Pulling, or the act of being ‘on the pull’, is the process of trying to attract someone, usually while out at a bar or club, with the intent of getting them to accompany you home. Just a British phrase for something that anyone who’s ever been out clubbing or bar hopping knows about right? Well sure, but what makes the phrase “on the pull” or “pulling” so amazing is how accurately it describes what is actually happening.
In 2007 I was here in Edinburgh and one of the first nights my roommate Aheli and I were at a flat party. We had found two seats and were taking a break from standing in our oh so cute but hardly practical shoes. All of a sudden a shadow fell across us as two guys that we knew, but not well, approached. Awkwardly, they were standing close enough that we had to lean way back to speak with them, but also way too close for us to stand up without bumping into them. Aheli subtly linked arms with me. Safety in numbers. They suggested that perhaps we would like to separate and spend time with them individually. We politely declined. They looked at each other baffled. This wasn’t supposed to happen. We then watched from our awkward seated position, necks craned way back as they negotiated. Right in front of us.
“They’re not letting go of each other.”
“Well maybe we could convince them?”
They looked down, saw our determined faces and linked arms, and decided they could not.
“Well, how about I take them for five minutes, then you take them for five minutes?”
“How do I know you won’t keep them?”
Were we actually being bargained for? This was too much. We decided to try and slip away while negotiations continued. Unfortunately we were spotted, and since we were now standing, our free arms had been grabbed, and were literally being pulled to try and separate us. On the pull indeed. Luckily on the pull is no match for on the run and we scurried away.
Why do I bring this up now? Two years later? Well having been enlightened to the art of pulling, I felt I was a little less oblivious and in a good place to prevent future sneak attack pullings. However, this week I was subjected to the most awkward of pick up lines showing that even identifying the attempted pull does not prevent it from happening.
Tuesday night is karaoke night at one of my favourite local bars so in celebration of being back in the Burgh, a group of us ventured out to show off our beautiful singing voices. And make sure that the Strongbow is as good as when we left.
After wowing the crowd with our rendition of “Brown Eyed Girl” I was standing against a wall, when I heard a slurring near me. “Huh?” I so eloquently enquired at which the speaker jumped back with his hand to his mouth in happy surprise. “You have teeth!” he shouted excitedly and then left. I have teeth? I quickly checked with my roommate to make sure I did not have something horrible in my teeth. Nope good to go. I have teeth. I have teeth? Well of course I have teeth!
Later, the Slurring Simon found me again and once more told me I have teeth, except this time, since he was no longer as surprised, he clarified that we both have similar gaps in our teeth. And thus we should be friends. Well sure, how did I not guess that earlier? After being cornered by him and his friend for 30 minutes, of which the highlight was him telling my roommate and I “I’m so glad you are older than you look. I thought you were 19 so being 32 I felt really creepy coming to talk to you.” Oh. Not sure it’s any less creepy now, but cool. Soon they had to go and we assured them that no, we would not be leaving with them. I returned to the rest of my group and was greeted with a chorus of “YOU HAVE TEETH!!!!” Thank you Simon.
And so ended another pulling. Never the same…and never boring…