A girl buddy tells me some guy hit on her as she was leaving the gym that afternoon. She describes how he did it.
“So he comes up to me and asks me if I like horses. And then he starts talking about this girl he knew in fifth grade who ran around on a playground making horse noises? And I’m like, ooookay. He’s talking about horses and he’s all over the place. I can’t really figure out what he’s trying to say. Then he tells me I look like this girl. Weird, right?”
I ask, “Was there a love connection?”
“Haa, I don’t think so. I kept walking.”
I hear this, and it hits me: that’s Brad P’s horse opener. Hilarious. I wonder if the streets are filled with aspiring PUAs dropping routines, or if this was a rare occurrence. I didn’t mention to her that I knew about the horse routine.
The whole episode got me to thinking about pickup routines. A lot of the routines sparkle on paper (or on a monitor) but when you are out there in the real world, interacting like a human being, they sound clumsy and ridiculous coming out of your mouth.
Which brings me to a very simple formula I use for determining whether a pickup tactic would work. When I read about it, I think “Can I see myself saying that?” I imagine a real life scenario — let’s say, an approach at the supermarket by the deli meats — and I picture myself saying the exact words in a routine to a cute girl. If I can’t even imagine that happening without cringing a little on the inside, then I know it’s useless as an opener. But if I could picture myself saying it without losing any coolness points, I know it’s a winner.
No slight to Brad P, who is a smart guy and knows a lot about pickup and women, but the horse opener is one I could never see a normal man saying to a woman in most typical circumstances without looking and feeling weird, to both himself and to his target. I understand the goal of getting a girl’s interest by shocking her with something out of the ordinary, but the majority of men — normal guys who aren’t street magicians and who work 9-5 jobs — will not be able to talk about horses and playgrounds with a girl they just met without feeling like an idiot or a clown.
If an opener or routine doesn’t strike you as something you could hear a normal, cool man saying, then use it with caution. You have to be particularly talented, composed and articulate to attract a girl running a (relatively) long-winded routine like the horse opener. Most naturals who do well with women usually keep their first, introductory words short and sweet. The shorter and more normal-sounding an opener (without being banal), the likelier the average guy will succeed with it.
This is not to say that Brad P’s horse opener can’t work. In special circumstances, say at a bar or event where you have a quasi-captive audience who can sit through a lengthy routine without scuttling away for the bus or a taxi, the horse opener can shine. And, in Brad P’s defense, I could tell the girl in the above conversation was kind of intrigued by the guy, even though there was no number exchange. What probably killed his chances was his delivery, which sounded atrocious if the girl’s retelling was accurate.
This is the crux of why short and sweet openers are the way to go. If you’re new to the game, it’ll be a lot less intimidating to approach girls if you have a stock two or three openers no longer than a handful of words in length each. Memorizing long, complicated routines that require precision comedic timing is going to dishearten newbies when girls react to them with confusion, and eventually turn them into spiteful haters who write anti-PUA sites.
A good example of the kind of short n’ sweet n’ normal-sounding opener I’m talking about is one of Roosh’s day game openers, which, paraphrasing, goes something like “Where’s the nearest pet store?” It’s kind of an interesting question to ask a girl, because most single men aren’t looking for a pet store, especially if they live in the city. She’ll answer, and then you have your window of opportunity to jump into a funny routine about your cat Fluffy needing gourmet food, or something. And, more importantly, there’s little chance that even an aspie nerd will stutter or mumble while saying this opener.
Here is a list of the key ingredients of a solid opener, in descending order of importance:
1. Can you see yourself saying it? If yes, go to (2). If no, ask yourself if it would work in specific scenarios, and try it out.
2. Is it short and grammatically simple enough to memorize without struggling to remember the words in the heat of the moment? If yes, go to (3). If no, ask yourself if you are sufficiently verbally fluent and mentally dextrous to pull it off, then try it out.
3. Is it normal-sounding? If yes, use with impunity on all types of girls, including lawyers. If no, try it out on indie chicks with lots of tattoos.