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Hooch Hound

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It's New Year's Eve again and you're at what promises to be the biggest, grandest party of your life. Surrounding you are all the trappings of the holiday bash: colorful balloons, crepe streamers, confetti, festive party hats, plastic horns, and all the champagne you can drink. Music fills the air, adding to the festive atmosphere, and people chatter excitedly around you as they await the final countdown. Something is missing, however, and to your dismay -- and immense embarrassment -- you suddenly notice that you are alone amidst the throngs of people. It seems that your boyfriend, with whom you were going to greet the new year, has abandoned you and wandered off with some lumbering lout to argue football scores. Anxiously, you comb the room for a familiar face. Desperation grips you as you ponder the unsavory thought of entering the new year alone. So, with a determined vow, you fall back on your last resort -- getting picked up by a drunk.

This procedure isn't difficult to learn once you understand a few basic rules. Getting picked up by a drunk doesn't require any experience or preparation and is easy enough for even a novice to master.

First you need to select your target. One is never hard to find. Your drunk can usually be found with a shot glass in his hand, leering at you from the corner of the bar. His bleary eyes and cheesy grin are a dead giveaway, and he usually requires external support to remain in an upright position.

Since you invariably already have his attention, the next step is easy. Using gestures to show interest or friendliness almost always produces a positive result. However, if your flirtatiousness gives him cause for a quick search for the "real" recipient of your affections, you may need a more obvious approach. Perhaps a light tap on the shoulder might work, but be careful not to upset his precarious balance. Try to be very coy and feminine; in fact, be as suggestive as possible. Fluttering eyelashes, demure looks, and swinging legs will arouse him like nothing else.

When you think you have your fish hooked, sidle furtively over to him. There's no need to wait for an invitation; just have a seat and make yourself comfortable. (Chances are he would have come to you if he could have navigated the treacherous distance to your table.) By all means, let him buy you a drink. Emptying his wallet for such a charming woman will give him enormous satisfaction and the impression that he is actually in control of the situation.

Next, flatter him with remarks about his good looks, however dubious they may appear. For instance, an endearing remark about how expertly styled his thinning hair looks will light him up like a Christmas tree and send him off on a discussion about his custom-made, genuine camel hair toupee. Giggle at everything he says, such as the story of how he got a tattoo of Elvis on his backside.

It is important that you maintain good eye contact. He must believe that you are extremely interested in what he says. It may help to exaggerate your reactions, and acting dumb to make him look important or intelligent is always a plus. Remember, you are trying to have the time of your life, so ham it up. It doesn't really matter what you say, or whether it's true or not. He probably won't remember it the next morning, anyway.

Finally, with great cheer and fanfare, the new year arrives. If all has gone well, one of two things have happened: first, and preferably, your boyfriend has returned and rescued you from the clutches of this drunken mauler; second, your drunk now believes you are indentured to him. This leads to the final, most critical time of the night -- getting rid of him. By this stage, you will probably need a crowbar, but several other options are open. There is the ladies-room-and-out-the-side-door trick, the accidentally-spilling-your-drink-on-him trick, and of course, the famous catching-his-eyebrows-on-fire-while-lighting-his-cigarette trick. Whatever technique you choose, the important thing is to ditch him fast.

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