Every now and then you run into a blowhard who emphasizes the importance of a concept by saying something like, "You know, the Greeks have 26 words for buggery but none for deodorant." Well, the nickname "Big Daddy" is the inverse English equivalent. It's one name that has 26 meanings. First up is the obvious one - you might be fat. Go check. I’ll wait. Not fat? Okay, the next possibility is that you're being flirted with. Of course, for women, flirting comes in two flavors: A, flirting with intent; or B, sadism - the woman is hot and enjoys making boys cry. If you are a man, please keep in mind that Type A flirting and Type B flirting are indistinguishable. This is because most women do not decide which type they are practicing until well into the flirting - or in extreme cases, until after you have had breakfast together the next morning. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not state one more reason that you might be called Big Daddy. You may have a freakishly large penis. However, if you find that your penis is being praised for its unusual size, then I daresay the question of why you were called Big Daddy is rather unimportant.
It happened one Christmas season while I was picking up some extra money at Macy’s selling dishes, cookware and George Foreman grills to shrill women with too much jewelry. Suddenly, three attractive single (yes, I looked) women in their early thirties were looking for dishes. My first assumption was that they were given grievously wrong directions to the Donna Karan racks. But in fact, they asked me to help them find a dish pattern that was on display. Their leader was a striking 6-foot Amazon with tons of curly auburn hair who sort of looked like Julia Roberts' evil twin. She was flanked by two other women who were almost but not quite as pretty as she. They looked like nothing so much as Pips to the Amazon's Gladys Knight. One was short with a chestnut pixie haircut, and one had shoulder length blond hair and the power to turn water into ice by staring at it. Despite much crawling around on the ground by all four of us, the dishes were not to be found. I graciously offered to look in the stockroom, and left them.
When I returned with the dishes, I heard it off in the distance. "Can I help you ladies find anything?" "No thanks, Big Daddy over there is helping us find some dishes." Now, my immediate assumption was that they were calling me fat, as alluded to above. In fact, at a Chinese restaurant that afternoon, my fortune had said "You will travel far and wide", and I took it to mean that I would soon need larger pants. But I digress. I brought the dishes over to ring them up, and Gladys said "Thanks for looking, Big Daddy!" I'm sure I mumbled something singularly stupid, and then I ran the credit card through. The card was of course declined, because there was nothing on TV in heaven, and God wanted this uncomfortable encounter to last as long as possible. Then the Pip with the pixie hair pulled out some cash, and as a testament to Gladys' force of personality, it was only at this point that I realized she was not the one buying the dishes. These lucky women then got to watch me learn how to do a transaction that involves paying partially with a credit card and partially with cash. It is a poorly kept secret that women swoon at the sight of a man that not only needs to wear a name tag at work, but also has not yet mastered his duties.
It was about this time that one of the shrill women described earlier approached me at the register with a question. I answered it, only to be chastised by Gladys. She told me that while I was waiting on them, I was not allowed to talk to other women. "You have three lovely women right here, Big Daddy, why do you need to talk to any others?" Her logic at once made perfect sense, and yet upon further review proved ridiculous. I'm sure that there are men who at this point would say something with playful wit and aplomb. I discovered to my dismay that none of these men are me. I believe I emitted a sound that can best be described as a nervous chuckle that morphed into a cough.
The transaction mercifully ended, I thanked Gladys and the Pips and handed them their bag. "Good night, Big Daddy!" they giggled as they made their exit with waves and smiles. It would seem that I should feel like half a man after an encounter such as this. After all, I had just been mocked and debased thoroughly by three women who are clearly several rungs above me on the attractiveness ladder. And by this point it was obvious that these women fell under the 'sadist' category described above. But despite my trouble with women, I have a pretty strong sense of self-esteem. And you know what? I just refuse to feel belittled by women that buy cat-themed pink, green and yellow dishes that look like paper plates for a five-year-old child's birthday party.
Still…I knew that it was a terrible idea to wear that white dress shirt without a jacket.