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A Man Walks Out of a Bar


“Their game was weak!” he says of the twins. “It was, like, ‘Be quiet; look at someone through big, blinking, wide eyes; soft, low gestures; and letting him know they were bisexual at some point.’ I’ve met 60-year-old women with more game.”

But then later on, he turns the conversation to me. “I’m actually thinking in my head that I’ve gotten too comfortable on the phone with you,” he says, before explaining how he’d follow up this call with one in which he regains power over the interaction. “I’d try not to say my name, you know, kind of refer to an in-joke so you’d know who it was instantly. And then, ‘Oh, my God! Guess what happened to me today? I was surfing and this whole pod of, like, twenty dolphins came by!’ Which actually did happen yesterday. And I’d already know that you like sushi and I would have already told you that there’s a guy in the Valley, the Sushi Nazi, like the Soup Nazi … ”

He apologizes for “talking way too fast,” only to add “You talk fast, too. If I was running game, I would say the reason is because we’re both visual thinkers versus people who think with their feelings or auditory. Visual thinkers talk quickly because the pictures change most rapidly. And when you think, your eyes probably go up rather than down.”

It’s not, embarrassingly, until I get off the phone that I realize Strauss could well have just run game on me simply by explaining how he would have run game on me. I’m left with his number, his e-mail address (or rather, his assistant’s, since Strauss doesn’t do e-mail anymore), a standing invitation to the Wednesday dinner, and, of course, his parting words, “Hopefully we’ll continue this conversation at some point.”

How to Make Money Like a Porn Star!
By Neil Strauss and Bernard Chang. Regan Books. 128 pages.


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