenious system uses a mat made of antimicrobial porous artificial turf that gives off organic scent to attract dogs, so they can be taught quickly that it is an acceptable spot for relieving themselves.” There will be no interruption of the night’s intrigue to let the dog out.

It appears our hero’s time has come. He certainly appears to be adequately prepared for whatever crops up, and not only that, our captain has come back on the intercom and pointed out the sights of Manhattan and New York City below the right hand side of the airplane. Just as I am trying to get Charlie and his date out of my mind for good, the last component needed for a successful first date appears in Sky Miles on page 71.

“The Traveler Ultra Light Guitar comes complete with an acoustic piezo pickup, a lightweight, detachable lap-rest frame and a custom gig bag. It’s perfect for players on the go and on a budget. The full scale 24 3/4 inch guitar weighs less than 3 pounds, making it one of the lightest guitars on the market.”

We all know that music charms, and guitar music charms the best. My friend David, who has played in music groups all over the country, assures me that the lead guitarist always gets the girl. Or did he say the lead singer? Unfortunately, I really can’t remember. Nevertheless, Charlie better equip himself with the Traveler Ultra Light Guitar.

Looking out the window I see the traffic working its way up Interstate 93. We are just moments from touchdown. The last thing I remember before my reverie is shattered by the squeal of our wheels hitting the runway pavement is Charlie knocking on the divorcee’s door.  Happy courting, Charlie!

Go to Letters in October,2008

September, 2008