>>> The Scholarly Tabloid
By staff writer Et Nola
October 1, 2006

“Filling Column Inches Like Whoa”

The world of dating isn’t all blowjobs in the park and shoe-shopping (quite the compromise—folks, take note). Sometimes, there are misunderstandings and often even restraining orders. This week’s special edition of TST is a collection of dating tips which may help anyone seeking to start a relationship off on the right foot, or properly avoid one. Since navigating the waters of love can be a turbulent affair best left to Russell Crowe and a navy, I’d like to provide as much assistance as one can to unite men, women, and all the semen their vessels can carry.

However, since I prefer to pursue lasting relationships… haha, I can’t even type that with a straight face. Ahem. Since I am more prone to seeking relationships than casual flings, I’ve allowed a special guest to present a less biased interpretation on the dating scene. I present to you, “Thelonious Pipe-Layre’s Introductory Guide to Dating.”

An Introduction by Mr. Pipe-Layre…

Greetings, Scholarly Tabloid readers. I am Thelonious Pipe-Layre, master of the carnal arts and celebrated concert cellist. Years ago a colleague of mine took the airwaves and divulged the secret art of sweet lovin’ to the populace. Though he and I remained close until his mysterious death from a combination of syphilis, testicular cancer, and a fire at the opening of the KY Flammable Lubricant™ theme park, I simply could not continue his work. That is, until I realized just how much the world needs me to give that extra foot of dedication. Over the span of my sexual history, I have encountered things that would certainly shame my parents were they to get a hold of the remaining DVD footage.

“General rule: If you’re not sliding into home plate by midnight, cut your losses and go to sleep.”

Of course, not all of my travels have led to conquests of sensual delight and romantic inquiry…. (Mike asked me to include that so that I appear more “in touch” with the “common poon patron” so bare with me.) The fact is that, more precisely, not all of your romantic conquests will end with you getting a leg up on the competition. In fact, most of you will have to take your love life by the hand or embrace the vibrant world of technology.

Regardless of your position on dating, or rather, more specifically, the lack of positions you’ve been able to fill, I present to you the most common dating formats, and what I hope to be some helpful hints. The following are listed in order of increasing intensity. Feel free to leave any thoughts and experiences you feel may enhance this introductory guide.

The Decoy Date

She’s totally into you… helping her do/get something she wants. I could try to end sexism and say that guys do this too, but at least we have the courtesy of sleeping with you after we’ve used you… because women, like many household items, are admittedly multipurpose.

The Setup: You have been trying for something to happen long enough for her to notice. Of course, she’s still not interested. However, there is something she wants that you can help her get. Either she’s cunning enough to trick you, or you’re gullible/desperate enough to fall for her ploy. Of course it’s the latter. Check your penis at the door. It’s not going to happen. She’s either using you because her first choice isn’t available, or you are a prop in a famous play entitled “Look Who I’m (Secretly Not) Fucking Now.” Congrats. Question: Who knew you were such a great actor? Answer: Nobody fucking cares.

The Win/Exit Strategy: Once you realize you’ve been had, you’ve got options. One is simply to leave. Yep, it’s that simple. In fact, here’s what is key: Tell her the lamest possible excuse you can craft. Use the most obvious “I’d rather be humping sheep” line you can think of. The key is to turn the situation from your dependency to hers. Yes, you can play gender reversal, but admit that any guy low enough to use a woman as a prop is low enough to at least give the prop a courtesy lay.

The “Coffee Date”
(Maybe a little coffee, maybe a little tea, probably no blowjobs)

The Setup: This is by far the most common event occurring in the modern world of dating next to collecting Bar Trash©.* This situation is also one of the most ambiguous, as the motives of people having a coffee date tend to vary. Sometimes, it’s one person looking to vet the other by being out with them in a public situation with little commitment to time. Of course, sometimes it’s just a great way to grab a wonderful non-fat, no foam, soy latte.

The Win/Exit Strategy: It’s a game—play to win. The key is to be funny enough to show a sense of humor without appearing to need the limelight, all while providing some clue that you are compatible with the other person (whether you are or not). This one follows the adage that moderation (of redeeming qualities) and intrigue are what wins the day. Of course, if you find yourself looking to ruin the mood, I highly recommend being combative and conversationally domineering. Chances are that you’ll either annoy the hell out of the other person, or you’ll spark the flames of polarity-based passion. Win-win.

The Casual Friday
(Event and possible after-party/dorm room situation)

The Setup: An event of some sort is coming up. Honestly, it could be anything from a Weird Al concert to a public execution (in which case it’d be a faux pas to raise your lighters). The point is, you’ve either gathered the courage to have someone else ask this person out or were recently blessed with a helping of testicular fortitude. Cheers: you’ll be in the same place with this person outside the classroom/office/adult video section of Major Video. The scene is set for them to get to know you socially.

The Win/Exit Strategy: Again, be funny enough to show a sense of humor and hover in the area of moderation until something big happens. I don’t know what the big thing will be, but chances are something will go wrong/right and someone the other person knows/hates will be present. This is your chance to show something unique, or, failing authenticity, something contrived yet supportive of what your target cares about. Things may or may not go smoothly, but here’s the general rule (courtesy of Barry Goldwater and others): if you’re not sliding into home plate by midnight, cut your losses and go to sleep. Delusion aside (and that’s a pretty difficult thing to put aside), you’ll know if you’re going to be adding to the scoreboard or not.

The Dinner Date
(Closet thing to what anthropologists have called “an actual date” since the end of the Cretaceous Period)

The Setup: An honest follow-up date or a risky first move. The details are sketchy, but you’ll find some examples covered in every romance movie ever made. The reality is that this type of date is an endangered species. Seriously, you’ve got a better chance of spotting a bald eagle riding a unicorn.

The Win/Exit Strategy: If you’re timid, try going to a place where there are people you know, or, if all else fails, locate your very own pair of testicles. Honestly, real dates aren’t always so bad—but again, dinner dates provide a variety of escape methods, including but not limited to: phoning a friend for emergency evacuation, feigning stomach sickness and rushing to the bathroom, or even death. Do what works best for you.

The Mate Date
(Everything that happens prior to getting to the bedroom is known as “foreplay”)

The Setup: Basically, someone has been eye-humping you long enough to deplete tear ducts from loss of fluids. Chances are they would love to provide a physical demonstration. Honestly, you don’t need comments on this. Between the “random” physical contact and the subtle innuendo, this kind of “date” pretty much describes the common “from the bar room to your room” hookups that are a staple of college. Unfamiliar with the territory? That’s what she said. Sorry, that one was obligatory.

The Win/Exit Strategy: Climax first. You win. Cheers.

This ends as brief a tutorial of the world of modern dating as I care to divulge. For more info, contact [email protected]. Some future articles, as well as this week’s edition of “Southern Discomfort” can be found at E. Mike’s humor blog, Before and Aftermath.

*Bar Trash© – “Collect them, trade them, share them with a friend.”