Opinion » Shredder

'No' means sue me?


Watch out, ladies (of both genders), there’s a new smooth talker in town, and he wants you to know he’s nothing like the smooth talker who was sniffing around these parts several years ago reeking of Axe Body Spray and CVS’s discounted holiday chocolate.

Remember him? The guy who mounted a prolonged and determined campaign to do some heavy-duty drilling, but every time the subject of how long he planned on sticking around and how extensively he planned on, er, drilling, arose he’d respond: “How can we talk about my intentions, baby, when we’ve got to wait to see where this is gonna go? Now how about you give me permission for four exploratory smooches and we’ll just see what comes of it?”

But you knew the smooth talker wasn’t going to stop at four exploratory smooches, especially after you heard that he’d already bragged to all his friends that he was going to nail you six ways from Sunday (whatever that means). You both know that it’s a lot easier to get a foot in the door when all you’re asking for is four exploratory smooches, that no one in his right mind would demand the full shebang—dominatrix costume, Reagan mask, and all—on the very first date. Why not ask for something reasonable and small? Then, once you’ve gotten that, you can start getting handsy and footsy and any other kind of “sy” you can think of.

So you sent the smooth talker packing. Because if someone’s planning on nailing you six ways from Sunday they should at least have the decency to admit it, especially if they’re already talking about it elsewhere.

Of course, as soon as you send the smooth talker packing, his true colors come out and he accuses you of being a “bitch” and a “tease” and slaps you with a lawsuit for not putting out.

Then, while you’re fighting against the lawsuit, someone a lot like him comes calling again, only he doesn’t have a beard, and he insists he’s now wooing your sister who lives 5 miles down the road. He insists, to anyone who asks, “I’m nothing like the last guy,” but he starts by asking for four exploratory smooches, and when you ask his real intentions he tells you, “How can we talk about my intentions, baby, when we’ve got to wait to see where this is gonna go?” Which sounds awfully familiar.

Now maybe this guy’s a little bit wiser than the last one, since you still give off that aftertaste of success and the potency of your previous defense is public knowledge at this point. So, when you ask about his connection with the last guy, pointing out that he’s essentially the same guy sans a beard and with a different body spray, he pulls the “aww shucks, I’m just a boy from Bakersfield standing in front of a field asking you to let me drill it for oil … I mean, sex … ’cause that’s what we’ve been talking about in this sort-of convoluted metaphor scenario.” He can play the part of the small-town boy made good all he wants, but feigned ignorance doesn’t exactly turn you on. It kinda just makes it look like the guy’s missing some crucial info, intentionally or not.

And when you ask why he brought the same buddies along—especially because they were part of the reason you shot that other guy down last time, the one who’s still suing you because you refused to give him what he wanted—he admits that they’re the same people, but asks, “What’s that got to do with me?” Besides the fact that they’re his buddies and he climbed into bed with them—in the business sense, not the Biblical sense? Nothing, I guess. Of course, the truth of the matter is that the smooth talker in question breezed into town with a proposal put together by his buddies, and if his buddies are looking to drill, then you have a right to know whether they’re the same guys you drove out of town a year ago because you felt their proposal was disingenuous.

Smooth Talker knows all this. And if Smooth Talker is the experienced businessman he says he is, he probably shouldn’t ask absurd questions like “What do my business partners have to do with me?” Because in any courtship, whatever the nature of the drilling you propose, you’re judged by the company you keep, especially if that company is financing your proposed drilling expedition. And even more especially if the company you keep has a bed already rumpled by a lawsuit aimed at the person or county government you’re wooing.

It doesn’t help that Smooth Talker’s argument largely hinges on the fact that 30-some years ago, you partook in some hanky panky with someone else. As anyone with half a brain can tell you, a single “yes” does not guarantee you’ll say “yes” to anyone who asks, or even that you’ll say “yes” again to the same person (or, in this case, corporations, which I guess are people, too).


Shredder’s still trying to figure out that whole corporations are people thing. Send explanations to shredder@newtimesslo.com.


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