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Ladyman (Bad Lines: Part Four)

March 27, 2009


Lunchbreak. Walking through the concourse below my office building. Always a cast of skeezy characters loitering, but this guy, I didn’t smell him coming. He was swaggering in a mildly idiotic way–he’s King of the World, a true man among lesser men. A gift that ladies should be so lucky to unwrap. Ugh. Veering a little closer, he tosses me a line, casual and suave:

“You’re a good looking lady, man.”

Pardon me?!

As in, I am an attractive transvestite? Take a look–no Adam’s apple bobs behind my scarf. Or, I’m an effeminate guy? Ok, my chest is modestly endowed but I hardly look like a dude. Or, is this just very bad diction, a vocal tick, “man” tacked onto the end of each sentence? It’s all in the inflection.

A girlfriend once told me the thing she loves most about New York is the way men compliment her like they are simply delivering a public service. Like she ought to know she looks fine and it’s their duty to keep her informed. No lewdness, no propositions, no attempts to get her number. Just a man telling her that today, she looks quite pretty, then carrying on his way.

In contrast, we agreed, Toronto men tend to the other extreme–shouting through car windows as they speed past, “heeeeyyyyy babyyyy wanna fuuuuuuuck?” Sucking their teeth, staring and nodding like they’re sizing up horses at the track. Pick-up lines that sound like subliterate text messages said aloud: “Baby U R hott 4 real.”

Of course, these are both grand generalisations. I’ve been hit on by more than a few unclassy New Yorkers, and captivated by my share of men here at home. Really, it’s all in the delivery–there’s no such thing as a good pick-up line; its success lies in how the line comes across. Now and then, someone cute saying something stupid can work like a charm, if he says it just so.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Carrie permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:36 am

    Yes, there is something to be said about the stupid line at the right time. That is, until the summer is waning and that bad line has stretched its length and it is just time to move move move on.

    Don’t ever let mr. bad line, however serendipitous have his own key.

    (my verification word is “refundu.” Exactly.)

  2. Amanda permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:38 am

    Excellent lesson:

    1. never let Bad Line Dude have his own key.

    Good observation:

    1. so right–when summer ends and a long winter of snuggling etc lies ahead, only the best and brightest should be kept on; Bad Line Dudes get dismissed as they are in danger of overstaying their welcome.

    Refundo. Check.

  3. brokenengine permalink
    April 3, 2009 11:55 pm

    Permit me to apologize on behalf of the more enlightened of my gender. Personally, I’ve always been baffled by the car yell gambit. Has this ever worked, ever? I mean, outside of a trailer park, or Jarvis st. at 1am.

  4. Amanda permalink
    April 4, 2009 12:02 am

    Heck, I once had a guy passed out on the sidewalk on Queen St near Jarvis try to pick me up while I waited for the traffic light to change. I think, really, some men aren’t above trying *any* tactic…

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