Fratboys & Fishin' At The Bass Pro Shop

I have a keen sense of adventure. I also happen to have a love for kitsch. Anyone who has ever been on a road trip with me can attest to the number of times I’ve pulled over to take photos of great neon signs or tacky buildings or odd billboards.

Once upon a time I dated a guy known as the Fratboy. At 30, the man could take down Coors Light better than any kegerator-packin’ college boy. He was an All-American sort of lad who drove a big truck and played baseball and chewed tobacco. He was a little bit trashy but liked to think he was classy. And so, he loved to wine and dine me. He liked to take me to “nice” restaurants (some were nice, some just had the nice price tag).  And on one particular evening he asked if I had any interest in checking out the seafood restaurant that lives inside of the Bass Pro Shop.

Now I know some girls might have scoffed or judged. For some this might have been a dealbreaker. For others this could have been a dream. For me, it was an adventure.

I had giggled my way through a dinner with friends some weeks earlier at the Downtown Aquarium. Dinner that night was at the kind of place where the fish is overcooked and overpriced. This much is true. But you know what else is true? The carpet is decorated with fish, the chandeliers are decorated with fish, and real live FISH swim by you in giant tanks! And! To be seated for dinner you have to walk through the gift shop!  To us, that night was a little slice of tacky heaven.

And so, I imagined that a date at the restaurant inside the Bass Pro Shop was probably  on the same level.  I pictured us giggling and pointing at the overdone decorations. I thought we’d order overpriced drinks and eat less-than-great food, but still have the time of our lives.

And it’s not to say that it went awry.  It just got…awkward.

The moment we walked in the door it was clear to the Fratboy that he’d made (in his mind) a terrible mistake. He was immediately uncomfortable and his cheeks flushed.  While I was mindlessly chattering away in delight at all the ridiculous “clever” names given to the menu items, he sucked on a Coors Light and darted his eyes around the room taking in all the gaudy glory.

The appetizer we ordered arrived and as we began to eat it he flagged the waitress, paid the check, and insisted that we leave right away. Meanwhile, I was having a silly time. He was, apparently, not the silly type.

If you’re going to take a girl on a date to the Bass Pro Shop have a sense of humor about it. Please.

To other girls it would have been on their “Worst Date Ever” list. To me, it was just another mis-adventure.

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