Sunday, November 18, 2007

How Not to Get Laid

Last night I went out barhopping in Seattle with some friends. First we went to Purr, a trendy gay bar, to meet up with some people. After an hour there, we shot off to ever-fashionable Belltown where we ended up at Amber, a hip and happening bar for people trying to hook up. A bit of a meat market - for ages ranging from early twenties to late thirties. Being in my early forties I was clearly out of my element. Nonetheless we hung out there and enjoyed watching all the guys and gals on the make. The dress was casual but nice. The girls showing abundant cleavage and the guys wearing dress shirts in various states of unbuttonedness.

As we were leaving, though, I saw something very unusual. We went past a man in his thirties sitting alone at a table and who, to judge by the pained look on his face, was having a horrible time. This was not surprising for a number of reasons. First, he was completely overdressed, wearing a tie and business slacks. But the main reason his evening was bombing out was that the guy had actually brought a book with him. That’s right, a book. And a thick one, at that. As we walked past his table I glanced over and immediately recognized the book by its cover. It was Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman, an 870-page epic Russian novel about the siege of Stalingrad.

Oh yeah, dude, that's going to work for you. Nothing gets a girl on her back faster than the campaigns of the Red Army. Hell, just whisper in her ear those sweet, sweet words - Stalin, Molotov, Yeremenko, Krylov – and she'll melt faster than a pad of butter in the hot Crimean sun. Good thinking.

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