The next morning, Giannis woke up confused as to why he was in such inexplicably high spirits. Then, he caught a glimpse of his phone sitting on the bedside table, and grinned widely. Rachel had accepted his invitation for another date, which meant that she had enjoyed their first one. Now he remembered how he had spent most of yesterday researching local restaurants on the internet to find one that was both classy, and, at John’s advice, not so upscale as to be inappropriate for a second date.
He grabbed his phone to read her text message again. It still didn’t quite seem real that a pretty girl like Rachel would like him that much. He heard some of John’s previous words of encouragement replaying in his head: “Your arms are hella jacked, man. I’m telling you, chicks respond to those kinds of muscles even if they pretend like they don’t.”
But Rachel didn’t look at his arms when she talked to him, he had noticed. She looked at his face. Like she was paying attention to what he was saying. For the first time, he considered the fact that maybe John’s wisdom wasn’t one-size-fits-all, and that maybe John’s advice worked better for John himself that it would for Giannis. Maybe John’s advice was geared towards those looking to cycle through women as quickly as possible.
While pondering these things, Giannis had automatically gone through the steps of preparing his breakfast smoothie. A pineapple lay neatly cubed in front of him next to some kiwi and banana. He piled the ingredients into the chamber of his blender and clicked the lid into place, his thoughts of Rachel supplanted by tantalizing visions of a tasty smoothie.
He pushed the “blend” button and frowned when nothing happened. Now he noticed that the illuminated information panel was totally dark. His eyes followed the power cord across his counter to the outlet, where it was securely plugged in. Just to be sure, he unplugged it an plugged it back again, but the blender still would not blend.
Trying not to panic, Giannis considered his options. There was no way for him to make a smoothie without a blender. Therefore, he needed access to one. He was pretty sure John didn’t have one; the rest of his Bucks teammates, he couldn’t say for sure, other than Khris, whose passing reference to made-at-home smoothies had prompted the blender purchase in the first place. But Khris lived too far away, and even if he did drive out to make his breakfast smoothie at Khris’ place, what about his brunch smoothie? Or his three lunch smoothies?
Giannis spent another minute trying to remember if he had ever seen a blender at any of the Bucks’ various facilities when it occurred to him that the mall was probably open by now. He could buy a new blender there! His reluctance to spend money was not as great as his desire for a smoothie. He was in his car and pulling out of his parking space in an instant.
In front of Giannis was a large stack of boxes, all containing an identical model of blender. The same model, in fact, as the one he had at home. There was no indication that they were on sale, as they had been at the time of the first purchase. But buying a different type of blender was out of the question; adapting his technique to a new blender would slow him down too much.
He reached to the top of the pile and grabbed a box, but in doing so, was struck by a novel idea: what if he bought more than one? That way, if one broke, he would have a backup. And if he was buying two, why not ten? Then he would never run out of blenders. Satisfied with his logic, he sprinted to the entrance of the store to grab a cart, then ran back to the appliance section. Feeling his thirst for a smoothie grow more urgent by the second, he roughly tossed boxes into his cart and hustled to the checkout.
“That’s a lot of blenders,” commented the bored young man at the register.
“Yeah,” Giannis replied, distracted by thoughts of whether the cut-up fruit on his counter would be too mushy by the time he got home with his new purchases. “They calling me blender master for a reason.” He winced a little at the final bill’s high dollar total, but paid easily with his credit card and rushed out of the store to unload the cart.
As he started to drive out of the parking lot, he suddenly remembered the smoothie store in the food court. In his frenzy to buy a new blender, he had forgotten the easy source of smoothies waiting for him in the mall. He thought about turning around, then decided against it. It would be weird to order smoothies from Rachel so soon after their date.
Soon, he was back in his kitchen, a hastily assembled blender plugged in and waiting to be deflowered. The fruit, milk, and ice were in the pitcher. Giannis screwed his eyes shut, took a deep breath, and pressed the “blend” button.
When the machine began to whirr, Giannis felt a flood of relief. And that relief was magnified tenfold when the first drop of pineapple-kiwi-banana smoothie contacted his tongue.