Even in my best blue suit and my weddings-and-funerals tie, I'm no Burt Reynolds. So when I found myself zooming around the Beltway on a Saturday afternoon in a worn-out green T-shirt and a Baltimore Orioles cap, I hardly expected the opposite sex to look my way.
But what happens when one of its blonder members begins to flirt? And flirt hard. At 60 miles an hour.
Yes, children, this was the dilemma that presented itself to Your Humble and Obedient Servant last weekend as I passed Landover Mall. A blue van loomed up on my left, piloted by a young red-headed woman. A young blonde was riding shotgun. When I looked to my left, the blonde smiled at me and waved.
Now, lots of men I know have been waiting all their lives for a moment like this. They have it all scripted in their heads: wave back, then scrawl your phone number in large numerals on a piece of paper, hold it out the window, watch the blonde nod knowingly, go straight home, answer the phone (which will ring within seconds of your arrival), then wait for both the blonde and the redhead to arrive -- and for all your frustrations to depart.
Here's what happens in real life:
The blonde giggled.
She said something to the redhead.
She waved again.
I said what-the-heck to myself and waved back.
She motioned for me to roll down the window.
I rolled down the window.
"You always wave at strange women?" she shouted.
"You always wave at strange men?" I shouted.
"Can't you do better than that?" she shouted. Whereupon the redhead gunned the van across my bow and up onto the Pennsylvania Avenue exit ramp.
Burt Reynolds would have chased them. Bob Levey continued on to his softball game, his pride in shreds. When you've forgotten how to flirt, what's left but pop-ups?