Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fiction: How I Helped my Incredibly Smart Girlfriend to Save the World

How I Helped my Incredibly Smart Girlfriend to Save the World

Creative Commons License
This work by Jonty Kershaw is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Part I

So it’s Saturday night, and I’m at this party in San Jose. It’s one of those intellectual parties with scientists and bookwritery people, and too many turtlenecks and goatees. Me, I don’t fit in with this kind of crowd. I’m not “a reader”. The only thing I read is the TV Guide Channel. I only wear turtlenecks when they are absolutely in fashion. And I’m definitely no rocket scientist.

I make my way through life by my looks, not my brains. I get paid to stand around in fashion magazine photographs, looking good. I get paid to stand around in crowds on MTV, looking hot. I make my money posing for Harlequin covers, looking not smart.

I come to these kinds of parties for the women. Why don’t I date my own kind? Supermodels are too busy looking easy to really have sex. They can’t afford it. Sleeping with anyone less sexy than them could ruin their career. If, say, you did manage to snag one of them, after a day of starving themselves, of four-hour makeup sessions, of prancing around in six-inch heels trying to look like a heroine junky just on the verge of an orgasm, of avocado body wraps and whateverthehellelse, good luck if they have any energy left for sex.

Now, smart women. Smart women are easy. Everything they always say about wanting to be admired for their accomplishments and not their bodies is really just a cry for help. What it boils down to is, they want to get laid, and they just don’t know how to go about it. That’s where I come in.

Phase I:

I swagger into the party wearing something really fashionable. Something none of the guys at the party would ever dare to wear. I’m talking purple silk Armani, tight leather pants, custom shirts with no buttons above my belly button.

Phase II:

I find the fireplace or something like it and lean against it with my pelvis thrust out too far and a smirk on my face. I do this until I’m sure all the women at the party have noticed me and marked me as bad news.

Phase III:

Then I pick one of them and swagger up to her. I look her in the eyes. Then I look her body up and down. Then I look her in the eyes again, and smile. I have awesome teeth, by the way. This works almost every time.

So anyway, here I am at this boring-ass party, when I see her. She is hot. I mean, smoking hot. I mean, ouch-what-kind-of-sauce-did-you-put-in-my-burrito hot. Hot, And nerdy. She looks like the star of one of those movies where they try and make a really hot chick look nerdy so they can do a makeover and turn her into a hot chick after the head football player asks her on a date to win a bet and then really falls for her after it’s almost too late.

She’s sitting on the edge of a sofa, rubbing the eraser end of a pencil up and down the side of her neck. I watched a nature documentary once. The females of most species show off their necks to get the attention of a potential mate. She’s wearing an ugly off-the-shelf business suit, sensible pumps and thick-rimmed glasses. Her hair is pulled back so tight it looks like it hurts. Like I said, hot. She had already looked at me in disgust twice, so I know she’s horny.

I swagger up behind her and looked over her shoulder. She’s doing the New York Times crossword puzzle. Oh please! 13 down, who wants to get laid, 5 letters. You do! I lean close to her ear. “Hey, gorgeous. You want some help with that?”

She laughs at me. “Oh please.” She turns around and looks me dead in the eye. I hate when they do that. “Let me ask you something. What’s your I.Q.?” Hahey! A few words from my sexy lips and she’s already asking for my email address. I tell her.

“Let me tell you about myself”, she says sarcastically. “I have an I.Q. of a hundred-and-ninety-two. I speak sixteen languages fluently. I have two degrees from M.I.T. and one from Harvard. I do contract work for both N.A.S.A. and the N.S.A. in fields so top secret that you could be shot for just hearing about them. So what could you possibly have to offer a woman like me?”

I tell her, including the measurements, which aren’t as big as her email address, but still get her attention.

This seems to get her attention. “So what you’re telling me is you know absolutely nothing about astrophysics.”

“Nope”, I tell her.

“And there is no way at all that you would ever discuss quantum allocation with me.”

I give her my best deer-in-the-headlights stare.

“And if I said to you something about “weird surges in the ionosphere”…”

I know her game. “Hey, good for Serge”, I tell her, a grin on my face. “I’m not jealous. Tell him to stop by if he gets back into town.”

This is apparently just the answer she wanted to hear, because she takes me home.

Part 2

So she takes me back to her place in the hills. I can tell from her living room that she hasn’t been getting any. Half her apartment is taken up by the kind of computery stuff that would make Admiral Akbar wet himself.

She looks nervous. “So tell me about this Serge guy you’ve been seeing”, I say as an icebreaker.

She looks me dead in the eye and says, “Look. I don’t like you at all. I just can’t stand being picked up by guys who try and impress me with their intellectual knowledge. So if you shut up about the Ionosphere, and anything else, for that matter, and fix me a big drink, we’ll get along just fine.”

I’m fixing a drink when one of her pieces of computery stuff starts howling. It’s the one in the middle of the room, the one that looks like a cross between a birdbath and one of those crane games that you can never win. She rushes over and starts pressing buttons.

It makes a big whooshing noise and a wobbly 3d picture of an octopus comes out of the top.

“I”, it announces in a big, boomy voice, “Am the Central Coordinator for this galactic quadrant. I hereby inform you that the presence of low-level sentient life forms on this planet is a violation of Galactic Patent Laws 3 through sixty-thousand-and-twelve. You have exactly six pods to remove yourselves before we are forced to transport you into the vacuum of space.”

I’m just thinking that there’s no way I’m making this thing a drink when my new girlfriend answers him. “Excuse me, but who are you calling low-level sentients?” I can tell she’s pissed. “Do you have any idea what my I.Q. is?”

Great. Now she’s giving her email address to this freak.

“Very well, if you insist, I will require a formal test of your species’ sentience. This test will consist of three questions. You will have two pods to answer each question. You must answer each question correctly in order to pass the test. The first question: Given the constant rate of quark deterioration in your atmosphere, how many of your solar cycles would it take to establish temporal reciprocity. Go.”

A counter appeared below his mouth-hole.

My new chick snickers. “That’s easy. Depending on the constant value of quark impulsion, the answer would either be twelve or six-hundred-ninety-six point four.”

The octopus thing answers. “Impressive. However, please phrase all further responses in base twenty-four. The next question: Within the limits of warp ratios, how much power input is required to establish a permanent wormhole within the corona of your sun? You have two pods. Go.”

This sucks. My new chick is racing around her computers, typing stuff and swearing. I’m left holding the drink I made her and playing with my nipples.

Just as the timer thingy is getting real small, she yells “The combined total output from nine-point-eleven helium molecules.” She really looks like she could use a drink.

The octopus thing looks a little miffed. “That is correct. Last question.” I could swear it looks smug as it says “Given the current rate of convergence between this galaxy and the galaxy CHCHChpt 19, how many Standard Galactic Time-Units will it take before their magnetic fields produce a quantum anomaly? You have two pods. Go.”

My new girlfriend looks angry. “You haven’t told me what we call that galaxy on Earth, or how long a Standard Galactic Time-Unit is.”

“That’s not my problem”, the octopus-thing says, with a sinister chuckle. “You now have one-point-twenty-three Standard Galactic Time-Units before you forfeit and are beamed directly into space.”

I’ve had enough at this point. This octopus is interfering with my sex life. I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

“None.” I say, and take a swig of my drink.

The octopus-thing looks taken-aback. “Are you sure that is your final answer?”

I say yes before my new girlfriend can interrupt. It’s for her own good anyway. She needs to get laid even more than I do.

“I’m impressed”, says the big octopus. “I can see that the males of your species are vastly more intelligent than the females. That is the correct answer. Your galaxy and the Galaxy CHCHChpt 19 are destined never to converge. I hereby formally welcome you to the Galactic Federation. Please stand by for further membership information.” The octopus thing disappears.

I do my best lopsided grin for my new girfriend. She is clearly impressed.

“Okay”, she says, “I’m impressed. How did you figure that one out?”

She must not be as smart as I thought. “Hey, it’s not like it’s rocket scientry or anything. It was a trick question”, I say. “”Anomaly” isn’t even a real word. Here’s your drink.”

Part 3

We date for another three weeks until she gets bored and leaves me for a rocket scientist.


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