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Voodoo Dating: What’s My Line?

April 23, 2010

I am a product of my parents. Therefore, wit, sarcasm, and something stumbling along as humour is in my genes (also, occasionally, in my skirts, overalls, and undergarments). Both Brothers on Mum & Pops’ sides honed me on the art of sliding in necessary humourous comments during conversations. I don’t have much smarts, but I can usually conjure enough of a witty smokescreen to detour people from my lacking intelligence.

There is one keystone of sarcasm, however, I am enviably missing and have been during my entire dating career. This is the timing of the perfect retort to a completely nasty and uncalled for pick-up line. I have spent…er…minutes of my life attempting to remedy this, but to no avail. It’s truly disappointing because I’ve had numerous encounters with people where the situation was so wrong that a shining clip or zing would have been novella worthy.

So, how does send for and employ scathing retorts when getting hit on in dreadful ways? I wish I knew. Let’s try to learn together and we can use three infamous situations I’ve personally endured sans a quality clip or zing.

One December holiday, I was flying from University to my parent’s home in Michigan and was seated next to a man in his mid-forties. I was nineteen, he was married, and we both become chatty-chattersons during the hour flight. (Hobbies were discussed, peanuts were ingested.) About halfway through the flight, my neighbor asked me how I felt about Ping-Pong and my over-enthusiastic answer sang out my adoration for the sport. ‘I even have my own paddle!’, I exclaimed. To wit, the neighbor eyed me up and said, ‘I would like you to spank me with that Ping-Pong paddle. Would you like that?’

Interestingly/oddly/whateverly enough, the first thing that entered my head was a scene from I Shot Andy Warhol in which Valerie Solanas (Lili Taylor) is talking with a ‘John’ about his fascination with women walking on his chest wearing golf cleats. ‘John’ opens his shirt to showcase various cleat-sized wounds and Valerie inquires, ‘Golf shoes, I presume.’ The image of my airline neighbor showcasing his bruises followed this thought. ‘Ping-Pong paddle, I presume.’

The most appalling moment about this ‘pick-up’ was that the only reaction I had was to ring for the stewardess (which I had never done and WILL never do again-those buttons only end in tragedy) and request to switch seats. I got what I deserved when the stewardess brightly informed me that the plane was full and I would have to remain seated where I was. I took it as Karma’s way of telling me it’s my own fault for being without a sarcastic retort.

During College in Nova Scotia, I lived in a building with a bunch of extremely eclectic characters. We never hung out in real life, but we all sort of made time for each other when we returned home and took our smokey-treat breaks. One of my building’s inhabitants was a man who bore an uncanny resemblance to Sammy Davis, Jr. Had it not been for an extreme case of watering in his left eye and his almost robotic movements, I think we all would have thrown down to supply this man with a fine pair of tap shoes.

One Summer day, I entered our building’s elevator with Sammy behind me. Of course, we occupied the snail speed elevator and as the minutes passed I noticed that Sammy was inching closer. Almost one bible length away and gaining, Sammy said, ‘I like you. If I were younger I would date you. But since I’m not younger, I’m going to kiss you now.’ Personally, I’ve always found the real Sammy Davis, Jr. attractive, but this imitation of the dancer, complete with over-watering excited eye, and thinking his five-foot frame was going to make out with my five foot nine inch one was nothin’ doing. My pathetic retort was, ‘Uhhh. No you’re not.’ Brilliant, Sara. Leave the elevator. Do not pass go. Do not collect props for anything witty.

Finally, while working in a photography studio, in Michigan, I was sentence to accompany my boss on an overnight shoot. The shoot was on an island and we would be shooting two days there…alone…together. The first night, my boss showed off his stellar I-can’t-handle-my-liquor skills, which were remotely entertaining for someone who can and does handle her liquor. The downside drifted in while I was shooting out the window of our suite and my boss made his way behind me, put his arms around my waist, and asked me if I wanted us to go to his room or my room. Obviously, this was a no-brainer, being that it was my boss, and that he was married, and he had two children, and he looked like Larry David (not that that’s icky, but not so much my type). Still, it’s wrong because he was my boss, and he wore a beret, and he was my boss…

Surprisingly, in my un-witty retort I did manage to hook in a bit of disgust and venom with, ‘I’d like to go to my room. Alone.’ Unsurprisingly, I wish I would have had something killer to respond. Something clever and intimating about him jeopardizing his family or even something that would have procured a raise for yours truly. (Hey, it’s all about number one, right?)

As humourously clever as I think I am, I cannot believe how badly I am lacking in the area of retaliations for pick-up lines. Maybe I’m just so overwhelmed that someone is actually hitting on me or maybe the lines and situations are just too awful that it takes time to craft something appropriate. Regardless, having a fairly bountiful love affair with the Internetz, I figure there have to be a couple of universal retorts, right? And, praise be to Allah, there are! So, here’s a tasty link, dear Readers, to practice with should ya’ll ever find yourselves in one or more of my predicaments.



2 Responses to “ Voodoo Dating: What’s My Line? ”

  1. Pancake on April 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    It is a curse. Thinking of the perfect retort SEVEN HOURS after the time is right is a particular skill that I possess. Only once was I quick on my feet – when I was waiting tables at Harry’s and a male customer approached me after my shift ended and asked me if If I liked music, I simply said, “NO.” “You don’t like ANY music? Because I have tickets to Such and Such…” “I don’t listen to music. I don’t like it.”

  2. Sara on April 23, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Similar to my stance on Math…I got nothin’.