NPF: SMOOTHNESS

So, I need to hear some tales of woe. More accurately I need to collect some good anecdotes for purposes that will become clear at a later date. Use that there comment button to give me your worst pickup lines or best stories of phenomenally awkward attempts at hitting on someone in a social situation. It can be something that was tried on you, something you witnessed, or something you've done (or perhaps something "this friend of yours" did. Yes, that should stick.)

The best story I can recall at the moment involves me and another member of the original Ginandtacos.com trio, Erik M., having some drinks at the Hideout in Chicago. A woman in her mid-twenties, not terribly attractive or unattractive, decided that Erik was the ideal candidate for a rapid handshake-to-intercourse transition. So she attached herself to our table and after discovering that he is pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry, she pretended to be a huge fan of biochemistry. For like 10 minutes. It was like watching an adorable puppy being run over by a car. That bad. I mean, a reasonably astute adult can fake his or her way through a number of conversations, pretending to share a generic interest with someone for the sake of being sociable. Properly motivated, I could reasonably bullshit my way through ten minutes of talk about Radiohead, for example. I detest Radiohead, but I have enough pieces of information in storage that I could say something coherent. Blah blah Kid A, blah blah OK Computer, blah blah etc etc.

People do this all the time. That said, one cannot fake being a biochemist. Especially someone of (what appeared to be) substandard intelligence and above-average levels of insanity. Needless to say, Erik derived no insights into the nature of his chosen field from this conversation. After bluntly telling her to leave us alone several times, she spent the remainder of what quickly became a depressing evening bouncing around the bar reeking of desperation.

As best I can tell, I have never been hit on (undergraduates soliciting unearned grade increases aside). As such I must rely on the tales of others with more first-hand experience. I'm sure it blows to be female and receive this kind of unwanted "attention" regularly. At the same time, my inner anthropologist would enjoy being blown away by how delusional, inept, and unintentionally hilarious people (especially dudes) can be in these situations.

Don't let me down.

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64 Responses to “NPF: SMOOTHNESS”

  1. Kevin Says:

    You don't like the Radiohead?!?! Radiohead is the best band EVA!!! You should go buy all of their records on cassette, CD, vinyl, and mp3, to experience the full blast of super happy fun goo that your ears will secrete. I AM NOT JK!

  2. beau Says:

    Kevin – Note drumming links on main page. All drummers hate radiohead. It may be due to the fact that their drummer is a human metronome who doesn't seem to sweat.

  3. BroTranslation Says:

    Dude, me and my bro Erik were at this bar in Chicago. This dumb bitch who was totally a '5' clearly wanted to do Erik. She was practically begging for it. That crazy bitch even tried to talk to Erik about shit only other BioChem grad students know about. Eric told that pathetic slut to get lost. You should have seen it. After watching that crazy whore finally leave with some loser, Eric totally did me a solid by taking me home and shoving a fist up my ass.

    Oh yeah, and Radiohead sucks.

    Go Hoosiers!

  4. Zebbidie Says:

    Goodness! Some people find it haard to forgive. Neverrtheless a pretty good effort until the self-revealing homo-erotic slur.

    We still think bros are an embarrassment to the legacy of Western Civilization. And they smell of wee.

  5. Facehammer Says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter. Hi, Ed. I have a couple of these, but one in particular really stands out. I should say that I'm a guy.

    I went to visit some of my friends from university last year, and one night we went out to a club in town. It's a real hole – sticky carpets, shite music, and it's built on a pier hanging above the sea, so on stormy nights you can feel it getting blown around.

    So we had been in this dive for a while when some quite short, quite lardy bloke with a very short haircut and one of those punk-type jackets (covered in badges and that sort of thing) walked over to me, ran his fingers through my long hair, looked me in the eye and said, "I just want to say… you're lush." I just said "Er, thanks," and went straight back to talking to my mate.

  6. HoosierPoli Says:

    Well, you're a drummer in a metal band, so your music taste is understandably crippled. I suppose I can give you a pass.

    All my pathetic romantic interactions involve me staring at a phone, wondering if I should call, and then chickening out.

  7. Jeff C. Says:

    The Eagle is a gay bar/club in Atlanta. It's a family-friendly kind of place where you can fuck on the dance floor or get blown on the darkened patio all without drawing too much attention to yourself – so long as it's after midnight on Friday or Saturday. (The Eagle is infinitely tamer during the weeknights.) It's important to note that there's a striking contrast between the near pitch-black dance floor area, and the lighted area of the main bar; social inhibitions still function at the lighted bar, but not so much on the dark dance floor, in the hallways, or on the patio.

    My awkward moment involves someone who was seemingly unaware of the above distinctions.

    On a Tuesday, a friend called me up interested in probing around The Eagle that night, where we were to meet around 10PM. I arrived about 20 minutes early and sat at the nearly empty lighted bar and engaged the bar tender in light conversation.

    Cue confused weirdo.

    A fairly attractive 30ish male seated at the far side of the bar picked up his sweet tea (the bar tender later informed me) and walked over to the empty stool next to mine and sat down. Without even exchanging smiles or a fucking hello he picked up my hand, held it, and placed our enmeshed metacarpals on his left thigh.

    Even at The Eagle this shit just doesn't happen at the bar area, especially not on a Tuesday; I was paralyzed with surprise. So I just sat there, my hand sequestered in his lap, with neither of us saying a single fucking word to each other. He just starred at the other people at the bar, occasionally glancing over to smile at me – with me sometimes returning his glance with wide-eyed dismay and an anxious grin. Mostly, though, I did everything I could to look away from him, hoping he'd just get a clue and relinquish my hand; I had never felt so uncomfortable.

    This continued for a solid 3 minutes until he abruptly freed my hand and walked back over to the far side of the bar, reclaiming his original stool.

    After briefly explaining what happened to the bar tender, I called my friend and convinced her that we should hang out at different gay bar that evening.

  8. heydave Says:

    Oh yeah, I really choose to start my day fondly recalling the times I made a fool of myself, those moments of sadness or desperation or just plain dumb that make me glad I evolved at least a teensy bit.

    Sorry, maybe later.

    Maybe some dark and stormy night.

  9. Not me, a friend Says:

    Guy thinks he's getting all the "yes" signals from a girl in a college lit. class.
    Asks her to join with him in watching the movie counterpart to a book they're reading.
    Dinner.
    Movie.
    She leans in. to say something to him.
    He leans in…"to make his move"
    The words she says: "I can't wait to tell my fiancee about this…"

    This felt severely embarrassing & awkward for *years* after. And then it dawned on…my friend…that it was actually an opening line. She'd obviously expressed interest, and was now revealing that, yes, sex was likely, but no, relationship was not.

  10. Stephen Says:

    As one of those frat boys you despise so much, most of the ones I have are from college. One of me at my lowest:

    Went to a Student Life-hosted bowling alley event, where the crowd was about half college students and half townies. Pre-gamed quite a bit beforehand, and when we got there got thrown onto a lane with some lovely single mothers out on a weeknight with their young children.

    After shamelessly hitting on them for a while, after a few rounds tried to convince them to come back with us to the fraternity house.

    Reponse:

    "Sorry, we've got to get home and get our kids in bed."

    My reply:

    "We've got beds at the house…"

    They left shortly after this exchange.

  11. Delphine Says:

    I actually had somebody try the line, "Have I slept with you already?" in a college bar. Gosh, I must have been the first girl that didn't work on—I mean, it's so charming and debonair.

  12. Steve from Canada Says:

    I used to have these great pants; they had a green and brown dog-tooth check pattern and were reasonably flattering.

    My line: Do you like my pants? It actually served as a pretty good icebreaker in several cases, but it also invited a simple but quite crushing dismissal, which I received on several occasions: No.

  13. Zach Says:

    Right after I moved to DC, an ex-gf came to town for the inauguration. She toured the National Portrait Gallery as I finished up some work nearby. Later she revealed to me that some college aged male came up to her in the middle of the presidential portrait gallery and said "if your left leg was Christmas, and your right leg was New Years, could I come visit you between the holidays?"

    She just said "excuse me?" and he ran off…

    I didn't realize people actually tried shit like that.

  14. Grumpygradstudent Says:

    In junior high, at the public pool, with a girl I had a crush on.

    Me: Do you wanna wrestle?

    Her: (Blank stare).

  15. Elder Futhark Says:

    "Hi. Do you mind if I used your bathroom? I think I've just shit my pants".

  16. Rob Says:

    For what it's worth, I'm a drummer and I thoroughly enjoy Radiohead. As any software nerd with a background in mind altering chemicals will tell you, Kid A is the perfect music to program to.
    As a software nerd, I am also well-positioned to speak about awkwardness. I am quite possibly the most awkward person on the face of the earth. I am so awkward that I'm even awkward around guys – think "I Love You, Man". Except even more awkward around women. I'm so awkward, I'll make you wonder whether the word awkward is spelled awkwardly enough to fully express the crippling level of awkwardness that I exude. I walk into the room and everyone feels embarrassed. It is that bad.
    Having said that, I don't have any stories about hitting on anyone. I usually don't talk.

  17. Undesirable Element Says:

    My friends always said, "Go ahead! Talk to the girls in the bar. What's the worst that could happen?"

    Behold! The worst case scenario.

    For the first time in my life, I pick up a girl in the bar. And I don't mean first successful attempt… I mean my first attempt at all. I leave the bar feeling pretty good. As far as I'm concerned, I'm pitching a perfect game.

    We're walking down the street toward my car (time: roughly 2am), and as the witnesses on the street report, a man suddenly stops his car in the middle of the street, leaps out, and tackles me into a wall. I lose consciousness and he proceeds to literally kick me when I'm down. I wake up a few seconds later to see a bearded frat boy yelling "What are you doing with HER!!??" I'm laying in a pool of my own blood with a gash in my head when the police officer and paramedic arrive. The woman has disappeared. My uninsured ass spends a night in the ER getting stitches, a cat scan, and an X-ray.

    Cost of picking up a woman at the bar: $3,700. At least until I utilize our city's small claims court.

    As the doctor in the ER said, "Instead of getting laid, you got laid out."

  18. Undesirable Element Says:

    Oh, I forgot a key component. In the above story, the attacker was the girl's ex-boyfriend. Somehow he'd tracked us down in the night.

  19. ladiesbane Says:

    After straight boys started showing up at the gay bars we preferred, my girlfriends and I gave up and danced at our local (the Dublin Pub in Beaverton, OR – do the Boys Next Door still play?) The worst of the weekend douchebags was a young dunce in a suit and tie who kept dancing up to me and blurting, “I’m a stockbroker!” and “I drive a Mercedes!” and “I have a Rolex!”

    I can’t be certain they were pickup lines; he sounded developmentally disabled. A decent guy I would sock in the arm and say, “I’m flattered, slugger, but no deal; better luck elsewhere” – but this dude ignored everything from polite refusals to hurled obscenities. I ditched him, but when the band was done playing, I saw him at the bar, whining that girls never talk to him. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “We do, but you ignore us.” He looked at me without recognition, paused, said, “Women are all cunts,” and fled.

  20. Andrew Says:

    I have a couple.

    So I'm drinking with some buddies and we end up at a titty bar ($2 drinks! and, you know, boobs). At some point we start talking to one of the dancers and she tells me she's a math major at UCLA. I almost have a minor in math at this point, so I get pretty stoked because I really like talking about math when I'm drunk. Much like biochem, you can't really fake being a math major, and to make it worse i'm totally enthusiastic about it and start asking her questions. This does not go well. Once it became obvious, I dropped the subject. Apparently she took a liking to me though because after I got a dance from her, she hung out with me sitting on my lap the rest of the night (no, i wasn't paying her to.) She said she was probably going to get fired that night anyway because she didn't pull in enough money most nights. She was actually a really sweet girl and getting to know her actually made the whole experience kind of sad. Titty bars and the such or only fun if you don't think. On the plus side, I definitely smelled like cotton candy perfume afterwards.

    Another good one was new years eve last year. Me and a couple friends go over to a mutual friend's house. Our friend is gay, this is important later. So it's a decent party at some art lofts and we meet the girl from next door. Really attractive blonde girl with a great personality. Kind of free wheeling like a hippie, but without the hygene problems. She makes a living building and selling custom furniture, how cool is that? My friends immediately fall in love with her and keep talking to her. Eventually, one of my friends gets her phone number. I'm pretty impressed because he's not the best looking guy in the world (great personality though) and has tendency to tell dead baby jokes.

    So he emails her a few days later to say hello and she writes him back that night. I wish I had a copy of the actual email but I'll paraphrase it. Her letter is in quotes, my zany commentary is inbetween.

    "Hey! it's great to hear from you, I had so much fun hanging out with you the other night." At this point, I'm thinking way to go man! "You should come over sometime and I can cook you dinner. We can drink wine and talk." now I'm jealous "That or you could take me out to dinner. ha ha!" that's a weird thing to say… "I was telling my friend about you…" uh oh "and HE's a really great guy and single! You guys should go out."
    Yep, she assumed we were all gay since we were at the gay party next door. I think there was more in the email after that, but the stains of my friend's tears made it unreadable.

  21. Tinamou Says:

    This one's not far enough in the past–I was at a very crowded Halloween party last year. At one point my conversational circle wound up right next to another that included this very attractive girl dressed as Little Pete, from Pete and Pete. Perfectly. She had her hair tucked up into one of those hats with earflaps, she had a plaid shirt rolled up to reveal the (fake) naked lady tattoo on her forearm, and she was complaining to her friend that everyone had been asking all night if she was a lumberjack. I turned to her and said something like "Holy shit, THAT's why that costume looked familiar!" We exchanged a few words on the details of her costume and our shared love for bizarre children's TV when we were growing up. Then, before I realized what I was saying, the words "So…is there a Big Pete around here somewhere?" came out of my mouth.

    She excused herself a moment after that.

  22. queenrandom Says:

    I have been at the receiving end of some very pathetic pick-up attempts. I shall try to keep the list to the saddest:
    -"Hey baby, you look mean. I like that." My reaction: Dude, wtf.
    -"Do you want to be my special friend for the day?" My reaction: Just a day, huh? Klassy.
    -The guy who swore he was gay to get me to dance with him, then started grinding so much it became abundantly clear that he was not.
    -The guy who spent 15 minutes of my bachelorette party trying to convince me to have one last fling and wouldn't take "no" or "I'm not a cheater" or "I love my fiance why would I do that" for an answer, then ended up getting punched by a very drunk me.
    -I was standing in line for a women's bathroom once at a bar. Woman who is very much not my type (and besides I'm married at this point) sidles up next to me, gives me the undressing with the eyes. "Hey baby, what are you doing?" My reaction: Did she just use the Joey line? Me, attempting to sound as uninterested as possible: "Um, waiting *points at line*" Her, lecherously, leaning in towards me: "Waiting for what?" Me, exasperated: "THE BATHROOM!" then I ducked in the now open stall.

  23. Nunya Says:

    The most reliable way to secure a hook-up is to keep the drinks flowing and your standards low.

  24. Awkward Librarian Says:

    Since I'm more awkward than Rob I will tell my awkward high school love story. I was a freshman, J was a sophmore. He wasn't really my type, but there was just something about him. Every morning, 2nd period, shared World History Class, I would bounce early and sit in the chair right in front of J (not my assigned seat) so that we could chat a bit–usually about some mundane thing I'd try and think up from the homework or to do with mutual friends. I thought I was being smooth and cool and not at all obvious about my interest (I was just being friendly and socialable, right?), but one of the mutual friends killed that notion with a "You know J doesn't like you, right?" If I am recalling correctly, that rhetorical question was posed in front of many other mutual friends (though at least J was not there.) I turn very very red when embarrassed. I probably looked like the G and T background right then.

    They call it a crush for a reason, and this was why I did whatever I could not to show interest in people I liked from that point on. It is somewhat amazing I ever dated at all. But, thusly, avoided most other awkwardnesses. Except a time a guy asked if he could buy me a drink and really couldn't believe it when I refused his offer. Maybe if he hadn't been wearing raybans at night at the Alley Cat in Indy I might have considered it…but he was, so I didn't.

  25. Prudence Says:

    It was Christmas bonus time a few years ago, in NYC, and I had a drunk stockbroker type grab my arse on the way to the bathroom and say, "guess how much money I just made, baby?", all I could say was, "not enough, twat face," and try not to punch him in his Brooks Bros pants.

  26. Albatross Says:

    Worst overheard pickup line: "I love your shoes. They would look great on my shoulders!"

    I was only ever approached once by a young lady. I was at a bar waiting for my girlfriend to get back from the restroom, so I probably looked safe and relaxed and not "on the prowl."

    A girl tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to dance. Only time in my life.

    So I responded with a slack-jawed "HUH?!" She vanished instantaneously.

    Meanwhile I was never so flattered in my life as when I was sitting in a cafe and a fellow sat down and started talking to me, and I realized that he was trying to pick me up. I went home and told my wife "Some guy thought I was cute!"

  27. Ed's Sister Says:

    The best I have is: one time I was driving with Sara who had a Wisconsin license plate on her car at the time. This guy came up to the window and said "I thought only fat chicks came from Wisconsin." I was disgusted but she thought it was kind of funny. We drove away.

  28. Joanna Says:

    Standing at hotel bar:
    Dude: "Hey, wanna come up to my room with me and my buddies?"
    Me: "No thanks."
    Dude: "Why not?"
    Me: "I'm just leaving."
    Dude: "What? You don't like to have fun? What, are you gonna go sit in your room and, like, read a NOVEL or something? Are you gonna read a NOVEL and, like, not party at all?"
    Me: "Actually I'm a graduate student in American literature, so maybe I will. Please get out of my face."
    Dude: [begins to yell at me semi-incoherently as I back away, calls me a tight-ass, etc.]

    This is the angriest I've ever seen a guy get at being turned down. My best guess is maybe he was recently dumped by an English major, or he is dick-shrinkingly furious at the idea that somewhere, someplace, a woman is reading and there's nothing he can do to stop it.

  29. cerb Says:

    I was in Berlin for three days when I was a student in Germany and really had nothing to do one night. A lot of the people at my hostel were going out on some bar crawl, so I figured I'd tag along and make some new friends. As expected the bar crawl is pretty awful but the drinks were fairly cheap (it is Berlin after all). I got to talking to this girl from New Zealand who was pretty nerdy and attractive. We talked a bunch going from bar to bar and things were going pretty well. Both of us are sloshed at around 1 AM and she decides she wants to head back to the hostel. I accompany her and she doesn't object. Taking maybe five steps from the bar she stops and then vomits. Partially on my shoes. She definitely had rice for dinner.

    I walked her home and promptly fell asleep. Shudder.

  30. Erin Says:

    I don't know if this qualifies: Years ago, I was just hanging around my favorite dive bar and started chatting with this girl that I had a thing for since high school; a total Irish Princess (imagine a shorter version of Jennifer Connelly in Career Opportunites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOmjVez0iRQ ). We talked for about three or four hours about nothing in particular until she had to go.

    I saw her a couple days later and thanked her for the great time I had. She got a confused look on her face and said, "When?". It wouldn't have been so bad but it was in a public place, people overheard her shank me and I started stammering when and where and blahblahblah.

    Does this count?

  31. mothra Says:

    Okay: This will top all others. I was out for a happy hour session with friends, oh, about 15 years ago, or so. We were chatting up (and being chatted up by) a few young men who seemed fairly decent. One singled me out and we were having what seemed to be a pretty good conversation until he asked me if I would let him shave my pubic hair. I was so shocked I didn't quite know how to react–I kind of stuttered that I didn't want it shaved and then he plowed on ahead and asked me if he could at least look at it. I then walked away. Honestly, I felt a little violated and like maybe he was mocking me in some way. Whatever the case, he definitely DID NOT score that night. Not with me, anyway.

  32. mothra Says:

    Oh, wait, I remembered another one! When I was 13, a guy who went to my church gave me a ride home from the youth group meeting. He was 14 and got his license early due to some ridiculous exemption in the law. Anyway, we got about 4 blocks from my house and he pulled over to the curb and parked. I wondered what on earth he was doing. He then swung his arm to the back of the car seat (a bench seat), scooched over and in his smoothest best, said "Have you ever been kissed?" I said "No." And he said "How would you like me to be your first?" I thought about it a minute and said "Nah, I don't think so." Whoom–down came the arm and he slid back to the driver's side so fast I thought he was going to fly out the door. He treated me cooly ever after that. Hilarious. For me, anyway. I didn't want to kiss him–it would be like kissing my brother! Of course he turned into this desireable jock and became a doctor…

  33. Natalie Says:

    I, like Mothra, had the same "first kiss" type encounter with a guy when I was 15. I had not, in fact, kissed anyone yet and the date was a total set up. His actual line was, "Do you want me to teach you?" And I agreed because, well, I was 15 and he was sort of cute and I wanted to make out with someone.

    Other awesome lines:
    (After getting a ride home after attending 3-4 of the same monthly meetings with a random guy from high school): Me: So that was a nice meeting. Him: Yeah…*attempts to grab my breast* Do you want to have sex with me? Me: Uhhh….no? Fuck off. *awkward silence for the rest of the ride home*

  34. namechangedtoprotecttheinnocent Says:

    This may not be exactly what your after, but it's pretty close. Certainly a tale of dating woe, and there is a stinging rejection involved. Also, pant shitting. You'll just have to take my word that it's real, and not something from an Apatow film.

    A hetero male friend of mine is out on a date with a friend of a friend, they've met a few times, so while it's technically a first date it's not like they are strangers.

    It is going well. Unfortunately, he has chosen poorly at dinner. Right about the time his lovely date suggests they go back to his place, his stomach (or something in that region) suggests that HE go back to his place. ALONE. And QUICKLY.

    So he tries the chivalrous, let's-not-rush-this route. a masterstroke, no?

    No. She is charmed by his coyness, and turns on the seduction thing.

    He resists.

    She persists. Keep in mind, this is an attractive girl he has had a good time with. He is no longer having a good time.

    Still, he resists. As he, alas, must.

    She insists. Again – attractive, lovely girl. It can be safely assumed she is not often turned down.

    He resists. Refusing to explain why. In his words – 'How do you tell someone that while you'd like to go home with them, you are afraid you will defecate all over the both of you?'

    He said 'defecate', yes. I tried not to laugh. I failed.

    Cue her meltdown. Understandable, given his baffling refusal to take a beautiful woman home, but no less terrifying for that. To his ongoing shame, he flees, leaving her shouting after him as he races the clock back to his apartment (close by, fortunately).

    After a storm of abusive calls, he turns off his phone. He deletes her messages without listening to them. Soon afterward, he moves interstate. Never sees her again.

  35. va Says:

    1. In Galway with a female friend on Paddy's Day: she reports that she was approached by no less than four men, all claiming to be gynecologists. This was apparently supposed to make her think sexy thoughts, and forget all about cold medical instruments.

    2. For a while in my early 20s, I thought it was funny to approach women with the line, "What do you think about Sartre's theory that we're all impersonating an identity?" It's a line from Thomas Pynchon's novel V., and it's uttered by an incredibly drunk character named Pig Bodine. No one ever thought it was as funny as I did.

  36. va Says:

    Oh! Another one. I once offered a woman, a friend of a friend, "my right arm" if she would come home with me. She declined at the time, but later expressed interest.

  37. SaraNoH Says:

    Ed, I ran into ginandtacos again after…many, many years as a result of a google search involving baby boomers and rage. I loved your rant and remember you hazily but fondly from the Midwestern school you attended.
    I have a good one that occurred at Jiffy Lube. The guy who was handling the lube job (on my car) had 15 teeth at most. He was flirting wildly with me, complimenting my hair, etc. Eventually he sort of puffed his chest out and said "Y'know I don't want to work at Jiffy Lube my whole life. I'm gonna go to welding school!" and then flashed me the 15 dirty teeth. It was adorable….but not fuckable.

  38. ZenPoseur Says:

    Oh! Oh! I win! I win! I don't really even have to read the rest of ya'lls stories, because I win. I'd like to thank the losers, etc. etc.

    Now, I'm not the type that usually gets hit on. Maybe I exude too much confidence, maybe it's that I talk too much, or maybe it's the ugliness thing. Hard to say, really. But I think I've been hit on a grand total of, like, six times in my life.

    Four of them were by used car salesmen, all in one night.

    Here's how it went down: My uncle the used car manager throws a party for his family and employees. His youngest salesman — who appears to be approximately eight or nine years old — takes a liking to me and tries to fake an interest in neurobiology to impress me. Which is extra sad, because I'm not even a neurobiologist. I'm a molecular biologist who works (at the time) in a neurobiology lab. That confused him, so I think he defaulted to the field with fewer letters in the name. Pretty standard fare, so far.

    Now, I remind you that I almost never get hit on. But you must also consider how competitive used car salesmen are. Pretty soon, I attract the attention of the most senior salesman, who comes over and tries to one-up the junior guy. He demonstrates how he's survived in his industry so long by cutting right to the chase and offering me drugs.

    Cocaine, actually. I decline but, without missing a beat, he goes right into his pitch. Cocaine is what made him the man he is today (no shit.) "You don't make it long in this business unless you've got an edge." "When you see a customer you gotta be, WHAM! Right there on them!" "I was on the lot the other day and Mike there asks me, 'Jeb', he asks me, 'you're a big guy. How come you get out here so fast when there's a customer?' I say, 'Follow me!' and I turn around and go right for the bathroom. I don't even look to see if he's following me! Just, WHAM! Right to the bathroom. I set him up three lines of coke right there. Just, WHAM! Three lines of coke, right there! WHAM!"

    So, you know, THAT happened.

    Mr. Three Lines of Coke gets his mack totally cockblocked when HIS WIFE arrives to pick him up. Let me repeat that: His attempts to seduce me are interrupted when his wife arrives to pick him up. HIS FREAKING WIFE. To PICK HIM UP. Apparently, Mr. Three Lines of Coke and his wife have a relationship not unlike that of a JV soccer player and his mom.

    And then my uncle asks me to drive another of his drunk-ass salesmen home. The guy has had one DUI too many and doesn't have a license anymore. So I drive him home, pull into his driveway, and he will not get out of the goddamn car. He just sits there, trying to keep a conversation going, after I tell him "well, it's been fun" like a dozen times. Finally, he stops beating around the bush and asks me in.

    I look at him ironically and ask, "What, for coffee?"

    And he looks at me, and tilts his head like a confused dog, and says, "No, so we can hook up. I thought you wanted to hook up with me."

    About five seconds later he's standing alone on his driveway and I'm driving away, cackling.

    And for some reason, I drive back to the party. I don't know why I didn't go straight home. Maybe I figured the worst had to be over. Maybe it was fate. I don't know. But I went back.

    And as soon as I walk in the door, the most thoroughly pathetic and wretched of my uncle's salesmen cries out in a drunken yowl, "There she is!"

    I kind of remember this guy from before. He was talking about his trailer, which is out in some rural marshy area somewhere because he can't afford the lot rent at a trailer park anymore. He went on about how he had to pile junk (old doors and suchlike) up to make a dry path so he can get back and forth to his car without tracking mud everywhere. He's worried that the trailer has sunk so far that he won't be able to get it out again, once he has the money to put it back in the trailer park.

    He drapes his arm around my shoulders while I look at him, bewildered. Apparently he thinks that we were really hitting it off before, and wants to start right where we left off. He hasn't sold a car in over a month, he says. He doesn't have electricity. I dare not ask about plumbing, and he doesn't volunteer anything.

    And then, out of freaking nowhere, HE PROPOSES MARRIAGE. I shit you not. The man droops down (in lieu of getting on one knee, which he probably doesn't have the coordination to handle, at this point) hangs off of my neck as he looks me in the eye, and says, "You know what, we oughta get married!"

    I am completely dumbstruck, for perhaps the first time in my life. I have no idea what to say. I search his expression for any sign that this might be a joke. I see only complete, total (albeit shitfaced drunk) earnestness.

    I look up and see my uncle, looking thoroughly pissed, and staring back at me. Mr. Shitfaced turns and looks at him, then laughs and says, "Hey Phil! I love her! We're getting married!"

    My uncle looks at him coolly and says, "You're fired. Get the hell out of here."

    There's some begging and some pleading, and then some arguing, but Mr. Shitfaced is soon ejected. And in the serenely nervous, total silence that follows, my uncle mistakes my shellshocked expression for some kind of sympathy, puts his hand on my shoulder, and says, "You know, don't worry about it. I was looking for a reason to can his ass anyway."

    All in all, it was one of my family's better Christmas parties.

  39. CaptBackslap Says:

    I was at some tourist bar in Ocean City, MD a few years back, and a very drunk girl walked up to me and said, "you need to just show it, right now!" and made a pulling-fabric motion with her hand. I pointed out that doing so would mean getting thrown out, and chatted idly with her for a couple minutes until her friends grabbed her. She was cute, but much too drunk, alas.

  40. Brok Says:

    The best pick-up line I ever attempted was also my first/last, for various reasons…

    She was standing against the wall. I'd seen her a few minutes before and was floored. Not because she was so beautiful or so… anything… but because she didn't have to be. She was perfect. Which meant, of course, I was going to ignore her until we both moved on with our lives outside of the stupid house party we were at.

    I was slightly drunk, which made the next part not only the most rational decision I've ever made, but much easier to do without pissing myself.

    I walked up to her and said, point-blank: "How drunk do you have to be for you and I to have non-committal, non-emotional, non-relationship based sex?"

    I don't know why I said that. But there I was, Prime-goofball Number One finally growing a set of steel balls and trying to hit on a girl I had no business talking to. She could've stabbed me and it would've been completely warranted and applauded. Instead, she replied: "Right now?"

    At that moment, I forgot there were other people in the room. I forgot I existed, instead rushing through the drunken-haze memory of the layout of the house, trying to remember where the bedrooms were, because, Ed, THAT SHIT WORKED… until my friend Jose unintentionally pulled off the most epic cock-block in my short-lived pick-up artist streak by laughing his ass off, and making things just a little too real.

    Later that night, hammered and alone, I saw a friend of mine emerge from the bedroom I'd forgotten was right around the corner.

  41. Alex Says:

    So, when I was in high school, I ended up in a lot of situations where I was in a group with a few people I knew, but more that I didn't. On one of these such occasions, I saw a girl who I found very cute and had yet to be hit on. I walk over to her and try to find things about her I can pick on, because that's how high-school-me flirted. I see that she's decided not to eat the cookies laid out for everyone and that, for some reason, she appears to be wearing a pager.

    Me: "Hi. I'm Alex."

    Her: "Hi, I'm [don't remember]"

    Me: "I see you're not eating cookies. Is it because you think you're fat?" (Napoleon Dynamite)

    Her: "Ha, no. Just not hungry, I guess."

    Me: "Or did someone page you that the cookies were no good?"

    Her: "That actually gives me my insulin. I'm diabetic."

    It went downhill from there.

  42. Elle Says:

    The most recent.

    I was following my friends out of a bar at a bit of a distance, as we'd been separated in the crowd:

    Him (incredibly drunk, borderline hostile, and standing in a knot with three other incredibly drunk guys): Do you *have* to wear glasses to see?

    Me (warily, with a smile, playing the percentages of getting out of there without being called an uppity bitch): Yes.

    Him (slurring, and leaning way too close): They're really nice glasses.

    Me (relieved): Thanks.

    ***

    The creepiest.

    Going to an annual dinner and drinks that my father's company had for its partners and their families, aged 12.

    Him (stroking my hair with the sketchiest look on his face): You have the loveliest hair.

    Me (paralysed, realising that the look he was giving me meant he wanted to fuck me): Thanks.

    ***

    The most annoying. (Which happens *endlessly*)

    I'm sharing a bottle of wine with a girlfriend at an enormous table.

    Him: Do you mind if I sit here?

    Us: No. (Meaning, of course, yes.)

    Him: (Makes bizarre fact-free assertion about my field of work.)

    Friend: She works in X field.

    Him: Oh really? You'll know I'm right then.

    Me: Well, there's also Y, but I know that there's a lot of people who would agree with you.

    Him (aggressive): Well, I don't know about Y. (Repeats bullshit assertion ad nauseum).

    Friend (trying to change subject): We were actually talking about Z before you arrived.

    Me: Yes, Z.

    Him: I know all about Z.

    He doesn't, and is now trying to grab my friend's knee. We finish our drinks faster than we had planned and leave.

  43. Z Says:

    I was at a bar with my younger sister. I'm white, she's black (adopted). I hadn't seen her in a while and spot her on the floor, we run up and give each other a big hug.

    Her friend, cute I must admit, saunters up to me and says "Where's MY hug?" She clearly does not realize that I just hugged the girl I just hugged because she is my sister.

    So, to recap:
    Her: Where's MY hug?
    Me: [Complete bewilderment.]

    Luckily, while it felt like ten years, I recovered in a couple of seconds and had a very satisfying hug with her as well. Someone brought her up to speed a little later, and I'm sorry I wasn't there to see the look on her face.

  44. Rene Says:

    I became an instant fan after I StumbledUpon the Fuck Ayn Rand post. I became an uber fan after spelunking through some archives and started keeping up with new posts. This latest admission of Radiohead hatred has officially bumped me up to rabid fan. You're one witty quip away from having a groupie.

    So, uh. Hey baby, what's your sign?

  45. Macattaq Says:

    So, I was working at an adult shop a few years ago. A bride-to-be comes in with her bachelorette party, and they do the usual tour the store, laugh, giggle, and buy random cheap gifts. So they check out, then the bachelorette comes back up the register, plops down a vibrator, and says, "I'm getting married tomorrow, and I just need to have some chocolate before the ceremony." Gives me the big doe eyes, and come hither look. (I'm black, btw). I blinked once and said, "If you go down the street to Godiva, they've got all the chocolate you can want."

  46. Dave Says:

    So I was on the chess team in high school. Yeah, it was awesome. Got to take days off school for tournaments, and loads of chicks. Well, one of those. Anyways, at one of those tournaments, the freshman girl on our team was set upon by a guy who was even uglier than me. (Dave at 17 = pretty ugly.) So, while he kept trying to strike up a conversation, and she sat there trying desperately to not crack up, I went around the table, put my arm around her, and said "There a problem, honey?" Dude dispersed, she said "Thank you", and I barely spoke to her again. The end.

  47. JKP Says:

    I was at a cafe in Atlanta with my friends Nick and someone I'll call Awkward Guy to protect his identity. We had a cute waitress with a foreign accent. Awkward Guy told the waitress that he could guess where she was from by asking her to say the phrase, "Can of Tuna." She politely played along. Nick and I thought this would be a brief, one-off, maybe even slightly endearing flirting fail. We thought he would stop at 1 or 2 wrong guesses…but, Awkward Guy proceeded to guess around 14 different countries from Poland, to Sweden, to Belarus, as Nick and I looked on in absolute horror. It was kind of like the scene in Being John Malkovich when John Cusack tries to guess Katherine Keener's name, except not funny. I wanted to just say stop, but I thought for sure each guess had to be the last one. God bless her…she hung in there with it…but her polite laugh was audibly less amused with each guess. Turns out she was from Germany.

  48. JKP Says:

    Oh, and then there was the time I was in middle-school. There was a dance-club that opened up on Sunday afternoons for all ages. I was there with some friends, pretending to smoke to look cool, and the girl that I was hitting it off with told me that she didn't date smokers. If I wasn't completely scared of girls to begin with, and I was my smooth self that I am now, I would have thrown the cigarette away and said something like, "Good…I was just pretending, anyway." But, instead I completely froze up, and the conversation never really started up again.

  49. Doctrix Ivy Says:

    A couple of years ago I went to a small, boutique-y biology conference in a small New England college town. The conference festivities ended about 9:30 p.m., but two of the male attendees (we'll call them "Bob" and "Tim"), the female dean of a prestigious private college who has many other accolades to her name (we'll call her "Sally"), and I wanted to see what nightlife the town had to offer. So we went bar hopping in the cute downtown area, with "Bob" driving. "Sally" had **a lot** to drink, and by the time we were leaving the first bar, she was having trouble keeping track of her glasses, jacket, purse, etc. By the time we left the second bar, she was having problems standing up. So I held on to her jacket, purse, and glasses, and put my arm around her shoulders to help steady her as we walked back to "Bob's" car.

    "Sally" and I both then sat in the back of "Bob's" tiny hatchback, while "Bob" drove and long-legged "Tim" very reasonably rode shotgun.

    "I really appreciate your helping me," a drunken "Sally" slurred, petting my upper thigh.

    "Uh, no problem," I replied, remembering thankfully that we were in a very small town, and the hotel where we all were staying couldn't be more than five minutes away.

    "Hey, do any of youse guys remember what street we had to take a left on to get back?" "Bob" called from the front seat. I realized we were on a road that dead-ended at a cemetery, and that "Bob" was now making a U-turn on that narrow road.

    Meanwhile, "Sally" had started stroking the back of my neck. "You have beautiful hair," she said, running her fingers through it. I inched further away from her, but noted that the backseat of a hatchback is pretty small. I pointed out to "Sally" that I was married.

    "I don't mind that," she replied, pushing her fingertips under the hem of my skirt. "Does your husband appreciate how hot you are?"

    In the front seat, "Bob" and "Tim" obliviously discussed basketball, a conversation also occasionally punctuated by "Bob" cursing about how "none of the motherfucking streets go through in these shitty small towns."

    About 30 minutes later, "Bob" had found our way back to the motel. "Sally" sloppily kissed me as I pulled myself out of the back seat of the car.

    I teach a course in a field in which "Sally" is an expert, and every year I am sent a desk copy of the new edition of the textbook she authored by her publisher in the hopes that I'll adopt it for my class. So, while I haven't really seen "Sally" again since that conference, every spring when the review copies of textbooks come in, and I am stressed about grading and finals and end-of-the-year evaluations, I am reminded that, at least according to a college dean who has published about a million papers, I have pretty hair.

  50. Still Single Says:

    Me: Is your name Campbell's? Because I want to slurp up your fluids.

    Her: (kept walking)

    A girl once came up to me, stared me in the eye and said, "I just love giving head." It was surprisingly unawesome. I was a pledge at the time (I bet you guessed I went Greek after reading my first story) and needed to carry cigarettes for the actives. I immediately lit up (I don't smoke) and stared right back until she left.

    Then there was the time I was introduced to a girl named Farren. I immediately said, "is that spelled like faggot, but with rren instead of ggot?"

    My cousin and I went to Scotty's. He kept creepily staring at ut waitress and asked me if he should ask for her number. To embarrass him, I told her that he would like her number. She replied, "I don't have a phone." However, when I started laughing and asked if she honestly said that, she said "I said I have a boyfriend." Our drunk asses gave her the benefit of the doubt because who the hell says they don't have a phone? A week later my roommate told me he overheard a blonde girl tell her friend that two creepy guys asked for her number and that she said she doesn't have a phone.

  51. 10thgrade Says:

    A friend of mine wanted to be ironic by giving a "Will you go out with me? Check one: Yes/No/Maybe" note to a girl he had been flirting with for several months. Turns out, she didn't get the irony and he was typically conflict-averse anyway, and it was just as awkward as it would have been if he wasn't joking. They never went out.

  52. RosaLux Says:

    Why is it that failure is so much more sublime than success?

    I don't have a story this thread reminded me of something Woody Allen once said:

    "Some men are heterosexual. Some men are homosexual. And some men don't think about sex at all. They become lawyers."

  53. RosaLux Says:

    For Christ's sake, when has a "pick-up line" ever worked? They're so lame. They're like Zen: once you begin to say it, you've already lost the way.

    Why is it that most men think of flirting as alchemy, a matter of uttering just the right magical words. Like they're transmuting lead to gold or some shit like that? The best advice to a guy who want to pick up a woman is to confidently walk up to her, have a spontaneous conversation and not act like a douchebag.

  54. Eric Says:

    I read all of these stories, terrified that I might recognize myself in them somewhere.

    Not that small of a world yet.

  55. Steve from Canada Says:

    Rosalux, you're surely right that no "pick-up line" will have a magical effect and do all the work, but one needs *something* to say when one walks up to someone one has never met and has no real business addressing. It's better if that something is interesting, provocative, or funny rather than otherwise.

    I was drinking with a female classmate in law school, and once we'd established that we were drinking, not flirting, she asked me what I would say if I were hitting on someone. I said that I would just walk up and say, "Hi, my name is Steve." She scoffed and replied, "You can't just walk up and say, 'Hi my name is Steve.' You just give up all your game if you walk up like that. Who cares what your name is? You've got to walk up with something that catches her attention." I think that's the best, most straightforward advice I've ever received with respect to hitting on women.

  56. Ike Says:

    (Me, monstrously drunk) "Hey, how old are you!?!"
    (She, cleaning up the salad bar on the other side of the restaurant.) "17 but my birthday is next month."
    I hurriedly finished my drink and got the hell away from that piece of trouble.

  57. azzura Says:

    I suppose this isn't, like, hideously awful, but this stuff weirds me out every time it happens. The most recent time, I was standing waiting for a friend to pick me up from the metro, listening to my ipod, pretty absorbed in my own stuff… And this middle-aged guy came up to me and started gesturing. I took my headphones off, and he goes, "I just have to tell you, I've been watching you for some time and you're a very beautiful lady."

    So, of course, now I'm thinking, "You've been WHAT?" but being conflict-averse, I smile and say "Thank you," and hope he will leave.

    No such luck.

    "So…" He leans over, apparently checking my hand. "Not married? Don't worry, you won't be for long… Your boyfriend will be giving you a ring real soon!"

    I almost — ALMOST — blurted out that I didn't have a boyfriend (I'm quite happy with my girlfriend, thanks) but self-preservation dawned. "He'd better."

    On the other hand, this guy was still better than the one who stopped me and a (male) friend in downtown DC, asked us for change, and then proceeded to get my friend into a whole conversation about how beautiful I was and were we a couple?

  58. kathequa Says:

    I was at a party and met this guy. We hit it off and decided to leave. He had come with his friends so he didn't have a car. I drove. After a few minutes driving, he asks me to pull over. He then asks if I mind if he shoots up. A bit surprised, I said no and I watched him pull out a spoon, cook some crack, tie off his arm, shoot up, and then I dropped him off and I went home. Interesting to say the least. Don't know if that's what you are looking for.
    Worst pick up line used on me – Are those space pants, cuz your ass is out of this world?

  59. Simply Sutton Says:

    #1. "Would you be offended if I said I'd like to fuck you?"
    #2. "What's your sign?"
    #3. "Would you like to come up to my [dorm] room and see my etchings?"
    #4. "Have you ever tried crossing over?" (Black adult male to me, White teen)

  60. Anonemouse Says:

    A couple years ago my girlfriends and I were in Chicago having a grand time, when one guy comes up to my friend, puts his arm around her, and says, "you have the perfect body. Well. Maybe a little backfat."

    We made him buy us drinks all night to atone.

  61. Peggy Says:

    me: [knitting]
    him: That's some nice knitting you've got there.
    me: ?!?!?!
    him: Bet your boyfriend likes it when you knit things for him.
    me: [thinking, he can't POSSIBLY be hitting on my via my knitting…. right??] Uh, I don't have a boyfriend.
    him: O RLY! I'm an awesome boyfriend. Girls tell me all the time how awesome a boyfriend I am. I love to shower people with attention. I sent flowers to my last girlfriend in the middle of her giant lecture class and everybody was SO jealous.
    me: [mesmerized, like the prey of a boa constrictor] That sounds really really annoying and embarrassing for her.
    him: What, you don't like flowers?
    me: …?
    him: What DO you like? Teddy bears?? I'll get you a teddy bear that's five feet tall!
    me: …

    I should've said that I liked money, but my wits had failed me (tragically). He didn't ever get me a teddy bear, but he DID stalk me via the dorm's front desk, call my room and try to ask me out some more, get blown off multiple times, and then insist on buying me lunch one time when I ran into him the student union ("I can lift my current girlfriend with only my pinkie finger. I bought her $2,000 worth of chocolate from Sweeden [sic] for Valentine's day."). I let him buy me a kids' meal at the Burger King, but I ordered it to go and ran away with it.

    He lives in infamy, known to my friends as Knitting Boy. I'm sure there was more crazy stuff involved that I have since forgotten about.

    The most embarrassing time I tried to hit on someone else was when I went to umpteen frat parties and cock-rock shows over a two year period, including the time I drove for an hour to hear his band dedicate "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" to me ON VALENTINE'S DAY… and then got a hug and a declaration that I was "SUCH a good friend."

    The best time I got picked up was the time that a (British, while I was in London) man asked if he could buy me a drink, then turned before ordering it at the bar and demanded that I name the Prime Minister before he'd buy it for me. Two thumbs up for guys with high standards!

  62. Ashley Says:

    I attract creeps.

    1. "Hey, I like your shirt!" (it was a white tank top)
    2. "What time is it?" (I turned around to tell him, and he had his penis out, and was stroking it as he gazed at me sultrily….this happened on the street at 2pm)
    3. "Hey, what's wrong with your hand?!?! {Panicked, I check my hand to find there's nothing wrong with it} ….There's no ring on it!"
    4. "Damn girl, you got a big ass! Can I touch it?"
    5. "Have you ever been to [bar across street]? No? Well, I just got kicked out of there…for building a wall." {proceeds to mime wall-building for an uncomfortable amount of time}
    6. "You're a trifecta!! You're nice, you weigh less than 300 pounds, AND you have all of your teeth!!"
    7. "Want to get a six-pack, get out of here, and go shoot some rats at the junk yard?"
    8. And, my perennial favorite: "Does the carpet match the curtains??" (I have red hair)

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