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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How Not to Pick Up Girls

I’ve been happily and faithfully married for a large number of years to the noteworthy Mrs. Bruck, whom I did not at any time pick up. The skills I describe in today’s column are no longer relevant for my purposes, but may be of use to male VOB readers who do not share my fortunate circumstance, and who wish to replicate my erstwhile success in the fine art of not picking up girls.

In life you have to run with your strengths, and this is one that I’ve honed to perfection. I realize that not picking up girls is probably not a skill in high demand, but that’s what you’re going to learn about today. Certainly there are plenty of books and websites on how to pick up girls, and if that’s what you’re after, this column won’t be of any use to you. What I can help with is how not to pick up girls.

Here are a few easy ones right off the bat: Tell them you’re an engineer or engineering student. Even better: explain technical things in great detail, particularly things involving computers. Even more better: shout this over the loud music at a party or bar. Other tips: Wear bad-looking shoes. Don’t listen. Get rejected by all the more attractive girls first. Hang around by the bathroom door at a party. Talk about your old GF or ex-wife. Appear desperate. Be unemployed. Spit when you talk. Break wind.

Vehicle: most of automobile marketing focuses on how it will enhance your reproductive potential, but rather than indulge in futile deconstruction of the obvious, let me present some of my personal data on the subject. Having previously been employed in the automotive industry (see if you can guess which company), I’ve driven a variety of vehicles. Here are some data points relating pickup opportunities (number of women who have expressed unprovoked interest in me while on the road) to the type of vehicle I was driving:

Vehicle: # of pickup opportunities

Lincoln LS: 2

Ford Crown Victoria: 1 (she may have thought I was a PO)

Ford Ranger: 1

Ford Explorer SporTrac: 1 (a man, actually)

Ford Taurus: 0

Extrapolating from this limited data set, one way to not pick up girls is to drive an inexpensive, boring car.

The next lesson requires some background - for VOB readers who might not be aware, I have an identical twin brother. Just to cover some ground quickly:

- Yes, we know we’re identical.
- You know some other twins? That’s interesting.
- He’s older, by 4 minutes.
- We don’t look as much alike now as we used to.
- The occurrence of identical twins is totally random, and not hereditary.
- No, we don’t have any kind of telepathic communication.
- Yes, we had some fun once in a while as youngsters switching identities.

One weekend evening long ago I was visiting the twin brother of Bruck at his apartment in Chicago. He was having a few others over that night as well. At one point early in the festivities, the doorbell rang and he said, “Here, put this on and answer the door.” It was a sweater that his GF had given him for Christmas. This GF of his was a real piece of work but that’s a whole nuther story. We later referred to her as Crazy Lucy (not her real name, well the Lucy part wasn’t anyway).

Crazy Lucy was at the door and when I opened it, she leaned forward to kiss me. I backed off, and appearing stricken, she asked, “What’s the matter?”

I replied, “I’d like to get to know you a little better first.”

Fortunately she had a good sense of humor about it and didn’t injure us too severely with her goodhearted bludgeoning. She got off easy; as the other guests arrived, we blasted them with a CO2 fire extinguisher.

Okay, that story had nothing to do with not picking up girls, but the next one does.

A summer weekend a few years prior to that found my twin brother and me, along with several college friends, at the home of the parents of one of the group, on a lake in northern Michigan. One evening that weekend, the host dragged us up a huge sand dune near the shore of Lake Michigan, for a bonfire and cookout. He also brought along some friends from the local community, including a few girls to balance out the M-F ratio, which had up to that point been leaning a little too far in the XY direction.

At one point while we were talking around the fire, one of the local girls was intrigued with our twinhood (or maybe she was intrigued with something else, who knows, certainly not my sparkling personality). She asked, “Which one of you is older?”

I replied, “He is.”

She said, “Yeah, I can tell.” (to be fair he did actually appear a bit more a bit more weathered)

I said, “Yes, take a look at him now - that’s what I’m going to look like in four minutes.”

We all had a good laugh and then the local girls kind of cooled off and didn’t say much after that.

That night I stumbled upon another important facet of the fine art of not to picking up girls: humiliate them in front of their friends.

So there you have it, a valuable lesson from the bottom drawer of Bruck’s Love and War files. There’s a big world out there, brimming with available girls just waiting to be repelled by your social graces and rebuff your inept advances! Go bravely forth and suffer the rejection you so richly deserve!

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