When you meet a guy while driving south on Lincoln Boulevard there ought to be a warning.

“Stinky ‘Stinks’ McFadden” had the most chiseled features I’d ever seen, so it was easy to ignore the fact that he was tooling around in a beat up yellow Chevy van — which I later discovered was his home. A 42-year-old domiciled in his vehicle is never a good sign. He was in a band — of course — and scribbled his number on a gig flyer, rolled it around a pen and tossed it into my car. With a tip of his straw hat he drove off. Everything about him screamed, “loser.” Three days later, we had our first date.

I arrived early and was staring out the window when I noticed the lost member of ZZ Top striding toward the door. Stinks was wearing dirty jeans, filthy boots, and a T-shirt sporting the logo of some obscure heavy metal band. His “dinner jacket” consisted of a plaid work shirt with cut-off sleeves. The chain from his wallet jangled. His hair was so long it was touching his rump. Now, I like long hair on guys, but this was a frizzy nest.

“Your hair …” I could barely get the words out. I wanted to finish my sentence with, “it’s hideous!” Stinks quickly explained how he kept it under his hat when he was working. Which as it turned out, wasn’t often.

I was horrified. And yet, underneath the Ted Nugent do and down-and-out duds, Stinks had the greatest body I’d ever seen. His biceps practically glistened. And since I had recently broken up with my boyfriend, I thought, “So, he lacks the skills to dress and groom himself. Nobody’s perfect.”

Date no. 2: Stinks and I headed to Blockbuster. He had his arm around me when I heard a hissing, “Braaap! Phweet! Phfft! Stinks it seemed … had a flatulence problem. Yet he was proud of his gas. After each noxious burst he’d make a declaration of gusto like, “That was a squisher!” or “Yeah! Great one!” and ready himself for the next explosion by lifting his leg. He cut the cheese and lifted so much that as we ambled down Montana Avenue it looked as though he was playing hopscotch.

In an aisle of Blockbuster, Stinks let one rip. An unsuspecting, young boy sitting on the carpet trying to decide between “Spongebob” and “Scooby Doo” got wind of it and started to cry. Just then, the boy’s mother turned the corner and sniffed the fetid air. I waited for her to admonish Stinks.

Instead, she glared at her son, reprimanding, “Am I going to have to put you in diapers again?” as she whisked him away.

I always try to give someone the benefit of the doubt so we went out again. This time he picked me up.

On the freeway: Stinks drove his “home” as if it were a Formula 1 racecar, dodging and weaving through traffic as I held on for dear life.

Stinks told me he wasn’t religious yet above the dash was a picture of Jesus. When I inquired as to its significance he said, “I don’t know why, but my guitarist put it there. He’s always crossing himself when he gets in my van.” I did the same and waved as we passed Lewis Hamilton.

Date no. 3: The Renaissance Faire. An excruciatingly hot day in the desert coupled with the entire white trash population mingling with errant, overly enthusiastic, new age geeks decked out in period garb in desperate need of dry cleaning didn’t quite evoke images of a quaint trip back to the medieval era. To aid the “illusion,” carney folk handed out Styrofoam cups filled with warm Beringer dubbed “mead.”

Stinks went every year to see a psychic he believed could portend his future. He insisted I get a reading and even paid for it. The first thing she told me was, “This is not the guy for you.” Yeah. Thanks. I knew that. “Brrppp!” came an all too familiar noise from outside the tent.

Stinks swore by the “authenticity” of the events, such as the hatchet toss, of which he said, “It’s just like they did it in them olden days.” Somehow I don’t think knights ever threw dulled kitchen knives into tired painted inner tubes stuffed with straw. But then, what do I know? By now, the gas had dulled my senses.

Ironically, it wasn’t the floating air biscuits that quelled our relationship. Stinks habitually referred to my backside as, “The biggest Appaloosa” he’d ever seen.

Guys, you can do just about anything to us and you can take us just about anywhere, but know this … regardless of what you men think of our hind quarters (even if you like a girl with “junk in her trunk”) none of us ever want to hear you say you think it’s big.

Taylor Van Arsdale is a writer/producer. She’s been married, widowed, duped and dumped, and is back in the dating fray while most of her friends are married with kids. She’s currently working on a true-life-tell-all and can be reached at Tailfish@roadrunner.com

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