Could You Help Me?
Part Two: a very special dating brochure fell into my hands, and it was just too good to keep to myself.
Yesterday, we learned that according to “How You Can Pick Up & Turn On Girls”, the city is an orchard with ripe ladies dangling, waiting to be plucked from bars, library carrels, sidewalks and community dance halls. But how to score? Sadly, it is not as simple as reaching up and yanking an apple from a branch. Oh no; ladies require a more delicate, calculating touch. For instance:
COULD YOU HELP ME:
“Could you help me?” That’s right, this is the best opening line for your next conversation with the girl you want to pick up. It is the best I’ve found after years of trying almost every other opening line or approach that has been used in our society. Immediately as soon as you approach anybody and say “Can you help me?” it triggers the inner desire by one human being to help or assist another.
The proof that the opening approach “can you help me?” does work is, let’s assume someone wants your attention, what is the best thing they can say to get your undivided attention? It has to be “can you help me?” You have to stop what you are doing and concentrate on what someone else is going to ask you. In most cases, you assume the person asking this question is lost or is confused and your inner instincts will automatically say this is another human to whom I can be of assistance.”
So, then, the best way to pick up a woman is by preying upon her innate empathy and desire to assist other humans who may be lost or confused, possibly in trouble. Presumably, one should use a modulated tone rather than shouting, waving arms and hands, creating a scene or suggesting a state of emergency. The brochure doesn’t address the finer points of delivering this fool-proof line, but perhaps it should. I would imagine most of the dudes who ordered this thing through the post were dealing with not only singlehood and bad luck scoring dates, and most would benefit from explicit guidance in the body language and voice modulation department. No sweaty palms, for example, and no close-talking. Also, no leering, or clenching then uncleanching your fingers as you anxiously await the girl’s reply.
And, no asking “can you help me?” late at night on dark streets. Then again, the brochure was drafted in the same era as the “nice girls don’t walk alone at night, and the ones that do are asking for it” defence. So, chances are, its author(s) were taking it for granted that only girls walking alone in broad daylight or standing alone in sanctioned, respectable nigthclubs are being approached and “picked up” by the brochure’s readers.
And what about accidentally asking “can you help me?” in a gay way? Like, if you sincerely need to ask for help. If the brochure is to be believed, this perfect pick-up line appeals to all humans, and it follows that anytime a dude asks another dude for help, he’s running the risk of finding himself on a date. Oh, hang on…not only were those the “she asked for it” days, they were also the days when real men didn’t need to ask for things like help or directions, at least not from other men. But women, those delicate flowers, were easily swayed by a human in need of assistance. Let’s see where the line takes us, once we lay it on a lady and she responds:
“They will immediately stop whatever they are doing and concentrate on your question. Of course you have to have a follow-up question: for example, “Could you tell me where the public library is?” She will stop what she is doing and attempt to direct you to some street address, and give you directions to the library. As she is doing this, you have time to check over her features and physical dimensions because really you don’t give a damn where the library is.”
I must admit, I love the overly formal and yet slightly moronic tone used throughout the brochure. The stilted, formal construction paired with what is in fact wretched grammar and a terrible command of English. And the bit about the “public library” reminds me of a conversation I had with my friend R. where I mentioned having eaten an entire bag of potato chips the night before. Something I never do. “Yeah, I can tell,” R. replied, “because the only person who calls them potato chips is a person who never eats them!” Potato chips. Television programme. Public library. Uptight and overly formal, like continuing to call your friend’s parents Mr. and Mrs. Smith long after they insist Bob and Joan will do just fine. Definite tells that the person speaking is barely familiar with the thing about which they’re speaking. And, a dead give-away that this man on the sidewalk in need of help “doesn’t give a damn where the library is.” Potato chips. Public library.
The brochure belabours the pick-up line for another three pages, suggesting a man prepare himself with some effortless topics through which he can guide their conversation in a natural fashion. Once he learns, for example, the route to the public library, he could tell the woman how he’s heading there to check out some books on astrology, which opens things up to asking her sign, and of course, ladies just love to talk star signs! This gets the woman talking about herself (another thing women love), and “if you possess some awareness about the subject of astrology, she will want to linger by your side a little longer.”
The man will have now “created a certain amount of interest with her towards himself” and can quickly suggest that they talk about this further over coffee right now (because, really, where would a girl be going all on her own? probably just to the shops to look at pretty clothes, and that can wait till another day). Then, once he secures a coffee date, the man can take her arm and gently guide her to a local coffee shop.
The brochure makes allowances for women actually having business of some sort to attend to, and advises that if she refuses to join the man for coffee, he should simply pull out a paper and pencil (which the brochure suggests keeping at the ready) and ask for her telephone number in order that they might meet later and continue this discussion.
According to the brochure, ask for help then bring up star signs and “You can’t miss!”
Tomorrow–what to do next, now that you’ve scored a date.