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Living the Barney Stinson Play Book Part One

Updated on June 26, 2017
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Written by: A. Mills

Thousands of people are familiar with the show, How I Met Your Mother, which is a popular CBS show. The characters are hilarious and awkward, more than a few times, but the character that always intrigued me the most was Barney Stinson, played by Neil Patrick Harris.

How this abundantly confident man could persuade any selected woman to go home with him based on a combination of charm and usually some ridiculous scheme. Out of fun, I’d purchased the Bro Code and The Play Book, written by the fictional character Barney Stinson with Matt Kuhn, we read through the books together and shared more than a few laughs. However, after a few discussions on how these “Plays” would work in the real life I suggested to my husband that he should try some out in real life, with me there of course. After a few round-about excuses it was clear my husband wasn’t up to the challenge but my curiosity remained.

I called my friend J, a single young man who has no shortage of handsome or charm himself, I told him what I wanted to do and after some coaxing, he finally agreed. J came over and we pulled out the book and began to read through it. The very first play is called SNASA, which requires you to claim to be an astronaut working for an extra secret government program called SNASA (Secret NASA).

J and I laughed and agreed it was not likely to succeed but after some deliberation, we decided to stay true to the test and try it out anyway. I agreed to give him extra points if he could somehow bring up the topic of the Smoon (Secret Moon), as the play suggests.

That night my husband, J and I all went out to one of our small town bars. My husband and I got a table near the bar, close enough for me to hear the conversation, and then set J loose. Instantly, J honed in on this lovely brunette with long shiny gold earrings, a metallic gold silky dress and black six inch heels. J, all suited up and armed with his smile, gently leaned on the bar and asked if he could buy the woman a drink. Smiling back, she accepted the drink. The two made small talk while waiting for their alcoholic beverages to arrive.

“Ah that’s the good stuff,” J said after taking a drink of his light beer. The woman sipped her long island ice tea and casually mentioned she didn’t care for beer. J took another drink and then holding the beer outward a little to examine the label tells her, “I really missed the taste of beer. You’re only allowed to drink Tang up in space.”

Boom! He had her. Hook, line and sinker.

“In space?” she asked, and I watched her tuck her hair behind her ear and take a flirtatious half step closer to him. J filled the silence after her question with another mouthful of his beer. “You’ve been up in outer space?”

J made a light choking sound and stepped closer to her as he pretended to recover, looking around the room and giving us a quick wink before continuing his conversation with the woman. “I am sorry; I shouldn’t have said that. When you are around colleagues all the time, it’s easy to forget.”

He was committing, I was impressed.

“Forget what?” She asked him, too drawn in to notice my observant stare.

J put a finger to his lips and leaned in. He had to tell me later what he said because I wasn’t able to hear or read lips once he dropped to a whisper and turned in toward her to tell her his big secret.
I work for a top secret government space program called Secret NASA – SNASA for short.”

“SNASA?” I saw her mouth the word and had to giggle to myself. I thought for certain this would be when the whole thing would fall apart.

J grabbed her hand and nodded, “Yes, we’re doing routine work on our station on the smoon.”

The lovely brunette took a couple steps back with a skeptical look on her face, “Smoon? I am not an idiot, that isn’t a real thing.”

“No, of course you’re not,” I watched J try to reel her back in, “You’re right, just pretend I didn’t say anything about it,” he said in the way you would to a toddler who insists they’re right and you’ve grown tired of trying to convince them otherwise and simply tell them they’re right because you know you won’t convince them right that moment.

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“The Smoon isn’t real,” She says to him again, after a moment.

“Sure,” J said, signaling the bar tender for another beer, “You’re a sensible woman, keep believing that there is no secret moon.”

More skeptical than ever she frowned at him, “You can’t hide a moon, if there was another one then why haven’t we seen it Mr. Spaceman?”

“Not that I should be telling you this,” J snapped, trying to appear a little annoyed with the woman, “It lines up perfectly with the moon you see, constantly eclipsed. But what would I know, I am only a SNASA astronaut.”

She looked annoyed back at him, “There is no way that, that is a real thing,” He’d lost her.

My husband stood up from his seat and approached J, casually he leaned over to J as though he were going to tell him a secret but didn’t lower his voice very far, “We’ve just had radio contact with the smoon station, I need to borrow you for a moment.”

J nodded. He and my husband walked out of the bar and didn’t return for roughly five minutes. When they returned my husband circled the bar before returning to the seat across from me and J returned to his place beside the brunette at the bar. He stood there and finished his beer wordlessly while she watched him indecisively, “So…,” she closed the distance between them, “Can you tell me anything else about SNASA?”

Now, I really can’t tell you too much more except that he offered to show her what reentry felt like, and she accepted back at her place. I would have ordinarily have guessed that this play from the play book would have been riddled with enough black holes that there would no way he’d get to lift off. Too many space and rocket puns? Okay. Anyway, I guess that if you have your wingman with you and he’s willing to jump in at the right time with the right thing to say then this play is clearly usable.

I am still a little stunned that it did in fact work, but I guess if you put enough doubt into anyones mind then they will believe in the impossible, no matter how ridiculous. The book says that this play has a 13% success rate and I think that I’ll have to agree. I think that alcohol plays a big factor with this play and the availability of your wingman, and how well he assists, is also a major factor.

Play Book
Starving Magazine
Risk
13% rate of success
10% rate of success
Big Risk
No wingman
Wingman highly suggested
May get thrown out of the bar
Targets: "Dense looking conquest"
Alcohol plays a big factor
Likely to go home alone

How likely would you be to try these plays from the Play Book yourself?

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