Series of Escalating Challenges (or: The Night Gob Bluth Broke His Own Rules)

The blonde woman at the end of the bar glanced at him over her shoulder again. Gob Bluth shifted slightly in his barstool, thinking his thoughts as he swirled his drink in its glass in rhythm with the music that wafted through the air. After a brief moment of contemplation, he made his decision, and practically strutted down the side of the bar to the stool next to her, where he moved to sit in one fluid motion, a sly grin across his features.

"Hey," was all he said. This bothered him more than he would let on. He could usually come up with far better lines. He even had them all written in a pocket notebook.

"Hey," the woman said in response, drawing out the short word to several seconds more than it should have been, with a crooked smirk to match his sly grin.

Gob still struggled to find a suitable pickup line, but was unsuccessful. It'd be weird to say it now, anyway, so he lamely asked, "Can I buy you a drink?"

"I've already got one," she said, lifting her martini glass sloppily in a way that caused a few drips to splash upon the counter, "but thanks anyway."

Was that a strike? He didn't think so.

He swivelled his barstool the other way so that he had his back to the bar and he leaned on it with one arm, his drink in the other. She followed suit, putting her glass on the counter and turning away from the bar.

"So, what's your name?" he asked (damn, he was doing so badly that night, for some reason. Totally not in the game, everything he said was just so straightforward and not suggestive at all. No good. In retrospect, he's surprised anything came of that night at all.)

"You tell me yours first," was her response.

Oh, she was a crafty one. He paused. He thought. He had rules for this sort of thing; he wasn't supposed to let them know his name, where he lived, his phone number or where he parked his segway.

Rules aren't that great anyway. I mean, what do they do? They keep people from having fun, they make things really boring, they kill excitement; hell, rules are for pussies and sailors.

He reassured himself in much the same manner three more times, and that was the moment that night become The Night That Gob Bluth Broke His Own Rules And Really Paid For It In The End.

"Gob. Gob Bluth," he said as smoothly as he could manage.

She raised an eyebrow, smirking slightly, "Oh," she said in a singsong voice. He supposed she knew who he was.

"And you are?" he asked again, taking a sip of his drink while he waited for her to answer.

"I'm—" there was a loud smashing sound that drowned out her voice. A bottle crashed to the ground, having slipped from the bartender's hand as he gestured wildly to another patron at the other end of the bar. He never heard her name, but pretended that he had. Asking chicks to repeat stuff was annoying to the both of them. Change of subject.

"Hey, check it out, we're wearing the same colour," he said, pointing to her shirt and then to his jacket, both a powder blue. Way to break the ice.

"You're right!"


They continued to talk. Or rather, she continued to talk and he continued to pretend to listen. Oh, the lengths he would go to sleep with a woman. He picked at the martini olives with a toothpick while she was talking about something ("I sell seals for a living. The sick ones are easiest to sell, but they tend to die before they get to their zoos. I used to know a good lawyer, but ...") and when she realized he wasn't listening fully she took one of the olives and threw it at him. At first he was confused, but retaliated by flicking one in her direction, which earned him another olive right in the face. They laughed.


"I dare you to eat that," Gob said slyly, taking one of the olives from where it had somehow manoeuvred its way into his jacket pocket after it was thrown.

"Alright," The Woman said enthusiastically, and took it from him. She popped it in her mouth and chewed at it; making generally disgusted faces (she actually really hated olives).

When she finished, she smiled in a self-satisfied way and said, "My turn."


"I dare you to kiss me," she demanded. Perhaps he didn't strike out too badly after all.

So he did, even though he hated the taste of olives, too.


An hour later the pair began the Series of Escalating Dares, legendary amongst the Bluth family and quite possibly the most terrifying evening of Gob Bluth's life. Well, apart from the time he thought they were in the middle of a firefight between cops and drug dealers. That was pretty freaky.

Somehow The Woman managed to con her way into a second dare (she claimed that last one didn't really count) and Gob was unable to decline (he wasn't a pussy like that little brother of his. He also really wanted to sleep with this woman) so she had led him to the highest hill in Newport, next to a supermarket or something.

"I dare you to ride this baby all the way down that hill," she said, that lopsided smirk again making an appearance, mocking him. She gestured to a blue plastic shopping cart.

That hill was awfully steep. What if he scraped up his hands or something? He made a living with those hands. What if he broke his legs? He walked with those legs. He supposed she had sensed his hesitation, because she said something more before he could actually protest.

"Okay fine, I'll go too, since you're doing two in a row. Even if the first didn't count," she pulled a second cart forward and climbed into it. He climbed into his own hesitantly, hoping he wouldn't die before he got any action from this crazed woman (that would suck, he decided.)

The Woman shoved his cart forward forcefully so that it began to roll, dragging hers alongside it as she held onto the handlebar of his cart from where inside her own. Once they were moving, she let go of his cart and lifted her arms as if she were on a rollercoaster, laughing. Gob, on the other hand, clung to the front of his cart for dear life, knuckles almost white and an extremely displeased, nauseated expression forming on his face as the carts sped down the hill towards what he was sure would be his death.

They survived, however, and as the carts rolled to a stop at the bottom of the hill (just before the road), Gob silently thanked whatever god was feeling generous enough to let someone like him live through that.


An hour later, they had gone up three more dares (neither would agree to a dare unless the other did it as well) and were walking along the road, The Woman now pretending to listen to Gob's rambling about the things his brother did that annoyed him.

"I dare you to rob that gas station," she suddenly said while he was in the middle of his story about the time he and his brother fought at the courthouse (which would have really interested her if she were listening.)

"You, too" Gob responded, mildly annoyed that she has interrupted him just as he was describing the part where he pulled Michael out of the tree. The Woman took two pairs of stockings from her purse (why she had such things in there, he would never know) and handed one to him, for the purpose of hiding his face.

As Gob pulled it over his head, he said, "I sure hope these are clean."

"Maybe," came her muffled voice as she did the same.

He thought it best not to think about it, and he opened the door for her as they entered the gas station convenience store.


An hour later, not only were they were three hundred and ninety two dollars and thirty seven cents richer, they also had two bags of chips and ten packages of beef jerky. Granted, they did have to run half a kilometre at full speed to lose the convenience store owner (who did have a shotgun, they realized too late.) Satisfied and tired, they stopped to rest on a bench by the beach after what had been a draining three hours.

"What next?" Gob grunted as he sat down, grateful to stop moving for a few minutes.

"It's your turn," The Woman sighed, tossing one of the bags of chips into the garbage after reading the label and remembering she didn't like that flavour.

"Oh," he thought a moment, searching his brain for a dare. The beach didn't really give him any answers, it was only sand and waves, nothing there jumpstarted his brain with an idea. He was getting awfully tired at this point, too much adrenaline for one evening.

Something smelled funny. He was sitting next to a garbage can, he realized, that would do it. He glanced at it and saw something that gave him an idea – a really old Christmas card with bells on it. Bells.

"I've got one," he said, turning to her. She put aside the swag from the gas station heist, her attention focused on him.

"I dare you to marry me."


After a quick search through the phone book yellow pages (at a phone booth with something gross smeared across the glass. They tried to ignore it, but he let out a weird sound when he almost brushed up against it in the cramped booth) they found the address of the only cheap wedding chapel that was open so late ("Twenty bucks and a free dinner at Burger King" the advertisement shouted in big, bold type. It also included a free photo.)

The chapel was essentially a small room with three chairs in the middle for guests (any more than three guests and you had to start paying for the chair rentals). The walls were bare stone except the back wall, which featured a stained glass window (with a neon sign above it), and a pot of long-dead flowers (there wasn't even an altar, Gob noticed. You get what you paid for, he supposed.)

The "priest "was saying something very slowly and in a monotone voice, and Gob wasn't listening again. He reached behind him to grab the only flowers of the bunch that were still alive and handed them to his would-be wife, who took them. Perhaps it was how late it was, or maybe it was the lingering effects of the drinking contest they had a while before, but they smiled and laughed over the sound of the "priest's" voice. There was a snap and a flash as the sleepy photographer took their free picture.

"You're married. Kiss her," the priest said, and stumbled past the three chairs to the door.

Gob did as he was told and kissed the woman he barely knew. Gob kissed The Woman, now His Wife.

As soon as they left the chapel, it was back to the yellow pages; now they needed a motel.