The Accidental Gigolo

By Tom "the warts have gone away, can I buy you a drink?" Waters
Sept 16, 2001

gigolo / jig-e-lo/ n, pl -los 1. : a man living on the earnings of a woman. 2. a professional dancing partner or male escort.

I've been clubbing for two and a half years now and I just can't bring myself to stop. It's flaky. I'm above it all. Why in the hell would I want to consort with the scum of the earth and the most vacuous of the airheads? Because a bar is one of the few places where, better or worse, you can walk in and leave the world behind you. You can be as sociable or as reclusive as you wish. There's no other public environment like it (save the hand puppet brothel I went to in Ottawa five months ago). I broke my teeth in the lounge latitude and learned a few rules of dating. And now I've achieved tenure. I'm a fogey by techno standards. But old dogs learn new tricks and sometimes they keep their wits about them.

Once I was a fool, I was petrified...okay, I'm not going to start that old tune. But once I was a young protege, learning by riding the coat-tails of others. In the span of two years, I've gained my p.h.d in booty calls, last calls, and beer balls. After you've mastered the first ten rules, you'll still need guidance in the ways of club dating. And if that's what the good lord put me here for, then damnit, I'll help you progress further. Here's the next ten commandments for chasing shots and chasing women. Learn them, live by them, and follow them to the letter! And don't say I never gave you anything, you ingrates!

Rule #11: Adhere To The Rule of Three Bars, Plus One or Thirty
It's all well and fine and grand and good to have your one favorite bar. Just don't staple your ass to the stool and petrify yourself there, is all. The discerning club person should go to at least three businesses a night, starting at around nine o'clock. You can mix and match the order in which you attend, but this is the order that works for me:

1. The old stand-by-A place you've been to millions of times where you're juiced in with the bartender and you can get cheap pitchers and reasonable shots. The night will last a lot longer if you don't piss away a twenty spot on your first two bottles of ale. Trust me.

2. The new place that everybody's talking about-Clubs are very fickle. Sometimes the place that has go go cages, laser light shows and the heppest dj in town on Friday has tumbleweeds on Saturday. So check the place out for the first time after you've got your gameface on, and if it's cool, you can convert it to bar one. If there's some balding hairy man polishing the glasses and talking to himself behind the bar when you come in, at least you can say you went to your stand-by and the night wasn't a total waste.

3. The come-down-This is generally some armpit of a dive of a gin mill. Either that or a strip club. The place to hit at the end of the night when you're fighting back dealing with the fact that you have to go to work in the morning and you want to hang onto the night for just a little bit longer. Where you can dump a handful of quarters onto the bar and pay for your last drink of the night. Or, in the case of the strip club, where you can max the last ten dollars of your credit card on an ice water plus tip and sort of come to your senses. In either case, a good way to reflect on the events of the evening and put them into some sort of cohesive order.

Rule #12: Never, I Repeat NEVER Buy A Drink For A Girl You're Not With
If you don't know her, don't bother. Talk to her by all means and make sure she doesn't have an adam's apple the size of a baseball. Make up a great opening statement. But don't waste your time and money on some stranger. Some women go throughout their lives without buying a drink. This is wrong. They go out and grift every hard-working, well-intentioned, over-sexed schmuck at every bar in town into bankrolling their propensity for fruity, mouth-wash flavored concoctions. Best case scenario? You get lucky, but if the girl likes you it would've happened anyway. Worst case scenario? It accelerates the entire dating process and if you haven't had a chance to properly represent yourself, they're gone like a cool breeze. Once I bought a vodka and cranberry for a beautiful Russian college student, took it as a green light, and sat down with her and the rest of the firing squad. After three minutes, she coquettishly whispered "we'll be right back." The ten girls proceeded to the polar opposite of the dance floor and never returned. Harsh. Don't let it happen.

Rule #14: Look Bored No Matter Where You Are
It makes you look experienced and it gives the impression that you lead an adventurous lifestyle. If Roman candles are shooting out of a nineteen year old's ass in the seat next to you, look the other way and yawn. When Marti-Gras breaks out at the neighborhood watering hole and there are twenty five foot people on stilts wearing masks along with midgets and college chicks dropping trou' left and right, slowly leaf through your fashion magazine. If Elvis appears and gives a spot-on performance with a talking dog and he proceeds to buy drinks for the whole bar, get up and wander to the bathroom looking slightly pissed and grouchy. And so forth. Perfect a lackluster, world-weary, jesus-there's- got-to-be-some-place-better-than-this-one look. It's just plain cool. Let nothing take you by surprise.

Rule #15: Wallpaper Your Heart With Rejections
Much like the publishing adage, it helps to get set up and shot down. You need to develop a reptile-like thick skin. Fly solo; make a kamikaze run into a fleet of beach blonde heartbreakers knowing that there's an 80% chance that you'll get your ass handed to you. You have to be scaly in a cosmos of lounge lizards. The more women who laugh in your face, stomp you in the grapes, and toss shots of 151 into your retinas, the better. Practice makes perfect, and with each prospect you can refine your mojo.

Rule #16: Find A Hot Spot For Every Day Of The Week
The place that's a virtual Valhalla on Friday could be drowning in sad sacks and maniacs. Stake a few places out every night of the week (and for those with no dedication to the power of perseverance, it doesn't have to be all in the same week) , and find the secret bungalows of boogie down. Ferret out the speakeasys, the hidden gold mines, and homes away from home. Then, after you've found their magic night, go back on that night, frequently. Get to be friends with the staff. Tip very well. The industry standard is two dollars on the first drink and one dollar each additional order. If you do that, the bartenders will treat you like somebody important and you'll get free shit down the road. And we all like free shit. Anybody can find a cool place to go to on a saturday but only the singles maestro can offer up the knack for divining a great place on a wednsday at four p.m. (or four a.m., for that matter).

Rule 17: Be At Home Wherever You Are
Looking great, feeling great, and projecting an air of charm and self-comfort are all great means for snaring the heart of some blonde bombshell. If you're at home where you are, then you won't be as anxious or fretful and blow the fantastic vibe that you're putting out. What the hell! Lay down and take a nap in one of the booths at a club. I've done it before with my shirt untucked and my gut hanging out (unfortunately, pictures were taken and distributed throughout Western New York). Take your socks off where you're sitting and inspect your feet for corns! Walk into the back kitchen and pull a pickle out of the jar and eat it with the refrigerator door open. Take a newspaper into the bathroom. If you're relaxed, that's half the battle. Pop a Xanax if you feel the need. Breathing exercises help, or the company of friends. And wearing the pair of jeans that frame your ass perfectly while retaining their comfort and fashion level don't hurt either.

Rule 18: Talk To A Girl As If It's A Given That You Want To Go Spelunking In Her Pants
Be honest. You're not there for manicure advice. You don't want to discuss the latest relationship feature in the current issue of ‚ÄúCosmo‚ĝ and you're not comparing baking recipes. You're out at the bar, you've approached the girl in question, and you're sole intention is: getting some. So don't even discuss it. She knows it, you know it, the whole damn bar knows it. That's why everybody else is there, too (except for the degenerate in the corner drooling over his QuickDraw ticket and muttering obscenities to himself). Go beyond it. And go straight for the kill. The phone number, the prolonged groping next to the car at the end of the night, or, if you're lucky, the hot tub at home with the room mate who just happens to be a repressed sexual therapist. Hell, I can dream.

Rule 19: It Never Hurts To Have A Prop
They make great ice-breakers and they arouse curiosity, suspicion, and interest in outside parties. It doesn't have to be over the top, either. A copy of Esquire, perhaps. If they see something in there that they like they'll peer over and start talking. If you're in a pub, take a little chess set. Geeky, but what the hell, maybe you think Daria is hot (if you could splice Daria's, Janene Garafolo's, and Bjork's genes, you'd have the perfect woman as far as I see it). A Gameboy. A pool cue. Old prosthetic limbs. Improvise. Nobody likes to be alone at a bar so we're all dying for human contact, just to talk to somebody else, ANYBODY else, so we look for a reason to approach a total stranger. Meet them halfway and set your pet porpoise on the stool next to you and make him perform parlor tricks.

Rule 20: Embrace Chaos; You've Got Better Odds
I know this armpit of a shit-hole of a bowery bar in Buffalo that all the guys go to. It's always packed....with a plethora of testicles. Why bother? They've got two girls in the whole joint and one of them is there with her obnoxious salesman boyfriend who is going bald at the speed of sound and is obviously ten years older than her. And the other one you wouldn't want to touch without a protective bubble because she's had every guy in the bar other than you and looks it. They say you can tell how many guys a girl has been with from the rings around her neck. But I digress. Go to the zoos, the raves, and the techno blowouts hosted by Dj PopinFresh 2000. Even if it's not your cup of tea, put up with it for a night and see how much better you do as far as picking somebody up. Who would you rather go to work on, the one girl at the pathetic bowery bar or try a few pickup lines on any one of the three hundred girls in chaps and jeans that would require a spot welder to remove line dancing at the honky tonk palladium? Play the percentages, boyo!

I'll give you one more to grow on because I know you're trying your best out there and war is hell, so use it wisely!

Rule 21: Eavesdrop, Then Butt In
This doesn't work in big clubs but if a place is relatively quiet, listen in to your neighbors on the rail. They're talking in public, it's no crime if your ear happens to pick up the conversation about how the co-worker broke up with her boyfriend of five years because he cheated on her with the fry girl from Wendy's and she's out pounding the pavement for intimate revenge! Listen in, horn in. Interject. Throw in your two cents and see how quickly they open up for a second or third opinion. And then you're on the ground running. Plus it's a good way to deduce what their status is. Single, married, divorced, or part of a small Middle Eastern harem.

Well, that's about it. It took me twenty four solid months of harrowing and selfless research to offer up this cavalcade of advice for you, so use it! Just don't mack on somebody I'm working over if you see me out, buddy, or I may have to break a tablet or two over your peroxide frosted, over-moussed fat head! Feed a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man how to purchase prophylactics and he'll fish forevermore. It's tough out there, but you can be the ringmaster of your own destiny if you play your cards right. Have fun and don't forget your jimmy cap. If there's one thing I've learned it's that after you work up the nerve to approach someone, it's all down hill. And if you can pull it off once, you can do it a million times. Some of us don't find our mates in college, or at work, or in massage parlors. And we have a lot more fun doing it. And if you crash in burn? At least you copped a buzz, saw your favorite bartender, and you were and the company of friends.

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