Come Here Often?

     The cartoonists who commented on life through postcards were of course alive to the constant comedy of romance, but the awkward first blushes to the elderly couple getting a divorce after seventy-five years of marriage because enough is enough.  One facet of the procedure which has gotten attention from comics and philosophers in all trades is what we, in the US, call the “pick-up line.”

     This is the lure cast out by those who are fishing for a new romance and is one of the few such wild game procedures enjoyed as much by the hunter as by the hunted.  (Unless Walt Kelly’s Porky was right, and fish gather underwater on rainy days to tell lies about the size of the fishermen who nearly caught ‘em.)  There have been books and online courses dedicated to the art of the opening gambit, as important in romance as in the less complex game of chess.

     The whistle is now shunned as being rather crude (although it can still be seen in the wild, where it apparently works as well as it ever did.)  One of the most successful pick-up lines I ever heard of was from a chap who would simply ask a new and lovely acquaintance “Will you marry me?”  This is startling and attention-grabbing, and though he had been married a couple of times at last count, the other uses of it were more successful.

     This suggestion is very popular among cows (on postcards, anyhow.)  It would simply confuse other prospects, which is not always, despite the previous example, a good thing.  One of the least successful pick-up lines I can recall was used by an extremely attractive young lady, who had read that the best way to start was with an inquiry about food, since, as the experts note “we all eat.”  So she used to begin with a possible young man by asking “Do you like cheese?”  Ensuing conversations did not continue very long.

     Our postcard artists were, by the way, not the least bit shy about allowing the woman to apply the pick-up line.  I have mentioned in this space before an acquaintance of mine who was a dedicated manhunter.

     She was also something of a pioneer in highlighting.  I dealt with one of her books on How To Attract Men which had been underlined in pencil and in pen, had entire pages highlighted in yellow, and was three times as thick at the top as at the bottom with pages which had been dog-eared, double dog-eared, triple dog-eared, and otherwise origamied in a system known only to herself.  And her relationships…well, another day, another blog.

     For just the right light touch in pick-up lines, it is necessary to turn to our Dutch kids, part of whose appeal was that in their youth and with their accent, they could say things the rest of us might not attempt.

     They were experts in being sweet and innocent while at the same time suggesting they were both knowledgeable and guilty (an ideal combination, according to some experts on the art of the pick-up.)

     Have any of these bachelor farmer dating reality shows tried this line, for exam[ple?  You don’t even need the accent, and it strikes me as just about perfect.  Out of the mouths of babes, after all.

     Though even for the Dutch Kids, not every line was a success.  Ah well, there’s plenty of fish in the sea.  (Unless you prefer cheese?)

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