Fobiden Fruit

Forbidden fruit has a reputation. Take it from one who’s snapped after the lure more than once. But, if it’s so forbidden, there are reasons for the big sign that says, ” Don’t even think of it.” To Robert, who pictured himself as a playboy, Carla was just another target: despite the reputation of forbidden fruit.
Carla, long blonde tresses, tall, intelligent, and went out with a different guy or gal every night; on her terms.
Robert was a linguistics major, and his standard lines were romantic-sounding phrases uttered seductively in Parisian French, Spanish, and Hindi. It often worked well enough that he was encouraged to use it on every woman he met, so he often used it. Both Robert and Carla were regulars on Friday nights at the Harvard Gardens on Boston’s Beacon Hill but in different circles.
Carla regularly visited the Folkie Palace crew for laughs and companionship. But, of course, we all knew she was off-limits and accepted that matter of factly.
One evening Robert decided to muscle in on our tables and squeezed between Carla and Louise, her companion that night. Trotting out his French, he took Carla’s hand in his and began uttering sweet somethings. The look he received back from her suggested that instead of a sports jacket, button-down shirt, and ascot, he wore baggy trousers and a clown nose. Louise looked over at the nervy idiot sitting between her and her girlfriend. She responded to Roberts pick-up lines in a French more commonly found on the docks of Marseille than a university or a salon. Removing his hand from Carla’s, Louise smoothly put Robert in a wrist lock that brought him to his knees in front of Louise.
“Now say something romantic to me,” she seductively whispered while applying pressure to his wrist. Down went Robert to the level of Louise’s knee, and out flowed protestations of love. Louise began creatively correcting his pronunciation and teaching bits of conversational French that he was unlikely to learn in a Harvard classroom in 1965.
To say that this performance riveted attention in the Harvard Gardens was an understatement. Lightening could have blasted the beer taps, and no one would have noticed. Too many had suffered from Robert’s witticisms, pick-up lines, and bon mots not to enjoy seeing him put so low. Louise became a heroine.
Tiring of this game after a while, Louise released him and turned all her attention back to Carla, leaving Robert to slink away.
I’d love to conclude that he was never seen on the Boston side of the Charles River again. And that he restricted his activities to Harvard Square. But life is not that simple; he still came regularly but now avoided all who had witnessed his humiliation that night, most especially Carla, Louise, and the Folkie Palace crew.


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