John and Ted were unabashed bachelors in paradise.
John and Ted. Men on a mission.
Beach tanned and up for anything from scuba diving to formal dinner dances, they ranged around in Fort Lauderdale in the 50’s cutting a wide swath socially.
Young, handsome and professional, John a doctor, Ted a successful businessman, both were widely celebrated "good catches." Mothers of eligible girls bent over backwards to put their offspring in the path of these potential sons-in-law and were not above bribing them with home cooked meals and fresh baked cookies. They never went hungry.
For them, dating was sport and they were champs at flying wingman for each other as they charmed the smorgasbord of single women in the famous beach town “where the boys are.”
But finding “the one” was elusive.
At lunch one day, John and Ted were stupefied by someone new in town. They spotted her simultaneously across the restaurant as she dined with a friend. She was a stunner; a drop-dead gorgeous blonde with blue eyes, model poise, and, to them, that angel aura accompanied by heavenly choruses singing.
A stunner who caused men to question their friendships.
A model. With turtles sometimes.
The men tripped all over each other vying to approach her first.
“I saw her first.”
“Nope. I did.”
“No, you didn’t, I did and I’m asking her out right now.”
This opportunity to snag a golden-haired goddess nullified the wingman’s oath of loyalty according to their “man rules.” The stakes were too high.
“Let’s just say we saw her at the same time,” said John, adopting a cool negotiating tack at this point, “I’ll flip you for who gets to ask her out first.”
Ted, a confident gambler, scrutinized John for any hint of chicanery, and seeing nothing suspicious, warmed to the idea.
The coin went up, spun about in the ether, and dropped on the diner booth table with the ominous gravity of destiny.
He got to go first. He strolled cooly over to her table, chatted her up and made a date. Her girlfriend was all aflutter at the swashbuckle boldness of Ted’s approach.
Swaggering back to the table with a grin, Ted expected to see John brooding over the beat. John was not anything like brooding. Just smiling.
“All set Ted? You were first to make a date right? That was the deal…”
“Yessir! Friday night. Her name’s Lois and that’s her roommate with her by the way. Thanks for being such a good sport.”
“Don’t mention it,” said John, grinning like a cat.
Later that day, Lois, home from work, received a phone message from a certain doctor. Thinking it might be urgent, she called back immediately.
“Hi, Lois. I’m John. Your roommate is a patient of mine and thought you wouldn’t mind if I called. I heard you’re busy Friday but what are you doing tonight?”
Photos: Personal Collection and Google Creative Commons