A man approaches me in a dark underground bar.
One side of his face is blacked out in meandering tattoo. He has long hair and wears army pants and a trench coat. He tells me he’s an artist and asks me what I drink (raspberry and lemonade). I tell him not to buy me one, but he does anyway.
“Did you spike this?” I ask. Sitting next to me he politely explains, “No, I didn’t spike your drink. I don’t have any drugs on me, and if I did, I would have taken them myself instead of wasting them on you. However, if you want drugs, I have some back at my house. So we can go there and take them if you like.”
What a polite considerate young man! I thought, taking a confident slurp from my new raspberry and lemonade. However, I told him I don’t do drugs (he’s relieved he won’t have to share) and after a while of talking to him and looking at photos of his sculptures on his cellphone… you know he didn’t turn out to be a serial killer after all.
Second example: I’m outside a bar, the band has just finished playing (they were way too loud and sounded terrible - I love it). A guy approaches me - a little ray of death-metal sunshine - slurring drunkenly “will you go home with me?” No. “Please?” No. “Come on… (hopeful perk in voice)- I’ve got drugs at my house! What kind of drugs do you want? I have lots!” Ahh… thanks, that’s awfully kind of you, but no. “Why not?” I don’t do drugs. “Dammit… that was my best line!” That was your best pick-up line?? “Yes.” Oh man. That’s bad.
From that night on, we became amiable Saturday night acquaintances. He even got my cellphone number (in order to let me know about sweet parties and stuff) and often rang me during the early hours of the morning (in the middle of the week) to leave drunken messages on my cellphone. Actually a really nice guy.
Now you’re probably thinking, Dallas, normal people don’t hang out in the kind of punk-invested, stunt-wrecked, drink-rotted back alleys you amble into like a lamb for the slaughter. But I would like to point out that pick-up lines are practically non-existent in other popular clubs or “meat markets.”
Let me explain.
“Summer of 69” by Brian Adams has everyone up on the dance floor. Then the mood changes. Things start getting a little bit romantic… it’s the Grease Lightening Mega Mix. You’re dancing like John Travolta and Olivia Newton John have never danced before! When suddenly you feel something behind you. Somebody’s arms… and hands… and legs… and groin. This is not a pick-up line. This is first base, second base, third base, and a few new ones I didn’t even know about. In fact you’re lucky you didn’t just get pregnant. You break away from the writhing pack of beasts and make your way to a less crowded part of the bar. Here there is room to walk around freely. A guy needs to get past you, so he puts both of his hands on your hips and slides past. You look around confused. There is enough space here. Doesn’t he realise he could have just walked around me?
I prefer the kind of contact while dancing, that only occurs when a head banging rabble-rouser accidentally falls off balance and plunges into me, purely out of enjoyment for the music - no matter how terrible it is (rabble-rouser was in my thesaurus).
This is why the worst pick-up lines are the best. Because at least they give us the option to say no. Which could possibly turn into a maybe. Which one day might be a yes. And if not, well let them down gently - because to be asked at all, no matter how tragically, is much better than having your leg humped from behind to the tune of “Black Betty.”
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