Within hours of arriving in Santa Barbara, Michele, Kristen and I met diminutive engineer named John. As we soon learned, John is The Worst Person In The World. In my life and work, I have encountered murderers, rapists, creationist hecklers at dinosaur lectures, child molesters, and this one douchebag stockbroker who I met at Kate O'Brien's after a holiday party, and it is with no hesitation that I deem this guy the worst ever. My younger sisters used to call Docta V "Bestie" back in high school, to indicate how they liked him more than any of my other friends. Engineer John would have been dubbed "Worstie" within seconds.
Snapshot 1: At dinner, I order steak, while Worstie orders Hawaiian pizza. He is very confident about his order, because he feels the pizza will allow him to drink more, by absorbing alcohol for him. "It's all about the carbs", he confides. Pointing at my mashed potatoes, he scoffs, "You aren't gonna get anything from that. This crust? Enriched. Wheat. Flour."
Snapshot 2: The pizza arrives, and Worstie can't stop talking about how greasy the pizza is, or how good my steak looks. "If there weren't ladies here, I'd take a stack of napkins to this damn pizza", Worstie says. The presence of "ladies" does not prevent him from launching into a long story about why he hates it when people call him while they're using the bathroom.
Snapshot 3: Worstie requests napkins from our server. When she brings them to the table, she makes a joke about how she hopes we aren't making a mess. Perhaps she assumed he wouldn't be using the napkins for grease-sopping with ladies present. For whatever reason, this makes Worstie upset. "Did you hear that? I'm gonna ask for coloring books. She thinks we're babies? I'm gonna ask if they have coloring books. And crayons."
I don't know what to say. "OK", I reply.
"Do you think this place has crayons? I bet they do. I'm gonna ask."
"I don't think they have crayons."
"I'm totally gonna ask. Man, I should have ordered steak."
Snapshot 4: Worstie continues to eyeball my steak. Finally I cut off a chunk and hand it to him, to shut him up. This only shifts his focus to how soft and fatty the steak is, and how he can barely eat it. Worstie then tries to offer slices of pizza to other people at our table. "This pizza is gross. Anyone want a slice? Come on, take a slice."
Snapshot 5: The restaurant doesn't have crayons. Worstie's "joke" falls flat, but he's still pretty proud of himself. "I told you I was gonna ask!" he triumphantly declares. He goes on to explain how he's only rude to wait staff while traveling. Back home in Orange County, he "basically almost always tips 20%."
Snapshot 6: On the way to the bar, Worstie explains his job, which Kristen has declared "boring". She asks him to make up something more interesting than his actual job, working for a defense contractor. Instead, he tells us why it's totally justified that Raytheon charges the government $10 per screw.
Snapshot 7: Kristen suggests imaginary jobs for Worstie, so he doesn't have to say "procurement of death machines and death machine components". He doesn't like the suggestion of "ear model", but the idea of working as a tailor at Nordstrom's gets him extremely offended. "I don't work at Nordstrom's!" Worstie shouts. "I shop at Nordstrom's." As evidence, he points to his ensemble.
Snapshot 8: A woman in the bar thinks Worstie is too young to drink (because he's about 5'4" and baby-faced). When she asks him to guess her age, he says, "34". This guess, or maybe just Worstie's personality, causes the woman to leave, taking her two friends with her.
Snapshot 9: An impromptu lecture about why women shouldn't ask you their age if they're just going to get offended segues into a monologue about how many full-size beds and futons are in Worstie's townhouse. Each room has a full-size bed and a full-size futon, though they are unoccupied most of the time. I think we are supposed to be impressed at their wealth of futons, and that Worstie's landlord comes down and does shots with him, even though he's in his 40's. Three times, Worstie tells us how much his rent is.
Why full-size beds? Worstie explains it's because he's not very tall. And, if a girl is too big to share a full-size bed with him, then she is too big to date. "Like how stewardesses used to have to get on a scale and make weight before they were allowed to fly," Kristen adds. "Exactly. Exactly! If she's too big, she's out," says Worstie, jerking his thumb like an umpire ejecting an argumentative player.
Snapshot 10: After kissing Worstie for roughly fifteen seconds, a girl has to run to the bathroom and throw up. Let this be a lesson, residents of Orange County: Kissing Worstie will make you vomit.