Experiments in Change

Last Friday night, dada da da da…Ok Katy Perry, shutup it’s my turn now.

I recently finished a novel called The Witch of Portobello.  The author couldn’t write for shit.

And yet, one thing stuck in my mind. The Witch summons up her powers by Doing Something Different – for instance, by NOT dancing to the rhythm of the music, or by NOT filling the gaps in a conversation.  That got me to thinking about what I might get out of Doing Something Different.


Over dinner with Captain Savage, I said maybe it was impossible for anyone to change, really, because we only ever change in ways that we WANT to, and what we want, is laid down by what we are – so essentially you can never escape the box that is You. CS wanted to know if he could eat the last spring roll.


It made me wonder if maybe the only way we can induce REAL change is if we do something we DON’T want to do.  Acting on this theory, me and CS got our glad rags on and sauntered into a very busy Irish pub on a Friday night.

OUR MISSION?  To get out of a boring romantic rut, by inducing total strangers to tell us to fuck off. (And here’s HIS version of events.)

Now, in the safety of the restaurant, this looked like a good idea (it did?).  In the pub, it looked downright scary. Contrary to what CS thinks, I’ve often got rejected, and I’ve never learned to love the R Bomb.

Anyway, if I was going to send CS to his doom, I had to do the deed myself, so I sidled up to this miserable looking old guy (low-hanging fruit!) and started to chat him up.  He was polite but not encouraging (didn’t he realise he was being approached by the Sex Goddess herself?).   So then I cosied up to the youngish guy next to us, also looking a bit lonely, fed him a line or two, and asked him to dance.

You want to know what my surefire chat-up strategy is?  I pick something neutral but funny.  Like this:

“Can I ask you something? Have you ever approached a woman and she’s told you to fuck off? Yes? Well you’re not dead, are you! No.  See that guy I’m with? I’m trying to convince him HE’S not going to die either.”

This gets you a smirk and more importantly you have to nestle up close to be heard, allowing him to draw deeply of your feminine allure.  Which is a very good start.  If he doesn’t like your feminine allure, he’ll stare at you coldly and you can pretend you were just making an observation.

What, trying to pick YOU up? In your dreams!!!

Anyway, carried away by success, I then beamed my most sizzling smile towards a cute young foreign guy standing on the sidelines, and he beamed nervously back. 2nd rule of Picking Up in Pubs.  Foreigners are easy. Where they come from, you get stoned to death for even looking.

Guy praying that he may be allowed to have sex with me one day


Meanwhile CS makes periodic forays into the crowd and comes back looking sheepish.  He can’t do it.  He begs me to take him home. He says he’s having a horrible time.  He says it’s just not him.  I say we’re NOT going home until he HAS done it.   Even if it’s just to say hello, or I like your dress, or Great Band isn’t it?  And CS screws up his courage, and he DOES!  And I’m pretty sure that there was one rather attractive woman who would have been his for the asking, if he hadn’t scuttled back to me at the end of the number.

Me preparing to drive Captain Savage out into the Mating Jungle


I’m betting that the more CS does this, the easier it will get, until finally he will be collecting rejections (and underwear) like a pro.  Whereas I – well I may finally learn to shoot seductive looks across a crowded room (something I’ve honestly never got the hang of)!  Or fall flat on my face. I have a feeling that what begins with me sailing into the crowd confident of my universal sex appeal will end with CS striding off into the night, a horny housewife on each leather-jacketed elbow.

Captain Savage in his natural setting


    1. No, cause we went out to dance and there’s no fun in it if you’re thinking, god i wish I could get out of these heels! So they had to settle for heaps of cleavage instead!

      1. Won’t work with me, I can run pretty fast you know. But an interesting concept Rose. Love the aggression, you are at your most attractive when you are on the hunt, from what I saw on Friday night you won’t need a catttle prod…


    1. PS. I think there might have been some misunderstanding. ‘South of the Border’ refers to your blog getting a little more lascivious, not getting lower in quality.

  1. You are a brave woman. In fact, you’d make a perfect character in a novel–fun, adventurous, funny. Hmmm, maybe I’ll call her Lily. Is that disguised enough for you? 😉

  2. A fun and amusing read about a uniquely original idea, going out on the town and looking for rejection. Could being dyslexic actually be a source of inspiration? No, I’m not saying that I think you’re dyslexic, but sometimes I think that I am, and after reading your adventure here, I’m thinking that maybe it could work in my favor.

    I think that I’ll conduct my own investigation, and I’ll be back with a full report on the 82nd of June.

  3. I loved this post…while very funny also very informative! If we don’t spice things up in our lives, then our lives will be boring! BTW kudos to you for being a brave women…I’ll pray that your braveness gives you rewards!…Love this post!

  4. Can one ‘change’ who he or she or s/he is? Physically, yes. Cells die off and don’t get replicated. Skin sags, hair grays. But we have little choice in that regard. Can we change our personalities? If we are, as futurist Ray Kurzweil argues, ‘patterns of information’ which manifest behavior, then in principle one can alter the input/output sources and ratios, dial into a new feedback loop. But that makes the self into a kind of software. Who knows? Maybe that’s all it is. Personal change is about breaking through the ‘crust of habit,’ the assumptions, the judgments, the expectations. I try to do this by reading books, writing down ideas, talking to different people, finding new paths to walk my dog on…Maybe that changes me…bit by bit, in steady, healthy increments. Sometimes I read things I wrote ten years ago and think, man, I haven’t changed much at all. So, I ask my wife if I’ve changed. She knows. She knows everything:)

    1. The boundaries of the self, and the nature of it, is a very interesting question. As my son pointed out, we’re not the same person physically as we were – all our cells have been replaced over time. So what makes ‘me’, me, and am I just some sort of software. But I do what you do – try to add ideas, talk to people, do different things, in an attempt to break out of the loop. Still, I suspect people who’ve known me a long time would say I’m still the same old me.

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