“The Usher Conversations” – A Social Experiment

Out of sheer boredom last weekend, I decided to conduct a social experiment in a small bar full of undergrads. It was with the kind of clarity and certainty that only comes three drinks deep that I decided upon my night’s mission. Having had a  lackluster bar experience thus far, in an attempt to entertain myself (and others who would watch with a sense of impending glee/doom), I announced to a couple friends and bartenders: 

“From here on out, I’m going to approach every guy in this bar and (convincingly!) engage them in conversation using ONLY lines from Usher’s ‘Love in this Club’.  And, go.”

Well, basically, I’m some kind of court jester genius. Let me tell you this – you really haven’t lived until you’ve used, “its goin’ down on Aisle 3, I’ll bag ya’ like some groceries” on someone. Maybe you’re one step ahead of me and it’s totally “your line” but….doouuubt it! I will half-remember the events that unfolded for days – no weeks (no, days…) to come.  To be honest, it was met with much less confusion and eye-rolling than I had counted on…I had clearly underestimated the number of “Love in this Club” fans still around and assumed no one would have kareoke’d it in their car as often as I had. The most amazing part was that, not ONCE over the course of the night did anyone ask why I was speaking in rhymes. But on the upside…go get ’em all you creepy wandering minstrel poets – clearly you’re experiencing a comeback! Embrace your moment to bask in the  hazy menthol-filtered glow that is the undergrad bar scene.

While I gained a Blue Book full of hilarious dialogue, what follows is an excerpt from my favorite conversation of the evening (and let me preface it by noting that I was way too callous to ever hint at this being a joke – this was an extreme poker face situation):

Unassuming Subject 1 – a.k.a Guy X:  “Hey, what are you drinking”

Me: “You say you searchin’ for a lady that will take you out and do you right? ”

Guy X: “What?”

Me: “Well, come here baby, let momma show you what it feels like…you know – all you gotta do is tell me what you’re sippin’ on, and I promise that I’m gonna keep it comin’ all night long.”

Guy X (laughter): “Oh my god! I’m just drinking Amstels…what are you drinking? Here, let me get a drink for you…”

Me: (leaning in, very serious): “Looking in your eyes…while you’re on the other side, hey- I think that shorty…I got a thing for you. Doing it on purpose, while you’re workin’ it…well, I can tell by the way you lookin’ at me guy…”

Guy X: “Wait – how am I looking at you? You mean right now?”

Me: “…I wanna make love in this club…”

Guy X: “WHAT?! (Laughter) Are you serious?!?”

Me: “…in this club….”

Guy X  (more laughter)

Me ( not louder than a whisper): “…in this club…”

Guy X (nervous laughter): “Oh my God. I think I have to go find my friends”

Me: “Listen, if you got some friends rolling with you baby then that’s cool.You can leave them with my nigga’s, let ’em know that I got you. Eh, If you didn’t know,you’re the only thing that’s on my mind. Cuz,the way you staring…ummm…it makes me want to give it to you all night.”

Guy X (wiping beads of sweat off forehead): “You are hammered.”

Me: “On the couch, on the table, on the bar, on the floor….hey, you can meet me in the bathroom, ya you know im trained to go…”

Guy X (looking apprehensive  – feet pinned to the floor – fight or flight instinct about to kick in): “Are you serious…? Seriously, I should get back to my friends. Wait, are you serious…?”

Me: “Oh I’m serious…and I don’t care who’s waaa-aaaatchin’, watchin’, waaaa-aaatchin’ yeah”

At this point my stealthy on looking friends broke down into uncontrollable laughter and I choked on my sugar-free red bull and vodka (yes, I still drink it, even though its way past being borderline amazing, but listen, that’s not the point here).  What is the point? Well, it’s that in a small way, Usher improved my quality of life – whilst in a big way, I improved the quality of exam-week bar tales at BGSU, countless bartending shifts, and maybe even a life here or there…(yes, yours Guy X…). And as much enjoyment as I’ve had telling our story, I’m sure he’s had more…because at the end of his, I’m fairly certain, he tells it like he got laid. And even though it never got past a red bull snort in his direction, in a small way I feel like I’ve given something back, ‘ya know?  Namaste, you freaky little Usher lovers – the ladies of Fall 2011 await with the silky-smooth lyrics of “OMG”…

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