AMANDA HANSEN: Hi, Dylan! You’re early. Let me just run upstairs real quick and grab a hair scrunchy. I went swimming so my hair’s sooo frizzy today. Be right back!
DYLAN: No problem.
CHRIS HANSEN [suddenly emerging from behind a curtained doorway]: Oh, I think we have a problem all right.
DYLAN: Whoa, Mr. Hansen. You scared me —
CHRIS HANSEN: Hi there. Why don’t you just have a seat on that stool.
DYLAN: W-what’s going on, Mr. Hansen?
CHRIS HANSEN: Let me ask you that question. What exactly are you doing here?
DYLAN: Well, like I told you yesterday, since I got my driver’s license, my dad’s been letting me borrow the car on Fridays, so I figured me and Amanda would go out for some pizza, and maybe go bowling later —
CHRIS HANSEN: Pizza and bowling, huh? Just a little innocent fun?
DYLAN: Uh, sure.
CHRIS HANSEN: I might believe that. Except that’s not what it says on your chat log.
[Produces a sheaf of printouts, which he flips through with grim, paternal menace.]
It says here, “Got the car tonight so maybe we can grab a pizza and maybe go bowling after if that’s cool with you.” Your screen name is Dylan3867, is it not?
DYLAN: Yeah…I just instant-messaged her. We go through this every time, Mr. Hansen. I don’t see what the big deal —
CHRIS HANSEN: And you drove — what? — for twenty minutes to meet a fifteen-year-old girl for — what do you say here in your chat? — “I’d love to get a sausage special, but it’s lame, I can’t have meat for a month because of the new braces.” “Sausage special”? Is that the sort of thing you say to a fifteen-year-old girl? Then you go on to brag here how “awesome” your “sausage special” is —
DYLAN: It’s a kind of pizza, Mr. Hansen —
CHRIS HANSEN: And what about this “meat”? Did you bring any of this “meat” with you? And I don’t even think I want to know what you mean by “new braces.”
DYLAN: Mr. Hansen, I don’t mean any disrespect, but I think you’ve become a little obsessed ever since your show —
CHRIS HANSEN: She’s fifteen. What do you think would have happened if I wasn’t here?
DYLAN: I-I don’t know. We’d hang out, whatever —
CHRIS HANSEN: Just you, her and your “sausage special,” I take it? Maybe those “hot meat braces” you have in your car?
DYLAN: What are you talking abou —
CHRIS HANSEN: If that is, in fact, a car in the driveway. How can I be sure that’s not a giant sex toy filled with wine coolers and edible condoms?
DYLAN: But you’ve seen my dad’s car before —
CHRIS HANSEN: You brought your dad? It’s rare that I say this, Dylan, but I am truly appalled. How old did you say you were?
DYLAN: Sixteen. You know that, Mr. Hansen. But I don’t see why it’s even —
CHRIS HANSEN: Sixteen? You’re old enough to be this girl’s father! Maybe even her grandfather. Don’t you see anything wrong with that? What in the world possesses a sixteen-year-old man to want to meet a fifteen-year-old girl?
DYLAN: Come on, Mr. Hansen. I really like Amanda, but when you do this I start to wonder —
CHRIS HANSEN: Listen to me. There’s something you need to know. [Several cameramen emerge from various hiding places.]
DYLAN: Oh, God, Mr. Hansen, you do this every time I come over —
CHRIS HANSEN: I’m Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC, and we’re doing a story on —
AMANDA HANSEN [descending stairs]: Sorry about the wait! My cats are always playing with my hair scrunchies so I can never find — Dad! Can you cut it out already? God, that is so embarrassing!
CHRIS HANSEN: Sorry, hon. Sorry. Go have fun tonight. Remember, I want you back by ten.
[Turning to the red-faced Dylan, who is now quivering with barely suppressed rage]
Well, Dylan, if you have nothing more to say for yourself, then you’re free to go. [Dylan and Amanda leave.]
[To the cameramen as he peers out the living-room window]
If I’m not mistaken, that’s Mr. Kovitz coming up the driveway to return the hedge clippers he borrowed — and no doubt consummate the lurid Internet tryst he’s arranged with my wife.
Back to your places, everyone! Let’s do this.