Has the Chat Up Line Been Lost Forever?
The other day I was talking to a twenty-something year old bloke (I know, I too was amazed they have the ability to still see me) about dating apps…or more to the point how easy it now is to get laid. You just pick up your phone, check out some photos, click a few buttons and off you go, your not-so-blind date – because you’ve already scrolled through her credentials – awaits you. And you never even got the chance to ask ‘do you come here often?’
Once I got over my initial amazement at the speed and efficiency of sites such as Tinder and Plenty Of Fish, and the fact that most people on them looked very undesperate and very unserialkillery, a sad melancholy settled in the pit of my stomach. At first I put it down to envy, being a married woman in my mid-thirties there’s no chance of me ever getting to have a go at cyber pulling. Mind you, there’s still time for my husband to walk out on me I guess…so maybe one day I too will get to resort to desperate online tactics to find one of the 6 remaining single, attractive, un-scarred, over forty-somethings left on the planet (although I heard there’s also a growing need for cougars lately, always good to have a fall back option I say). Anyway, no, it wasn’t that that had me feeling nostalgic and sad. It was the realization that something intrinsically vital in the ‘man meets woman’ game was now missing.
The chat up line.
Now boys, before you start telling me the importance of opening lines on dating sites and writing your perfect personal profile, may I remind you that you get to plan what you are going to say way before you write it. It’s like being God, or an author, your character always has the perfect comeback and perfect tone of voice. You can be funny, smart, acerbic, current and oh so desirable because you have been frantically scribbling down clever puns and perfecting your 50 word description for ages. You will never sound like a prick by accident.
Now try and be that witty in a packed bar, twenty minutes before closing time, after six vodka and cokes and go talk to the pretty girl who’s looking over at you but is surrounded by five ferocious friends. Ha, not so easy now is it?
You can tell a lot by a man and the sentence he chooses to bag you. All through my twenties, in an assortment of clubs and bars around London, I marveled at the sheer bravery, audacity and brilliance of some of the men that approached me. The chat up line is the ice breaker, the first (and sometimes only) chance to make a great impression and the one phrase that will either make us women laugh, walk away or go get our coat.
And my God have I heard some cracking ones in my time!
Here are five that have been eternally etched on my memory (I’m sure there are many, many more that would have made the grade, but needless to say I was probably too drunk to have remembered them the next morning):
5. “Nice tits.”
Now this definitely does NOT work on most women, but the guy was fucking hilarious (note to all men: the funnier you are, the quicker you will get laid, even the ugly ones). The ‘nice tits’ line wasn’t said to me but was directed at my, what was back then, impressive rack. He then winked. I laughed. We shagged.
4. “Do you like Metallica?”
I don’t know why this awkward hunched man asked me that. Yes, I was wearing all black (my fashion go-to has always erred on the side of mourning chic), but there were no skulls or guitars about my person. My hair was neat. The bar was playing pop music. I just stared at him, mouth agape, and muttered an ‘errr no’. And off he went, never to return again. I always did wonder what would have happened had I answered ‘yes’ instead.
3. “From the moment you walked in to the bar you hit me like a thunderbolt.”
I love this one – I still piss myself laughing at that line. I was gracious at the time of course, I didn’t guffaw in his face, but honestly…thunderbolt?! Believe me it wasn’t said in jest, there was no hint of sarcasm or irony in that statement, his earnest face said it all. Thunderbolt, fucking thunderbolt, how do they come up with this shit!
2. “Did it hurt?” (Me: Huh?) “When you fell out of heaven.”
To which I replied ‘Are you calling me a fallen angel? As in Lucifer? As in the Devil?’
Clearly he wasn’t a big fan of Milton’s Paradise Lost, the work of Blake or a big reader of Ezekiel 28 from the First Testament. In fact he crapped himself and fled faster than you can say ‘write your own chat up lines next time.’
1. “I like you so much I have a lob-on right now just talking to you.”
And the prize for most original chat up line goes to….Basement Wanker.
Yes, a guy I worked with actually said these golden words. There he stood before me in all his glory – hair in greasy curtains and shaved step (yep, that was actually a look once), gold hooped earrings and trousers (thankfully) baggy. He worked in the basement (funny that) and had been on a mission for weeks to get me to go out with him. This was his last ditch attempt to convince me of just how important I was to him. Those were the words he chose to illustrate the depths of his passion and proclaim his undying love for me. He actually said ‘lob-on’. I nearly, I say nearly, looked to see if he was telling the truth. Instead I ran up those basement stairs as quickly as I could and never looked back to see whether he, or his over enthusiastic lob-on, were following me.
Ah those were the days.
And you know what, whether funny, weird or downright scary – I applaud every single one of these guys and the hundreds (okay, I’ve never counted, but hazarding a guess) of men in my past that have bought me a drink, given me a cheeky smile or had the balls to come over and say hi…try their luck…give it a go. Because sometimes it worked, and even though most of the time their chat up lines didn’t, I never forgot them or the men who uttered them.
So there you have it lads. You can stick with your safe little gadgets, your pre-planned hook ups and carefully written one liners – or you can go play with the big boys and brave the bars for some face to face action. Be a real man and pit your wits against the cruelest of females with a few minutes to go until closing time. Think on your feet, get the girls laughing and reel them in. A picture of you on her iPhone will never beat that!