Lessons from a pick-up artist

It would be fascinating to know if the line, “Are those space pants? Because your ass is out of this world?” has ever resulted in a romantic interlude. And can the accusation that “your Dad must be a terrorist because he made a bomb,” be expected to do anything except blow up in your face?

Sleazy pick up lines, while amusing to people eavesdropping nearby, are often mildly offensive to their recipients. Here we run through a few of the best, worst and cheesiest lines in the book and find out how they’ll effect your chances of actually scoring…

“I’ve lost my number, can I have yours,” is illogical but has enough cuteness to extract a good natured chuckle (if nothing else). “We should change the alphabet so U and I are together,” and “You must be tired because you’ve been running through my mind all day” are lame yet pleasant enough to cause little offence.

While at the other end of the spectrum: “If I was a fly I’d land on you because you’re the shit,” clearly stinks. And having beckoned a babe from across the bar with your index finger you could explain that “I just wanted to make you come using one finger” (although if she’s taken the bait by approaching you the line is probably already redundant).

Old subtle classics like “Do you have the time?” or “Can you give me directions?” have little hope given that women in the street going about their business probably aren’t in the mood for being hit on and, even if they were, such a dearth of imagination impresses no one. But audacity and confidence does, which is the disclaimer attached to any criticism of vapid or tasteless lines.

Looks and charm also play a big part, as does celebrity. Brad Pitt would like his chances with “Hello, I’m Brad Pitt,” while a balding, diffident, unemployed guy living with his mum could recite Keats without hope.

In this brave new world of blurred gender roles the girls are theoretically free to try their luck too with gems like “Have sex with me and I promise never to talk to you again!” or “You’ve been a bad boy. Go to my room.” One does remains suspicious that this phenomenon exists however, given the only pick up line I’ve ever received (from a female) was “Buy me a drink?” – a request made by numerous other patrons throughout the night.

Then there is internet dating. On RSVP you can either send a message of your own wording or, for less literary types, a standardised kiss such as “I think we have a lot in common, I’d like to hear from you” or “You’re just my type! I’d like to hear from you,” which are the innocuous alternatives. Forget about bad lines on eHarmony – contact is initiated by sending a questionnaire!

And when all else fails there is always the tried and trusted “Can I ask you a few questions, I’m writing the Amore column for Ciao Magazine…?”

• Words: Jason Dunne, author of “Everyone is Henry Miller” and Ciao’s own pick up artist extraordinaire. 

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