You may have read recently that HarpersCollins has signed a deal to publish Castle Rock fourth-grader Alec Greven's manuscript, How to Talk to Girls, which began as a class project at Greven's Soaring Hawk Elementary. And if you're anything like those saps on Ellen, you probably think this is just adorable, that little Alec is so great just because, at the ripe age of nine, he understands that all women want is someone to listen, and because he has the discipline to complete a book while all his friends are walloping hookers in Grand Theft Auto IV.
But here's what the mainstream media isn't telling you about Alec: He doesn't know shit about girls.
Trust me, I know: I've been with upwards of two and half women in my day. (What's your number, Greven?). I happen to know that the kid's advice, while sweet, would never work in the real world. Take his patient approach to engaging new girls, which he explained in an interview with the Denver Post:
A: What you actually want to do first is, in elementary school, get the girl to notice you. That's the main thing in elementary school. If you get her to notice you then, when you're in middle school, you can tackle her.
Q: Around the ankles?!
A: No, I mean try to get her more interested in you. Then, in high school, that's when you start dating, if your parents allow it.
Q: But it all starts in elementary school?
A: Yes. If you don't get the girl to like you by middle school, then it's like being really, really behind on homework. You have to get the girl to notice you and like you by middle school, or in high school, you're done for.
Wait two years just to tackle her? What is this, The Notebook? Any experienced guy knows that such patience is not a weapon available in the arsenal of the modern man. According to my studies, once you identify a woman who you are interested in dating, you have exactly fourteen minutes to get her to notice you, ask her out, date her, propose and impregnate her (although not necessarily in that order).
Wait until middle school and she's going to just up and fuck Rick from sales, and the only time she'll notice you is when Rick dumps her briefly, right before Valentine's Day, only to take her back two days later, leaving you alone in your bedroom with an empty box of Cheese-Its in one hand and your own beating heart in the other.
But, by all means, take your time. I'm sure that will turn out great.
And what about this bit about how to converse with girls?
A: Sometimes you need to ask questions. Like, "Did you see that episode . . . " of some show, or "I hear you went to" someplace. That's good for talkative girls. Then she does all the talking. If you're shy, you want a talkative girl.
Q: What if you're both shy?
A: If you're both shy, then you have a two- minute conversation and that's it. You don't want to both be talkative, or you'll interrupt each other. So you want to have one of each.
Q: So, what's something you might talk about with a girl?
A: Well, maybe this bug exhibit I saw in the grange hall. I got to hold a tarantula, and I got to see an exotic centipede that had these horns sticking out. It was really, really cool.
Hah! This supposed "expert" thinks women want to hear about his trip to the bug exhibit? What's next, kid: We're supposed to "be nice" to them and "call them after we sleep with them?" Who's your ghost writer, Dr. Phil?
Any real expert knows that talking about bugs is a total game killer, a move akin to ordering a salad or working for a non-profit. And the notion that there are "shy" girls and "talkative" guys is naive at best. That might be true in the cafeteria, when all the girls are at one table and the boys at another. But once a guy and a girl are in a room together, it only behooves everyone to stop talking all together, since no one's listening anyway.
So, given my thorough dismantling of Greven's logic, here's a modest proposal for him and HarpersCollins: Let's be co-authors! There's totally room for our divergent viewpoints in your book, and, as luck would have it, I'm free! Just hit me up whenever you want to start writing. In the meantime, I'll be playing Grand Theft Auto. -- Joe Tone