Ben and Antonio were at the front door of a two-story house in Brooklyn. A few moments after ringing the doorbell, a man opened the door.
He was 30ish and tall, with an imposing heavy-set frame, but what was most striking was his outfit. It was epic. He wore a curved purple pimp hat capped by a red feather. It partnered with his chinstrap beard to frame his thick face and eyebrows. With a purple bathrobe to match, he gave off the impression of a cartoon emperor from a Sesame Street character’s deluded nightmare.
‘What have I gotten myself into?’ Ben wondered.
“What’s the password?” The man queried.
Antonio and Ben glanced at each other in confusion.
The big man took out his phone and played a song.
“I like it when the beat goes.
Baby make your booty go-oo-ooo.
Baby I know you want to show.
That thong thong thong thong thong.”
It was “Thong Song” by Sisqo.
Ben’s face turned green. He had to summon the strength of his ancestors to avoid walking away. He gritted his teeth in determination. Dead men didn’t have the luxury to care about self-respect. Besides, what self-respect? He was already wearing the damn thing!
Ben pulled the top of his pants down a bit to flash the shiny fabric.
The Big man nodded as his eyes showed appreciation. “You’re qualified, come in.”
‘Because of a thong? Am I qualified? Am I really?!?’ Ben cursed this perverted bastard.
As Ben and Antonio entered the house, a woman’s shout came from above.
“Eugene! Who is it?!?”
“Shut up ma’! I’ve got guests!”
Ben felt the thong’s silky texture brushing against his legs as he walked. He made a decision. With this shame haunting his soul, if it still didn’t work out, forget waiting a month, he would end it tonight.
The three sat down on sofas in a basement with fish tanks everywhere. “Welcome to my underwater man cave,” the large man said.
‘Is that a man cave for fish? Wtf? I suppose it is a cave technically, because it’s his mom’s basement!’ Ben felt like crying. This was his savior?
“I haven’t introduced myself. They call me Beluga.”
“Because you’re a big guy?” Ben asked.
“No, because beluga caviar is the rarest and most expensive,” Beluga responded with a prideful expression.
‘Yea…I’m not sure that’s why they call you that though,’ Ben thought.
At this moment, Beluga crossed his legs. By coincidence, Ben noticed he was also wearing a thong!
An issue plagued Ben’s mind. ‘He forced me to wear one. Now having seen he’s in a thong himself, should I feel better or worse?’
Ben shook his head. “What’s with the thong thing?”
“…You don’t know? Chicks like it. You’ve gotta be open-minded and willing to take risks in this game.”
Ben wasn’t sure if he was serious. ‘Ye…I’m not sure about that. Regardless, in this case, I prefer my mind nice and closed.’
Beluga tried to make Ben feel welcome. “Ben right? Antonio has told me all about you. He asked me to invite you here to my home. Here we are. Look around you. I know it’s hard to believe…that you’ve been granted the opportunity in your life to run into a peak specimen like me. Well, I’m here to tell you. It’s real. One day, this could be your future.”
Ben looked around at the dark dump filled with fish tanks. Death was starting to sound not that bad to Ben.
Ben narrowed his eyes. ‘I’m having trouble believing this guy. This is a master pick up artist? Let me test him first.’
“Beluga, you’re a master pick up artist, right?” Ben inquired.
“Certified,” Beluga responded.
Ben didn’t understand what that meant, but he continued. “Then I have this problem with this girl…” Ben told Beluga about the situation with Penelope. He needed to understand why she hadn’t contacted him.
Beluga laughed. “The reason for your problem is simple; It’s because you gave your number to a pretty girl.”
Ben squinted in confusion. “I don’t understand.”
Beluga clarified. “Look, the cheapest thing to attractive females is male attention. They’re surrounded by it, hounded. Attractive females, especially ones in crowded places like universities, have an infinite amount of options. They’ll never call you. They’re too busy getting attention from the next guy. It doesn’t matter how well your meeting went because attention is its own reward for females. It gives them a kick of dopamine. That’s why you can’t ever give your number if there’s an alternative. You have to get her number. Besides, you failed her sh*t test.”
“Sh*t test?” Ben confirmed.
Beluga answered him. “A sh*t test is a female’s way of finding out if you’re qualified to date her. She wants to see if you have what it takes. Some tests, they throw out consciously. Some subconsciously. You’ll know you failed one when she walks away. When that girl asked you for your number, that was a subtle sh*t test. She wanted to see if you knew enough to flip it and get her number. You showed you didn’t…”
Beluga continued, “You failed that test. As for how serious that mistake was? It depends on the test and the female. In this case, it wasn’t fatal, but I doubt she’ll be calling you.”
These new concepts intrigued Ben. “So the tests are to see if you have what it takes…What does it take?”
Beluga laughed. “You’ve got to push the right buttons. Sh*t tests are only one part of the puzzle. What does it take? Knowledge of how females think, confidence, charm, experience, and more. To put it in one word—it takes game.”
“…Game?” Ben recognized the word but didn’t understand the meaning in this scenario.
“Game…That’s how we in the pick up artist community refer to skill at interacting with females. They use the term too when they say ‘You’ve got game.’ They know the truth. Some of them won’t admit it though. The term game is meaningful. This dance between men and women…it’s a lot like a game. In fact, if the only thing you changed was to view your exchanges with females as a game, you’d already be far ahead of most men.” Beluga smiled.
Ben was deep in thought, trying to digest everything. ‘I suppose it shouldn’t be hard. After all, I have a game-like pick up artist system in my head.’
Beluga then leaned in. He stared deep into Ben’s eyes with a stern expression. “Remember this Benjamin. Beware…beware of the sh*t tests! Always! I don’t care if you’ve been married 40 years. Watch out for them even then! If not, they’ll be the death of you. Beware!”
Ben swallowed. Beluga made them sound like ghosts or demons. “Don’t worry. I’m already afraid.”
Beluga calmed down. “Good. With that out of the way, we can discuss the ultimate thing you came here to learn…”
Beluga stood up and looked at Ben. His tone became mysterious. “Mastering the art of seduction!”