In the 6th of March edition of THE TIMES, the subbies decide that the best way to tell a joke is to remove all the punchlines, and somewhere in between, Paige Nick and I talk about why pick up lines should never die, women who slap men in public, and fail-safe Joey Tribbiani impersonations.

Also, in honour of the subbies doing a particularly great job at fucking our article up this month, here’s a link to a description of ANTI-HUMOUR, and also, Andy Samberg absolutely slaying it in the Roast of James Franco:




For decades, the cheesy pick-up line has been the real-life equivalent of swiping right and then seeing if she or he did the same. But then I’m not sure what happened, either I got so old and unappealing that guys never used them on me anymore, or real-life pick ups just stopped happening. For a while now I’ve been worried that pick up lines IRL (that’s in-real-life for anyone over forty), were dead in the time of Tinder.

In my twenties, there were always a handful of cheesy lines that did the rounds, recycled for generations. But every now and then an original guy came along, and tried out new material, and that spark of creativity was a beautiful thing.

Recently this young guy I used to work with, Miles, posted on Facebook, ‘Last night I told myself to just do it, but when I went up to the girl and said “I think you are the most stunning woman I have ever seen,” she slapped me.’

Poor Miles. But then he also posted a picture of a dog pooping, with the title, tag a friend. And another post about how he’s as single as a dollar bill.

One of his mates, Byron, commented, ‘Did she drop to the 7th most stunning after the slap?’

I’m gutted about that slap. Look I don’t think that just because some guy smarms up and lays a cheesy line on you that you need to drop everything and snog him on the spot. And sure, Miles is a bright guy, he could have come up with something a little more original than that. But I also think that in this day and age in particular, real, live, face-to-face bravery needs to be rewarded with a little more than physical violence.

So Miles, and other guys like Miles, please don’t stop trying to pick us up, even if you get the odd slap in the face. It’s good for our ego. But more importantly, it’s good for our society. And as Miles’ friend, Manuel, said in the thread, ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’




For a long time growing up, I believed pick-up lines to be a myth. I couldn’t fathom that something so ridiculous could possibly woo an attractive woman. That was until I saw it happen, right in front of me. I was in the supermarket with my father, and as we were paying he looked at the cashier – an attractive young woman – and said;

“May I ask you a question?”

“Sure,” she replied.

“Would you like a shag?”

The young woman, taken aback, smiled politely and said “No.”

“Well,” said my old man. “Would you mind laying down while I have one?”

I was already hauling ass halfway out of the store when I heard the cashier burst into laughter. This could have gone a number of ways, involving pepper spray and the police, but in the end it turned out rather funny. This story is possibly to blame for why I’m such a mess today, but it taught me something valuable in the art of attracting women.

Women want security, at least, that’s what they yell whenever I approach them – but they also want a man with a sense of humour. This is the key to the pick-up line. We all know they’re cheesy, inappropriate and a little bit rapey, but the witty ones often work. I’ve seen confident, courageous guys pick women up by asking to borrow a lighter, and I’ve seen a lot of men, stinking of desperation, crash and burn with lines like “Do you have a map? Because I get lost in your eyes.”

You can’t drift too far into the opposite direction either. “Are you going to let me sniff that whisker biscuit or what?” is another extraordinarily unsuccessful line. You’re better off dusting off your old Joey “How You Dooin?” Tribbiani impersonation.

I myself don’t use pick-up lines, I have a beard for that, but I am a fan of hearing them in action. I applaud the chutzpah of those who can tear their eyes away from their phone for long enough to make an ass of themselves in person.


Paige Nick is a regular SUNDAY TIMES columnist and the author of “Pens Behaving Badly” and the acclaimed “Death By Carbs” 

Her new novel, Dutch Courage, is out now!

You can catch her blogging at A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL

Email us if there are any topics you’d like to hear about from a She Said/He Said point of view:



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