Real World Rapport Summit Day 3

11:00 a.m.: Lance is up there, showing us a new approach. Sheba, the Persian supergirl, sits at a table reading a book (one of the previous day’s props during Lance’s romance novels bit). I’m walking in on the middle of it, but apparently the routine is one where Lance spots his subject from across a room–a cafe, say–then slowly gets up and walks towards her. He looks down at the ground and focuses his nervous energy. He doesn’t crack a smile; he just walks up and says, “I had to come over and talk to you.” She puts down the book and he waits, silently, until she says something. It’s important not to crack a smile, he says–that will dissipate the sexual tension. But, speaking of tension, when I arrive this a.m. there are no seats and the back area is blocked by a sign reading, “For Pickup 101 and speakers only.” I take this as a personal message, and decide to spend the afternoon indulging my nostalgia for Polk Street, where I spent much time while apartment sitting in San Francisco ages ago.  3:00 p.m.: Beer, a swimming pool, the sun–who cares about the rapport summit? I’m too intent on enjoying my last afternoon in San Fran. However, I do run into some of the participants as they mingle outside. Jdog, one of the speakers (the dude with the pen 15 routine), f’rinstance, is out there near the pool on his phone. Also, I talk briefly with Tad, a participant from Edmonton, where he does improv comedy, and has worn a kilt to the conference room the last couple of days. Perhaps a form of what these guys call “peacocking”? He says the afternoon has been “intense.” 8:00 p.m. Back at Zan-adu, Don Diego is covering the lamps with coloured tissue paper from his all-purpose Victoria’s Secret shopping bag. This gives the room a pleasantly seedy bordello effect. “Is this in one of your e-Books?” I ask. (He’s written about 100, he says, for Neil Strauss’s Stylelife Academy.) “Yes,” he says. “My hotel party eBook.” Turns out he’s kidding, but it doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me. 09:50 p.m.: Well, I’ve missed almost all of Sunday. But I’m in time to catch the last minute of Lance’s sit-down conversation with Badboy, a Croatian ladeez man, also featured in Strauss’s The Game. Badboy is talking about when is the right moment to kiss her. “The moment you find yourself thinking, ‘Should I kiss her,’ you should,” he says. “In fact it might even be too late.” And: “Nightclubs are stacked against you… They’re a hostile environment.” And this: “Don’t think about yesterday’s mistakes. And tomorrow is just a dream. Seize the day.” A round of applause follows Badboy’s inspiring words, and then Lance announces the end of the day. Everyone mills about–PUAs (pickup artists) getting reacquainted, students asking more questions of their faves, supergirls deflecting pickup methods. 12:45 a.m.: The party in in full swing up in Zan-adu, with Lance, Zan, Don Diego, Daniel Johnson, Karisma, and a few others. (Zan has somehow talked Karisma into coming back to the hotel, even though she’d already left. Hmmm. The guy’s got talent.) We’re getting loud, and Iain from hotel “engineering” has come by to warn us we’re disturbing the Cathay Pacific flight attendants in the neighbouring rooms. Dylan is pouring him some of Don Diego’s champagne; Iain is surprised and somewhat shocked, even excited, when he realizes he is in the room with professional PUAs. He comes up, by accident I believe, a great name for them–“Premier Fuck Gurus” or something. He shows us the left-shoulder tattoo of his baby daughter, and that’s it for me–things are getting too weird, and I’m not up to conversing with anyone. I sneak out quietly, leaving the superstars of pickup artistry to plan, philosophize, and strategize–not on how to pickup chicks, but on new ways of marketing.

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March 2008

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