Zack Madargy thought for sure that there was a herd of elephants stampeding down the stairs. He grabbed his coffee cup so the vibrations from the animal wouldn’t spill it on the carpet. It was a mortal sin in his parent’s house to have any liquids in any room with carpeting and his mom would skin his hide if any of the dark aromatic coffee was spilled on her expensive, lush cream floor.
But, instead of a herd of wrinkly gray elephants, an enthusiastic teenaged girl came bounding down the stairs and into the living room. “I should have known,” he muttered to himself. Zack placed his coffee cup back on the coaster and turned to his sister. “Hey, Liz, can you maybe be a little lighter footed next time? You almost brought down the house.”
“ ‘Lighter footed’?” Elizabeth Madargy scoffed. “And we sent you to college to learn…?”
“…to learn how to mingle and socialize with people of various backgrounds and personalities.” Zack grinned.
Liz rolled her eyes dramatically. “I can already tell that you won’t let me win this conversation, so I’ll start a new one. What’s up, bro?”
“Hmmm…” Zack considered the question with mock concentration. “Is ‘blue’ a sufficient answer?”
“I give up,” she sighed. “Well, toodles!” And she turned towards the door.
“Were are you going?”
“Me and Kathryn are going to see a movie. Does that meet with your approval?”
“Gee, I don’t know,” He paused, feigning severity. “What movie are you going to see?”
“Oh, you won’t like it. It’s called ‘A Guy for Carlie’.”
Zack made a face. “Ugh. A chick flick.”
“Double ‘Ugh’!” Ben Williams walked through the door. “Hey, sup, dude?”
“Sweet.” Ben raised a hand in greeting to his friend’s little sister. “Sup, Liz?”
Ben scratched his head and pretended to be stumped. “The sky? Now that don’t make no sense at all.”
Liz threw up her hands in defeat. But her attitude changed quickly and she batted her eyes at the two young men. “That’s right. A chick flick. And we two gals could always use you big, strong, handsome men to stick around as chaperones. What’d ya say?” She smiled sweetly.
Ben narrowed his eyes. “How many times I have to tell ya not to bat your eyes at us crazy people? Don’t make me bat those gorgeous eyes with a tennis racket! Besides,” he shrugged. “I’m trying to quit. Chick flicks give me nightmares.” He shuddered.
“What about you, Zack? Don’t you want to come with me and Kathryn?”
“Huh-uh, no way, not me!” he insisted emphatically. “I don’t do Playboy magazines, so what makes ya think I’d want to do girl porn?”
Both Liz and Ben looked at Zack in open-mouthed surprise. Ben cleared his throat. “Um, would ya mind repeatin’ that for me, buddy? I’m not sure if I heard you right…”
“I said I don’t read Playboy Magazines and I don’t do chick flicks either.”
“But wait!” Liz insisted. “Did you just call chicks flicks, ‘girl porn’?”
Ben scratched his head again, but this time, it was with genuine stupefaction. “Dude, would you mind explaining that for me? I don’t see a connection…”
Liz recovered from her shock and now stomped her foot in indignation. “That’s ‘cuz there is no connection between staring at pictures of naked women and watching an innocent love story.”
“Actually,” Zack asserted “there is one.” He paused to make sure he had both Liz and Ben’s attention. “Naked pictures of women, arouse guys physically, right?”
Ben nodded and Liz muttered darkly, “I wouldn’t know.”
Ben hesitated and he turned to Liz for confirmation. But Liz asked her brother, “How do you figure that?”
“Well,” Zack explained. “Chick flicks kinda give girls a false sense of what guys are like. Girls pine and long for their prince in shining armor to come and carry them away to their castle, but that’s not how it really is. Most guys aren’t really as romantic as Matthew McConaughey. And we’re human. We aren’t the perfect gentlemen hunks that chick flicks portray us as. It’s a false sense of reality and when a girl realizes that, it hurts.”
“Oh, I think I get it!” Ben said excitedly. “Just like pictures of skinny little naked women teach guys to only value the outside of a woman and not what’s on the inside, chick flicks teach girls to wait for the perfect gentleman hunk to sweep them off their feet with all sorts of romantic stuff.” He grinned triumphantly. “And both are false.”
Liz swept her gaze between Zack and Ben. “So, what you’re saying,” she began cautiously. “Is that pornography arouses physical desires in guys and chick flicks arouse emotional desires in girls.”
“Emotional desires that can really hurt when they find out it’s not reality.” Zack confirmed.
Liz’s brown eyes narrowed slightly as she studied her brother carefully for any signs of jest, but Zack retuned her gaze squarely.
Suddenly, a loud horn sounded from the driveway. “That’s Kathryn.” Liz turned to her brother. “I’ll think about what you said. Maybe we’ll see the new action movie instead. Anyway, see ya!” Playfully, she flicked the ball cap off his head and then glided out the door.
Zack grumbled something about annoying little sisters keeping their hands to themselves as he shoved his worn hat back on his head. He cleared his throat and turned to Ben, who grinned with understanding. “She just hates it when I’m right,” Zack explained with a small, charming grin of his own.