Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Pick-Up Artist

About four years ago, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Fortunately for him, they caught it early and an operation combined with chemotherapy was enough to send the cancer into remission. A few weeks back, his blood test showed abnormally high PSA levels. That, coupled with lingering soreness in his joints, had his doctor concerned that my father might have bone cancer.

As the only one of my siblings who's both single and childless, it generally falls on me to assist my parents when issues like this arise so I've spent a fair amount of time taking him to various doctors and hospitals for tests. In the end, the doctors determined that it's nothing serious, and that with some minor treatments he'll be fine.

After all of this, I've come to a few conclusions:

(1) I love my father because he's my father, but I don't like him very much as a person;

(2) I don't want to be like him in any way, shape, or form and;

(3) I'm probably more similar to him than I care to admit.

You can imagine the level of self-loathing I'm feeling these days. As a result, I was left with a choice between either sitting home feeling sorry for myself, or embarking on a project that would allow me to duck reality for a few hours. Clearly, my tendency to live in a fantasy world made the latter option was far more appealing.

Looking for inspiration, I went to the local bookstore where I came across a book called The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. As I scanned the pages, I realized that I haven't so much as talked to a woman since the debacle that ended here and somehow spiraled into the "Great B and McCall Comments War of 2005" that threatens to draw such neutral parties as Jeanne and Sandra into it's nefarious web.

Anywho, after perusing the book for a few minutes, I realized that it made things far too simple. I mean, any idiot can be nice and polite - and it also seems realtively easy to refrain from asking woman to have sex with you in the men's room three minutes after meeting her. What I needed was a real challenge. What I needed were some truly horrible pick-up lines that would test my skills - or expose my lack thereof. With any luck, I'd hit the jackpot and I'd soon be spending my Sunday mornings (which, ironically is our song of the week - see sidebar) lounging around drinking coffee and reading the New York Times while my soulmate lay on my stomach doing the crossword puzzle.

Of course, I was nervous. I mean, I hadn't done anything like this since my ill-fated iPod survey of a few months ago. However, after dramatically lowering my inhibitions by imbibing copious amounts of tequila, I was ready to proceed.

Line 1: I'm new in town, could I have directions to your house.

Result: Partial success. She told me to "go to hell."

Line 2: I may not be the best looking guy here, but I'm the only one talking to you.

Result: As soon as I got the first half of the line out, she agreed and turned away.

Line 3: Can I buy you a drink, or do you just want the money?

Result: She wanted the money

Line 4: F*ck me if I'm wrong, but is your name Julie?

Result: Her name was Julie.1

Line 5: Hi my name is Joe, remember it, cause you'll be screaming it all night long.

Result: The music must have been too loud because she apparently misheard my name as "A**hole"

Clearly, this wasn't working. If I was going to have any success at all, it was clear that I'd have to change the next group of lines slightly to make them my own.

Original Line 1: You must be exhausted because you've been running through my mind all day.

My Line: Wow, you look exhausted.

Result: Slap

Original Line 2: That dress would look great on my bedroom floor in the morning.

My Line: I'll bet it that dress looked great on the sales rack.

Result: She let me buy her a drink - then she threw it in my face.

Original Line 3: Are you from Tennessee? Because you're the only ten-i-see.

My Line: "I was standing over there wondering if you'd like a drink, so I thought, 'I don't know, but Alaska!' Get it? I'll-ask-her."

Result: A long conversation with the bouncer she called over.

Original Line 4: Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by again?

My Line: Do you believe in love at first sight and is that how you met your boyfriend, who is - at this moment - looking pissed off and heading this way?

Result: Fortunately, alcohol is also an anesthetic, so I wasn't in nearly as much pain from the broken nose, black eye, and cracked ribs he gave me as he was from the pinky he broke while pummeling me.

Original Line 5: That shirt is very becoming on you, but it I were on you, I'd becoming too.

My Line: Erm...hi. My name is Joe. May I buy you a drink?

You didn't really expect me to use the "becoming" line, did you? Even I'm not quite that stupid.

Result: That line didn't work either. I guess it time for plastic surgery and a personality transplant.

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1 I tried that one a few times, but every woman in the club was apparently named Julie. What are the odds of that?