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Of Tetris and Dudes and Bars (And Boners)

(Illustration by the extremely talented and adorable Carolyn Main)

Man, I like bars. I mean – not right now so much – as the holiday celebrationgasms have taken their toll on my everything but usually I like the bars. And my friends like bars. We like meeting at them to argue about romance/fantasy/space/detective novels or gently gossip about who is doing the sex with whom or why none of us is more famous yet (probably because we spend so much time in bars). What I don’t like is waiting for my friends at the bars because of you know…the dudes. The dudes who will ruin my already shaky composure with their annoying/flattering attentions. What to do about the dudes? A book will not dissuade them. In fact, it tends to incite them. The dudes in Portland love a lady at a bar with a book. And tweeting doesn’t work because the danger of finding oneself smack in the middle of a heated argument about the value of Twitter is inevitable – especially in my city of dismissive lady jean wearing, non television owning dudes. So again, what to do about the dudes?

DO THE TETRIS AT THE DUDES. There is nothing I have found to be more effective at rebuffing unwanted male attention than an absorbing game of iPhone Tetris. Oh sure, you might counter with Angry Birds or whatever but nothing beats the romance and history and all consuming addictiveness of Tetris. Best of all, Tetris is a one-two punch of rebuke. A bar dude will sidle up, recognize the little colored blocks on your glowy hand held thing, and immediately feel at ease with you. He knows what it is, is happy you know what it is, and now has an opening he never had before. Now this is where things get awesome…and psychological-y. Because the bar dude has played many a childhood game of Tetris he will quickly come to the realization that you need to concentrate. Like…hard. No one can talk and play Tetris at the same time. NO ONE. Sure, the same can be said for many other portable games but NONE have harnessed the power of the human psyche and channeled its primal need for putting shapes into correctly shaped spaces the way Tetris has. This is science and you can’t argue with science unless you’re the Eleventh Doctor who, incidentally, is welcome to interrupt my game of bar Tetris ANYTIME. Of course, that’s just the kind of circular logic the Doctor would appreciate and acknowledge with a little flippy flop of his flippy floppy hair and a twinkle in his beautiful eyes and…anyway. Um.

To sum up: Tetris attracts and then repels the dudes at the bars – unless you are a Time Lord.

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13 comments

  • Guess that makes me an outlier :) (then again, I live in Northern VA, which may as well be the opposite of Portland in so many ways)

    I’m not one to hit on bars, but I would be fairly comfortable talking to any guy or girl playing Tetris at a bar.

    I like girls, but I love Tetris.

  • Deltus- I think the appeal of the “I’m doing something please don’t talk to me” type activity is that you never have to use those messy words. Telling a guy you’re not interested could result is him getting all offended and “HEY I’M JUST MAKING CONVERSATION LADY JEEZ!” Sometimes a guys is not expressly hitting on you and simply talking to you when you don’t particularly want to talk to him. Appearing distracted lets everyone go about their lives with dignity intact.

  • Andy, wow, don’t take this article (or the general message behind it) personally. Oft-times, a lady just isn’t interested in being chatted up by a fellow, and oft-times the fellow just won’t accept that. Usually (and this is just my theory) because the woman won’t come right out and directly say what her situation is. Women tend to deal more in “signals”, whereas men don’t catch their meaning (not as well as the women, imho).

  • This might be coming from a more “guy” perspective, so I don’t know for sure how well it would play in actual use in a woman’s situation, but have you tried looking at them coolly but politely, and saying, “Sorry, not interested. Please go away.”?

  • Aw, I don’t have an iPhone, (not a bad thing from my perspective) I’ll have to see about a version for my phone…. And you shouldn’t mock the guys it the tighty pants, they worked hard to get into their sister’s pants and went through a lot of effort to look like the haven’t showered in a week and just don’t care.