Reporter's Notebook: My date with the commissioner's
By Jacob Fullmer
December 1, 2006 | NIBLEY -- Fraternizing with the
commissioner's daughter? Been there ... e-mailed that.
Not every date starts with an e-mail. Nor do they
usually start at a Planning and Zoning meeting. Please
forgive me, but this one did.
I really don't attend city meetings to shop for a
date. Dates take time and planning. Meetings just take
time. I'd really rather not stay there any longer. The
best thing I can hope for is a tirading citizen worried
about swimming pools, sewage, or sushi. Sometimes all
With a great lack of fortitude I listened and wrote.
Listened and wrote. Listened and got distracted by the
pink, fuzzy slippers walking my way. Don't people usually
wear Dockers to these meetings? Well, not really in
Nibley. Fifty percent or more of those attending these
meetings probably wear cowboy boots. But this girl wasn't.
Pink slippers? This is the most exciting thing since
that citizen rushed the commissioners' table.
Turns out she's a commissioner's daughter. Turns out
she's cute. Turns out she's single and asking about
Well, how do I pull that off?
"Um, excuse me Mrs. Commissioner? I can't help but
notice your daughter in the pink slippers. Can I interview
I'm sure that would go over well.
In a noble effort to avoid her homework, my new friend
came to visit her mom's meeting and turned my reporting
assignment into Mystery Science Theater 3000.
I didn't see her over the next few weeks. The cowboy
boots returned but where were the pink, fuzzy slippers?
Reality check: It would take quite a crush for her to
put up with another one of these fine meetings just
to see me.
What ever happened to childhood romance? The notes
with boxes saying, "Check yes or no if you like Suzie."
I am pleased to announce they are back! Check your e-mail.
Just look past the e-mail about your chance to win a
free cruise and you probably have an e-mail from the
commissioner's daughter, too.
Here's the secret I learned: Just stop caring about
dating and things will miraculously go your way. I opened
the unknown message that didn't look like SPAM: "This
is going to sound weird but . . ." Oh no, no, no. I
get out asked out via e-mail every day. The e-mail signed
by "The girl in the pink fuzzy slippers" asked if I
wanted to go to a girls' choice dance at the end of
I learned later it had been a city-wide effort to
track down my contact information. No one, not even
the city staff, had my phone number. But someone had
my e-mail. Who says the government doesn't care about
its citizens? I'm a believer from here on out that they
I know it's a girls' choice dance but she decided
I could drive. My mom taught me to be a gentleman. Walk
on the outside half when walking together. Get the door
into the building and into the car. Evidently I missed
the lesson on getting the door while getting out of
the car because I just might have been halfway to our
destination before realizing she was patiently waiting
for me in my car. At least one of us learned that lesson
when we were younger.
I've learned a few things about dancing. For one,
I can't do it. For two, distraction is the key to an
enjoyable time. If my date is focused on my singing
more than she is on my dancing then I'm home free. Not
that my singing is any good but at least it saves her
from thinking about how I look dancing. I hit anything
mid-'90s and before. She graced me with country songs
I'm sure I've never heard. She sings fairly well considering
"She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" introduced her to the
After the dance I went out on a limb and took my friend
on a short-held hobby someone else introduced me to:
Boozing. Before the city of Nibley effectively votes
me out of their meetings, hear me out: No booze. Just
silly Mormons acting as if they might be boozing. Well,
if incriminating myself before my date's father were
ever voluntary, I believe a newspaper is my preferred
proof of conviction.
Slow down and imagine in black and white, if you please,
the commissioner's daughter and me loitering in the
middle of nowhere. I always think of James Dean when
I get to this point. We're drinking out of glass bottles.
I'm leaning against a cement wall, my legs crossed and
my arm around her shoulder to help keep her warm as
she shivers in a new leather coat she just bought on
sale at JC Penney. We're so bad.
Every mother in the world reading this just turned
to their daughters and said, "The cold thing is the
oldest trick in the book." But no, really, she was cold.
The night is almost over but not until she kicks back
the rest of her Jones. If it takes this girl 30 minutes
to finish 12 ounces of Fu Fu Berry, I'd hate to see
her actually kick back anything harder . . . like Mountain
Dew or something.
The local tradition of boozing finishes by making
a wish and hurling your bottle into a designated boozing
space where no animals, peaches, rocks, or people will
be harmed. If it breaks, the boozing gods grant your
wish. If not, alas, at least it was empty before you
With only a little hesitation, she follows my lead
and lets her wish and her bottle go as it flies into
the night air. It passes end over end before landing
safely onto some conveniently placed weeds and grass.
Lucky bottle. Unlucky us. With both of us wishless,
I took her home.
As I drive back to my place, all I can think to myself
is I should have wished for a tractor. Disclaimer: The
people in this story are probably real but let's not
go there, shall we?