Food for thought

12:09 PM Priyanka 2 Comments

I'm reading this book these days...actually re-reading it.

It's a delightful comedy that gives you a good laugh every time you read it. There's this particular section I'd like to share with those of you who haven't had the taste of this amazing piece of work yet.

It's this guy Davy Dempsey, a reformed con-man talking to his niece, Dillie over the phone. Now, she's having trouble getting noticed by a guy named Jordan in her school. She has a major crush on him and her uncle embarks upon teaching her how to get one's way around someone. This conversation ends on a funny note as she tries to use her uncle's own teachings to fool him. Here you go:

"You can get what you want from people if you approach them the right way. But you have to think it through and watch the other person very carefully. You have to think more about the other person than you think about yourself. You have to know the other person."

"Is this some kind of Golden Rule thing?" Dillie asked, her voice skeptical.

"No," Davy said. "Not even close. This is the basic, uh, sales pitch that every Dempsey knows in kindergarten. Five steps. Memorize them. Don't write them down. Memorize them."

"Okay," Dill said. "Shoot."

"One, make the mark smile. In your case Jordan is your mark."

"Got it. Make him smile. How?"

"Smile at him. People usually smile back. And once they smile, they relax."

"Okay. One. Smile."

"Two, get him to say yes. To anything. Ask him if he watches the WWF or if he has a game after school. Anything, but get him to say it."

"Okay," Dillie said. "But I don't get--"

"If you can get somebody to say yes to something, he's likely to keep on saying it. You're setting up a pattern so that he associates talking to you with saying yes. Then, three, make him feel superior to you. It increases the confidence and he'll get careless."

"So I do what?"

"Ask him a question he can answer. He'll feel smarter than you."

"Okay," Dillie said. "That's sort of girlie, isn't it?"

"No," Davy said. "This is not a girls-are-dumb, boys-are-smart thing. This is lulling him into a false sense of security. This is you running a...sales pitch on the poor schmuck. Which is really unfair because you're holding all the cards because you're the girl, but you're also a Dempsey, so it's his tough luck."

"Okay," Dillie said. "One, smile, two, yes, three, superior. "

"Now he's feeling pretty good around you," Davy said. "So you want to reinforce that. So on four, you give him something. Like a compliment. Or half of the candy bar from your lunch. Something that makes him think he's the one who's ahead in the conversation."

"Okay," Dillie said, sounding confused.

"Then you move in for the kill," Davy said. "On five, ask for what you want but do it so that he thinks you're doing him a favor by taking it."

"I want to know if he likes me."

"Translate that into something concrete. Do you want him to take you to the movies? Walk you home? Give you his ball cap? What?"

"I want him to like me," Dillie said.

"He probably does, you're a likable kid. That's too fuzzy a goal. Figure out specifically what you want. And in the meantime, practice it on people until it works. Just not on any people named Dempsey."

"Jamie Barclay," Dillie said.

"Good," Davy said. "But don't ever push it. If it's not working, drop it and find another way in on another day. And do not tell Jamie Barclay. This is for Dempseys only"

"Right," Dillie said. "I love you, Davy."

"I love you, too, Dill," Davy said. "If the practice swing turns out to be a loser, I'll come beat him up for you. Now let me talk to your mom."

"She's not here," Dillie said. "She's at a meeting."

"Okay, tell her I said hi. Tell her I'm all right and I'll call next week."

"She'll be mad she wasn't here," Dillie said. "You better give me your number. And not your cell phone. You always turn it off and that makes her mad. What's your number where you're staying?"

"I don't think so," Davy said, imagining Sophie talking to Tilda. "Tell her I wouldn't give it to you."

Dillie was quite for a moment, and then she said, "Yeah that'll get me off the hook. I can see Mom saying, 'No problem, I'll just trust him because he's never lied to me.'"

Davy grinned into the phone. "Very funny. Tell her I'll be down to visit very soon."

"You're coming to visit?"

"Yep," Davy said.

"Good," Dillie said. "Then you can teach me more of this neat stuff. I never learn stuff like this in school."

"I can well believe that."

"It's too bad I can't tell anybody, but I won't because I know you're right. You're always right."

Davy looked at the phone and laughed.

"What?" Dillie said innocently.

"I told you, never push it," Davy said. "But that wasn't bad. You had hit four before I caught on."

"It was easy," Dillie said smugly. "I almost had your phone number."

"Not even close, Dill. It's not horseshoes. If you don't get all five, you get nothing. You pushed it too hard and you didn't think about your mark. I'm always right? Come on!"

"Oh," Dillie said. "I should have stuck with how cool you are."

"Ouch," Davy said.

"This is really neat," Dillie said. "But I think I'm going to make mistakes. I'll know if I screw up, but I'll need you to tell me what I did wrong, like you did just now."


"Yes, Uncle Davy."

"I told you, stop trying when the mark gets suspicious. I'm not giving you my phone number so you can call me for advice. And I changed my mind. Do not tell your mother I called. We did not talk. Wipe this from your mind."

"Wipe what?" Dillie said and hung up.

I'm sure the points were dully noted :) Have fun using them to your own advantage.

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2 precious thoughts..:

pushan said...

oh crazy! that WAS hilarious...nd inspiring :p

gee..thanks :)