There are a few places in the world less sexy than the self-help section of Barnes & Noble. It makes the Depends aisle at the pharmacy seem romantic. The fluorescent track lighting overhead makes everyone look greasy, it smells like muffings, and it's far too conspicuous - visible from the escalator and sandwiched between the high-traffic magazine racks and sexuality section. For a guy to approach a girl under these circumstances takes balls; intent on assessing the state of the pick-up line, I opt to set the bar high, at first. Dressing up like catnip and perching delicately on bar stools is easy. We want to see waht happens in a place where the rule of thumb is "look at no one, talk to no one, acknowledge no on." Romeo clearly didn't get the memo.

I feel a tentative tap on my shoulder and my stomach drops. "I left my bincoculars at home," says a surprisingly handsome, visibly nervous stranger, "so I had to come over and get a better look." It's like a bad joke, a 40-Year-Old Virgin spoof without the comic timing. I look up and say, "Umm, I'm reading, sorry." He isn't discouraged though. "Since I came all this way, I can't leave without a number." I want to tell him his line is cute but unoriginal, and that at 6'2" and well dressed as he was, he shouldn't stoop to game that would embarrass The Ladies Man, but I settle for a simple, "Sorrry, I have a man." Chickenshit, but true. "When were you gonna tell him about us?" he asks, relentless, struggling to smile, stuttering a little. Three strikes! I'm out of here.

To read about more attempts men made at our mole, pick up the November ‘06 issue of KING (#37)