Archive for the ‘the world may never know’ Category

Intended NTKOG: The kind of cheekily confident, vaguely feminist girl who can poke fun at the whole modern meatmarket scene with a most excellent pick-up line. Like, oh, say, holding up a card rating you from one to ten?

I am: usually drawn to men for qualities like wit, charisma, and advanced degrees in physics.

I am not: too into traditionally good-looking men anyway. (Pssst, Seth Rogen: call me!)

The Scene: Hanging out in the best pizza joint in New England College Town last weekend, chowing down on a bacon and mashed potato pizza with Justice, Muscles, and Karma (Justice’s roommate). One of us observed that the restaurant was a total sausagefest — not, of course, referring to the menu — and for a few minutes we discussed the relative aesthetic merits of the fellows swarming the tables. Then I reached for the pad in my bag, tore out five pices of paper, and starting ripping them neatly into halves.

“What are you–” Karma started. I scribbled a large number 1.

“Noooooooooo!” Justice and Muscles shouted in — I really wish I were exaggerating here — complete unison.

Huh. Apparently they’re hip to my tricks.

“I am embarrassed,” Justice kept repeating with increasing urgency, as I labelled the pieces with bold numerals from 7-10. “Just make sure you don’t forget to say how mortified I was.” (Got your back, girl.) But come on, I argued! I’m not going to hurt anyone’s feelings! I’m only going to give them nice, positive scores. It’s really just a way of giving an across-the-room compliment!

Though I noted in the back of my head that, in the case of a severe hair or wardrobe malfunction, the 9 could always be flipped to reveal a 6.

“You can’t get us kicked out of here,” Karma warned me. “They have the best pizza in town.” A weighty argument.

For the next half hour, I furtively raised what I thought to be the appropriate numbers in the direction of passing men, though I did not hold them up for all to see. Once the judging was in progress, my dining companions took even more issue with my project.

“He’s not a nine!” Justice shrieked, snatching the 7 slip from across the table, while Muscles shook his head in horrified disbelief and picked up the 8. At various points in the meal, each of the four of us had a different slip in front of us, grease soaking through its edges, while hotly disputing the attractiveness (or, uh, age — whoops!) of some passer-by.

Only once did the cards have a chance to get properly displayed. Near the end of the meal, Muscles left the table, and as he returned, sauntered in mock-casual slow-motion toward the table, pantomiming a “Who, me?” gesture. I threw the 10 card up high in the air. Justice noticed the card but not its target and stiffened, blushing radioactive through her sweater dress so hard I could practically feel it. “Put that down,” she hissed. But when Muscles sat back down and she realized what had happened, not only did she relax but, for once, didn’t even dispute my rating.

The Verdict: Okay, so I totally see why my companions didn’t want to be associated with this silliness, and certainly also how, done in a mean-spirited or caustic way, this would be an incredibly cruel thing to do in a bar or restaurant. However, I still hold that if you’re only doling out top-shelf ratings like 9s or 10s, and it’s done in an obviously light-hearted manner, this might be a pretty cute uber-cheesy line to try in a bar. I’d still be up for trying it sometime, if only for kitsch or novelty value.

I rate this idea an 8.0! And my friends a 1.0 for being jerkfaces! (But, I guess, a 10.0 in every other respect, so it all evens out.)


If you’ve ever tried discussing and reaching a group consensus with friends about mutual acquaintainces’ rating on the 10-scale, you might notice there’s a huge ratings discrepancy between men and women. This is because, as near as I can figure, men are much better at purely perceiving a person’s physical attractiveness, whereas at least the women I know have a hard time divorcing physical appearance from intangible (but important!) qualities.

Thus, I presented to you The Patented NTKOG 40-Scale! Simply assign each person 10 points each for: Looks; Personality; Intelligence; and Talent, and I think you’ll be AMAZED by how close the ratings com in! My totally arbitrary brightline for personal awesomeness is a 26: any lower, and people might stop returning your text messages. (Justice & Muscles are both 38s; the guy I went on a Jewish frat blind date dash with freshman year is a 7. Those are about the extremes.)

I mean, not that I really advocate assigning values to people’s attractiveness or your approval for them or anything. But it is quite an amusing activity over a pitcher or two…


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