Written by Panio Gianopoulos on Thursday, December 12, 2013
Dear WikiHow Editors,
It is with great regret that I submit a complaint about your tutorial “How to Ask a Girl Out in a Bowling Alley.” Until the unfortunate events that unfolded at the Strike King bowling alley last night, I have had nothing but positive results from your articles. “How to Fall Asleep to Audio Books” was an exhilarating addition to my bedtime routine; “How to Sneak Up on Your Cat” worked without fail—so long as, in my excitement, I did not forget the discerning first step (Make sure your cat is facing away from you); and “How to Make a Light Saber Using Everyday Items” took advantage of my robust collection of empty paper towel tubes and helped me through a particularly difficult Thanksgiving.
“How to Ask a Girl Out in a Bowling Alley,” however (hereby shortened to HAGOBA, according to “How to Abbreviate”), fell far short of my expectations. Below, I include the six steps you provided, along with my notes and comments, so that you can make the necessary adjustments for future WikiHow readers.
Step 1: Compliment a good swing.
While ordinarily I admire WikiHow’s conciseness, I would have appreciated some elaboration here. Complimenting a good swing, it seems, must be done both while stationary and from a greater distance than six inches. I observed a troubling startle reflex in the redhead with the Duck Dynasty sweatshirt when I sprinted toward her to congratulate her on her strike.
On the plus side, the next step was relatively simple to achieve, as a conversation naturally follows when someone knees you in the groin.
Step 2: Ease into a conversation.
Once the pain had subsided enough so that I could breathe, I formally introduced myself to the redhead. It took a few tries to get her full attention because she was now two lanes away, dancing remorsefully to the “Disco Bowling” playlist. Staggering over to her, I explained that she needn’t feel bad about the misunderstanding. My left testicle has yet to fully descend, despite a vigorous third round of hCG injections by my stymied urologist, and so she had only pulverized half of my reproductive potential.
While this news should have cheered her, instead she ran back to her friends. I realize now that I hadn’t taken into consideration that I was interrupting her current social obligations. This is the kind of detail that HAGOBA should have offered in its “Tips” section, along with its nuanced and valuable suggestion to “Go in the restroom because you might get sweaty bowling.”
Step 3: Ask her if she would be interested in getting something to eat or seeing a local event.
Perhaps I am somewhat to blame for this next step’s failure. Just prior to attempting it, I noticed that the redhead had taken to mentioning me to her friends—though because the music was so loud she had misheard “Julian” as “Richard,” and affectionately begun using its attendant nickname. Emboldened by this sign of interest, I asked if she would care to eat a series of Mexican dishes and then come with me to see the smoking chicken exhibit at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum. Had I not allowed my overconfidence to cause me to combine both suggestions, I believe the night’s outcome would have been very different!
Step 4: Offer to get her a soft-drink from the food stand.
Why this is Step 4 baffles me. It should come much earlier, when the mystery and charm of a gallant stranger offering a lady a Coke Zero is at its most irresistible. Doing it this late is not only ineffective, it is outright insulting, as the redhead was quick to demonstrate. (Note: See attached PDF of my dry cleaning bill—the portion for which WikiHow is responsible is circled in red).
Step 5: Get her number and ask if she wants to continue the conversation on the phone.
A bit more specificity would have served me well here. “Get her number” is a maddeningly vague phrase. While I am not a certified linguist, I don’t think it unreasonable to interpret it as “locate the my number feature on her mobile phone.” Luckily I am quite adept with electronic devices, and by the time her three friends had chased me into the games area and dragged me out from under the air hockey table, wrenching the phone from my flirtatious grip, I had achieved my goal.
Incidentally, the term “friends” also merits some linguistic reconsideration. I don’t know how two men in cut-off flannel shirts and a girl cackling through a mouth full of chewing gum deserve this hallowed designation.
Step 6: Call her!
Unfortunately, I have used up my single allowed phone call to Siri, who has graciously and obediently transcribed the body of this text for me. Once the police release me from the holding cell, I will complete the final step of HAGOBA, and proceed to the next tutorial, “How to Get Her to Fall in Love With You.” I anticipate no trouble with this series, and I look forward to giving her my jacket (step 4), kissing her forehead (step 5), and staring into her eyes while hugging (step 7).