The Pick-Up Artist

Your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets around Los Angeles.

Title: America's Best Pick Up Spots! by Eric Weber & M. Rob Frazier (1974)

Publisher: Eric Weber Press, Tenafly, N.J.

Discovered at: Goodwill, Lincoln Heights

The cover promises: Women like these love the men who would buy this book.

Representative quotes: "The truth of the matter is that you're lonely now. And you're horny now. Your left hand is always available as a mistress, but it's hardly good company." (page 7)

"Try the UCLA Library. ... Don't do anything; just sit in a corner of the library and watch. Pick out the three coeds you find most attractive and watch them. ... Now take out a watch. Wait until the second hand reaches 12 and start timing. How long before one of them looks up from her book and starts looking around the library?" (page 135-136)

Having read somewhere that a sexual revolution was under way, married horndog Eric Weber dared to accomplish what most red-blooded American twerps only dream of: monetizing his big talk about the sex he wasn't really having.

That led to his dubious 1970 book How to Pick Up Girls, which promised, "Healthy young chicks like sex. Want sex. And, most important, will be glad to have sex with you if you only ask them."

Soon, Weber commanded an empire with follow-up books and his own publishing company. Because the '70s were deeply invested in proving that they really were the '70s, How to Pick Up Girls eventually became a TV movie.

In the 319 dense pages of America's Best Pick Up Spots!, Weber and the mysterious M. Rob Frazier celebrate the many cities in which they almost certainly failed to get laid.

Weber and Frazier dash through the hot spots of 26 towns. In Los Angeles, they're creepy and excitable. They start at UCLA, recommending that dudes loiter and leer at ...

The campus bookstore: "If you feel you are older than 'college age,' browse through the graduate section, or look through the nonrequired books, and the students will just assume you're a teacher."

The botanical gardens: "The women don't grow on trees here, but you'll generally find a pretty nice crop from which to take your pick."

The university research library: "I've found that graduate women are less easily immediately available but that they are usually more totally available when they are available. ..."

The authors enjoy the "Do your own thing" ethos of the Bitter End West, once at 8409 Santa Monica Blvd. "Start dancing with the two women or three women who are dancing together over in the corner. Yes, there is a chance that they are into some kind of lesbian trip. Okay. That freaks you out. So ask someone who's sitting all alone in the corner."

Weber and Frazier often prefer the hunt outside of bars. Their approach at long-gone Tower Records (8801 Sunset) might not fly at Amoeba:

"A good time to stop here is on a Friday or Saturday night. The women who are here doing the late browsing are the lonely ones. ... You might suggest going to your place or hers ... to listen to some of your new purchases, or, perhaps, just to share the sounds of silence together."

But remember: "Be careful with your new acquisitions. Always handle them with extreme care; if you happen to touch the surface, wipe gently with a soft, smooth cloth. Be careful when inserting spindle into hole. Remember: This is a delicate item, which, with proper care and handling, can give you pleasure for many years to come."

Fellows fancying secretaries should idle about in downtown's Pershing Square.

"If you present a halfway decent appearance, you will be a welcome alternative to the drools that these women normally find waiting for them in one of the few downtown areas where they can get some fresh (in L.A.?) air."

The authors ask, "Why do the women come here if the park is infested with dirty old men?" The chance that they might catch the eye of a passing plutocrat, of course.

For the authors, this presents an opportunity: "If you are developing a paunch, pat it as you approach someone, clear your throat in a dignified way, and start talking about the dangers of 'all that fancy eating.' Let her jump to her own conclusions."

Other highlights include:

Grand Central Market: "The fabric stands ... are especially busy during the lunch hours, and it is nice to know that if you meet someone here, she'll probably be the kind of person who will be able to make you a sweater or something to keep you warm when she's not around."

MacArthur Park: "The chances are that your success percentage will be higher here than in almost any other place in L.A."

The Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel: "When it becomes clear that she is not going to be 'discovered' that night, try to console her with a bit of dinner and a beer into which she can cry."

Farmers Market at Fairfax and Third: "Most of these women, I suspect, were on diets and were teasing themselves with looking at the cakes. A friend of mine claims that he has met women in St. Moritz by helping them stay on their diets. He says the most effective line he knows is saying: 'Don't give in to the temptation.' "

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: "The last time I was there, I followed a white-haired dowager who was showing her young granddaughter the museum. ... When Grandma stepped into the ladies' room for a moment ... I asked the young lady whether she ever came to the museum by herself for enjoyment."

Eric Weber and M. Rob Frazier, ladies and gentlemen! They were to California what California's outgoing governor was to Rio!


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