The Game

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Welcome to day two of MANIPULATION WEEKEND dear readers. Today's book was kind of, sort of, suggested by a reader who shall remain nameless because I'm not really sure if they want to take credit for having planted the idea of reading this book in my head. But, you know who you are, and I expect at least two good book suggestions out of you in the future in order to make up for having sort of suggested this book.

Today's book, " Are you just another AFC ("average frustrated chump") trying to meet an HB ("hot babe")? How would you like to "full-close" with a Penthouse Pet of the Year? The answers, my friend, are in Neil Strauss's entertaining book The Game. Strauss was a self-described chick repellent--complete with large, bumpy nose, small, beady eyes, glasses, balding head, and, worst of all, painful shyness around women. He felt like "half a man." That is, until a book editor asked him to investigate the community of pickup artists. Strauss's life was transformed."

I spent the day reeling between being amused by this book and horrified. There were points where it was hard to say which feeling was stronger. Overall, I did find the book entertaining, but it was in a can't-turn-away-from-the-train wreck sort of way. And by the end, I felt very tired - just reading about people putting so much effort into being repulsive was exhausting. The book did get less sleazy towards the very end, so if you do decide to read this book and get disgusted mid-way through and want to quit reading, I recommend you jump ahead and at least read the ending before giving up completely.

And now it's time for some fun facts about my experience with reading the book:

  • Number of pages it took for me to become sickened by the book: 130 (unfortunately, at this point I still had 314 pages to go)

  • The point at which my brain began to refuse to process what I was reading: Page 250 (it just went on strike - and, keep in mind, this is the same brain that will happily watch The Brady Bunch or read Danielle Steel)

  • The point where I began to think the book must be a satire, because there's no way that people could take it seriously: 305 (seriously, I did some Internet research afterwards, because my mind just could not accept that there are people who read that book and actually take the advice.)

I was amused throughout the book by the thought of what would happen if a woman who was following The Rules met a man who was following The Game. Since both books advise waiting and letting the other person speak first, I guess they would both just sit in icy silence for awhile before losing interest in one another and moving on to other people who hadn't read crappy advice books.

The other similarities between the advice in both books; play hard to get, wear something that will catch the attention of the opposite sex, treat the person you are with as if you are not interested in them at all (that should be easy, just pretend like you're in the 6th grade again), and train the person you are with to follow you around like a lost puppy dog (I wish I was paraphrasing on that last part, but The Game actually mentions using a dog training manual on women - which kind of reminds me of that old movie If A Man Answers, where a woman does that to train her husband.) Basically, both books are completely nauseating, but since the authors of The Rules aren't advising people to act like trashy, totally indiscriminate sluts, I'm going to have to go with that one as my favorite from the weekend.

And, I've now had time to conduct a few man-on-the-street interviews with every man in sight, and so I have an update to share with you in regards to The Rules, which will not come as a shock to anyone with half a brain, but here goes anyway: following them will make a man think that you are not interested in him at all. Or, in some cases, it will make him think you are not interested in men at all. That last little gem came from my brother, who has decided that if a woman does not respond to his advances it couldn't possibly be because she is not interested in him personally, it simply must be because she is a lesbian. Apparently, there are no straight women anywhere on Earth who are capable of resisting his charms. Prior to this conversation, I thought I was aware of just how big his ego is - but it seems that I have underestimated the situation.