Dating Advice From a Bad 1984 Movie

The Street Hustle

After I got off work Saturday, my loneliness and ennui got the best of me.  I bounded out of the gig at 2 am looking for something, anything to do.  This sort of Manhattan restlessness isn’t new to me but recently I’ve come to wonder if it’s a curse.  Night in New York has become a time for crickets to chirp and dog walkers to curb their mutts.  In my urge for action, I even walked up 10th Ave. to 18th Street.  At one point, West 18th Street between 9th and 10th Aves was, statistically, the most dangerous block in New York City.  Nothing.  No action, no people, no cats, no dogs, no sin.  Just sheer boredom oozing from the cracks in the sidewalk and walls of the surrounding buildings.

With nothing on the horizon, I made my way to my local, pulled out a captain’s chair hoping to get into some sort of conversation about anything.  Next to me sat a lovely blonde who I was hoping to chat up somewhat.  I ordered by pint and when she turned to see who had sat down next to her, smiled and said hello.  My attempt to use what little Irish charm I have genetically within me failed.  She turned around to continue her discussion with the guy she had come in with.

As I sat and sipped my beer, reading a discarded New York Post, the crux of their conversation became obvious.  I was wrong in my assumption they were a couple that had come in the bar together: they met here.  Not only that, the short-haired, slightly paunchy, gray sweat shirted guy was running a nifty little ‘I’m a cute little foreigner, take me home and love me’ program on her.  “You know, better people are raised in the European socialist nations than are raised in the capitalist Untied States,” he said in a near comical Irish accent.

Traditionally, the sheer anti-American sentiment would have raised my hackles.  However, my discomfort here came from this guy, using his accent, his obvious mysterious advantage over me, to get his leg over.  I wanted some action, a conversation, anything but to just have to sit here and listen. 

Half an hour later, I found myself rooting for the guy.  The blonde was questioning him, probing his sincerity, seeing if he was truly worthy to take her home, or, at the very least, buy her another drink.  In the past, I have joked with various people I have known/worked with that if I’m not getting any, then no one is getting any.  But here this Irish guy with a bad short haircut was attempting to answer any and all objections.  This guy’s goal was to get laid and the blonde seemed ready to let him succeed.  Perhaps it’s my new age or just the mellow buzz I got from half a pint of Guinness but I wanted to see success.

“So, where do you live now,” she asked.

“I live here in New York, America.  I love it here.  It’s so much better than Europe,” he said.

I was suddenly sober and I can only imagine what she was thinking.  I nearly spit out my beer in laughter.  Jesus, he was there, almost there, at minimum, he had a phone number but no, he lets the booze do the talking.   One hour later, to my surprise, she left with him.  I guess he didn’t take aim at his foot; the bullet must have lodged in the floor somewhere.  If that had been me, my face would have been slapped and that would have been the end of my attempted bar pickup.

Three days later, I walked into the bar to grab a quick pint before I made my way home and there he was, same shirt, same bad haircut, successfully chatting up another woman.  At first, I didn’t really care what was being said between the two, or so I tried to tell myself.  However, my curiosity got the better of me.  I wanted to know what this guy had that I didn’t.  As I settled into my chair, I realized what he had this day that wasn’t part of my lexicon: an Italian accent.

Oh my lord, here he was George Martin from Police Academy: third generation ‘Mercan being a chameleon and getting away with it.  I had no idea cheesy advice from bad ‘80’s movies was ‘in’ when it came to meeting women in New York City.




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