Have you seen the show "The Pick-Up Artist?" If not, it stars Mystery as a guy who wears a funny hat and is somehow able to magically make women want to have sex with him. He takes a group of nerds and then teaches them the mystic art of seduction. The nerd who proves himself to be most adept at learning the routines Mystery gives him is crowned "The Pick Up Artist."
I became interested in this show last year because it had the kind of "so bad it's good" vibe that you can't get from a lot of other reality TV. For as mind-blowingly retarded as, say, Flava Flav might act, on some level I think he's in on the joke. Whenever self-awareness creeps into my ironic viewing, it's time to change the channel.
Mystery, though, actually believes that his collection of magic tricks, mind reading gimmicks, cold openers, and sociobiology crib notes will somehow take these nerds to a better emotional place. It's self-help via vagina.
It's that sincerity that I find delightful in a show I want to mock. Thus, I watched last season and all this season. Curious, I bought "The Game", a book by Neil Strauss about his time with Mystery. I even went a little further and listened to a few podcasts by some self proclaimed PUAs. This is what I've learned:
1. We are all a slave to our biology. PUAs trick women into being interested in them the same way Venus Fly Traps kill bugs.
1(a). No matter how much a woman protests that those approaches "would never work on her", she's lying. The lines work because they've been brutally beta-tested by hundreds of horny men. Even my wife admitted recently that Mystery's ridiculous hat and/or boa would catch her interest if she were in a club.
"I'd ask him why he was wearing that," she said. I died a little inside.
2. Men evaluate themselves solely on how attractive they are to women. Everything a man does on some level or another is, however misguided, an attempt to attract women to them. What this show does is make naked this fact.
3. Silly hats are somehow sexy. I haven't quite been able to figure this out, but that's probably why I went dateless through four years of high school and a freshman year of college.
4. I hate clubs.
That last point is something that I didn't really need the PUA to explain to me. It's something I've known for a long time - clubs are Kryptonite for someone like me, who, if he is to have any chance with a woman, it has to come from his wit. The loud, brain-rattling thump of your average nightclub dulls all but the most routine of observation. Anything more complicated than "nice boobs!" runs the risk of being lost in the music.
Because of that, women tend to rely on sight first, thought second in those kind of scenarios. I am therefore forever second best to the silly hat and square chin brigade. Lucky I'm married (or at least, WILL be married, until my wife falls for some PUA's dumb line!)
For some reason all of these things make me depressed even as I know that they're true. It's kind of like a fat person being upset at the realities of gravity.
A note to my Cleveland fans (well, fan): I'll be back in your hometown (at Hilarities) the week leading up to Memorial Day. I'll be headlining Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, and then middling for a celebrity act (TBD) Thursday through Sunday. If you're inclined to get a group together and come on out, please let management know that you came for me. That's the kind of thing that gets me invited back!
And... I'm trying to get more readers. Honest!