Allie wrote me a note saying that the Hollywood extra guy was the worst pick up artist she'd ever seen. It wasn't news to me. He seemed boring, the way he repeatedly pushed the conversation to the weather.
Then, he asked one of the girls what she was majoring in. She said English. At that moment, a young man with a beard who was sitting nearby said he was an English major too. In an instant, both suiters were invited to join them at their table. The poured the men drinks and instructed them on how to play the card game they were playing.
The bearded English major was really chatting up his scholarly counterpart. They discovered that they both love Virginia Wolf. "Do you think she's a feminist?" The bearded young man asked.
"Oh definitely," the young lady replied.
In time, it was revealed that one of the young ladies was half Jewish, at which point the young bearded fellow said, "Really?! I'm a Jew too."
Either the women were not sufficiently impressed, or they cast him some suspicious glance that neither Allie nor I could detect, because he suddenly began acting like he was on trial, hurriedly offering up details about family tradition. At one point he seemed to be desperately floundering. "I'm trying to think of more Jew stuff," he said.
Allie and I found this young man to be a little snarky. On several occasions he made fun of the Hollywood extra. He refered to him once as "the limo driver."
Despite this, the extra seemed to have a few more skills in the move-making department, though they weren't getting him very far. While the young bearded fellow blathered on and on about things they had in common, hopelessly dooming himself as a mere friend, the extra pushed the boundaries a little. He rested his arm on the seatback behind the young lady he sat next to. He touched her every now and then to emphasize certain points in his stories. He even tickled her a couple of times, which she didn't like at all. "Stop tickling me!" she barked.
Meantime, beard boy kept his hands to himself, which I'll bet he has a lot of practice doing.
In the midst of all this, the longhaired liberal know-it-all returned. The women invited him to join them. But they were four stuffed into a booth and neither of the two men, both sitting on the outsides, were going to make space for more competition. So the longhaired liberal moved on.
A moment later he returned saying he found a spot in the back of the lounge car with five seats. "But there's no place to play cards," he admitted. They just sort of looked at him, and he moved on again.
The four of them poured more drinks. The extra revealed that he was 37. The bearded boy pulled out a notebook and jotted something down. The women asked to see what he wrote. He demured. "I'm shy about my writing," he said.
He changed the subject to music. He asked them what music they like, and he was pleased by the specificness of their replies.
"When people say they like everything," he said, then pausing to add an air of profoundness to the pending closing phrase, "they really mean nothing."
So true, young man. So true.