Part III of Fail-Safe
|Kickboxer Guy was also a golf champ (3rd from left)|
He was almost standing at attention: arms extended forward, one hand clasped over the other, legs rigid with knees locked, and feet hip width apart. It reminded her of the way high school athletes posed for their yearbook photos, concealing their rough and tumble little boy playfulness with aggressive stances and serious expressions. Introductions seemed superfluous; they'd recognized each other immediately. Pleasantly disarmed by his wholesome all-American vibe, she thrust out her right hand for a perfunctory first-meeting shake. "Hey, Brad. Nice to meet ya. How long you been sitting here?" Taking a slug of coffee, he rearranged the small pile of notepads and trade journals scattered on the table to make room for her. "Thirty minutes or so," he replied in a distinctly non-Southern accent. "I got here early to avoid the traffic. How 'bout I get you a cup of coffee?"
|What? We're out of coffee? Hold that putt...I'll be right back!|
|Allen & Julie, status post devising "The Rules"|
- Proceed with caution until she's had her first cup of coffee.
- Never let her get hungry.
- Dark chocolate isn't just a food group; it's instant diplomacy.
|"HotPants" (age 15, 2nd from left) was no 98-lb weakling!|
He was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the youngest of four brothers who were always the best of friends. When he was six, his mom died of breast cancer. She was only 43. Oddly enough, his oldest brother, Jeff, also died at the age of 43, presumably from too much booze and Valium. Even though his family moved to Alabama, and later to Pennsylvania, he still considered Michigan his home. In 1984, a year after graduating from
|The Brothers Crowe, circa 1969|
and his girlfriend of eight years broke up after she issued a commitment ultimatum. He loved her, but it depressed him to think "is that all there is?" Now, his online dating membership was about to expire. After his recent disastrous encounter with a big German gal named Helga--whose profile photo had to have been at least twenty years old--he was thinking of letting it lapse for good.
"Wow, it's really getting late," they chorused in unison while glancing at their watches. Suddenly, she felt broody. "Yeah, I'm on call tomorrow," she said, lamenting both the inconvenience of her crazy work schedule and the fact that the evening was coming to an end. She hadn't expected to like this guy at all. It was more than unsettling; her mind was totally blown. Flooded by images of
Part I: Fail-Safe
Part II: Detour
Part IV: From Cupcake Epiphany to The Future Now