Jul 25, 2022

Pick-Up Lines for The Politically Scared

Navigating past the shoals of incorrectness

By Ed Goldman

First, a disclaimer: To the best of my memory, I’ve rarely used a pickup line and absolutely never used a successful one.

This isn’t because I’m a highly evolved non-macho/proto-feminist/sobs-when-a-leaf falls kind of guy. Or the socially awkward designer of homo-erotic/hetero-phobic/trans-curious gladiator video games. I’m just missing something required for admission to a singles bar: the glib gene.

Edgy Cartoon

Pickup Lines

In truth, I’d also have been tongue-tied trying to ask out someone in more innocuous settings, such as a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, Rotary talent show or S&M rodeo (which is barely distinguishable from a routine rodeo, but we can discuss that later).

The changes wrought by political correctness (and its bastard child, Wokeness) and the #Metoo movement (and the impending world domination of hash marks) have rendered the pickup line somewhat (forgive me) flaccid. 

So to help resuscitate your ardor and chances of contracting a plethora of social embarrassments, including marriage, The Goldman State proudly presents “Pickup Lines for the Politically Frightened.” We’ve also included a Teacher’s Guide, at no extra cost.


“Excuse me, this isn’t a line or anything—”


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“—but I noticed from across the room that you ordered a glass of Rombauer Chardonnay, which happens to be—“

“Your favorite, right? My, my, what a co-inky-dinky.”

“No, I was going to say that Rombauer happens to be—“

“Are those binoculars in your fleece vest? Is that how you knew I’d ordered—“

“Rombauer. Yes. And I was going to say it happens to be my favorite wine but also my favorite family business.”

“You’re a Rombauer?!”

“Well…I don’t like to trade on the family name…”

(Teacher’s Guide: Please note that our veiled chameleon [lounge lizard] never said he or she was a member of the Rombauer family—or business, for that matter.)  


“Hi, this isn’t a line or anything—”

“I’ll bet.”

“—but I just wanted to say your speech about Herb was spot-on.”

“Oh. Thanks. I—”

“I mean, it really captured the real Herb: his whacky sense of humor, his devotion to God, his community and the Baltimore Orioles, even in 2021, when it was the losingest team in major League Baseball—”

“Hey, is that a little teardrop?”

“Oh, no. Not me. I’m just choking up a little about when you talked about Herb ‘giving back’ to his church.”

“Well, thank you. He really did give it back, too.”

“Oh, you’re referencing the Diocese embezzlement hoo-ha. Listen, none of us who knew Herb ever thought he did it.”

“He did it. He brought home a satchel overflowing with harassment settlement checks.”

“‘Brought’ home? Don’t you mean ‘took’ home?”

“No. But sometimes you forgive even your husband his tres—”

“You’re Herb’s widow? I had no idea.”

“Yeah, that’s why I’m dressed completely in black. Why’d you think?”

“I just figured someone told you it was your color. Like, I wear a lot of charcoal gray because I’m a winter person. I thought you wore black because you’re kind of a night person. (Some throat clearing) Would you like to go for a cup of coffee or something?”

“I have a better idea.”

“Uh-oh. I get it. I’m outta here. Sorry to have—”

“Instead of a cup of coffee, why don’t we go to the airport and get room service in Paris in the morning?”


“It’s okay. I’ll treat. Herb didn’t give back all of it to the Diocese.”

“I think I’m in love.”

(Teacher’s Guide: Do you think our ceremonial skink [lounge lizard] even knew the deceased [Herb] or just checked out the funeral announcements on Sunday, the day when the majority of people die in newspapers. Discuss, preferably over French-roast coffee.)   

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Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).