The Kurgan Tries Speed Dating

By: Mike Richardson-Bryan

Setting: an upscale bar.

Date #1

Jan: Hi, I’m Jan.

Kurgan: I am the Kurgan. I am the strongest. You will always be weaker than I.

Jan: Can you believe we’re doing this? It seems so tacky, doesn’t it? But it’s so hard to meet people these days.

Kurgan: I meet lots of people once.

Jan: I know what you mean. We rush, rush, rush through our lives, and as soon as we meet someone, they’re gone, gone, gone. There’s no time to get to know anyone anymore.

Kurgan: I have all the time in the world.

Jan: I wish I felt that way sometimes.

Kurgan: You never will. Your brief, mortal life will slip through your fingers like the smoke from a burning village, and nothing can stop it. It’s almost over already.

Jan: Stop! Stop!

(JAN bursts into tears and stumbles, half-blind, towards the washrooms.)

Date #2

Mindy: Hello, I’m Mindy.

Kurgan: I am the Kurgan. I am the strongest. You will always be weaker than I.

Mindy: You look like an animal lover. I love animals, too, especially dogs. I have three dogs at home.

Kurgan: I don’t like dogs. As a child, I was thrown into a pit to fight with hungry dogs for scraps of meat. It’s hard for me to look at a dog without wanting to punch it.

Mindy: That’s awful!

Kurgan: Or kick it, whatever.

Mindy: That’s even worse!

Kurgan: What was I supposed to do, go hungry?

(Suddenly, MINDY points behind KURGAN with one hand while reaching into her purse with the other.)

Mindy: Hey, what’s that?!

(When KURGAN turns to look, MINDY whips out a Taser, zaps him with it several times, and then disappears into the crowd.)

Date #3

Stephanie: Hi, I’m Stephanie.

Kurgan: I am the Kurgan. I am the strongest. You will always be weaker than I.

Stephanie: So, do you like music?

Kurgan: Sometimes. I’m partial to Queen. I have all their 8-tracks.

Stephanie: Ha-ha, that’s funny.

Kurgan: Seriously.

Stephanie: I love music. I couldn’t go out with a man who didn’t like music as much as I do. Music makes life worth living.

Kurgan: No, what makes life worth living is fishnet stockings. I have yet to meet a puny mortal woman who doesn’t look better in fishnet stockings. As it happens, I have some old fishnet stockings in my car. I could go get them and you could try them on. What do you say?

Stephanie: “What do I say? I say, Dig a hole and get in it, you pig.” That’s what I say.

(Fuming, STEPHANIE flings her drink in KURGAN’s face and storms off.)

Date #4

Liz: Hello, I’m Liz.

Kurgan: I am the Kurgan. I am — oh, never mind.

Liz: You’re the gimp, right?

Kurgan: The what?

Liz: The gimp. The guy hired by the organizer to be the biggest loser in the world so all the other guys look better by comparison. You’ve got to be the gimp. I mean, look at you.

Kurgan: I am no such thing, puny mortal.

Liz: It’s okay, you can tell me. I’m not really here for a date. I’m doing field research for my Ph.D. in anthropology. I know how these things work.

Kurgan: I am no gimp.

Liz: Oh.

(Long, uncomfortable silence.)

Liz: So, do you like cooking?

Kurgan: What’s wrong with the way I look?

Liz: Nothing, it’s just that…well, you might be a swell guy, but you don’t look like date material. I mean, your head looks like it was shaved with a piece of broken glass by a wino with the shakes. And your clothes? Leather, studs…and is that chain mail? I hate to be the one to break it to you, but punk is dead. And as for the Kurgan thing…okay, I know it’s hip to identify with ancient cultures these days — my old roommate was into the Maori thing, she even got one of those swirly tattoos — but you could do a lot better than the Kurgans.

Kurgan: What’s wrong with the Kurgans?

Liz: They weren’t nice people. Did you know they used to throw children into pits to fight with hungry dogs for scraps of meat?

Kurgan: Actually —

Liz: Trust me, if you want to score tonight — or any night — you’re going to have to reinvent yourself. Grow some hair, buy some new clothes, and for God’s sake lose the Kurgan thing. It wouldn’t hurt to take up some hobbies you can talk about, too. Women do love to talk, you know.

Kurgan: But —

Liz: Oh, and be a pal and don’t out me to the other daters, okay?

(LIZ shoots him a conspiratorial wink, then switches off her concealed tape recorder and heads for the bar to wait for her next date.)

Date #5

Jenny: Hi, I’m Jenny.

Kurgan: Hello, I’m, uh, Bob. Bob O’Kurgan.

Jenny. Tell me about yourself, Bob.

Kurgan: I, uh, like to take things slow. Also, I love animals, especially dogs. I love music, too, all kinds of music. But most of all, I love to talk. I could talk all day and night without the slightest prospect of crazy, bone-breaking sex in the offing. Talk, talk, talk, that’s me.

Jenny: Oh, God, not another new-age wimp!

Kurgan: Huh?

Jenny: What happened to all the real men? The kind of men who love ’em hard and leave ’em sore, who like their animals three inches thick and medium-rare, whose idea of music is drinking themselves blind and playing the drums until the cops show up? That’s the kind of man I’m looking for.

Kurgan: Well, actually —

Jenny: I knew this was a waste of time. Well, Bob, you can tell all the other tree-hugging softies that Jenny’s not interested. See ya, loser.

(Disgusted, JENNY heads for the exit and doesn’t look back.)

Kurgan: Crap.


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