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Home » Blogs, Cover Girl


Submitted by admin on December 18, 2009 – 12:08 pm3 Comments

Two weeks, ten cards … one man?

'Utter shit' says Cover Girl. Do not read if you want to get a date.

'Utter shit' says Cover Girl. Do not read if you want to get a date.

As Week Two of Project Cover Girl opens, I’m feeling fairly optimistic. I’ve leaped the first hurdle, I’ve refined my carding (and observation) techniques, and all in all I consider myself a pretty slick operator when it comes to approaching total strangers and giving them my contact details.

I really should become a professional flyer-person, I’m so brazen: I can feel the natural English shame and embarrassment at making any sort of fleeting contact with another person falling away from me like a shed skin. Or, sometimes, not.

Week Two gets off to an excellent start with a bloke on the Piccadilly Line who actually finishes his book (Stephen Fry’s The Liar) whilst on the tube, and hence starts looking up and around and catches my eye.

He’s blondish, with blue eyes and a nice face, and when I cross the carriage to hand my card to him as I get off the train, he almost seems to be expecting it, and smiles. Score! Clearly, this is the way to do it.

However, the rest of the week was a bit of a washout: lucky recipients of further cards included men reading Kiran Desai, Jar City (an Icelandic thriller) and Let the Right One In (classy Swedish vampire novel) but it was pretty slim pickings otherwise. Seven were disqualified through title choice (what a snob, I know, but come on – I’m putting myself on the line here – I have to sustain a conversation with these guys for at least two hours if any of them get back to me …)

Thanks-but-no-thanks books included:

Stephen King’s The Dark Tower (I’m sorry, I don’t care what people say, all the Stephen King books I’ve read are utter shit – I’m pretty sure it’s the amazing film versions that make people think he must be a good writer)

Pillars of Islam (too serious/academic …)

Some fantasy novel by Terry Goodkind (Banned book!)

Something by John Grisham (yawn)

The Godfather (zzzzz)

Something by Bill Bryson (borderline as I quite like Bryson – but not enough to make me card the reader, who looked a bit too old and defeated for me)

A book with blank covers made out of paper sellotaped to the outside of the book – WAY too weird. God knows what the guy was reading.

Of blokes reading decent books, two (a suited city type reading Chandler’s Farewell My Lovely, and a dark-haired backpacker reading – and this was borderline anyway, luckily – something by Neil Gaiman) put themselves out of the running by wearing wedding rings. They’d only gone and married some other woman, the fools!

This was their loss, naturally – but if I see an attractive man reading Chandler again, married or not, I might not be able to stop myself. Same goes for Wilkie Collins, Jane Austen, Raymond Carver or Thackeray: I missed one guy who looked like a young Neil Tennant (on whom I used to have a massive, and strangely fruitless, crush) who was reading Persuasionbecause the bloody train doors closed in my face. (If you’re out there, Austen-reading Pet Shop Boy-alike, call me …)

But none of this – not the disappointment, the despair, the switching tube carriages nor the craning my neck at peculiar angles just to see a book’s title – mattered in the end, because a few days into Week Two I opened my dusty, moth-haunted Cover Girl inbox to discover … an email!

And you’ll find out what it said tomorrow. Have a good weekend: I will.

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