The “I’m an Expert” Opener
Tonight I was driving past a Blockbuster video store, when I saw a cute blond girl through the window staring at a rack of videos. Of course I had no intention of renting a video so I drove home right? Of course NOT.. I pulled up, went inside, sauntered next to the girl, and the conversation went something like this..
(I stand next to her and give her my mischievous smile)
jdog: “Can I help you?” (she looks at me.. I smile)
girl: “Oh.. you work here?”
jdog: “no.. I’m an expert!” (I nod)
jdog: “yes.. indeed I am an expert video renter.. untold hours of movies have been watched by these eyes.” (I point to my eyes.. she cracks a smile.. and I roll off a little like I’ve lost interest)
jdog: “my favorite is Mary Poppins..” (I turn to her and snatch the video out of her hand) “no.. no.. no.. this won’t do.. you will watch..” (I tap my temples and look up like I’m contemplating something important.. I glance at her with a pondering expression) ”..hmm you are difficult to read.. but I know just the movie for you.. follow me..”
I start to walk off, and glance back at her. She isn’t following. This is expected. I give her a bewildered look.. I “tsk”.. shake my head, and say.. “come on” and move my head towards my left shoulder in a ‘follow me’ gesture.. she follows… nice!
Now this is an excellent playful roleplay that could be done anywhere, and could be lead in many different directions. In this situation I could have lead her to the horror section.. romance.. kids movies.. etc.. and busted on her, or have been witty while getting to know her. I could have asked her some qualifying questions in a playful testing manner, such as “wait, are you into comedies?” or “You totally like Adam Sandler movies!”
I chose to go to the television section and handed her Season 1 DVD 1 of Californication. “here watch this.. don’t say I never give ya nothin’,” I said. She reacted by instantly pushing me in the arm.
girl: “you’re crazy”
jdog: “you hit like a guy” (I turn my body away slightly)
Now we are flirting!
jdog: “no.. seriously.. take it.. put it under your sweater I won’t tell anyone.. their cameras are down right now.. I know cos I have a man on the inside.. after this I’m stealing a copy of…” (I look left and right) I whisper, “Jerry Maguire.”
girl: “so you just follow around women and hit on them in blockbusters?”
jdog: “pretty much.. i’m here 6 days a week now.. who knew that women like guys that like movies. How am I doing?.. Wait! don’t answer that.. just watch Californication and if you decide that David Duchovny’s character is cool then maybe we can hang out again sometime… Next time though I think we should cruse the horror section.. you bring the Ben and Jerry’s.”
girl: “what do you do? who are you? you’re funny..” she bombards me.. this is normal.. she ’s smiling.. her hand flicks through her hair.. looks like some IOI’s
jdog: “Yes, I know.. I love being appreciated.. hi I’m Justin.” (I hold out my hand. she puts her hand in mine)
girl: “I’m Kateshazizzle” (name has been changed.. hopefully Kate doesn’t read my blog)
jdog: “I’m just gonna call you Blockbusters.. so, Blockbusters do you come here often.. (I smile and give her a bit of a sexual glance) .. you’re cool though.. you have a great sense of humour… I like that.”
(still holding hands)
jdog: “Wait I must be crazy talking to a complete stranger in a video store.. you could be a serial killer.. you’re not are you?” (I take my hand away, as if frightened.. she does that shocked/surprised girl thing where they open their mouth as if to say something, but only make a “uuuhhh” sound.. with their eyes all wide and surprised and their jaw dropped real low. She smacks my arm again.. a good thing.. hehe)
jdog: “So how do you suggest we stay in touch.. you know to discuss our movie notes and everything?”
girl: “You have a phone don’t you?” (I hand her a pen.. and lean my body against hers.. pull back my sleeve exposing my forearm.. she writes)
jdog: “Mhhhh you smell really good” (I smell her neck) “wow.. ok I really should go.. you smell too good for me to be around right now.” (I roll off)
girl: “Where are you from?”
We chat about 10 more minutes.. I tell her about a couple of social events coming up that I’ll be at with friends.. I find out a little about her.. we have a playful flirtatious back and forth.. this is a very familiar scenario for me.
So I hope you can see how a simple phrase such as, “I am an expert,” can start a fun interaction, where you can be flirtatious, you can rollplay, and even create a shared conspiracy together. Let’s see where else do you suppose you could start a conversation this way? How about; a book store, the grocery store, a coffee shop, in fact pretty much anywhere you could jokingly be a ‘fake’ expert.
Using fun, playful and even mischievous openers is without doubt my favourite way to start a conversation. Why? ..because it is very disarming, and if done right will allow the other person to experience good feelings. It even creates a great sense of comfort between you. If you treat people like they are already old friends, and you exude such a comfort around them, then they too will instantly feel comfortable around you.
The key here, as with any method of starting a conversation, you need to transition and move things forwards. I should know cos I’m an expert!