Archive for June, 2012

Choosing the right pick-up line, snappy words to win a smile and an opening, is nearly impossible.

My memory may be selectively set to catalog the really bad attempts.  And I suppose a good line is lost in the moment. After all, if the line works, you’ve got more important things to focus on.  But with bad lines stacked in my memory and my preference to be the pick-up-ee, not the pick-up-er,  I wish I had insight into the process of picking a perfect pick-up.

If you don’t know someone, how do you know their taste in anything?  If I had to pick something simple for a stranger, like choose a drink, I’m sure I’d mess it up.  Maybe a wheat allergy prevents beer drinking or a bad gin and tonic night in their youth means no gin sipping.  Or, maybe they just don’t like margaritas (Yeah, you’re right.  That last one isn’t very likely.)

How can anyone tell if a stranger (no matter how soul-mate-on-sight feeling the stranger is) will respond to a pick-up that’s funny or earnest, sweet or sassy, subtle or aggressive?

I’ve been on the receiving end of quite a few cringe-worthy pick-up attempts and when I polled margagogo’s Independent Panel of Judges, they were quick to reel off lines that made me shudder. So while I have no insight into how to craft a line that works, I have some examples of what not to do.  (Please note: These lines weren’t said by professionals and you still shouldn’t try them at home.)

  1. “I’m lonely. Can I have your phone number so I can text you?”
  2. “You’re very attractive. You’re a little bit fat.”
  3. “You’re as beautiful as my horse.”
  4. “Your nose is not too wide and your mouth is not too small.”
  5. “Hey girl, you look dangerous. Do you want to play fight?”
  6. “Is it okay if I text you really inappropriate and salacious messages, if only for the sake of entertainment?”
  7. “Get your jacket.”
  8. And one more that doesn’t qualify as a pick-up line but is too funny to leave off the list: “No wonder we get on so well, you’re like a mother figure.”  (Said to me by a gay guy upon learning he’s a few years younger.)

I hope the lessons in these lines are obvious but since this is only a sample of the lines collected, I feel I should point out a few broad truths about pick-up lines.

Please don’t lead with the lonely.  Telling a woman that she’s beautiful could be a winner if you quit before going on to compare her to your horse, cat, dog, bunny etc.  Remember anyone you talk to is ageless and weightless – pretend you’re dating on the moon.

After listing what not to do, the secret to a successful pick-up might be right in front of me:  Keep it simple.  A “hello” with a smile should work.

And, yes, I’ll have a margarita on the rocks with no salt.

Does anyone have a pick-up line, good or bad, that they’d like to share? I’d love to hear them!

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English: Ice cubes

Ice cubes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does ice have in common with women’s shoes, you ask?

Amazing! That’s been on your mind too?

In their basic form, both serve a purpose and serve it well. Shoes make feet happier; ice cubes make drinks colder. Perfect.

But both stray to the extreme.  Sure a pair of platform, sling-back, strappy, open toe, 5-inch heels make legs look awesome.  But those shoes aren’t made for walking and the only way my feet are happy in that style is if propped up in admirable repose.  Yet these shoes are on feet everywhere.

Designer ice is everywhere too.

The first time I saw perfectly cubed ice, I thought it was unique to that bar – their special cocktail accent for their cool designer drink.  But the cubes fell like dominos and bar after bar clinked artistic ice into their drinks.

I bumped into the height of ice, for both the cube and artifice, at H2 in Healdsburg, CA. They served my margarita with a single cube frozen to fit, cube edges scraping the inside curve of the glass. This was not a cube casually thrown. It was placed. No scooping. A precision maneuver involving tongs and a steady hand was necessary.

The cube rose above the rim making a normal sipping stance impossible. Could it have been a test of mouth agility or maybe sobriety? I put the glass to my lips but couldn’t get a lock on it. Acrobatics were required; lower lip on the glass outer edge, upper lip planted on the giant cube, mouth agape. The cube was too big to shift and make a margarita tidal wave, but it could spin. I was afraid to tilt the glass should cube twirl and squirt the margarita like a sprinkler from one of the four gullies where the liquid collected along the giant cube’s sides. H2 must have hoped I’d be so impressed with presentation that I’d want to keep it and not drink.

Fedora in NYC, served a margarita with three or four outsized cubes stacked in the glass so that the top cube stood over the glass by half. When I tried to sip, the cube fell into the tip of my nose.  Unless you’re a seal, it’s hard to look sophisticated with an ice-cube leaning against your nose while you drink.

The same thing happened at Nobu (NYC). And what do these places have in common besides ice aesthetic? They don’t believe cocktail straws. This conundrum gave the Nobu bartender a chance to shine. He took out a pocket knife and cut a tall straw in half.

I’m left thinking artistic ice is the frozen equivalent of high heels – It looks great, it’s a statement, it’s memorable. And I know there’s more than looks behind it. Someone can probably explain how ice surface area, melt point and glass size work together to cool a drink while avoiding dilution. (And if anyone does know that, feel free to weigh in!)

But I’m pretty sure that if I have to hold an ice-cube in the glass with my nose while I drink, that ice wasn’t made for drink sipping.

Wow. Sharing really lifts a burden, doesn’t it? I think I might go shoe shopping and grab a drink.


Coming Soon: Guacamole and Margagogo’s new look.

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