MY WIFE WORRIES when I head out to a race, decked out in my neon shoes, tech shirt, and compression shorts. “What are you going to do,” she asks me, “when all those hot women throw themselves at you?”
Until now, oddly, this hasn’t been a problem.
However, at last week’s Hightail to Ale 5K in Detroit, it finally happened. And as a public service for the frustrated, lonely men out there, I will tell you how I did it.
Guys, we all know there are several “can’t miss” ways to get attention from the ladies. Which one of them did I employ that evening?
- Be rockstar-rich and famous. Nope, not quite there yet.
- Look like a Greek god (or better yet, be one). Never been mistaken for one.
- Hand out free beer. YES! And it COUNTS!
And how did I exploit this enviable situation? Read on for a key lesson I learned in relating to the fair sex and how I used it to my advantage.
I’d volunteered for the Hightail to Ale as part of my new interest in seeing how races handle all the trash they generate – food, water bottles, cups, and the like. At the Gazelle Girl half, I’d seen how careful planning and key partnerships resulted in the composting or recycling of 99% of what usually goes to a landfill. Now I wanted to see how a more typical event dealt with it.
But instead of the garbage detail, I was assigned to a central part of the event; the Atwater Brewery beer to be handed out at the finish. While this was a real race (the winner finished in under 16 minutes) most of the 4,400 runners were there for the fun of it. It’s amazing what people will do for a free beer.
Last year, the line for the post-race suds had gotten so long that people waited over an hour, and many gave up. So this year an entire parking lot had been set aside, with a long line of tables staffed by several volunteers each. All runners had to do was walk up, tear off and hand over the bottom tab of their race bibs, and get a beer. (Minors didn’t get the special tab.) It worked perfectly. The beer area filled up, but nobody had to wait.
It was a warm and humid evening, so the runners were particularly eager to get a cold drink. From my spot behind a center table I was approached by many hot and sweaty women. (There were plenty of men too, but we needn’t go there.)
My lesson in male-female interaction occurred unexpectedly. While showing an ID was not necessary, some people, women in particular, had their driver’s licenses out and ready to show. The first time someone did that, I just handed her a can, smiled, and said I didn’t need to see it.
“Oh, so it’s that obvious,” she muttered.
Apparently I’d made some kind of faux pas. Did you know women can be sensitive about their age? Clearly, I would win no friends by being straightforward. So I changed tactics.
Soon a pair of women of obvious legal age approached my table. With the first I just took her tab and congratulated her on finishing the race. But I stopped the other. “Hmm,” I said, “I think I need to check your ID, young lady.”
As she walked away she said to the other, “That was awesome. I never get carded anymore.”
Success! From then on when a woman showed me her ID, I would toss out lines like, “That ID looks fake to me,” and “Are you sure that isn’t your older sister’s license?” Corny as hell, yes, but it never failed to get a smile.
But the best part occurred near the end of the rush. A woman walked up to me with stuff in both hands so she couldn’t tear the ticket off her bib. “You can take it off,” she said, leaning toward me.
“Best offer I’ve had all day,” I told her.