Something told me Anthony was going to be the tricky one.
ANTHONY: I appreciate you wanting to help, but I already have a man. So I think I'm doing all right.
For one thing, I was going to have to break his heart.
I met up with him at Winstead, a little coffeehouse on the East Side. At first, he seemed receptive to becoming my third protege, but then he dropped the bomb.
ME: Who are you dating?
ANTHONY: Chet Taylor.
The Chet Bomb.
Chet is a human disaster. He's loud, crazy, and trashy. He's part of the group I saw Anthony with the night I made my deal with the devil.
The devil being my best friend--
BRAD: This place is a wannabe Peach Pit.
I brought him along to help me convince Anthony that he should take nest under my big gay wing, but as usual, he wasn't being too helpful.
BRAD: I ordered something called a Mocha Chocha Latte.
BRAD: It tastes like Patti LaBelle.
ME: What--you know what? I'm not even going to ask.
Apparently, Anthony was waiting for Mr. Chet to show up so they could go have a picnic.
I know, I threw up in my mouth too.
ME: Anthony, how long have you and Chet been dating?
ANTHONY: Three weeks.
ME: And it's been going well?
ANTHONY: Definitely. I'm practically living with him. We're so in love. It's insane.
BRAD: Well, it DOES sound insane.
There were a few ways I could go about helping Anthony become a better person--but none of them involved Chet.
That meant it was fear time.
ME: Anthony, how many times would you say you've been in love?
ANTHONY: Before Chet, I would have said four times, but this is the real deal.
ME: Okay. Would you mind humoring me for a second?
ANTHONY: Sure, but if you're going to try--
ME: Let's say Chet loses his nose.
Brad almost spit out his Mocha Chocha.
ANTHONY: Excuse me?
ME: Horrible freak accident. He loses his nose. Are you still going to love him?
ANTHONY: Yeah. Of course. He's my baby.
Anthony shot Brad a look.
BRAD: Oh, come on. You're going to date a circus freak and I'm an asshole for pointing out you're lying?
ANTHONY: I'm not lying!
ME: Let's say a foul smell starts coming out of the nose.
ANTHONY: It won't matter.
ME: Let's say there's pus.
BRAD: Okay, at this point, I'm going to vomit.
I admired Anthony being so sure of himself and his love. Who knows? Maybe he really would stick it out, but if Chet was really his true love, then there wasn't much I could do for him.
It would be like putting a band-aid on a giant tumor.
ANTHONY: Do you just not believe in love?
ME: No, I just don't believe that you can be so sure after three weeks.
ANTHONY: Some people are sure after three seconds.
ME: It's very rare when that happens.
ANTHONY: But it happens, right?
ME: Yeah. It does.
Look at me, the cynic.
ANTHONY: Maybe you need to fall in love before you lecture me.
That was when Chet walked into the coffeehouse, and right over to us.
CHET: Hey Ant.
ANTHONY: Hey Chet, you ready to go?
CHET: Uh, slight problem.
The door opened, and AJ strolled in--otherwise known as "My Special Project."
ANTHONY: What the hell is he doing here?
BRAD: Don't worry. He won't punch you in the face again. Kevin had a talk with him, and now he's castrated.
CHET: Anthony, I'm in love.
ANTHONY: I know.
CHET: But not with you.
He jumped up. I looked over at AJ, who appeared to be smiling.
I could see that my lesson on "Stealing Boyfriends and Gloating About It" was going to have to get pushed up as soon as possible.
ANTHONY: I thought we were going to be together forever?
CHET: Sometimes plans change. Sorry kid.
ANTHONY: I hope your nose falls off.
ANTHONY: Never mind.
He sat back down. Chet took off with AJ. I put my arm around Anthony.
ANTHONY: So you're going to help me, right? So I don't pick any more jerks like that?
ME: Oh, I think I can give you a few pointers.
ANTHONY: When do we start?
ME: We start with this--no falling in love on the first date.
ANTHONY: I guess I can try.
ME: I have an electric zapper bracelet if you need it.
ANTHONY: This is going to be Hell, huh?
ME: No pain, no gain.
Brad pushed his drink over to Anthony.
BRAD: Here you go.
ME: For me?
BRAD: You've just been broken up with--it's time for a massive calorie intake.
I have my methods, Brad has his.