Dispatches from Manhattan’s Serengeti Plain* by Dillon Freed


All virtues are disposed of when a man goes seeking a woman in the New York night – unless, of course, those virtues are feigned to create a deadfall for an unexpecting female. It is an evening of lust, envy, and most of all false pride, which like all things false is worse than the real thing.  I am quite certain when Hugo got the idea of the Pope of Fools scene in the Hunchback of Notre Dame; he time-traveled to modern Manhattan, for only there could he have seen a man believing  he was being honored by a crowd that was actually laughing at him.

But listen, this is not an advice column, still for God sakes, before we start, get some humility comrades: it should be microcosmically acknowledged, that is, within your own mind, that not many women in your life time will find you physically attractive.  Sign a peace treaty with that. You see, most of you, like me, are an inter-breed of some handsome qualities along with some hideous-mut qualities which dwell somewhere up your family tree; qualities whose Genghis Khan genetics have run roughshod over the laws of evolution and allowed your face to come to look like Quasimodo after being poleaxed with a Phineas Gage-like pipe, thereby almost guaranteeing your chances of not reproducing.

And even if you are one of those rare rara avi who looked as if chipped by Michelangelo, well, you are probably a dumb prig with a personality that is doubtlessly, mostly composed of the leftover crumbs of dirt fed to political prisoners in North Korea. What is more: some of you chaps are probably a fantastic chimera of both mental as well as physical deficiencies and will someday likely sharpen a wooden spoon and kill the “evil women who make fun of you.”

But no sense in crying over the spilling milk of our lives. I certainly don’t – instead, I make a blasted game of the damn thing, and it all commences with words. Words, which allow us, if we cannot, in cheetah-like style, catch our prey, to at least hurl them as a playful insult, or perhaps, an authentic compliment, which may slow these impalas as they dart away from our mitts.

So, to begin, let us take a survey of the type of women out there, knowing that the best denigration, as well as the consummate approbation, is to label appropriately. So here is a sample of how we, the xy chromosomers of Manhattan, Aristotle-like, classify and taxonomize the sometimes gorgeous, always feral, feminine beasts of Gotham’s dating scene:

The girl who interferes with you hitting on her friend, if you tire of the more common vulgar phrase, is a terrorist named the Unit-bomber.

An easy girl is a Penis Genius. (Stay away)

Four girls, in skimpy dresses, at a table, drinking and laughing and talking about gross sexual things, are definitely Not Having Sex in the City (at least with us), are what we have come to call, after much ratiocination, Pathetic.

The ugly girls with the one hot girl are Pilot Fish – you know these: the annoying little flippers that swim next to a shark.

An overweight woman who is arrantly upset by her weightiness, and hence, has blossomed into a rude, mean virago is said to suffer from the malady of Mad Cow Disease.

If you are just looking for a girl to see for the summer, or for a short time, she is an “Anorexic” – because you plan on seeing less and less of her. (All complaints can be forwarded to someone else)

A girl who lets you talk to her two and a half hours and lets you buy her drink, and touch her leg, and make eyes with you, and looks like Natalie Portman and responds to the compliment “Very nice to spend an evening with a such a beautiful lady” with, “a beautiful lady with a boyfriend,” is called a …. Claudine! (Son – I mean – Daughter. Of. A. Bitch).

The girl you are really attracted to (e.g. the one who is a bit too much Williamsburgy) but know not why is Conceptual Art.

The down-to-earth cool chick (read normal) is so rare in NYC that she is known as a Midwest Tourist. No really, she is probably on vacation from the Midwest. Sadly indeed, a woman from NYC or has lived too long in the city certainly has a cocktail of personality characteristics selected from the DSM-IV.

Here are a few more things you should know:

To attain a woman’s numbers or digits is to become “digitized” – the dork that made this up is as much as dork as you can imagine, though he attempts to hide it.

The good comrade, who talks to the ugly girl(s) (indeed, they may perhaps be a pod of Pilot Fish, or it could just be a lone Unit-bomber suffering from Mad Cow Disease) whilst you have a tete-e-tete with the comely one, is known as a Dog Walker, or, one can say, if one wishes, that such a friend is “walking the dog” for you.

A close female friend that goes out with you and unintentionally frightens off women is not a Unit-Bomber, but is said to kill you by “friendly fire.”

And lastly, just so you know, always be a student of the Dope Gymnast – that is, a guy who only lands tens – he should be a friend of yours – he’s really cool.

That’s just a sample of the masculine, chauvinistic, politically toxic argot on display in the fun and rotten Apple. My favorite, you ask? Mad Cow Disease – it seems an epidemic recently.

At any rate, by all means, go out and employ your new lingo, and coin some terms yourself. And remember, in the end, all this dating is no big deal, even after you get the girl you like, nothing really changes. For a relationship, as a wise man told me, is nothing but a situation in which two people commit to hide the fact that they are seeing other people – Claudines are, of course, excluded.

*Note: Everything in this article is true except for one sentence.