A Warm Eulogy To 70's Pick-Up Lines
"Listen, you jerk! I don't want to see you again--EVER! Understand?"
is what most guys in the mid to late 1970s heard after they had "scored" a date with a beautiful lady and had a great evening together. But the next morning, the beautiful young lady suddenly realized that she was among many girls that this "smooth operator" had lured back into his bachelor pad to, as he said with a deceiving grin, "take a look at my expensive paintings," which were as fake as the hair on his chest. This story is "A Warm Eulogy To 70's Pick-Up Lines" that I am hoping will ease the hurt feelings of those ladies who are still suffering humiliation today in 2011 from being convinced that the guy she met at the bar on a cold Friday night was a legitimate man with a heart. And this story is also a fond farewell to those awful pick-up lines that used to work on women, that was until the women got wise. Thank God.
There was just something unique about the 70's, right? The atmosphere was light. Easy. Care-free. Love was in the air most all the time. In bars. Cars. Clubs. Everywhere you looked, guys and gals were 'getting together' (prototype line of hooking up) to have a great night of dancing, partying in the town's most posh clubs, Studio 54, New York, to name one, and wake up the next day, happy, uncommitted, and free. This applies to the guys who suckered their way into a date with an unassuming, gullible, girl who was just lonely for a moment, and when "jerko," in his new leisure suit bopped into her view, her heart and mind both agreed that he was her date for that night. But she was not going to be hard-to-get. No. She wanted "jerko" to use every romantic line on her in his arsenal. And he did.
I have to really be honest. I give the guys, both sincere and insincere, the "pick-up artists," of the 70's a lot of credit. These guys went into the "battle of the sexes," wide-open. They all took great advantage of the loose moral atmosphere that mostly boasted as its charter, "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with," and the non-committal ideology of this era and actually dated scores of women. And women, by the sake token, I give them full credit also, for being so trusting that (in small, isolated) cases, some girls actually found their true love and now in 2011, this couple I am talking about are grandparents, almost-ready to retire and their eyes always light up when they hear "Stayin' Alive," on their favorite oldies station.
To the guys who loved to pick up girls, whether it was in a bar, restaurant, or the lobby of a big airline, it was more than just the pick-up line (that I will address shortly), it was "the look" that said, "I am a 70's man. I'm suave, cool, in shape, popular, laid-back and ready for love." That look, and you will remember well, was one big gold chain or a lot of small (fake) gold chains around the man's neck, open-front tricot shirts, leisure suits with collars over the shirt collar, white belts, platform shoes and sometimes sunglasses after dark. (no offense to Corey Hart).
The guys had their game plans down P.A.T. They would either take on an entire single's bar, or just split up and go solo and see who "scored the most" with the most girls. A guy might slowly walk into the establishment of his choosing and while walking slowly his eyes were like the red radar light--going back and forth on Knight Rider's K.I.T.T. until he spotted "the" girl of his choice. He would adjust his gelled-back hair, (on his head), make sure that his chest was showing, then casually, with the grace of a serpent, slither up to where the girl was sitting, minding her own business, at the bar and say something like, "Hey, foxy lady. Buy you a drink?" Then before she could answer, he would wink, grin, and act cold. The sure signs the was a swinger. Knew the score. A ladies man all the way. Sometimes his act worked. Sometimes not. Mostly not. And I don't think it was all because of the wardrobe, shoes, (fake) gold chains, but the awkward, forward, insensitive pick-up lines he and his kind used--thinking that ALL females love to hear ignorant, senseless things said to them to get them, (the girls) to melt like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter into the sly guy's arms.
We are going to address the ignorant, senseless pick-up lines right now. And while we address these soon-to-be-gone-forever pick-up lines, you may want to write these lines down for they might prove to be of historical value one day, or print this story on your printer to take with you to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. one day when the pick-up lines I am going to talk about, will be enshrined as national relics of a time gone by.
"Hey, babe, buy you a drink?"
I have already used this one above. But this line is probably the most-used, not popular, of all pick-up lines. It plays on the sudden confidence sensed by the female of the unassuming male and her dry throat mixed with her taste for liquor or wine. Many times, and possibly out of sheer curiosity, many girls let a "silver-tongue devil" buy her numerous drinks and didn't go to his place at closing time. Some girls knew how to get free drinks.
"You come here often?"
Get real! What dope would use this line on a girl. Anywhere? Anytime? The odds of a girl falling for this would be about 2 in 500,000. Unless he girl was suffering from a bad case of loneliness, this line made absolutely no sense. If the slick-talking guy had said, "I sell cars for a living," at least that would have sounded sensible.
"Hey, foxy lady! What's going on?"
Foxy lady? Only in the late Jimi Hendrix' hot song. Not in a bar or anywhere pretty girls mingle. To imply that a girl is a fox, mind tend to get a girl's mind to freely-associating and putting a fox into the category of a fox hunt where dogs are used so the guy is actually going the long way around and calling her a dog. What's going on? More like what's NOT going on with the forward guy and quick-minded girl.
"What's your sign?"
This one is my all-time favorite of all pick-up lines. In the 70's, astrology was a big thing. People actually believed that their lives were guided by the stars in the heavens and the guys capitalized on it. This line was used by men who studied the compatibility of each astrological sign. And when the girl said, "Aries," his mind would instantly calculate whatever sign was compatible with her and the conquest was on. It wasn't until the early 80's when the fad of astrology-watching went south and girls became wiser and men became more lonely at not having a fad as a crutch to talk to girls.
"What are you into?"
I almost choke when I used to hear this one in my dating days. My buddies would love to try to impress the girls by swaggering up to the girl's car and slowly take a puff of a cigarette, and say, "Hey, what are you into?" Then the girl would try to look serious, then burst into laughter for all this time the guy's fly was open and she would be heard laughing like a hyena as she drove off leaving my embarrassed buddy looking like a fool.
"Hey, babe, what's a nice chick like you, doing in a place like this?"
this was on the edge of being "out" when guys in the 70's tried to give new life to this overused line. First the line implies that the girl is a nice girl and she shouldn't be in a place like she is in when the approaching guy finds her. But to the guy's chagrin, the young lady is sitting in a church pew awaiting the morning sermon by her minister. Some guys (not me) would even try to get girls in church. Talk about desperate. Most of my buddies were desperate.
"Couldn't help but notice, your eyes are beautiful way across the room."
Okay. This is not that bad. At least the "pick-up artist" complimented the girl's eyes, but how did he see her eyes in a dim-lit bar? Could it be that Superman was out on the town without Lois Lane on a certain night? This line was known to have worked. Not for me as I was never invited by my older buddies to go into a bar to look for girls.
"Chick," "Babe," "Sweet thang," names girls literally hated.
in the 70's and even in 2011. Chicks are cute when they are baby chickens or anything of the fowl line--eaglets, crows, and prairie chickens. And "babe," get real. Babe was a piglet in his own movie. No self-respecting guy in the 70's or in today's society, would be dumb enough to call a girl a chick, babe or get this one, "Sweet thang," used by Jerry Lee Lewis on most of his songs and The Big Bopper on his one hit, "Chantilly Lace." Guys in the late 50's and 70's thought that if Jerry Lee and Bopper were successful for making girls wild by saying this slang term, then they could score dates by saying "sweet thang" to available girls. You will notice that "sweet thang" skipped the 60's era. In the 60's girls were referred to as "old lady," "main squeeze," and "mama," by swinging guys of this time frame. Most guys in the sixties who did say these terms found themselves divorced. Lonely. And living in dark alleyways in Chicago.
"Want to go back to my place?"
and see my collection of expensive paintings? Now this line, folks, showed an extra-amount of self-confidence by the man using it to impress a girl. He wanted the girl to think that he was a man of culture. Taste. Popularity. And it worked for what few men took the time to shop in antique stores and actually buy expensive-LOOKING paintings that would fool most girls. The other guys who used this line would foolishly think that if he bought the girl he was talking to, more and more drinks, she would forget to ask about his expensive paintings upon her arrival at his apartment. Or "pad," as the swinging guys of the 70's called their homes. A real Jethro Bodine type of guy. And line.
Other pick-up lines that flopped in the 70's:
- I am a member of the C.I.A. in this bar looking for information
- I am a retired NFL star who was injured in last year's Super Bowl
- I'm a scientist working on the cure for a major disease
- I'm Billy Joel's first-cousin
- I'm John Travolta's third-cousin
- Ever heard of Johnny Carson? I work for him on the Tonight Show
- Johnny Carson, my boss, said I could get you a ticket for free
- I can't tell you too much about myself, N.A.S.A. would have me sent to Europe
- I wrote Hey, Jude for my buddies, John and Paul
- I was a stunt-double for John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever
So with that, our dear, over-used, worn-out, pick-up lines of the 70's, we said a fond farewell. The memories you gave (some) of us, will be long-lasting. And fondly forgotten. You served your purpose. And we managed to live down all he humiliation you caused us with girls who knew that we were not related to anyone in K.C. and The Sunshine Band.
So long. Have yourself a long, long, rest.