Love in the time of spam

For just $2.99 a minute you too can learn how to score with bad party girls from the privacy of your own home!

Published December 10, 1999 5:00PM (EST)

We've all been pestered by unsolicited e-mail offering everything from Internet stock tips to dubious home business opportunities to teenage girls. Spam, it would seem, can bring anything in the world to your fingertips. So why not priceless social tips guaranteed to improve your sex life?

Well, hell, why not! "Eddie Faskell's Pickup Libline" spam offers "proven methods" on how to meet "bad party girls" -- and it's only $2.99 per minute!

With 50 bucks to blow on bad party girl meeting insights, I decide to call the 900 number. I'm soon treated to a recorded message from the self-described "Faskell the Lifeguard." (I'm not sure what's meant by his title, but no explanation is offered, so I don't dwell.) What the patron saint of booty does offer is a menu of five reports designed to educate and enlighten:

They are:

1) How to make beautiful women from all around the world become interested in you from right here at your computer for free!

2) How to approach the "baddest party girls" using this "bad boy" approach!

3) How to meet professional dancers and make a date almost instantly! (For beginners and advanced mac daddies.)

4) How to meet professional dancers and leave the bar with them! (For the advanced macker only.)

5) How to introduce yourself to college girls without leaving your home!

After some deliberation and a bit of soul-searching, I select No. 2.

The first thought that comes into my mind: "Bad party girls" have really big hair. Before the recording has even begun, I begin to regret my choice.

Faskell sounds like a complete dick -- a cross between a JV football coach and a guy who laughs uproariously while watching "Shasta McNasty." Clearly, he's got issues. Regardless, I hold the phone firmly to my ear.

"OK fellas," he says, "now it's a very harsh fact of life that some people, and in particular many beautiful women, just can't handle being treated nicely.

"With some of these beauties, especially the young ones, your only hope is to knock them off balance by bruising their ego, playing something of a tough guy, even being downright crude."

I can already tell this is not going to come naturally, so I pull out a pen and furiously start jotting notes. Faskell suggests that I "pick out a woman with a snotty look on her face, with her boobs or butt hanging out. Then walk up to her and say, 'Excuse me I just had to meet the person who'd go out in public dressed like that!'"

The Lifeguard claims this approach works wonders for him. There's no need to be mean, he says, simply to use your "rap and mental attitude" to get right to her head. "These women are so used to getting their butts kissed ... it gets their attention!"

If the bad party girl of your dreams happens to be wearing ripped jeans, Faskell recommends the following line: "I'd like to stick a needle through my tongue and sew those jeans up nice and slow." The bad party girl response? "My place, now!"

"So we left! True! True! True!" he says.

Under no circumstances should you compliment a bad party girl. The key to the bad boy approach is knock her off guard and turn the tables so she becomes the one eager to prove that she's worthy of you. True! True! True!

"Putting her on the defensive without directly insulting her is key. The way to do this is to ask her opinion of something heavy in philosophy, religion, current events or politics. Ask a woman what she thinks on the Marxist theory of surplus labor. No matter what her response is," he says, "shake your head and go 'hmmm,' then immediately drop it." She'll love that. True! True! True!

Faskell ends his report with a cheerful, "Don't take any shit, fellas!" and that's the end of my 50 bucks.

Of course, I don't know any women who would be impressed by this behavior, but maybe I'm just being close-minded. Sure, this kind of stuff goes against my ingrained social sense, but perhaps a new bad-boy technique is just what I need. I might just become the envy of the neighborhood with my brand new bad party girlfriend! Then again, I might just become the village idiot. Either way, I'm ready to put Faskell's theories to the test.

I venture to a place called Beauty Bar, in San Francisco's Mission district, which is packed with local hipsters. After downing a few bottles of courage, I'm ready.

I try to warm up to a girl in a big furry jacket. I have to say "excuse me" three times before getting her attention. When she finally turns, I flash a huge smile and say, "I just wanted to meet the person who'd go out in public dressed like that!" She stares at me. I'm not sure if I've knocked her off balance or bruised her ego.

I say the line again, this time not smiling as much. "I just had to meet the person who'd go out in public dressed like that!" She insults my jacket and walks away. I'm knocked off balance.

Working the other end of the bar, I spot a bad party girl with blond, spiky hair and a red halter top. "I'd like to stick a needle in my tongue and sew up those jeans nice and slow," I say.

"Fuck you!" she says. If she wasn't sneering before, she is now.

My bad boy approach is going poorly, but I persevere. I careen across the room toward a pretty woman in a race car jacket. Time to insult someone's intelligence!

"What's your opinion of the Marxist theory of surplus labor?" She laughs in my face.

"I don't know what you're talking about!" she says.

Rubbing my chin, I let out a derisive "hmmmm." Then nothing happens.

I'm not sure what Faskell would want this bad boy to do next, but who cares? Happily, his methods are not working here in the baddest party city at the end of the baddest party millennium. And that's cool with me ... True! True! True!

By Harmon Leon

Harmon Leon has written for Details, Gear, Maxim, POV and the London Guardian. He has written for and appeared on the BBC, and performed comedy at the Edinburgh Festival, the Adelaide and Melbourne Festival. He has also performed in England, Ireland, Holland, Denmark and New Zealand.

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