Tonawanda News

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June 10, 2012

BOOK NOOK: '44 Horrible Dates' mishaps easily relatable

Tonawanda News — If you’re easily offended, do not go anywhere near “44 Horrible Dates.”

The book, which chronicles the dating missteps of Hollywood screenwriter Eddie Campbell, gets into such specifics about his exploits that they can’t be mentioned here. In fact, they can’t even be hinted at.

But if you can handle a tale that’s a tad blue, and you’ve ever had a dating experience that was so bafflingly bad that you just had to share it with someone, then this book is a must read. It will probably be therapeutic, really.

Everyone has had some strange encounters, but Campbell seemingly has really bad dating karma. His tales — all of which he swears are true — include a date showing up to pick him up while under the influence of cocaine, a man who tried to pick him up while driving nude from the pants down, a date who waited outside of Campbell’s house for him to run in and grab money to pay his half of the bill, and a man who expected Campbell to quit his job and stay home to take care of their babies — after only a handful of dates.

Each encounter occupies a different chapter of the book. Some extend beyond 10 pages, while others only take up four paragraphs. Campbell admits that, in some cases, his own idiosyncracies and nitpicking might have played a role in the failed relationship. But then again, bad breath can be a verry difficult thing to overcome when you’re expected to be close to that person.

The tales span about two decades, with the writer whimsically envisioning eternal happiness with many of the men he came across. His book promised in the opening that there’d be no happy ending.

And there isn’t — at least in traditional terms. Instead, there are romantic encounters with at least one unidentified male star of a television show Campbell wrote for, proficient texters whose lack of basic grammar skills soured any chance at a relationship and dozens of deleted voicemails from would-be daters.

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