Monday, 14 September 2015
The Alpha Male & Pick Up Artist II
The best times of my life always seem to occur in circumstances and places I wouldn't ordinarily expect them. Lounge Lizard Larry had just gotten divorced from his wife - back then the divorce stats were around 30% and everyone was wondering what that was all about. His ex was a coldly formal woman around me and never said much. His 11 year old daughter was a happy, boisterous kid that Larry worshipped. Shortly after he divorced, he called me into his office, sat me down and told me that if anything ever happened to him, I was to see that his daughter was cared for and if I botched it he would haunt me to my final days and kick the stuffing out of me when I arrived in Hell. It still almost chokes me up to this day. Looking back on it - that was the only indication I ever had that Larry was actually stressed by his divorce. Otherwise he handled it like a champ. Within a few months he had bought a new house, an old, small, used car, and seemed to be picking up the pieces of his life at a good clip. It was obvious that he had been prepared for it for a long, long time, and I helped where I could.
We were in my truck bringing a load of Larry's stuff to his new house when he throws a hand across my chest and shouts "Stop! Stop!" I nearly shat my pants, thinking I had run over some unseen toddler or maybe an old lady! Larry just sat there looking straight ahead, as if in a trance. After I had wiped my ass and changed my underwear I ask him "So what's the panic? Did you just shit your pants too...?"
But Larry is looking up the road - where I see an average woman in her late 40's struggling with an old car. The hood is up and clearly something is wrong. "Okay Junior," he says, "I haven't done this in a long, long time. Follow my lead - and if I trip up - help me out!"
"That's Nora, one of my neighbours, she's a classy lady, divorced, one son. I would like to meet her and find out a little more about her, and YOU are going to help me out! So: Until you are told otherwise, you will conduct yourself like a perfect gentleman and stifle your usual primate behaviours! NYUK NYUK NYUK!!! If you screw this up, I'll rip off your head and fart down your neck! Now - don't just sit there! Drive up, roll down the window...and let ME do the talking!"
So I made it so. We pulled up alongside the lady, I say "Hello." and Larry takes over with some small talk. Apparently she was doing the child custody thing too, she was going to run out to pick up her son but was afraid to run the car because it was overheating. It was an old car with the old style circular air cleaner on top and the fan belt out front...and I could see from the seat of my truck that it had come off. When I looked back at Larry and Nora...they were chattering like school kids. I interrupted to tell them I could probably get the car running long enough for her to get it to a real mechanic where it would have to be checked out.
"Excellent, Filthie!" Larry says, "So, here's what we'll do, everyone: Nora, my simian sidekick will get your car running in fairly short order. While he does that, you will come with me to the house and borrow my car to go pick up your boy while I get supper going - surely you and your son can join us? Perhaps you could make a quick stop at the Safeway on the way back - I have some ingredients and supplies that I will need for supper...if I give you some money could you pick out a good bottle of red wine for us...and maybe a bottle of Liquid Plumber for Junior, here...?"
And with that...we all had our missions. For me tinkering with the car was a treat; unlike the new cars today with their modular, computerized engines and serpentine belts that need 5 hours and a tech to get at, the old engines were easy-peasy and meant to be worked on by the layman. It was winter, but we were having one of the glorious Alberta chinooks where the winds blow soft and warm. By the time Nora got back I was finished and had gotten in a snowball fight with Lisa in the back yard, and then I was getting pelted with snowballs from two little hellions. I loved the kids. Lisa was a chatterbox like her father, and Nora's boy was quiet and awkward - so Lisa did his talking for him too. He didn't seem to mind. For me playing with the children was like a tall drink of water on a hot day...even back then, dark forces and demons were gathering about my own daughter. Whereas she was sullen, secretive and bratty - these kids were boisterous and outgoing and happy. When Larry poked his head out the door to call us in for supper, the heavens opened up, the gods smiled down upon me, and they guided the snowball I launched at Larry with the precision of a Minuteman anti-ballistic missile. I nailed the old bastard right in the head with a slushy one that snapped his head around like a shot from Mohammed Ali! HAR HAR HAR!!! When he recovered his balance, I hit him again! The gods had given me an arm like a cannon that night, with plenty of ammo - and by Godfrey - I used it! Larry shrieked like Homer Simpson and ducked back into the house and had Nora call us in for supper. Just like the craven bugger to hide behind women and children when things got serious! HAR HAR!!!
Supper was fantastic because Larry was truly a superlative cook. He moved around the kitchen like a pro while Nora sipped red wine. Larry chattered as he moved and even I could tell right off the bat...she was smitten. When supper was served we had two tables - one for the adults and one for the children, so I took my meal with the kids to give the adults space. I was surprised he could eat at all - Larry's gums flapped at 100MPH as he regaled us with stories of his youth when he was the manager of a local nightclub...where he bounced the surly drunks and druggies, assisted in the kitchen and behind the bar and generally went where he was needed. We laughed at the stories of his hapless patrons and customers and silly coworkers, (some of those stories may warrant a re-telling from the Thunderbox one day, perhaps...).
Afterward, Lisa sighs with contentment and says, "Ahhhhhh. It's just like being a happy family again...". Even Larry ran out of steam when his girl said it. An awkward silence followed as everyone seemed at a loss...so Nora pipes up: "So how did you and Larry meet, Filthie...?"
It was glorious. I am not ordinarily a glib man, but a snoot of Cardhu had loosened my tongue and bolstered my courage! "Larry and I met in prison," I loudly proclaimed, "where he was doing quite well for himself I might add..."
"Junior...", he growled menacingly, but I talk right over him, "Larry was in for bigamy...or...were you in for child molesting by then, Larry...?"
"JUNIOR!!!!" he roars, but again I shouted over him, "Bigamy! Definitely bigamy! He would have gotten away with it but one afternoon he was shot by an angry husband as he tried to escape out the bedroom window...". I started gobbling, trying to get the words out as fast as possible before he laid his fists on me.
"Thanks for coming over tonight, Junior, it was a wonderful evening..." he says as I got kicked, slapped and punched to the front door. The kids were giggling, and Nora was smiling, and I was laughing too hard to defend myself and didn't stop until I found my arse on the front step with the door slammed in my face. How RUDE!!! The door opened again and Larry threw my jacket and boots out...and I realized that this was probably one of the happier nights of my life. The moon was out, the snow shone underneath it on a peaceful street, and the chinook blew softly and warmly to remind one of spring. I put on my stuff, knocked on the window and waved goodbye...and left them to themselves.
Larry was a chick magnet even in his 50's. Today's self proclaimed 'pick up artists' are every bit as slutty as the women they game. Games are for kids, fellas. Larry treated his women with warmth and sincerity. He didn't 'game' them or seduce them, he was just himself: a big goofy humorous man who worked hard and played hard. I suppose it would be rather an insult to compare him to sleazeballs like Roosh or bratty children like Vox Day because he truly was an artist where they are just poseurs. He could call anyone of his ex-girlfriends up and they would fall over themselves to be with him again.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what I would call a pick up artist. Larry and I fought over that too, he seemed to think anyone could pick up and bed women, but it took a real champ to handle long term marriage as I did. Now that I am the same age as he was when he said those words, it seems to me that when it comes to women - the mission is to find your soul mate. About the only advice I would offer is that she won't be where you expect her, and you won't see her for what she is in the sack or in the bar.
Keep your stick on the ice, and join me again soon. This story has an epilogue that involves some tough writing and I would appreciate it if you stop by and let me know how I do.