Not wishing to be trapped in imessage limbo, Ben clasped his hands together as he prepared to listen to Antonio. He looked like a naive youth first learning about the world.
Sitting with his two buds, everything outside the conversation faded out. Ben ignored the voices of other people in the cafe, and even the smell of coffee saturating the space.
Noting Ben’s serious attitude, Antonio nodded in appreciation. “The Three Minute Rule works like this…” he took a dramatic pause…because he knocked over his tea, spilling it on his lap…
After a minute of wiping down, “The Three Minute Rule works like this…when a chick texts you, delay at least 3 minutes to text her back. It’s the same whether on a phone, facebook, whatever. A lot of guys have a rule where they wait at least as long as the chick waited to text back, which can take hours or days. But I can tell you right now…they’re wrong.”
Beluga nodded. That was his experience as well.
Antonio continued. “The reason they’re wrong is cause when you’re textin’ with a chick, you’re stuck between two opposin’ forces.”
“Good and evil?” Ben asked.
Antonio held his palm to his chest. “Good and evil exist in the heart…” Then he lowered his hand. “And the balls…”
“Okay…” Ben shrugged.
Antonio got back on track. “What I’m talkin’ about are the two opposin’ textin’ forces: distraction…and simpifaction…”
“Simpification?” Ben visualized a lineup of nerds in marine corps uniforms, shouting in unison, “Simpify!”
Beluga waved his hand in front of Ben’s face. “Pay attention. You almost got lost in the sea of simp…”
Ben shook it off and returned to listening.
Antonio spoke. “Simpifaction is the process of chicks imaginin’ you doing simp sh*t at all times: starin’ at your phone and waitin’ for them to text you, lookin’ at their photos, playin’ video games.”
Ben raised his eyebrows. “These girls are pretty smart…”
“Get new hobbies!” Beluga yelled. “…Even if they’re right, don’t let them know it!”
Antonio agreed. “Beluga nailed it. It’s all about perception. That’s where the three minute rule comes in. You wait 3 minutes, which is long enough for it to seem like you were doing somethin’ else and only then noticed her text. That’ll break her simpification cause she won’t imagine you starin’ 3 minutes at her text before respondin’. Most guys respond right away.
On the other hand, you’d prefer not to wait too long either. That’s cause the opposite force of distraction will come into play, which I’ll explain now.”
Ben put his hand up. “Let me stop you right there. You trying to info dump on me right now?”
Antonio replied, “You tryin’ to be a virgin forever?”
“Please continue…” Ben sipped his coffee.
Antonio snorted. “The force of distraction. First, you’ve gotta understand somethin’…most attractive chicks are in contact with at least a dozen guys at any given time. With the growth of social media, that number’s going up every day. And the hotter the chick, the bigger her network. So if you don’t respond fast enough, she’ll move on to someone else and you’ll be a memory. That’s the force of distraction in play.
Of course, we’re talkin’ in terms of efficiency. You could wait a year to text back and it wouldn’t be impossible to close, but your odds of settin’ up a date in the short term drop off big time as the minutes pass. As you already know, it’s all about pushin’ for dates in the short term, cause number leads decay…”
While contemplating everything, Ben drank his coffee, enjoying the aroma of the light roast and the taste of caramel. “I got it. Three minutes, but not too long. Simple enough.”
Antonio said, “Yea, one caveat though. Technically, you can delay your response 3 minutes OR delay by at least the time it took for her to reply; that could be under 3 minutes or even immediate. For example, if the chick replied in 1 minute, you could text her back in 1 or 2 minutes instead of 3. The reason is that she showed eagerness herself by textin’ quickly, so as long as you don’t seem more eager than her, there’s no problem. That’s also why you shouldn’t delay more than 3 minutes; 3 is long enough that you won’t seem eager. Any longer and she’s influenced by distraction. Also, textin’ back faster is an effective way to reward chicks for good behavior such as replyin’ quickly. Like a type of trainin–“
Beluga interrupted him with a serious expression, “Benjamin’s not ready for the Skinner cumditioning program…”
Antonio held his hands up in apology.
Ben didn’t notice their last exchange because he was deep in thought about the rule and how he could apply it to improve his dating life. After a few seconds, he said, “Sounds good, I understood.”
Ben grasped how important texting was. It was the inevitable future of humanity. He knew that as technology advanced, it would bring many new challenges for society: how to use technology to have sex with women…
How to have sex with robots…
How to make robots have sex with women…
Beluga said, “Take heed Benjamin. Not only will this knowledge keep you from becoming sextually frustrated, it will also help you avoid being accused of sextual harassment…”
Antonio sighed. “Before I figured out this system, a girl accused me of tormexting her…she was wrong, of course…”
Beluga put his hand on Antonio’s shoulder. “I know you didn’t mean to texturb her…”
Ben watched them with interest. ‘They seem to be getting into it…’
Antonio summarized, “Well cuz, that’s all you’re ready for at the moment. The advanced stuff will come later…”
Beluga added. “Such as toilet texting…”
Antonio nodded. “Becoming ambitextrous…”
Beluga became inspired. “Staying textually active…”
Ben frowned. ‘Are they composing a song? I have a very bad feeling about this…”
And like remaking a classic musical into a movie that no one wanted, they broke out into duet. “Not getting textually overexcited…”
“Avoiding premature textaculation…”
“Not being a one text stand…”
“Not being textploited…”
“Giving a textgasm…”
“Menage et text…”
“Pexting…” Antonio spread an impish smile on that last one.
“NO!” Beluga shot up from his chair. “You’ve gone too far! You’ve gone too far Antonio! Pexting is too much! I told you to stop!”
Ben’s jaw dropped. ‘THAT was too much? It was the shortest pun…’ Curious, he asked, “What’s Pexting?”
“It’s his term for sending d*ck pics!” Beluga replied.
“I’m comin’ up with a system for it!” Antonio defended.
“You’re coming up on Google!” Beluga yelled.
After a lengthy silence, Antonio contributed a final one, “Admitting when you’re a textaholic…”
Antonio and Beluga exchanged serious glances for a moment…before Beluga ended the conversation. “It’s under control. We can quit anytime…”
*Author’s note: For more information on the dao of plow, join the discord! https://discord.gg/VSKzgzV8J9 (case-sensitive). On a PC, you can copy the link from the novel’s about/synopsis page.