Monday, September 15, 2014

On the quest for perfect pickup-line

So the situation is like this:

There are three of us somewhere in the bowels of Safaricom office in Nairobi, say... mid 2009. Erik, Dedy and I. We clicked on many levels, Kenyan, Indonesian and Pole. We used to drink and hang out together, we also were really high level experts in our respective fields. And you know - open office, tight deadlines, shitloads of issues with project... At one point the level of stress and abstraction rises to the point where you just need to vent.

So, at one point we pulled our chairs closer and started discussing what would be the best pickup line. Not something merely good and witty that would work 70% of the time, no. We wanted to find the perfect, ideal line.

A little background here first. Being a white dude in Kenya is... tough. You go to the pub and you look at all those babes and you think you are the king of the hill. No. In reality you are the prey. You are being hunted. Sometimes it is funny, sometimes sad, pathetic and sometimes scary. So just because of that I never had to try too much if I wanted to... well, you know - grab a drink and stike a nice abstract conversation about particle physics. After all this is what we all do in the pubs in exotic countries like Indonesia, Kenya, Philippines or even Thailand, right? Chaos theory, non-linear dynamic systems, superstrings, quantuum fluctuations and holopraphic principle, right?
What I am trying to say here - the quest for the perfect pickup line was not triggered by any real-life need.
Its just us - being engineers - we are always looking for ideal solution to given problem, right? Smooth and elegant. It just happened that the question of the day, you know, was what was the ideal pick up line...

So, first - some theory I based my approach on. I assumed approaching a total stranger. This should also be culture and race agnostic.

I think all I need is a hook to get past the first sentence. It does not have to be a big hook, I want a good starter line. Something that would engage woman on emotional level to the point, that willing or not - she would respond. No, not just respond - after all fuck off is also a response - she would engage on emotional level. So this had to strike such a deep sound with such an amplitude that it would resonate so strong that it would overpower any other prejudice a woman might have against having conversation with strangers.

So what is the thing that is the essence of pure bliss, warmth and safety and fun and excitement at the same time? Yup, you guessed it - wedding. So this gave me general direction. Also - until you actually go and do get married you think that this is THE day of your life, in reality there is more stress about auntie this and uncle that, if the cake will be perfect and if the dress won't get tangled during first tango... So perhaps it should not be wedding itself but just marriage in general? Yup, that's better, I guess there's my hook.

I seem to remember my pals had other ideas but we all eventually agreed the wedding question is the winner. We giggled over this for over an hour, like schoolboys planning on pulling some trick on the Math teacher, getting lotsa worried and disapproving looks from some of our friends. And then...

The test
I turned to Anne (in her 20s, it was before she hooked up with that SA kid and moved to JoBurg) sitting just a desk away and go:
Anne, we need your help. We came up with a pick up line and I want to see if this works. Can you be our test subject?
Of course she agreed, so I go:
Do you think that marriage is important in a relationship? and she says
Of course it is! this gives the foundation... Oh, you sneaky bastard! This is a good one
See what happened there? Even though she knew she was being tested she fell into the trap. Somehow the talk of marriage, especially to young and attractive women (who most probably did not that the disillusioning experience yet) just strikes where it need to be struck.

I do not encourage to use this method to initiate conversation in order to have empty and meaningless sex with strangers. I encourage the engagement in interesting conversation. Who know, perhaps this babe just over there (no, not this one, the other one, the one in blue dress sipping on her mojito) is just finishing her PhD on neuropeptides?

Also - sometime later we went out with Erik and Dedy to grab some beers and then was the only time I decided to test it in non-lab situation. But the music was so loud in that place she did not hear the question and I was too tipsy to pursue.

So, there you have it. Now you are armed. But again - remember that with great power comes great responsibility...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

On Drone Metal

Oh, Drone Metal, where have you been all my life?
Sample here