6.5% ABV canned
On Friends With Anti-Game and the Myth of “Cockblocking” or Maybe Just a Spurned Man’s Bitter Missive
Tim Wakefield winds up and throws but his pitch doesn’t knuckle, instead fluttering to the plate at a mere 58 MPH, fodder for a big leaguer. But rather than crushing it out of the park, your teammate brutally swings and misses, embarrassingly striking out. Even worse, his strike out immediately causes you and your other teammates to whiff too. Besides being the complete antithesis of what the Rays did to the Sox last night, this serves as a metaphor for what it’s like to try and hit on girls with a friend that has anti-game.
The above scenario typically isn’t a problem for me. All my friends are cool, funny, witty, handsome, debonair…OK, well at least they know how to talk to drunken women without causing them to reach for their pepper spray key ring. Likewise, living in New York evolutionarily forces a man to hone his inveigling prowess. This isn’t fucking Tulsa or Little Rock, this is the majors, son, survival of the fitness, and if you don’t quickly develop some competent skills of seduction you will be self-sentenced to a lifetime of celibacy.
Being that I moved to the greatest city in the world, a rarity amongst the populous where I grew up, whenever any sort of former acquaintance, of even the sometimes most minor sort, comes to town on business or vacation, I am searched out. And in this era of Facebook and MySpace that ain’t too difficult to accomplish. Thus, a few times a month and countless times a year, being that I’m always up for an adventure, especially if that involves drinking, I will agree to go out with what is essentially a stranger. A person I often haven’t seen or even spoken to since I graduated high school in 1997, if not earlier than that.
Several weeks ago, I was bombarded with three faces from the past over a string of five separate nights. The first two old chums were an absolute joy to hang out with and we drank and got into trouble until the sun came up. The third…well…
The night started out fine enough. We casually drank at Stout, a could-be-so-much-better beer and skank megaporium* near Penn Station. My New York friend and I quickly became kinda bored and for entertainment purposes decided to get the out-of-towner’s easily provoked goat by continually telling him–only half-jokingly-in-delivery-but-really-not-jokingly-at-all-in-our-heads–how much hotter the women are in Manhattan than in his barely top 50 in population metro area.
We’d notice the typical fat friend and…
“You see her? Cankles over there? That’s a SEVEN in your burg.”
We’d noticed a mediocre, early-thirties, twenty-pounds-overweight barfly and…
“You see her? She’d be a NINE in your city.”
The out-of-towner was apoplectic, hemming and hawing and “You have no idea what you’re talking about, Aaron, you just don’t know the right places to go in my town. The women there are soooooooo much prettier than in New York.”
And then we saw a classic butterfaced skank with a legit bod and not much else going on and…
“You see her? In your city…?”
“…she’d probably be like a FIFTEEN.”
“OUT OF TEN?!?!?!? You guys are caaaaaaaa-razy!”
But we weren’t. From firsthand experience we knew those also, also-rans in New York would be the belle of the smoky tavern in his town. Yes, we were being a bit cruel, but we mainly did it to entertain ourselves, to wink-wink, smirk-smirk at our friend’s indignatious outrage.
Our former friend was a nice guy no question, perhaps a “nice” guy at worst. Oh, there’s a big difference believe me. One of those fellows that plastered-on smiles and talks to everybody, flirting at any life form with a pussy in the same asexual way your grandpa goofs around with women four times less his age. The kind of guy that reads a waitress’s nametag and condescendingly calls her by her name before she’s even introduced herself.
“Hi Wendy, I’ll have the chicken fingers and a Guinness and when you have a chance could you be a doll and put the Cardinals game on…(looks around and finally points) that screen?”
Later, after a few drinks, my New York friend and I, still both stone-cold sober, and the out-of-towner, now buzzed in that goofy begins-to-act-giggly-like-a-girl way, decided to head to some new haunts.
Tonight’s your night, out-of-towner, so where do you want to go we asked?
“Where ever I can get laid,” he said, emphasis on the last word and without an ounce of bad-80s-movie irony.
Well OK. My eyes rolled so much in my head that I think I saw behind me. I couldn’t possibly imagine a scenario in my mind where the out-of-towner could land a lady. That is, unless she was absolutely wasted. Thus, I somewhat selfishly suggested my hood, land of the alcoholic, easily wheedled floozy.
We bounced from place to place in Hell’s Kitchen, the out-of-towner never satisfied with the scene. The scenes were solid in your author’s humble opinion and I fucking hate barhopping. I was getting bored and when I get bored I always steer my party to a place where I can play “Big Buck Hunter.” And thus I did.
En route, we saw a quite attractive young girl returning from happy hour and trying to unlock the front door to her apartment building. One thing led to another and soon we were talking to her and eventually I had convinced her to join us at the bar.
Before I go on, a disclaimer. Even sober I am cocky and arrogant, but with a few drinks in me my confidence and self-assuredness reaches Caesarean, Odyssean, GeorgeClooneyan levels of hubris. So when I say I think our picked-up girl wanted me, take that for what it’s worth.
The out-of-towner didn’t take it for much, as people with anti-game have some of the worst interpersonal read-and-recognition skills this side of an Asperberger’s sufferer. Instead of relaxing and just sitting back, a group of four people drinking and conversing, he decided to immediately try and steal the show. He locked arms with the girl and marched her to the bar, gallingly ordering him and her pints (the wretched Steeeeeeeeella!) while ignoring me and my pal.
From there, the out-of-towner led her to a crammed corner seat where he proceeded to angle her in a way that blocked her from any sort of conversation with us, using his arms braced against the exposed brick wall as a gate locking her in like a roller coaster contraption. Over his 5′7″ shoulders I could see her often make eyes with me, but I knew it was over. Predictably, the out-of-towner dominated the conversation, doing the opposite of regaling her with boring anecdotes about the life of a middle manager on the road. You can’t defeat anti-game like that. You simply have to ignore it, know your chances have been foiled, and get on with your life.
Thus, my friend and I went to the corner to get drunker and play “Buck Hunter.” I had my first ever Dale’s Pale Ale and was floored. I typically don’t like pales, thinking they are boring and unadventurous but had heard good things about this one and goddamn was it good. An almost IPA level of hops, solid malts, a great little sweetness and citrusness, and extraordinarily drinkable. Maybe the best pale ale I’ve ever had and I could see myself downing these all night long.
From afar I noticed the out-of-towner making ways with the girl. Her body language seemed to indicate that she was into him and indeed she was no longer glancing my way. Good for him. Perhaps I had been wrong in my assessment of her vis-a-vis me. It’s certainly happened in the past.
A half hour later, the out-of-towner came over to inform me and our friend that he was going back to the girl’s apartment to fuck her. I was a bit surprised, but New York women are certainly not known for being coy. And then…nothing happened. The girl refused to leave with him. She finally came over to us. “You guys should come back too.” Her eyes bolding, italicizing, and underlining the TOO.
I didn’t believe her nor did my friend. We’ve seen this behavior before. Girls too embarrassed to leave for a one-night stand so they act like everyone’s invited back and then when everyone correctly plays their part by turning the offer down she can simply say, “Well, I invited them. Guess it’s just me and you, huh?”
But she wasn’t playing any games. And eventually the out-of-towner came up to us playing “Buck Hunter” and embarrassingly explained, “Look guys, you really have to come back TOO.”
He explained she had a roof and we could drink her beer and her hot roommates would be there too. Alas, we turned him down. He was going to have to accomplish this mission on his own.
He left and five minutes later he returned. Seems he got to roof and unceremoniously went in for a kiss and she even-less-ceremoniously pushed him away. She wasn’t “feeling it.” She then immediately went to her bedroom, leaving the out-of-towner alone on the roof, forced to find his own way downstairs and back to the bar.
The girl may or may not have liked me but anyone with even a modicum of game could have quite easily picked her up. She was drunk, willing, bored, and had already predetermined the outcome to her night once she had entered the bar with three strangers–she was sleeping with (at least) one of them. The only thing that could torpedo the chances of group success was a person with anti-game. And that’s what happened. If he had simply sat there quietly he would have had a better chance with –probably ultimately succeeded with her!– than he did in trying to impress and “be himself.” Oh well.
The last indignity of the night came when I went to the bathroom and the out-of-towner pulled my friend aside to utter the final salvo of the loser: “cockblocker.” Indeed he was calling me a cockblocker due to his own personal failures. Remember, children, people with anti-game can’t look within themselves, can’t conceive, can’t accept that something they do or did could be the reason why they didn’t succeed with a woman. And thus they have no recourse but to cavalierly call someone around them a cockblocker. But the fact of the matter is that cockblocking simply doesn’t exist among adults. If a woman wants to fuck you she will, and there ain’t nothing another man can do to stop it.
*Arguably the greatest single drinking “space” in Manhattan, the place has a respectable enough beer menu but they haven’t updated it once in the half-decade the place has been open. They have tons of terrific TVs but they always have them showing something like minor league cricket or the Greg Schiano Show. Tons of attractive woman go for happy hour but Stout blasts completely inappropriate techno music so loud that one can barely speak or certainly build rapport. Not that the bartenders are ever near your premises to get an order what with the fact that the place has a bar longer than a bowling lane but at best two drink slingers working at even bustling times. The food is pretty good but comes out slowly and cooled to a sog. And buybacks? You got to be kidding me. Go to the nearby Ginger Man+ instead. Everything Stout wishes it could be if its management wasn’t so obviously lazy and resting on its laurels in operating something I statistically know to be a major cash cow.
+Then again, Ginger Man has some issues nowadays too.