by Lawrence H. Levy
You ever get the feeling you shouldn’t do something, but you do it anyway? That’s how I felt when I made the mistake of tagging along with my girlfriend Shelby and her BFF Holly for dinner at Applebee’s.
I know, Applebee’s?! But hey, it’s cheap and having dinner with two women probably meant I was getting stuck for the check. Holly is a free spirit type who says and does what she wants when she wants and has no filter process in her brain. That’s why, just as I was applauding their decision to choose the two entrees plus one appetizer for twenty dollars special, Holly suddenly steered the conversation toward penis size.
This had obviously turned into a “Girls Night Out” and I was short an “X” chromosome. However, before I could excuse myself and hide in the bathroom until the conversation advanced to a more comfortable subject, it happened. Holly waxed on about how much she desired really large ones, the bigger the better, and how just thinking about her ex’s member made her wet. Okay, I was already standing, had announced my exit, and had one foot toward the men’s room when I heard it.
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” Shelby agreed. And the two of them laughed like sisters in crime.
I didn’t know what hit me. I stumbled toward the men’s room in a daze, but no matter what spin I tried to put on it, my beautiful, precious Shelby’s intent was clear. She liked em big and the sad truth was I couldn’t hope to qualify.
Inside the bathroom, there were three urinals with two already occupied. The guy on the far right wore plaid pants and a lime green golf shirt, obviously part of the senior set that frequented Applebee’s for its specials. The guy in the middle was more my age, but my mind was on Shelby, her desires, and my sorry excuse for manhood. I didn’t have to go, but with other guys there, it would look pretty weird just hanging around the men’s room.
I stepped up to the one empty urinal on the left and unzipped my pants. After hearing the news, my lizard had already shrunk, found a hiding place, and had quickly become agoraphobic. I pulled him kicking and screaming into the light. He was not happy. It’s amazing though. No matter how little desire you have, you put your guy in front of a urinal and he goes. It must be a Pavlovian thing.
So there I was feeling sorry for myself. Shelby had obviously seen bigger, had bigger, even craved bigger. How could she be satisfied with me? After Lois Lane had Superman, she was forever ruined for any mere mortal. This was no different. Maybe Shelby was victim to the female version of the cheating husband — the “When you eat steak every day, you crave a little hamburger once in a while” philosophy. I was the hamburger, probably just a small slider appetizer.
At that point, I decided to break with bathroom etiquette. The unspoken rule is to keep your eyes staring straight ahead and never let them wander toward the other guy. I sorely needed some affirmation and was hoping the guy next to me would provide it. Big mistake.
My jaw dropped as I saw his one-eyed snake waving in the air. Correction. Taking into account its mammoth proportions, it probably determined air patterns rather than swayed with them. His monster looked large and mean enough to have just eaten a small animal. Up until that point, I had convinced myself through years of internal pep talks that I wasn’t small, that I was actually bordering on medium. Unfortunately, “Three Legged Pete.” as I quickly dubbed him, had just redefined large, and it knocked me down a few sizes.
I was aghast, in awe, impressed. If I wasn’t so deflated, I would have given him a standing ovation. That’s when I actually heard applause and my thoughts being expressed out loud by someone else.
“Holy smokes! I have golf clubs with shafts shorter than that!”
I looked up and saw the old guy with the plaid pants, having finished his business, staring in admiration. I swear I heard a whip crack as Three Legged Pete rung out his monster and stuffed it back inside. He then washed up and exited as the old guy continued clapping. Pete didn’t acknowledge any of this, so I immediately knew the old guy was one of my dead friends. I looked at him seriously for the first time and immediately recognized he was Rodney “I Don’t Get No Respect” Dangerfield.
“Rodney!” I blurted out. He was the kinda guy you could call by his first name. Even if you never met him, you felt like you knew him, and I was a big fan. My father had bought me a copy of “Caddyshack” when I was a kid and I loved it. It was probably the only movie on which we ever agreed.
“Whoa, you see that guy?” asked Rodney still admiring the now absent Pete. “You gotta recognize greatness when you see it.”
I was certainly in no mood to share Rodney’s opinion. “Yeah, well I kinda thought greatness was something you achieved and not something you were born with.”
“You think life’s fair, kid? I was so ugly when I was born, the doctor smacked my mother.”
I laughed. It didn’t matter how old Rodney’s jokes were. His delivery made them funny. It lightened me up a little, and I figured if there was anybody I could discuss my inadequacies with, it was Rodney Dangerfield.
“It just drove home something that’s kinda bothered me all my life. But it’s probably just me. I’m sure you don’t have problems with….” I couldn’t say it.
“You name it, kid, and I got problems with it. My mother was very critical. She had morning sickness after I was born.”
“It’s not the same,” I said, determined to finally get the words out. “That’s a psychological problem. Mine is of a more of a… physical thing.”
“Okay, so you got dick problems.”
I was totally taken aback by his bluntness. “No. Well, yeah. I mean it works fine and I know how to handle the equipment okay. It’s a size issue, something I’m sure you don’t have.”
“Oh yeah? Then how come when I put on my underpants, I can hear the Fruit of the Loom guys laughing?”
Now I was, too, but through it I managed, “Wow, rumor was that in spite of your image, you were a real ladies’ man.”
“Size had nothing to do with that. I was a hit, and chicks flocked to me like flies to a piece of shit.”
“Rodney,” I interrupted him, “do you realize you just called yourself a piece of shit?”
He crumpled his face. “What do you know?” he shrugged. “I don’t get no respect from me either.” He paused then continued, adjusting his collar as if he was wearing a tie, “Before that, if it weren’t for pickpockets, I would’ve had no sex life at all. My dog learned to beg by watching me in the bedroom.”
“So in order to get over my problem, I’ve got to become a big success.” I winced. What were the odds of that happening?
“No, no, not that… Jeez, you’re dumber than my daughter. In high school she was voted most likely to conceive, and that’s saying a lot at a Catholic school.”
“What are you trying to tell me?” I really wanted to know.
“Look, kid, do you have a girlfriend?”
“Yes, Shelby. I’m crazy about her, and I don’t want to lose her over my tainted gene pool.”
“Tainted gene pool. Wow,” he nodded his head, “I take back the dumb crack. You’re obviously a college man.”
“The degree doesn’t help with this stuff.”
“Did Shelby ever mention anything?”
“You mean about…” I looked down toward my problem.
“Yeah, your wee willy wonka. Did she ever say anything about it? You know, ask where the rest of it was or criticize your lovemaking?”
“No,” then I quickly added, “but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t thinking it.”
“Kid, I haven’t met a woman yet who doesn’t let you know if she’s unhappy about something. I knew our sex life was in trouble when my wife put a mirror over our bed. She said she liked to watch herself laugh.”
I couldn’t help smiling. A Rodney joke could always crack me up.
“But that’s okay,” Rodney continued. “My wife and I were happy for twenty years… and then we met.”
I wanted to say ba-da-boom, but I was already full out laughing. It was silly, ridiculous, but it was Rodney.
“You’ve got a nice laugh, kid. You should do it more often.”
“Try harder. You’re in California. Make like a surfer and go with the flow, dude.” He punctuated it with one of his patented expressions.
I actually felt better. Rodney made sense. I was jumping the gun and being overly sensitive, but hey, when you have shortcomings like me, it’s part of the deal. In any case, I knew I had been gone for a while, and it was time to return to the table. I thanked Rodney, took a deep breath and ventured back into the restaurant.
Shelby and Holly were still engrossed in conversation but broke when I arrived.
“You were gone for a while,” Shelby said, looking concerned. “Are you okay, Kyle?”
“I’m fine, just a little crowded in there.” I had to lie. I wasn’t going to tell her I was discussing my dick with Rodney Dangerfield.
“Well,” Holly chimed in with a knowing look, “I hear you’re quite the lover, Kyle. Very considerate. Very.”
“Holly,” Shelby exclaimed. “I told you that was private!” Then she quickly turned to me. “I’m sorry, Kyle, I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s okay, Shelby,” I said very calmly. “You can say that about me any time you want.” I took her hand, she squeezed back, and we exchanged smiles. I was beginning to warm to Holly’s free spirit.
When I looked up, there was Rodney giving me the “Okay” sign. I gave him a slight nod, hardly noticeable to the others, then he saluted me and took off. He stopped a couple of tables down where a woman with extremely large breasts was seated. Rodney did a double take and rolled his eyes as if to say, “Wow, look at those knockers!” then left.
Shelby and I made love that night. It was fabulous. After we told each other just that, I thought of Rodney and asked a question.
“What do you think of putting a mirror over the bed?”
“Ew, no, Kyle. That’s tacky!”
It was the answer I wanted to hear. I smiled, relieved that I was safe for now.