Last Friday, the bouncer at Alchemy told me to stop hitting on the girls there. A few nights before, I’d scored open-bar passes at Alchemy from a townie guy named Johnny D — I work at the radio station, and he’s got the shift after me. (And by the way, ladies, my show is called “The Love Zone.”) Sweet, I thought, I’d get in free AND look cool with my glossy open-bar card. Looking cool is sweet.

So, pass in hand, I strutted up to Alchemy VIP-style with my entourage (my entire entourage consisting of one managing editor from the Yale Daily News — and not the one that hooked up with Natalie Krinsky). But when I showed up to the door, the bouncer took my pass away and my VIP strut faded, having lasted only two sentences. Apparently it was open bar for everyone. Inside, I ran into another guy I knew from the radio station, known only as “Dante” (one of the first rules in radio is that you must have a retarded name to use on air. Mine is “Randall”).

“Yo,” Dante said. “Johnny D wants to see you. He’s in the back room.”ÊI found Johnny D. He’s a big white guy with ODB-style glasses and a gold chain around his neck.

“Yo yo Burt!” he said. “D’you bring any Yale girlies out with you tonight?”

“Naw,” I said. “Just this guy.” We both looked at the managing editor, feeling a little disappointed in ourselves. “Johnny D, this is Jeremy.” Johnny D nodded.

“All right,” he said, “Why don’t we find us some ladies?” Actually, his question did not end like this, but more like “Why don’t we find us some ladies?!?!?” The extra question marks and exclamation points were because he was a townie and because he was drunk.

And so, like that, we started mackin’.

The best thing about townie life is that all bad pickup lines are boiled down to a single, uber-bad pickup line. The line is “How you ladies doin’ tonight?” and it is wonderful. You don’t need creativity, and the girls expect you to use it. Greeting them with a big “How you(s) ladies doin’ tonight?” is practically considered courtesy, like bowing in Japan or something. So with the line locked and loaded, we fanned out and formed a zone-offense, shouting it at any women within about an 8-foot radius.

After 10 minutes, we examined our haul.ÊJohnny D seemed to be doing well but for some reason had disappeared; Jeremy had roped in a couple of drunk UConn girls and was talking to them about copy editing.ÊBut I had yet to get a girl to even maintain eye contact with me. I cast my eyes downward and stirred the remnants of my open-bar drink. I was starting to feel like a, well, N-VIP.

But then Johnny D came back and alley-ooped for me big time.

That last sentence wasn’t true. Johnny D came back with two middle-aged Hispanic women. I tried to be optimistic (it’s like “Sex and the City” meets Telemundo! I thought. Goooooaall!!!!) but one of them was leathery and the other one wouldn’t stop talking about her “family” and “kids.” Best move on, I thought. (Actually, Jeremy thought. I was totally game to mack them.)

Things weren’t going well. After the middle-aged women left Johnny D decided we should make a policy change.

“You guys go to Yale, right? We should incorporate that when we talk to the girls. They like that. The whole Yale thing.” We agreed. From that point on in the evening our team line changed from “How you ladies doin’ tonight?” to “Hey, have you seen the Yale Campus?” (the idea being that, if they had not, we could show them! Tee hee!). We also decided to narrow our scope a little bit, and I approved.

Here’s my view: whether it be the girl at Toad’s without underwear or the drunk sloot in the halter top coming out of Durfee’s with a half-eaten bag of “Pirate’s Booty,” always go after the girls with slutty reputations. Perhaps to some of you this sounds, well, kind of predatory. But hey, when you’re in Kmart, you ask the people with Kmart nametags for help, don’t you?

So sloots we decided on, and sloots it was (or is it “sloots it were”?). Anyway, we moved from the back room in Alchemy up to the front. Feeling glad that girls liked “the whole Yale thing,” I decided to act intelligent. I approached one of the girls hanging out by the oxygen bar.Ê

“You know that thing doesn’t do anything, right?” I said. I was ready to follow up with, “Because you’re bloodstream is already 99 percent saturated with oxygen. Also, oxygen’s chemical symbol is O2, because it’s diatomic –” but she cut me off.

“It works,” she said. “Because it’s mostly nitrous, not oxygen.”

“Ahh,” I said. “Well, um, I go to Yale.”

“Really? Hey Caitlin!” she said, calling to another girl. “This guy goes to Yale!”

“Really?” Caitlin said.ÊIt looked like I’d started a chain reaction. Pretty soon there was a whole group of girls around me and Jeremy, either to be impressed or to stare at the cultural oddity.

“Hey, how you ladies doin’ tonight?” I said, trying to sound casual. The girls stayed, and I used as many big words as I could think of. But then guys started showing up. Big guys. Townie guys.

You can spot typical Alchemy townie guys because they look like oxen — oxen with teased hair wearing tight white ribbed turtlenecks. Somehow this style has migrated and been deemed sexy outside of the Long Island homosexual community.

At first they were subtle, just lumbering in between me and the girl I was talking to and body-checking me away. But I was persistent — I was more agile than they were, and I knew it. I feigned toward the blonde and headed toward the brunette. Jeremy set a pick and I blew by them. I was going to talk to these girls. I would do it for Yale.

Then I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around into an “Alchemy Security” T-shirted chest.ÊBusted.

I looked up to meet the leviathan’s gaze.

“Listen man,” the bouncer said. “You’ve got to stop talking to these girls. Those guys are their boyfriends, and I don’t want a fight tonight.”

While this happened, one of the “boyfriends” was having less genteel words with Jeremy.

“Yo dude. If your friend there don’t stop talking to that girl, he’s going to get his neck broke. And so are you.”

Well, to make a long story short we didn’t get our necks broke that evening. In roughly two and half minutes after that conversation, Jeremy and I said our goodbyes to Johnny D and the 40 year-old Hispanic women, and we packed and went home. But there were so many loose ends. If those girls were dating those dudes, why did they lead us on so? If those guys were their boyfriends, why did they look so gay? And shouldn’t the past participle of “to break” be “have broken” or, at the very least “have brokered”?


Burt Helm wants to touch his Bat Boy.