BERNIE LOVE – This Essay Has Been Excerpted From The Book Cooking (For A** Holes)
One of my closest, most dear friends in the entire world was dating a monster. We had known each other since we were seven. Our fathers were friends so we were forced to be so, but we remained friends long after our fathers’ falling out over splitting a bill in ’93 (my father felt that if you have the gall to order the most expensive thing on the menu and be the only one to order dessert, the rest of the table shouldn’t have to subsidize your meal, you goddamn freeloader). Now, the closest thing I had in the world to a brother was having his spirit ripped from him by this terrible girlfriend.
Amongst our friends, the distaste for this girl was unanimous. My friend assured us that she’s different when the two of them are alone, but we drilled holes in his bedroom walls and spied on them, and it was conclusively determined that she was the same awful person alone as she was in public. Then, after finding the holes, she tried to get us in trouble with the police because we installed hidden cameras in our friend’s room so that we could more effectively study their time together in order to prove conclusively the veracity of our friend’s statement. She was jealous, passive-aggressive, and woefully insecure. A roommate of ours who was three years away from a psychology degree posited that she met the clinical definition of someone with borderline personality disorder. We all urged our friend to break up with this horrid bog-monster.
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They had been dating for six months. I knew this because my friend kept talking about his plans for their six-month anniversary, which is apparently a thing that weak men celebrate. He pulled me into his bedroom and closed the door, peeking out from the crack of the doorway to make sure nobody was spying on us (we were; we said we took the cameras out but did not). He lifted the corner of his mattress and produced a small box; inside was a pretty poor attempt at an engagement ring. He said he was going to propose. I told him he was making the biggest mistake of his life. He politely disagreed and asked for my support.
That night, we threw him a party. We told him it was a pre-engagement bachelor party because that sounds as real as a six-month anniversary.
We bought lots of alcohol, invited a bevy of women, and set out a tasteful crudité platter. It was going to be a grand soirée, and the best part was, his terrible girlfriend wasn’t invited.
We managed to get the fiancé-to-be very inebriated. He passed out sitting upright on the couch. I made a Weekend at Bernie’s joke and every single person at the party, and a few who weren’t at the party, laughed and commended me on my wit and also handsomeness.
My genius joke sparked an equally genius idea; I found a girl with naturally low inhibitions, and after very little persuasion, she agreed to kiss my friend. We grabbed him by his shirt, propping him upright, much like Terry Kiser expertly playing Bernie Lomax, and I surreptitiously snapped photo after photo of this impromptu forced romance, which made me feel like James Bond except that I can’t drink martinis because I get a tummy ache. The next morning, in a plain manila envelope labeled “Cunt,” printouts of those photos were silently slipped under his girlfriend’s door by a dashing, unnamed lad. Later that day, I got a call from a devastated friend. He was in tears and I was barely able to hear or tolerate him. But through his tears and disgusting crying, I could make out one thing with perfect clarity: “She said no.” Well, yeah, obviously, you cheated on her, you monster.
When you are forced to ruin someone’s life for his and/or her own good, it’s important to be there for that person afterward. Unless you don’t like him or her; then get out of there lickety-split.
- 1 bottle of vodka
- 2 ears
- 1 heart
Drink the vodka, pretend to listen to what your friend is saying, reassure your friend that the terrible thing you’ve done will somehow lead to a positive outcome, and repeat until it’s all better.
Zach Golden is a writer and director in Brooklyn, NY. He lives with his wife Sara and dog Oscar, both of whom are allowed on the furniture. You can visit his website at zachgolden.com.
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