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How Men Are Romantic

Meanwhile, at The Bottom of the Hill club in San Francisco, a rockabilly band called The Fenders is opening for a French-American Hearthrob-to-be by the name of Rudy Marsault and his band, the Nonchalants. The Bottom of the Hill club has one of the smallest dance areas of any bar in the country, and this means that the goons lumbering around the dance area in their high school sports uniforms have a likely chance of rubbing up against the breasts of a woman without having to talk to her first. The night is still early, though, and the long-hard work of romancing, which has a goal of rubbing against a woman for once when her clothes are actually not on her body, is just beginning to get started.

Thurman Bailey, a regular to The Bottom of the Hill, six feet one inch tall, 215 pounds, wearing a shirt that he did not wear to work that day—a standard part of his repertoire—is scoping out the women coming out of the bathroom. This, he considers, is where the serious action is, at least early in the evening. Tacitly, what’s happening is that Thurman Bailey is catching snippets of conversation as women enter and exit the bathroom in herds, and discerning who is most likely to entertain his advances. In concrete terms, this means that Bailey has planted his 215 pounds of beef in the exact mathematical middle of the doorframe, and the women must squeeze past on either side. Those that notice that he is actually a real person and not just a support pillar for the ceiling get a plus mark in their column. Most of the women are used to squeezing past Bailey in the doorframe, and so few complain. The bouncers meant to keep a semblance of order do nothing about Bailey, because his behavior is so fundamental to dance club mating behavior that to tamper with it would be heretical, and also because Bailey is six feet one and 215 pounds and nearly fills the entire doorframe.

This intense little mating research is occuring on the fringe of a swirling ecosystem of highly evolved courting behavior—"small" men, who can be spotted by, in addition to their lack of height, very nice silk blazers and multicolored patent leather crocodile silver buckle high heel hightop boots, which are a serious weapon in snaring a woman with a love of shoes; "freak" men, who are usually less naturally attractive and compensate by exaggerating their ugliness into a "style statement" aimed at the two politically correct women who have been mistakenly lured to The Bottom by their girlfriends; and "limber" men, who are the men that can actually dance along with the women, by the genetic gift of being born with cartiledge for bones. Thurman Bailey is one of the "big" men, who unlike the other types of men does not have to fight for territory on the club floor and can therefore remain stationary. Bailey is an ectomorph; most of his body mass is contained around his waist. In layman’s terms, he looks like the Pillsbury dough boy. All of the other classes of men move in swirling spirals through the women much like a high school marching band.

Suddenly, one of the women exiting the bathroom whines at Bailey and tells him to move his butt out of her way. One of the "freak" men, seeing this—freak men see everything instantly, because they have very few opportunities per evening (OPE, or mathematically: O/E)—instantly spirals into the corridor, unlacing his imitation army boots and messing his green hair as he spirals—all of this is happening faster than the untrained human eye can see it—and the women exiting the bathroom has her face turned around on her head, looking back at Bailey, who has his tongue out and is making a "lick me" motion with his tongue, and WHOMP GRUNT the woman and the freak collide in what appears to the human eye as an accidental collision that would hospitalize a married person. The freak’s frontside is so sensitive to its prey that it can have a near-sexual experience in the collision. The woman’s mouth opens and gets ready to yell "jerk!" but manages to suspend the air flow across her vocal chords when she sees the messed green hair and unlaced army boots and ragged British bomber jacket he is wearing. The freak, registering her "look," locks in on his target, saying "I hate this place." The woman agrees, then admits to being dragged here by her girlfriends. They spend most of the next four hours standing in a dark corner behind the turn in the bar, talking about how much they hate The Bottom and how they should really get out of there. Bailey, who has been scooped of yet another prey, does not have the cranial capacity to understand what has just happened in front of him in less than two seconds.

Meanwhile, in the bathroom, more women are reapplying their lipstick.

I should stress that I am not an expert on the dating dynamics of young single heterosexuals. I wanted to analyze the process because (a) last year for four months I crazily pretended I was not married, a mistake I never want to make again, (b) Thurman Bailey owes me money and this is my way of getting back at him, (c) I had nothing better to do on a Thursday night, and (d) this was my chance to get into clubs for free and, with professional coaching, develop a potentially sure-fire "look," which I will pass on to my future sons to keep them from suffering in high school as I did.

I need a "look" to compensate for my weak conversational skills. I haven’t been able to talk normally to an attractive woman for the last five years. Or for the twenty-three years before that, either. I’m not verbally gifted, which is why I’m a fan of Thurman Bailey, because he’s not gifted either, by club-dating standards. Ask ten ex-dates of Thurman Bailey to describe him, and they’ll all say the same things, often in the same words: He’s a blue-collar man. A reliable, predictable man with a wonderful physical frame. Much more endearing than you expect him to be. Sometimes says actual sentences when you expect him to grunt or nod his head. A heckuva guy, going to make some woman a fine husband when statues come back into fashion.

Of course all of this is relative. Compared with Noam Chomsky, Henry Kissinger had limited verbal gifts. Even the most marginal club "big" man is absurdly more literate than an ordinary person. This is because the competition in nightclubs for a woman is so intense that only the few hundred most intuitive and entertaining men in a city will be allowed into the club. These men are so verbally intuitive that they manage to get incredibly complex messages across while using only a very few words, and sometimes none at all. The bouncers weed out the hacks by speaking in algorithmic codes that can only be deciphered by the brightest minds. For instance, "I.D.s please" can mean, depending on the time and place, either "pay me ten dollars or you ain’t getting in," which is deciphered using your wallet, or "you don’t look 21 and no girl is going to look your way," which is also deciphered with your wallet. Thurman Bailey is so good at cracking these codes instantly that he signals back to them in a code involving a twelve-inch inflation of his chest and a polysyllabic "grrrrr," a universal word familiar to most linguists.

Thurman Bailey and I were hanging out near the bar at The Bottom before The Fenders began playing. I began to philosophize aloud about the likelihood of me ever seeing again the ten dollars I just paid the bouncer on Thurman Bailey’s behalf. I considered the irony of me getting in free, on account of this proposed story, and yet I still had to pay, because Thurman Bailey was bigger than me. This took me over several hundred words and a couple of minutes to communicate. In response, Bailey reciprocated that the relative value of height in American society is unfortunate but unmaleable. He did this nearly instantly, and with only four words: "Tough luck, ’small’ guy." Despite all this incredible conciseness, if everything went according to Bailey’s game plan he would not need to speak at all during an evening. In bars with loud music playing, accomplishing depth with a minimum of words is essential, because otherwise a man must shout and a woman can see right into his mouth, right down at his crooked bicuspids. Some scientists believe that "the look" is actually a post-verbal language transcending traditional oral communication, accomplishing communication without speaking. Few men actually have "the look" though, and this is why various other strategies and techniques have been developed, such as Bailey’s "Doorblock" method.

"Most of the women here have extremely detailed knowledge of very specific categories," Bailey says. "it would be impossible for me to try to discuss both The Young and The Restless with one woman and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with another. The other guys here try, but by the end of the night they’re mentally exhausted and burned out at the exact point the women really start wanting to go home with someone. I’m in the perfect position to scoop up the desperate."

In the past period of record, Thurman Bailey has had exceptional success in accomplishing just that. I, by means of comparison, have slept with only one woman for the past seven years: my wife Ellen. In that same period of time, Thurman Bailey has slept with 300% more women than I. One of those three women he actually slept with twice. This does not count the many near misses, nor the time a woman fell asleep at the wheel on the way to her apartment. Twelve times Bailey actually learned a woman’s last name, and a whopping thirty-eight times he learned their first name. On the efficiency statistics, Bailey is way up there, both in his Last Names per Sexual Encounter (NSEL) and First Names per Sexual Encounter (NSEF).

But watch Bailey on an average night with an untrained eye and you may not see his success. As a "big" man, Bailey has a particularly large body and therefore takes much longer to get his nerve up. Some nights he will just stand in waiting, building up tension and pressure for the eventual strike. On these nights, he usually wears a very tight, too small, black, poly-blend t-shirt, which I always assumed served some medicinal therapeutic purpose, but which in his case is worn only to keep his other shirt clean.

The Fenders are still playing, now repeating a few of the songs that did not cause people to look at their watches the first time around. Bailey has now moved nearer the dance floor, and is continuing his research in a technique remarkable similar to "the Doorblock." This is called "the Logjam," and it is accomplished by standing stationary directly in front of one of the semi-professional "fly girls" dancing on the corner of the bar. This creates the impression for Bailey that he is the center of attention, which helps him get his nerve up through his entire body. Meanwhile, one of the "limber" men, who I had earlier learned is named Julio Gastaneta, has decided to try to dance along with the fly girl in front of Bailey. Julio has climbed up onto the bar, which is about as wide as a balance beam. His presence wakes an interest in the fly girl, who increases her tempo instantly by 200%, making most of her limbs and head blur like a propellor. Julio attempts to keep up, but as long as his arms can still be seen he is not wiggling fast enough. Suddenly he hits a wet spot on the bar and goes spinning though the air, landing amongst the crowd. By retaining his spin, he manages to land and continue dancing without any more physical damage, though for the rest of the night he will be laughed at by the "small" men, who would never attempt a stunt that might make them look foolish. The "small" men do not actually laugh with their mouths, because to do so would force them to open their mouths and unlock the freeze that keeps their face in their "look." Instead, they laugh a cynical eye laugh, which means for a moment their eyes squint.

By far the best of the men I know who rely on their "look" as their main weapon is Maximillion Velarde, a Peruvian friend that I play soccer with. He does not regularly attend The Bottom, and instead practices his craft at Pier 23 on Friday nights to salsa music. Maximo has perfectly white teeth, primal white, and a classical sharp-angled face under brown skin and curly black hair, though it’s futile to break down a "look" into parts. Without even trying, Maximo often causes women across the room to suddenly buckle at the knees and crawl towards him. After a flash of a grin, which several different women will usually interpret as being meant for them, Maximo will have a full night’s attention. It is quite embarassing to watch. Even the coolest professional women will drool when he puts a hand to his belly and rocks his hips to the music. Obviously, he occasionally attracts women who have very large boyfriends. For these occasions, Maximo quickly puts on a pair of Clark Kent glasses and a mop for a wig, causing his spell over the woman to disappear. So far I have kept Ellen away from our soccer games, in her own best interest.

Even though he is a "big" man, Thurman Bailey considers Maximo his idol. Years before, they both hung out at the Oasis. Back then, Bailey weighed only 170 pounds and hadn’t yet specialized. He used tooth whitener and rubbed self-tanning cream on his face and had his hair permed. None of this was very effective because Thurman Bailey is an African American and does not have a "classic" head shape. Also, Thurman Bailey does not speak Spanish, except for a few choice words for when Maximo steals another girl out of the logjam. I know no Spanish at all, despite it being the language of the soccer leagues, because I have not found it to be a very efficient language, and it requires my mouth to move faster than it is capable.

I had spoken to Gastaneta individually earlier that evening, in English, where I had challenged him in a contest to speak the longest with a woman, any woman. I believe that I lost because Spanish is so inefficient that just to say your full name can take several minutes, and also I lost because I unfortunately was hypnotized by the strobelight at the very moment I was about to approach a woman. I wondered if many men suffered this sudden, unexpected "strobelight paralysis" at the very moment their nerve is up, and I found that it is in fact quite common. Many of the men confided that were it not for the strobelight, they would be getting laid daily. I believe that the strobelight flashes are morse coded in some way to scramble the normal wiring in male brains, causing physical malfunction of the larynx and rib cavity. Further study will be required to confirm this hypothesis.

The Bottom of the Hill is one of many dance clubs in San Francisco specializing in mating behavior. In order to establish the correctly balanced ecosystem that makes such behavior flourish, The Bottom’s owner, Jake Delware, has implemented the following basic strategies of nightclub ownership: (1) play music way too loud, giving people an excuse for their low-level verbal skills; (2) serve very cheap liquor in very large quantities; (3) have reasonably nice, very large women’s bathrooms, and (4) let women in free, charging the men double. In addition, there is the aforementioned small dance floor area, as well as neon tube knots hanging on the walls, which can be turned on and off to bathe the room in different colored light. This color therapy, along with the strobelight, can raise body temperatures and biomechanically set in motion a woman’s "nesting" instinct, as well as a man’s "get laid" instinct. I spoke with Jake Delware early in the evening. He is a balding, Very Important man, with little time for behavioral psychologists, so our conversation went like this: is one of many dance clubs in San Francisco specializing in mating behavior. In order to establish the correctly balanced ecosystem that makes such behavior flourish, The Bottom’s owner, Jake Delware, has implemented the following basic strategies of nightclub ownership: (1) play music way too loud, giving people an excuse for their low-level verbal skills; (2) serve very cheap liquor in very large quantities; (3) have reasonably nice, very large women’s bathrooms, and (4) let women in free, charging the men double. In addition, there is the aforementioned small dance floor area, as well as neon tube knots hanging on the walls, which can be turned on and off to bathe the room in different colored light. This color therapy, along with the strobelight, can raise body temperatures and biomechanically set in motion a woman’s "nesting" instinct, as well as a man’s "get laid" instinct. I spoke with Jake Delware early in the evening. He is a balding, Very Important man, with little time for behavioral psychologists, so our conversation went like this: is one of many dance clubs in San Francisco specializing in mating behavior. In order to establish the correctly balanced ecosystem that makes such behavior flourish, The Bottom’s owner, Jake Delware, has implemented the following basic strategies of nightclub ownership: (1) play music way too loud, giving people an excuse for their low-level verbal skills; (2) serve very cheap liquor in very large quantities; (3) have reasonably nice, very large women’s bathrooms, and (4) let women in free, charging the men double. In addition, there is the aforementioned small dance floor area, as well as neon tube knots hanging on the walls, which can be turned on and off to bathe the room in different colored light. This color therapy, along with the strobelight, can raise body temperatures and biomechanically set in motion a woman’s "nesting" instinct, as well as a man’s "get laid" instinct. I spoke with Jake Delware early in the evening. He is a balding, Very Important man, with little time for behavioral psychologists, so our conversation went like this:

"Hey Jake, Jake!"

"Get out of my way, jerk."

I did not have a chance to ask him about the strobelight paralysis.

In addition to all of that, Jake’s club has a reasonable share of freaks, which are sometimes allowed in at discounted rates. Though unattractive and usually unsuccessful, the freaks serve a distinct and important role in the ecosystem, much like bottom fish: (a) they make other people seem more normal and healthy by comparison; (b) their bizarre, mutant appearance awakens the wilder side of the other people in attendance, (c) they scoop up the few "wet blankets" that have been dragged their by their girlfriends. At The Bottom on the Thursday night last October, there were at least seven freaks performing these functions. They can be recognized by their bodily perforations, which have pieces of bright metal running through them to attract the eye to the perforation. These perforations can be found in lips, noses, ears, necks, eyebrows and nipples, though there have been yet unsubstantiated reports of perforations in additional places that are too gross to repeat here. Freaks also use hair coloring to mark themselves, and the more creative use a combination of style and color to make nuisances of themselves. This is not to suggest that freaks pay the most attention to their hair, far from it. Among the men, the "small" men groom their hair with genetically engineeered sculpting gel into lifelike "hair helmets" that float on top of the head just like real hair. The difference is that no matter how many "big" men push them around, and no matter how many women bounce into them, the hair of a small man does not move. None of the men, however, pay any time to their hair in comparison to the average woman at The Bottom. In ancient feminine lore, a woman’s hair contained her soul, her spirit, while the body was just a pillar to give the spirit a better view. This ritualistic tradition is carried forward into modern times, and women at The Bottom will attend to their hair as Michelango to a sculpture. The accomplished "hair flip" at the top of the forehead is crucial to the recirculation of feminine energy back into the hair’s nucleus. Perms also increase the nest size of the hair, which might also serve to retain heat, though this could not be confirmed. As you might be able to tell, every woman approached for this interview declined to be interviewed.

I am not happy being deemed a "small" man by Bailey, but I suppose it is a role I must play and comment on because (a) I could not get any of the small men to talk to me instead; (b) I have more hair than either Thurman Bailey, Julio Gastaneta, or Maximo Velarde; (c) I wore on my feet, on the evening in question, duotone patent leather tassled loafers with leather risers that had been sent to me accidentally in the mail; and (d) I cannot dance. I tried to dance. As The Fenders were wrapping up their set, I took to the dance floor to loosen my body up in preparation for Rudy Marsault. Julio Gastaneta came by to watch my moves, which go about like this:

Scuff . . . click!

Scuff . . . click!

Scuff . . . click!

The "scuff" is the sound of my duotone leather tassled loafers gliding across the dance floor. The "click!" is the sound of my vertebrae breaking, which occurs because I was not genetically advantaged with cartiledge for bones.

"You’re moving your hips wrong," Julio says, in a mixture of Spanish and English that takes him several minutes to get out. "Try moving your hips only, not dipping you shoulder along with it." It turns out that the upper body is supposed to remain entirely in place, while the lower body does the movement. Good dancers can always settle into this motion, which is much less wearying and prevents them from sweating all over their partners, as I am prone to do. This is a revelation to me. In all the years that I’ve been dipping my shoulder and snapping my vertebrae, nobody has told me to move only from the hips. This is significant. I can feel it. It’s not a cartiledge deficiency after all. I register the vibration of The Fender’s bass drum in my bones. I put my hand over my belly and move to the center of the dance floor among the women…

Scuff . . . click!

Scuff . . . click!

Scuff . . . click!

"Maybe you should consider being a ’small’ man," says Julio.

Being a small man has its advantages. Chief among them is remaining at a cool body temperature. The air temperature in most dance clubs, where dancing women and insanely high population densities consume most of the available oxygen, resembles a Navajo sweat tepee. The lack of oxygen prevents bodies from adequately cooling themselves, further compounding the problem. Among the coolest places in a club are the dark corners away from the action, where I was able to last for several minutes without turning the color of a beet. The more practiced small men can stand without moving for hours at a time, and they manage to keep their silk sport coats on the entire time. At The Bottom, these dark corners are nearer to the front entrance, which gives the small men a first look at the fresh action entering the club. As I am standing there, a Jungle Woman in black leather enters. She immediately begins transmitting stress signals into the air through her hair, which "small" men can pick up on their helmet hair. They immediately begin oozing back at her an Attitude Statement, which is actually a low-level smell that women pick up on without knowing they pick up on it. The Attitude Statement is made of tiny particles of deodorant, sculpting gel, and silk cloth shot into the air by a small man’s pores in the direction of his prey. More advanced small men can willfully add into this combination particles of their after-shave, their crocodile leather shoes, and their Rolex watches. Again, another form of post-verbal communication we will all be using in the next century. The small men actually take advantage of the heat, because warm air carries smells much better than cold air. Suddenly the Jungle Woman’s head turns to the corner of small men. The men continue to bomb her with pherome activity, luring her closer, hypnotically, pretending to look away coolly. Suddenly she is standing right in front of me, looking out at the crowd, and all I have to do is say "Hey, baby," to increase my sexual encounter ratio by 100%. Her sandy hair is in a high nest formation. I pick up some of her pheromes, which smell exactly like Red Zinger tea. Under her leather jacket she is wearing a translucent nylon black body suit. My nerve rushes up through my body, lighting it on fire. My arm rises. Then, Ack! . . . the strobelight! It get me again! Momentary paralysis!

I have not yet figured out the beneficiary role of the strobelight in the mating ecosystem. Further study is necessary. I am also interested in exploring whether hair can be treated in such a way to transmit and receive cellular phone signals.

Despite all of these early failures, when Rudy Marsault begins playing the room charges with new energy and our hopes are revived. A whole new crowd of women have entered, reducing the average floor space to person (AFS/P) to three square inches. Indeed, a whole new generation of women are here, a college crowd. I can tell because none of them look in my direction. They are all here to see Rudy, the hearthrob. He wears a tasselled leather jacket and strums a gigantic guitar the size of a cello. His pompadour brushes the ceiling. I can deduce from the screaming that Rudy definitely has a successful "look." He bites his lower lip as he plays; on another man, this would strike him from contention, but Rudy gets away with it because it tis part of his complete package.

Jake Delware comes out of his back office to survey the scene and enjoy the atmosphere. Because he is a Very Important man, though, he must manage this in less than two seconds. Then he goes behind the bar to yell at the bartender that he’s not pushing the liquor hard enough. He slaps a cocktail waitress on the ass. Delware is a very intense man, and on his face is the look of a man with a ruptured kidney. A successful club requires this kind of intensity, this attention to detail. On the way back to his office, Delware gets stuck in one of Thurman Bailey’s logjams. The college girls surround him and begin to dance. Most men would enjoy this, but Jake Delware looks like he has both a ruptured kidney and stasis of the liver. He begins to yell, throwing the college girls out of the way. The strobelight comes on again and I get to watch all this in single frame motion. One of the college girls gets thrown into Thurman Bailey’s arms. He does not let her go, swallowing her in his huge dough boy arms, grinding against her to the music. I am cool against the wall. My socks are still dry. My face has remained in the same frozen position since the Jungle Woman abandoned me. It is past midnight, and there is a sense that luck could be with me.

Maximo stands up from his table, where he has been hiding behind a small fortress of empty Corona beer bottles. Almost every woman in the club looks up. There is no mystery, no subtlety or surprise. Every man in the bar knows what is about to happen. Out in space, orbiting Russian spy satellites are picking up Maximo’s actions, sending the word back to Moscow: Velarde is about to snake charm a woman.

One of Maximo’s gifts is his ability to focus on a target. In our soccer games, his only desire is to score. While my mind is trying to block out how tired my legs are and how much I had to drink the night before and how much this refereee is cheating us and how we don’t have a chance of gettign back in this game, Maximo gets the ball and dribbles down the field, straight at the goal. Usually he is stopped, because his angle of attack is predictable, but about once a game he breaks past the defense and fires the ball into the back of the net. After he has scored, he will no longer work hard, and often takes himself out of the game.

Scuff!, Maximo slides out into the aisle. Whump!, two women bang into each other trying to get to him and tumble onto the floor. Whoosh!, Maximo’s hips wiggle as his hand moves over his belly. "Salsa!" he yells, gliding across the floor. "!PERFECTO!" he yells when he gets near Thurman Bailey and the woman in his arms. Suddenly the woman has amazingly wrestled free of Bailey’s dough boy grip and is riding back to the seating area on Maximo’s thigh. "GRRRRR . . ." Bailey says, adding a few Spanish words that my editor would not let me write here.

Later, I found Maximo in the bathroom and asked him why he steals women from Thurman Bailey. "To save her," he says. "I am a shining knight, stealing the princess from the dragon."

I ask him if he was happy with his technique on this evening.

"The crowd here is a little young, and I had to compensate at the last moment by increasing my grin factor. Luckily, nobody got hurt." He adds that he saw my moves on the Jungle Woman, his voice going soft and fatherly. "You were horrible."

Before I can explain about the strobelight paralysis, he’s talking to another guy about going over to Pier 23 for hotter action. I go back out onto the floor and find Thurman Bailey standing up against the back wall with the small guys. His no-longer-clean shirt is drenched in sweat, and his eyes are half closed with exhaustion. I decide to ask him a savvy, technical question that reveals my new knowledge.

"Were you happy with your pherome signalling tonight?"

"Oh yes," he says. "Definitely. My pherome signalling."

"Any difficulty with the strobelight?"

"It kept going on and off. It made it hard to maintain a rhythm. My conversational skills never really kicked in." He adds that tonight, though unsuccessful, lays good groundwork for the coming weekend. He also mentions that he saw my moves on the Jungle Woman, his voice becoming soft and fatherly.

"You stunk," he adds.

It’s nine nights after the evening at The Bottom, and we are at a 16th Street club named, creatively, The Clubhouse. The crowd here is young, a younger average age than at The Botom, and seems much more desperate. It is late, close to closing, and the ranks have thinned. Most of the women remaining would go home with any man that had the nerve to ask. This is what’s known as Garbage Time, because the men can be sloppy about their technique and still take a woman home. Among our friends tonight is Thurman Bailey’s younger brother, Armond Bailey. Armond is twenty years old and makes Thurman look like a weight watcher. Arm is not considered to be serious competition yet for us older men, so we are comfortable and fatherly toward him. We adore Arm, and often let him shine our shoes for us. Whenever we see him, we love to yell out his name, "Armmmmmm!" We are Arm fans. Tonight, Arm has studied several of his brother’s best moves and is prepared to somewhat bashfully try them out near the dance floor. Unlike Thurman, Arm has a sweet baby-faced grin that may work to his advantage.

There are only a few songs left before closing, and many of us are getting ready to lock in on our targets. Thurman Bailey is by the bar, having an extended conversation about how the fog machine works with a female ectomorph, which shows how sloppy and uncompetitive things are. Thurman is making large waving motions with his hands and beginning to gyrate his hips a little to the music. He puts his dough boy hand on the woman’s back and slides her towards the dance floor. She does not resist. This is a perfect chance for Thurman to pad his statistics, to up his NSE ratios with some meaningless interaction. He grinds his girl across the dance floor into one of the dark shadows by the bathroom and … passes off to Arm, who has been violating all manner of fire code by squatting in the hallway. Arm rears up, steadies his legs under himself, and puts one of his big mitts around the girl’s shoulder, pulling her into the darkness as his grin refracts the strobelight.

"ARRMMMMM!" we all yell, cheering from the dance floor.

Thurman Bailey, unsung romantic, breaks into a moonwalk.