I have a confession to make. Ready? Okay, so, for me, there are very few things in life more satisfying than being able to call out a guy who is attempting to hit on me using the techniques from The Game. For those of you who don't know what The Game is, let me enlighten you. It's a book that tells men how to pick up women, and it's written by this guy:
Somehow, this dude, Neil Strauss*, also known as "Style," magically transformed himself from a d-bag who can't get women to a d-bag who wrote a wildly successful manual on picking up women. This book is so ubiquitous that it inspired a TV show, The Pickup Artist, as well as seminars attended by scores of desperate dudes who want to know the secrets to picking up chicks. Girls, I guarantee that every guy you know has read it and has used it. Guys, we're onto you.
Now, there have been plenty of articles written about the phenomenon of The Game and the so-called Mystery Method of seduction. But I am just going to give you the basic outline so that you, the reader, can identify/mock The Game technique when you see it in action. It's fun, trust me. The technique proceeds in three basic steps:
1. Peacocking: this refers to the practice of wearing a ridiculous and attention-catching outfit, like a white fedora and a mustard-colored bomber jacket, or a string tie and a mink stole. Case in point: Mystery, star of The Pickup Artist.
I mean, what girl wouldn't want to make out with a guy sporting a soul patch the size of a pea and a hat made out of some sort of Alpaca-polyester blend? I'll be honest, I'm kind of really into it. That hat looks soft.
2. Breaking the ice: this usually involves approaching a small group of girls with a contrived question that ALWAYS involves the word "ladies." For example: Hey, can I ask you ladies a question? Or: Hey, can you ladies settle a bet? Or: Hey ladies, my buddies and I are having a disagreement about something, can I get your opinion on it?
Once the girls say "sure," then the guy asks his inane, made-up question ("my buddy's getting married and we either want to get him a stripper for his bachelor party or else tattoo his face while he's asleep. What do you ladies think?"), before quickly transitioning into witty and lively conversation with his "target" (the girl in the group that he thinks is prettiest).
3. Insulting: once conversation is sputtering along, the guy then must insult his target so as to sufficiently lower her fragile self-esteem so she will continue to talk to him. In practice, it goes something like this:
Guy: So, okay, seems like the consensus is that we should just tattoo his face, am I right?
Girl: Yeah, I don't know, whatever.
Guy: Hey, you have food in your teeth. And you're chubby.
According to The Game, at this point, the girl will be so taken aback, she'll have no choice but to have sex with the guy. It's just inevitable. To me, this is pretty obviously one of the most idiotic pieces of flirting advice ever given to men, but apparently, it works on some girls. I guess it's one of those "thinning the herd" techniques where you look for the limping gazelle and tell her you can see her roots before going in for the kill.
So, that's it -- the Game, unmasked. Let me tell you a little story. So, last spring my best friend from high school was visiting me in Boston. My roommate, my friend and I went out for a girls' night at some semi-sketchy bar in Boston on a Sunday night. We're sitting in a booth, drinking Coors Light, when a guy in a loud checkered shirt and scarf sidles up to our table. Here is the dialogue that ensued.
Guy: Hey ladies, can I ask you a question? My buddies and I are having a debate, and --
Me: The Game.
Guy: Uh, what? What? Uh --
Me: You're using The Game. And you're peacocking. That plaid shirt -- that's peacocking, right?
Guy: I, uh. I don't know what you're talking about.
Me: I think you do. What was your question?
He ended up awkwardly squatting next to our table for a while and then my roommate relented and let him sit down, where he lamely attempted to continue the pretext of having us "settle a debate" before he crept back to his own table after a few minutes. It was awesome.
My theory on this is that if a guy's going to interrupt a girls' night with some really widely disseminated pickup technique while wearing a ludicrous shirt, he kind of deserves what he gets. Maybe I'm a bad person. But before you judge me, please watch this video and tell me that Mystery doesn't deserve to have his method shot down a few times by actual women:
*What else would his name be?