How to Construct Routines
This is a great post. Eventually I want to put a book out filled with routines. Because
in reality if you can perfect a routine it would make the pick up so much easier.
The nature of routines, how to construct them and how to be congruent with them.
Â COOL ROUTINES VS BEING COOL
Any newbie can spout the best friends test. Or the sisters/bubble wrap/angel devil script. Or say that he and random HB would never get along. All of these are awesome, and have their place in a PU. But none of them convey WHAT KIND OF GUY YOU ARE.
I’m willing to bet it will take many newbs a LONG time to feel congruent spitting out all these canned lines – UNLESS you have some meat – some routines to flesh out *your* observations and experiences. This post is about developing that meat in a way that’s congruent (true) to YOUR nature. It’s about showing girls how YOU view the world, so they see how cool you are. You can try to do this naturally, but that might take you a LONG time. The way I did it? Read on.
FIRST, you need to grab people’s attention FAST. Words like “poop”, “cancer”, or any old racial slur will work, though they lack elegance.
Currently, I hit girls with “You guys look really serious! / focussed! / tentative! / distracted! / concerned! / spaced!” Often, they do. (A *lot* of people demonstrate one of these emotions.) For happy laughing girls talking to each other, you could say they’re “hyper-feisty”, but better is to use a more direct opinion opener, or honestly, a completely different high-energy game. I’ll post on that more when I’ve got it down better.
These kind of emotional reads (cold reads) usually grab the attention of the set for a few seconds. If for some reason, you can’t read their emotional state (turned backs, bitchy girls), then just go for the female opinion, followed by the time constraint. It’s indirect and a little weak, but what can you do?
So now you need to follow up with… a real routine. How do you construct one?
First, if you cannot hold an interesting conversation, do NOT try to improvise!!!! If you’ve ever seen improv, you know that most guys are NOT funny when they improvise. Especially the ones who put on shows, since they’re usually annoying, 2-bit actors who will laugh at the stupidest shit.
Instead, here’s how I prepared my whole set of routines. Each took about 10 minutes to prepare.
Take a topic. It should be a topic that affects a few people personally, though it doesn’t have to be. It also doesn’t have to have anything to do with you – I’ll get to realism later. For now, let’s choose baldness.
Your second hook is just a statement on that topic.
“You know how when guys get old, they start losing their hair?”
3. SOCIAL DYNAMICS
Every routine MUST contain an element of SOCIAL DYNAMICS. How does this topic affect people socially?
“I have a friend – he’s 22 – he’s ALREADY losing his hair. SOCIAL NIGHTMARE.”
This is the tricky part. You have your premise – so what.
Ok – what I said about Letterman above? *You* personally can imagine several celebrities that are good at talking to people. So take one that you style yourself after (say Howard Stern, Al Pacino, or Will Ferrell), and imagine him talking about this topic. Just talking and talking. LET HIM TALK (in your head). If he says anything interesting, write it down.
Since this sounds like I’m insane and listening to voices in my head, let’s be more specific.
To be engaging, you need to have an attitude, and what Tyler calls a conversational frame. But this is annoying terminology. *You need to be able to hold someone’s attention with a short premise*. The best people in the world at this are comedians, but other celebrities can as well. Imagine Dave Letterman talking about a bald guy:
“Well, this guy, he’s 22, and he’s already balding! What is that? [aside to Paul] His hair – well, he’s got some on the top, and some on the sides, and well, it just looks like – you know that starfish on SpongeBob? Yeah. Poor guy. And you *know* it’s not helping him, you know, with the ladies.”
You can imagine the same thing coming out of Chris Rock’s mouth, or Damon Wayans’s, or Greg Giraldo’s, or even Eric Cartman’s. Point is – find an edgy comedian/celebrity who can tell stories, and imagine them telling it. And just write it down. That’s your starting point.
*Now* that we have a boring story, we can start to add all the typical ASF BS.
5a. Physically/Vocally act it out
One good thing to do is to physically act out the premise JUST A LITTLE. Don’t talk with your hands! Don’t be too animated. But – when I say:
“His hair is sort of like – well, there’s not too much on the top, and there’s a lot on the sides,” I’ll put my hands up and demonstrate JUST A LITTLE.
If I’m talking about watching a sunset, I tip my head and actually see the sun set. My eyes narrow, my pupils likely dilate, the works.
If I’m talking about my nieces fighting, I do their voices, since it is ass-funny when I do high-pitched voices.
This sounds lame, and honestly, you really have to feel this out. Do a LOT of act-outs to begin with. Really – go MANIC for a week or two. It’s not alpha, and nine out of ten times, it won’t work. But that tenth time, girls will LAUGH at what you’re doing, since every human does a few impressions VERY WELL, including some really unexpected ones. Remember which ones they laughed at, and after the two weeks are up, do only those. Don’t be afraid to throw away parts that you LOVE, but which girls aren’t laughing at. Also don’t be afraid to throw away material Tyler and others say is field-tested. It is – for them, with their attitude. It will work for you – someday – but if it isn’t working today, drop it.
It really, really helps at this point to watch Seinfeld’s movie, “Comedian”. If you think you know ANYTHING at all about how your audience (women and some dudes) will respond before you deliver the material, watch this movie.
5b. Qualify them
I hate saying, “Qualify them,” since it sounds wrong.
YOU NEED TO MAKE HER QUALIFY HERSELF.
The easiest way to make a girl qualify herself DURING the routine is to compare her to something or someone in the routine. It doesn’t have to be something about her, or even close to true – just MAKE IT UP. She’ll STILL have to deny it!(2)
“His hair is sort of like – well, there’s not too much on the top, and there’s a lot on the sides, KIND OF LIKE YOURS (point to the target).”
She denies the fact that she’s losing her hair.
“No – there’s a latin term for hair like yours – LITERALLY, it means ‘Big Hair’.”
She denies having big hair.(3)
(ha ha, I’m attracting her)
If you’re much higher value than her, then you must tone this way down, but then again, if you’re so high value, why are you reading something that says “for newbs” in the title? Also, anyone can call a girl a Powerpuff girl, a View girl, or just plain old “bitch”. But if it feels awkward to just come out and do it at a random time, then give what I said a try.
Anything that has you being chased, or you being beaten up, or you possibly dying in a comical manner is good. Also good are gay people, little kids, old men, and stuff little girls do. “I was being chased by a swarm of gay bees, and then the old beekeeper came out in his suit and beat the hell out of me, and finally his granddaughter took her stuffed bee and rammed it into my crotch” has a lot of drama.
6. MORE ROUTINES
So you made up a *30 second* routine. So what. Good job! Now make up six more. I’ll do one here again – 26’s glasses routine.
I hated that fucking routine. I’d run it, and the girls would say, ON or OFF and I’d have nowhere to go. But – this routine already has a hook! So I took this structure and said:
Can I add social dynamics? Ok – clearly, someone gave me the glasses. But why?
So I’d say, “Hey – do I look better with these on or off?” [hook]
(they answer, but since girls are weak, I don’t care)
“I was in the Hamptons this weekend. With my friends. And this guy comes up to me and just starts talking. [social dynamics] He had these weird facial expressions – kind of like yours. It’s not a good thing.” [qualify your target]
She’ll say, “What facial expressions?” And you don’t care.
“So this guy said I’d look awesome with these glasses on. Not THESE glasses – another pair. So he just hands them to me. (hand a CB your glasses) So I try them on.” [physical act out]
“But then he puts his arm on me like this [act out if you want], and I move away, and then he comes closer, and I’m like aaaa, and I have to all but RUN out of the club to get away from him!” [drama]
“About five minutes later I realize I’M STILL HOLDING HIS GLASSES.”
Etc. Not bad. Let’s do another!
Topic? Let’s go WAY boring. Note – boring topics translate into low energy routines. They’re useless in a club, and many other areas. But they’ll be fine elsewhere.
The office copier.
People interact with the copier, and then with each other. But it goes badly.
(it’s like writing a bad sitcom premise) It should involve children, since the image of a child with an arm stuck inside a copier makes me smile.
Hook – “You know how copying machines have that panel you need to open if things get stuck?”
Isn’t that the start of the most boring story ever? Yet watch:
Well, I need your opinion. My boss took his daughter to work. [social dynamics] You kind of look like my boss – it’s not good. [neg] In any case, his daughter, Tabitha, tried to copy something for show and tell – but the copier jammed. Who cares. Well, my boss wasn’t watching – he and his secretary were out… you know. [physical act out – imply with the eyes]
So Tabby’s like 8 – she needed a stool just to reach the top of the copier! So she reads what it says about the jam, and she opens the copier! First, she pulls the blue toner out and gets it all over her face. And THEN when she puts the blue toner back IN, and GETS HER HAND STUCK in the copier.
So here she is, little blue toner face girl, like tiny little Braveheart, with her hand stuck in the copier, freaking out [drama], but she’s shy and doesn’t want to call for help. And RIGHT then, another girl FROM HER CLASS, walks out of an office nearby. Her mom works there! And this girl sees chubby little Tabitha, face covered in blue toner, with her hand stuck in the copier, and starts LAUGHING at her. And LAUGHING. Which made Tabitha start CRYING and CRYING. BLUE tears. Of unimaginable sadness.”
This story is fairly useless as a routine (it’s filler), but I hope it shows that you can build a fairly interesting story out of just a few simple rules and ANY topic you want.
For kicks, here’s the same story without ANY of the rules:
“You know how, like, copying machines have that panel you have to open if things get stuck? I had to open that panel a few days ago, and I was afraid my hand would get stuck in there. It didn’t, though! So I can still masturbate, thankfully.”
7. REAL STORIES VS FAKE ONES
If you can tell any old made up story without feeling weird, then go ahead and lie like a rug. Unless your life is fascinating, it’s the easiest route, and so long as you stop before you get to rapport, you’re fine.
But if you feel weird being dishonest (fucking hippie), then don’t lie about everything. Only tell stories about familiar people or objects… BUT – they don’t have to be true! Make up a backstory! See, if you can envision a familiar person or object really clearly, then you can almost CERTAINLY imagine a story around that person or object. That usually makes you feel so much less weird about the story. It makes you congruent.
Also – these hot girls, with their naughty bodies, when they act all bitchy for no good reason? That’s just THEIR FANTASY about being important. It is NO MORE REAL than your routine about your retarded gay uncle. See, since girls are bad at THINKING and PLANNING, then instead of making a ROUTINE that’s a bunch of bullshit, they’ve adopted an entire EMOTIONAL PERSONA that’s bullshit. A facade. And it is a LIE.
So WHOSE fantasy is stronger? Her “I’m so important” fantasy, or *your* structured fantasy? Huh?
FUCK having the stronger reality. HAVE THE STRONGER FANTASY. BEAT UP her fantasy with your fantasy. Once your fantasy has kicked her fantasy in the teeth several times, her fantasy will run far, far away, back to its fantasy mama, and you’ll be left with perfectly normal girls that you can gain rapport with. Plus, she’ll love you for all the emotions you just took her through. Fuck yeah.
8. CONVEYING YOUR VALUES
I hate that terminology. Basically, you want the girls to see how cool you are. So make a list (as Doc suggested on Cliff’s list not long ago) with all of the values you want to convey in a set. My list includes:
fun, dominant, funny, confident, studly, social, high status, non-judgmental, non-possessive, accepting of her sexuality.
Now all you need to do is imagine a routine that conveys each value. For non-judgmental and sex stuff, I use C vs U, except the person who told me is my stripper friend from Australia. For dominant, I use a “chumps in a bar” story, plus my 100% true “punched in the face” story. For high status, I say I have a PhD. Haaaaa. For social, I usually talk about all of the people I’ve met in the past week. For studly… ok, you got me. I have no idea how to convey that. 😉
9. FIELD THE ROUTINES
Everything you’ve done up to this point has taken, at most, two hours. If you took any longer, STOP. PENCILS DOWN. TURN IN YOUR WORK.
Now you need to go out and see which routines the girls like. These will NEVER be the ones you like. EVER. YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THINGS YOU SAY ARE FUNNY. Only other people do. So you need to go out a lot and just field the routines. It’s kind of fun – girls get SO into this bullshit, and if you ever run out of material, then just keep talking until they get bored. Even GUYS get into this bullshit – see Tyler’s recent “astrology” post and all the replies it generated.
After you’ve been out for a week (or even a day or two!), you’ll start revising. Trust me – if you’re conscious of the process, you’ll realize what parts work, and which ones don’t. If you’re not conscious of it, then get a wing, and listen to each other. You will NOT get laid doing this (well, ok, you might, since even chumps get laid every now and then), but it’s like batting practice.
1. If it can’t be done (they’re looking away), then ask for a quick female opinion, and always time constrain when necessary, of course.
2. Exactly like Fox News does with the Democrats ALL THE TIME. Who cares if it’s true – it WORKS. It makes them defensive, and their social value goes down as a result.
3. In Long Island, this is fucking hysterical, since she does have big hair.
90% of everything I’ve said in this post is sitting in Tyler’s archive. But it’s a big archive, and finding this stuff sucks. That’s why $$$FEMINATOR$$$ was so awesome! He was like the ASF intern. Someone with a little experience who would go through that archive and pull out the nuggets would be so useful.
Also, huge props to Harmless, who I think has summarized all of this very well.
Finally, as I said up above, this is for my own usage. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. If you have constructive comments, go ahead. If you think it sucks, I’ll only care if you can tell me *why*. Any other comments are not in my reality.
Besides – I’m WAY too busy listening to the voices in my head.
A great book of routines to start with is The Art of Approaching. It is a whole book of tested openers.
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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences. For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.