This accusation is levelled at many a womaniser (and maniniser, I suppose, although this sounds like a fragrance range created by Vin Diesel). “Oh, here comes Dave. He’s a terrible flirt, you know.”
I resent it. What is clearly meant is that the subject is an incorrigible flirt. This leaves people who are genuinely terrible at flirting nowhere to go, save over to the table with the dips, where we can pretend to be particularly interested in the wall hangings and thus avoid conversation.
My flirting has been known to level small villages. It is responsible for greater rises in nunnery entry than Hamlet. In one unfortunate case it caused all spaniels within a ten mile radius to develop alopecia. Clearly, my flirting is genuinely terrible.
To date, my most notable flirting successes have been meta-textual, which is to say I have talked about how bad I am at flirting (I imagine this is how John Motson has sex), in the hope that this will somehow be a substitute for the actual thing. Needless to say, it is not. I say successes, mind you – this technique has borne fruit precisely once, and I’m not entirely sure it was my own work. I’m claiming it, obviously, but if you too are a terrible flirt, don’t take it as advice.
Lacking a natural ending to this post, I will leave you with some of my recent attempts. Consider it a “what not to do” guide.
- “Hail recently destroyed my borage.”
- “What do I do other than robots? Um. Homoerotic bacon instruction videos?”
- “Did you know bees vibrate 30% more in winter to keep warm?”
- “Aphids recently destroyed my borage.”
- “Hello. I’m almost certain to say something moronic in the next 30 seconds, so it would probably save time if you went and got another drink now.”