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Readers have asked, “What was your most memorable pickup?” I can think of a few successful pickups that were very challenging and provided me with much spiritual fulfillment upon completion. But if we’re talking about picking up against all odds and natural law, under adverse conditions that would cause lesser men to wilt in defeat, one in particular stands out.

***

I unrolled the mat and tamped down the curled end. Observing my surroundings from the back row of the yoga class, a swarm of svelte hourglass figures tucked salaciously into lycra presented for my eye rape. Ponytails swatted the air and taut bodies stretched and leaned and jutted to fill every frame of my viewing field. I dropped to my mat, extended my legs, and began reaching out to touch my knees. Pre-stretch.

“First time here?,” I asked the brunette sitting cross-legged to my right.

She hesitated before answering, “Nope. I’ve been going for years.”

“I bet you’ve memorized all the moves, then. I need a crib sheet.”

She half-smiled. “It’s pretty relaxed here.” Glancing at the instructor setting up her work station, “She goes slow.”

“If I don’t know a move, I just drop into that fetal position where you’re looking at the floor like you’re about to throw up.”

“Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.”

I liked this girl.

Class started. Upward, outward, inward, splayed, sternum to the sky. Supple, peach cleft, disembodied asses bobbed in figure eights in front of me like that bouncing ball traveling across the lyric captions to some Saturday morning children’s show. Sheer, high tech material emphasized every vulval ridge. It stirred.

Halfway through the class, in the middle of executing a straight-backed bend at the waist, and with no warning flare from my viscera, a loud, staccato racket erupted from my exit.

BWWAAAAAPP

My face burned to match the rectal tear I thought I had suffered. More than half the class pretended not to notice. But it was foolish to feign ignorance. This newborn’s cries echoed off the walls. No ear was spared.

A few girls and the one herbly man (the only one besides myself in attendance) in the class turned in the direction of the prurient sound, not quite sure who emanated the offense but able to narrow it down to two or three suspects, their faces twisted in yeoman efforts to hide disgust or laughter. The man nodded his head at me (he knew) and was the only one to notably chuckle. The instructor, obviously practiced in the art of managing student effluvium, segued hastily into the next pose by raising her voice a few decibels to distract the rumble of cackling that was about to unleash.

But before she could announce the next pose and move us all forward from mass embarrassment, I blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

“Was that a duck?”

Laughter rippled through the crowd. The brunette swiveled and grinned at me, having reconsidered the merit of talking to me earlier. I had verbalized the unthinkable, and in so doing perhaps saved her from being misattributed as the ass criminal. By now my blush had receded, and I smiled at her and shrugged my shoulders, as if to say “hey, gas happens”.

Supreme self-confidence, I thought. A man who owns his bodily functions is a hot commodity.

I wanted to keep the moment going with further jokes about the incident, thinking the running gag is a good way to loosen a girl up. But better sense prevailed and I kept my mouth shut while flexing triumphantly through the remaining poses. At the end of the class, incense candles were lit to guide us through the meditative cool-down. I think they were lit for another reason.

I stood up and rolled my mat, grabbing her attention.

“Hey.”

“Yes?”

“I think we should clear the air on what happened here, over drinks sometime. Like, how about tomorrow.”

“Really?”

“Yes, really. Your form is barely adequate. I could give you some tips.”

“Tips? Over drinks? I don’t think your tips would be very helpful.”

“Don’t be such a pessimist. Hope and change.”

“So… you’re asking me out?”

“That’s right.”

“Do you do this to all the girls at yoga classes?”

“Embarrass them? Yes.”

“Haha.” She stared at me for an interminable three seconds. “Well, ok. But… don’t bring your duck.”

I raised my eyebrows in faux indignation. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Oh, riiiight.”

We exchanged numbers after most of the class had disembarked. I said I would call her.

I’m certain she had a blast retelling this moment to her girl friends. And I’m glad I was the source of her glee.

***

So that, gentlemen and gentlewomen readers, was my most memorable pickup. Nothing smooth or suave about it. Just a lot of gumption and chutzpah. Accompanied by a galvanizing symphony of war drums.

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