I should have known the pickup lines would be as geeky as the attendees of the work conference I went to a few weeks ago, but wow.
Some background: I work online doing Search Engine Optimization and went to a conference about search engines. Everyone there either worked for an engine or worked for clients trying to perform better in said engines' results. (Read: lots of dorky people talking in computer jargon). Good times.
Google threw an enormous party at their headquarters one night and it was one of the most spectacular displays of neon I've ever seen. I've been to Burning Man and still was impressed at Google's throw down of glow sticks and flashy things. While standing off to the side of dance floor, snickering at the increasingly drunken and emboldened displays of dancing, a man approached.
"Hey. You look lonely."
"Why? Because I'm choosing to stand by myself?"
"Have you ever prefered your own company to standing around bullshiting with strangers?"
"I guess, yeah. Is that your not so subtle way of telling me to get lost?"
"Haven't decided yet."
He laughed and said something to the effect that I was intimidating. I said something to the effect that it's a good bullshit filtering mechanism and the conversation actually improved from there. We chatted for a few minutes, mostly making fun of people's dancing, and laughed quite a bit.
I smelled it coming though.
The song ended, the party was clearly winding down and I was looking for my co-workers to start heading back to the hotel.
"Hey, do you have a business card?"
"Uh yeah but I forgot them at home."
"Bullshit. You just don't want to give it to me."
"No really. I left them in Oregon."
"Well, can I have your number?"
"I don't give my number out to guys I've just met. Safety thing. But you can have my email."
He pulled out his card and I wrote my work email down.
"What? No personal email?"
"Yes. I have several personal email accounts."
"Man, you're a tough cookie."
"Congratulations. You're officially the second person to tell me that, after my grandmother when I was 6 and skinned my knee but didn't cry."
Awkward silence. I began regretting being so stand-offish, but quickly stopped when he dropped the line.
"Well, I can get your web site in the number one result on page one of organic Google results for any keyword if you ever want. Give me a call, here's my card."
Dumbfounded, I let the awkward silence return.
"Well, I can beat you in a foot race around the block right now. Probably won't call you after."