Mugs game

by James

Another year, another tech conference, but this time it would be different for Arnold. This time he had his lucky pants, and these were bona fide absolutely one hundred per cent certs, or his money back, so said Marmaduke from the dating forum. Sure, it sounded a little far fetch, but each of the eight guys who had rented them swore up and down they had scored, so…

But not just the pants that were going to swing it for Arnold on this rainy day in Birmingham. Last year he had been a mere boy on a school bus - of course the demo girls were going to laugh, they were paid to hand out free USB sticks as a room of sweating geeks stuttered about what they had bruised on their fall from heaven.

This time around Arnold was going to keep it real. He was going to make eye contact, he was going to smile. He figured that if he hit every one of the two hundred and seventy demo stands he had to click with at least one woman, and then they’d get together for a drink and then he would casually mention he had a room in that very hotel, and then they would…well, Marmaduke would be proud of him.

His plan was to play it cool, to suss out the lie of the land. When the very first booth girl smiled at him he was over like a shot. He parroted the forum advice in his head: look into her eyes, make her feel as though she is the most important person in the room. Hold her gaze, and if you have to blink then do it slowly, because that way it’s almost like hypnosis. This girl’s eyes were a rich dark brown and there were flecks of jade that twinkled at him as he gazed. Her eyes were wide and oh so lovely. Each that time that she blinked and looked away he was ready with his laser like slow blinking stare for when she looked back at him.

He left the stand with a free mug and a slight spring in his step. He might not have said a word, but all that deep eye gazing was sure to have sown a seed. At the next booth he tried sliding his eyes from her face down her body in a sensuous manner that suggested nights of tango and roses under some Latin sky. He had mentally prepared himself for the slightly too small crisp white shirt with four buttons undone but was knocked from his stride by the faint edges of pink lace framing her chest. Deep inside his head the forum advice mangled and he found himself locked in a staring contest with her chest trying to use his slow blinking to hypnotise her breasts.

The free mug he came away with was a beaut though.

Eight hours later and he was back where he started – alone in his hotel room wearing only his lucky pants. No way that he could go on the forum and say he struck out, but come on, the day hadn’t been a total bust. It might have taken him six or seven trips, but eighty free mugs, that wasn’t a bad haul at all.