The Worst Wing-Man Ever: Memories Best Left Behind

I am reminiscing tonight as I oft do when I am feeling low, and I happened to recall the story of The Worst Wing-Man Ever.

I will not mention any names so as to spare the idiot the colossal shame he should still feel to this very day. This story takes place back in college, grad school to be exact, and it was during the Age of Mystery, which, if you were female during that period, you probably refer to as The Dark Times. You see, “Mystery” was this major douchebag who posted video tutorials on how to pick up the women-folk.

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This is Erik von Markovik, AKA “Mystery,” a douchebag exported from Canada. They just do not come any douchier. At least, I hope they don’t.

Mystery used terminology like “sets” to refer to groups of girls hanging out together, and “neg,” which is to make a passively-aggressive negative comment to the girl you are targeting in order to damage her self-esteem and make her easier to hit on. Total douchebaggery of the worst sort. Anyway, my friend had been watching these idiotic videos and wanted to put what he had learned into practice. I did not, so I had spent much of the night moving away from him, but he always seemed to catch up to me. At one point, I used the excuse of going to the bar to get another drink as a ploy to momentarily escape his increasingly-drunken and ill-advised shadiness. The bar was crowded, so I slipped in beside a young woman who was also waiting for a drink. As I tried to flag down the barkeep, I noticed the girl was wearing a wristwatch with a Steal Your Face on its face (the logo of the Grateful Dead, a band of which I am quite fond).

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A similar watch

I said to her, “Hey, I like your watch” in a friendly attempt at a genuine compliment — totally not in line with the Mystery tutorials of “negging.” The young lady said, “Thanks,” and raised her wrist so that I could get a better look at the timepiece in question. “It was a birthday present,” she said. “It was my birthday yesterday.” Being a sucker, I offered to buy her a late birthday drink. She accepted, and by the time I was able to order the drinks, we had begun a discussion of favorite Dead concert experiences. I had initiated the chat with the question, “Did you ever see them live?” She had. So there was something we had in common, and a natural conversation ensued, as one does in normal human interactions. However, the negative influence of that douchebag Mystery was about to rear its ugly head.

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Again, “Mystery.” If you were one of the unfortunate ladies who actually hooked up with this piece of work… I just don’t know what to say. I am certain you feel bad enough about yourself, and I hope you have received counseling.

From several feet away, my friend spotted me interacting with a female, and in his drunken idiocy, could not help himself but to shout out what he considered to be helpful advice. The words “Neg her!” rang out over the din of the bar.

Now, I am not sure if you can read what that sounds like when spoken aloud, and I would recommend you not say it aloud to find out what the entire bar thought they’d heard. It sounded like he had just decided to let fly with a very ugly racial slur. I pretended not to hear him, and not to know him. Yet he was not finished providing me with advice, loudly, from several feet away. He had a line for me to try on top of his suddenly apparent touch of racist Tourette syndrome.

“Tell her she has weird tits!” he yelled unashamedly.

And he really, really should have felt shame. I know I did. I am certain that now, in the horrible hindsight of life, he does feel that shame, but in that moment, he thought he was being helpful. He was, of course, not. The bartender arrived with our drinks, I toasted the young woman for her birthday, and bid her a hasty and apologetic farewell. I never even learned her name. All I know is that, from my perspective, I could not tell if her tits were weird. They looked perfectly normal to me, but she was wearing a shirt at the time, as is the fashion in polite company, so what do I know? And with friends like mine, I would likely have never had the chance to find out.

After leaving the bar, I asked my friend just what the hell he had been thinking. His explanation was that “girls are very insecure about their breasts,” and often compared them, either secretly or openly, with those of other women when in a locker room or watching pornographic videos or what have you. He thought, therefore, that it would be a good idea for me to tell a woman whom I had just met that her breasts were somehow atypical. Because, you know, Mystery would probably do something like that, and he was a pick-up artist. There are two words that should never be together in a sentence: “pick-up” and “artist.”

The moral of this story: Never take dating advice from a guy who calls himself “Mystery,” and do not hang out with those that do. The only mystery is how guys using his methods ever met with any success.

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