Only the other day, I met this girl in the pub. We got chatting and I thought she liked me. I was working up to asking for her number when she said she likes reading books. Right, I thought. Books. Don’t want to mess this one up. I don’t think watching Game of Thrones counts. I know there were some books, but perhaps they’re different and I’ll make a prize cabbage of myself if I pretend I’ve read them.
But a couple of weeks ago, I was at my GP and the only magazines were Good Housekeeping and the Times Literary Supplement. It was a long wait and my phone battery died and you’ve seen the state of my flat, so you can guess which one I picked up. So I’ve read something about books. That means I know more than someone who just reads the books, right?
I thought back to one of the articles, and I asked her if she thought Moby Dick exemplified Melville’s preoccupation with the eternal battle between man and a nature that’s been reified to symbolise the Abrahamic god.
I remembered the words exactly. They sounded so clever I thought I might use them some time.
That’s when the silence happened. It was horrible. She stood there, looking at me like I’d grown a second head. Then she said she preferred Harry Potter and asked me where the loos were.
I was left standing there with my beer, wondering what I’d said wrong. Perhaps she didn’t like reading at all, she just thought it made her sound clever.
So that’s the lesson I learned: get a girl’s number first and then start talking to her. That way, if you get it wrong first time, you can call her later and try again.
What are you looking at me like that for?
Go on, say something…