On one of my favorite television shows, Friday Night Lights, there's a character named Tim Riggins who's an all-around stud. He has his problems with alcohol, sure, as well as father issues and occasional outbursts of violence, and he's not the smartest Panther in Dillon, but the ladies all love him. So much so that on a recent episode, when Tim started hosting a sports-chat show on a Christian radio station, most of the calls were from starstruck Texas teens, shamelessly hitting the man up for a date. Riggins, brother, I can relate. The bulk of the e-mails that flood What's So Funny's computer are generally variations on the same theme: "When can we go on a date, Funny?" "How about dinner and a movie, Funny?" "The color of your eyes are hazel like the somber, stormy coasts of Galway, Funny." But while the Galway comparison is indeed perceptive and pays homage to my Irish roots, I'm simply here to spew the funny. Let's try to keep it relevant, ladies.
Still, the constant onslaught of such entreaties got me wondering why I don't have a girlfriend. And I guess the long and short of it is I just haven't met the right lady in this city of Denver. Finding an art dealer/chef/photographer/ballerina who is well-traveled, extremely well-educated and slutty; likes animals, international soccer, dick jokes and when I drink for five days in a row; makes $250,000 to $300,000 annually and will constantly tell me whatever shit novel I'm working on is mind-blowing stuff just isn't as easy as it used to be. And while I have compromised what I want in a woman in the past, I recently decided to change all that. How? By going to a different set of bars.
As I sat with my friend Brett, whom I'd recruited for this mission, drinking beers in his living room, we thought about where we should go out to find my future wife. Colfax was out, because "Did I ever tell the story of how I met your mother on Colfax?" just lacks that atomic-family charm. South Broadway was out, because Brett hates hipsters. Plus, I live near there and always go to the same neighborhood bar, a bar that I cannot reveal — on account of the Tim Riggins situation — but will simply say rhymes with "Buttnik." And I loathe LoDo. So we compiled a list of somewhere-in-between bars, both aware that a bar is rarely the place to find an ideal woman, but enjoying the exercise nonetheless. But the next thing we knew, it was past midnight and our friends Chris and Heath were gathered around the computer blasting mid-'90s rap. And then the next thing we knew, we were gathered around the computer listening to OutKast and Biggie, and like that, the night was over.
Colorado Free University
I realized I am a man caught in my ways. So the next morning, I did something drastic. I attended a class called "Get the Girl Now" at Colorado Free University.
The posting on CFU's website noted that the teacher, KP, had been referred to as "a bright guy" by Neil Strauss, author of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, and off that meek endorsement alone, I was picturing some gel-haired lothario, shirt unbuttoned to his navel, leading a beefy dude congress in meathead chants of "Treat 'em like shit, bro," and I envisioned slumming the class like some cow-town, low-rent Sex in the City, hilarity would ensue, and the Tim Riggins letters would quadruple. Instead, when I got there, KP seemed like a nice, sensible guy who had merely overcome his shyness and awkwardness around women and was now encouraging other men to do the same — hawking his CD like any self-helper, but also presenting talking points about losing your sense of toxic shame and not caring about rejection, just laughing it off and moving on. And gathered in the room were eight nice-enough guys who for whatever reasons — shyness, heartbreak, self-loathing — had chosen to spend $50 and their Saturday afternoons attending a seminar trying to fix whatever it was that was broken in them. And there's nothing funny about that. I found these men brave for attempting to make a change in their lives and realized that maybe I had it pretty good, even if I haven't found the girl of my ridiculously inflated dreams. So I left after an hour.
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And I felt no shame drinking that night at Buttnik.