Periscope Depth

who they attracting with that line, what's your name, what's your sign

I feel sorry for this young man

He’s only 9, but this pint-sized pickup artist already knows plenty about pleasing the ladies.

So much, in fact, that Alec Greven’s dating primer, “How to Talk to Girls” – which began as a handwritten, $3 pamphlet sold at his school book fair – hit the shelves nationwide last week.

The fourth-grader from Castle Rock, Colo., advises Lothario wannabes to stop showing off, go easy on the compliments to avoid looking desperate – and be wary of “pretty girls.”

“It is easy to spot pretty girls because they have big earrings, fancy dresses and all the jewelry,” he writes in Chapter Three.

… because, five years from now, he will not get nearly as much play as the world expects of him.

This isn’t astonishing. No teenage boy gets as much action as he thinks he’s going to; it’s a law of adolescence. But the global media juggernaut has set the bar for this boy so ridiculously high – fawning over his insights, marketing them as a book, and now adapting the book into a film – that his actual dating career can only come as a disappointment. This kid peaked at age nine.

None of this is his fault, of course, just as the runaway success of Twilight isn’t Stephanie Meyer’s fault. This project simply happened to tickle some publisher’s fancy. This publisher then leveraged her press contacts to make sure that the book got press coverage in all the major outlets. The media frenzy surrounding him isn’t any more proof of his wisdom than it was of Joe the Plumber, or the Atkins diet.

That being said, I wonder how this poor boy, who will have nothing but praise screamed at him for the most formative months of his youth, will react to the disappointment of adolescence. Will he leverage his wisdom into a career as a sleazy pick-up artist (like Roissy, whose blog I’d link to if it weren’t filth)? Will he bitterly recount the glory days of his pre-teens until he becomes a walking joke? Or – hopefully – will he save what money he makes from this firestorm, turn it into a self-deprecating anecdote for cocktail chatter, and become a healthy, well-rounded human being?

I certainly hope it’s the latter. Because you can’t always spot the pretty girls by the big earrings.