In my opinion Dan is a wonderful instructor for Charisma Arts. Check out the messages his clients sent me after last weekend's Charm School Bootcamp in New York City. But it hasn't always been a smooth path for Dan. Here's a story about what happened a few years ago when Dan and I were out together and encountered trouble. I hope you enjoy it.
A girl smiled at Dan. Let's call her Belle.
Dan walked over. "What's a girl like you doing sitting on a stool in a place like this?"
"Waiting for you to come talk to me," Belle said.
She batted her eyelashes at him. He flexed his bicep for her. She laughed at that joke he always tells that makes me gag. Soon they were gazing into each others' eyes.
Referring to Dan, someone once told me, "He's a budget George Clooney,"
Yes, take away the Hollywood career, the villa on Lake Como, give him a Midwest American twang, and George Clooney is Dan - unstoppable charm at a reasonable price.
But not on this day. Unbeknownst to Dan he was being watched by more than just me.
I'm not saying, if something seems too easy to be true, then it is. That would be cliché. But if something's good then you better watch your back. Someone could be lurking - ready to take it away from you.
Cruella swept in with Kung Fu on her mind.
"What's going on?" she said to Belle.
"I've made a new friend," Belle said.
Cruella smiled the way super-villains do while petting their cat and sending your ass to the laser-shark tank.
"That's nice. But why don't you come back and join us." She gestured toward their group.
The group waved back. One burped. Another smacked the first on the back of the head. "The princess don't need none of you acting out none." he said.
I understood the situation. It's a familiar story. Hot girl seeks adventure - she has to leave the short-sighted village behind to pursue it with a handsome stranger. Never mind that he's old enough to be her father.
Dan forced a smile towards Cruella. "Hi," he said. "I'm Dan."
I've seen Dan do this before. It's simple, but genius in its execution. He lathers his greeting with earnest goodwill. It takes a cold heart to resist.
Cruella made a sour face and kept her eyes on Belle. "She has a boyfriend." she said.
Belle huffed at Cruella.
"What's his name?" Dan said. "I'd love to meet him."
Uh oh, I thought. Dan's usual unshakeable demeanor is wearing off. That was a weak response. This could get ugly.
"I'm okay." Belle said to Cruella with her mouth. But her eyes said, 'Let me fucking flirt with this budget George Clooney guy."
"Fine," Cruella said. She walked away to the bar where she ordered whiskey.
Meanwhile I walked over and addressed the villagers. "You guys look like fun people. Mind if I join you?"
"Sure, sit down." the one with the most teeth said. "You being a wingman for your buddy over there? Getting to know the friends is a gravy move me thinks. From your look, I say I gotcha. But heck, I don't care none. You can stay as long as you want."
Fuck me. These people are smarter than they look.
"Thanks," I said. "So what's the story with Belle?"
"She's making faces with your friend, yessiree. But she got herself a boyfriend."
"Where is he?"
"Some place called Van-coooo-fer."
"Ah. That's far away in Canada."
"Is it? Never been there myself. I heard it was full of Chinese people. Anyhows, your friend better be careful. That girl over yonder," he indicated Cruella, "That's her boyfriend's sister."
"She's a fucking dangerous bitch."
I saw three empty shot glasses next to Cruella and she was throwing back another.
I looked over to Dan and Belle. They were laughing together with their backs turned to everyone else.
I used my Vulcan mind powers to transmit a warning to Dan.
His mind returned a busy signal.
Cruella banged down a final shot glass onto the bar's counter and turned around. The bar tender ducked behind the bar with just his eyes and hat showing.
Cruella threw down a few dance steps to that Run DMC song Walk This Way, and headed toward Dan and Belle.
Cruella came up behind Dan as he was taking Belle's hand in his. Belle was looking at Dan's ring. Neither saw Cruella coming.
Cruella slid her sword out of it's sheath. Dan's an old guy. His model didn't come with collision avoidance software.
I tried to call out. But it was too late.
She sliced Dan's head off.
"Oh shit." said the guy next to me.
"Fucking awesome," someone else said.
A hipster passed out. He fell forward, spilling his Fat Tire beer over the table. His friends jumped back and screamed at him.
Dan's body slumped off the chair and fell to the floor. Blood pulsed out of the neck onto the linoleum.
Cruella reached out and seized Belle's wrist. She pulled her off her chair and hauled her out of the bar. As she passed the bartender, Cruella tossed him a coin. "Sorry about the mess," she said.
I carried Dan's head and body back to his apartment. The next morning he was feeling better. I'm amazed at that man's powers of recuperation.
"How're you feeling?" I asked.
"Not bad brother - considering. My neck's a little sore where she cut me."
Over breakfast at Snooze we talked about what happened.
"Sorry I wasn't a better wingman," I said.
"Well I think I needed to learn a lesson," he said.
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking."
"Next time I'll ask about her relationship situation in front of her friends."
"That's probably best. Mutual knowledge and all. Then they probably would have left her alone with you. They would have thought you'd be safe."
"Yeah. She would have gone off with me alone I bet."
"Maybe. She might only have wanted to flirt and not hook up. But in any case you'd have found out. More people need to know this. It's like a neutron star. You gotta collapse it before blowing it apart."
"I never did understand that metaphor bro."
"No worries. It needs polishing. Let's get that hot waitress over here and get some more coffee."