Target Acquired
Tactics for Poaching Chicks at Department Stores

Picking up girls at Target is like hunting a wildlife refuge with a hand grenade. Even a poorly aimed toss is bound to maim something. For a determined young man on the prowl for skirt, there is no better place to set his sights. Here's some tips on how to run your con.

On the off chance you're an intellectual ingrate and don't see the obvious rationale for picking this "Target "(that's the last one, I promise), let me tease out the logic for you. First and foremost, the beginning of the school year is to college girls what the day after Thanksgiving is to their mothers:  a veritable shopping holiday. The traditional September shopping expedition is one of the five pillars of the College Chick's life, and they venture out to Target and other consumer Mecca's all over the country on these annual pilgrimages en masse. Millions of naive co-eds will be moving into new dorms and apartments, and this requires "stuff." Target supplies the bait; you just need to show up wearing deodorant.

As if a preponderance of the fairer sex wasn't reason enough to loiter at Target, there's an added bonus. Their moms. Bonding between mothers and daughters is a bit more refined than our "drink beer with dad and not say much" version.

Inexplicably, spending money on toilet paper and throw pillows strengthens the bonds of their relationship. Why this is, who knows, and cultural anthropologists would rather study pygmy tribes in the Australian outback than try to untie this Gordian knot. What's important is that mothers offer a glimpse to the future. Mom looks like she washed ashore at low tide? Odds are, her daughter will decay in much the same way. Is that a gross generalization? You bet it is, but it's a good rule of thumb, on par with assuming your required History of Georgian Englandâ class is going to be about as much fun as watching Viagra commercials with your grandma.

Now, even if her mom resembles a clubbed seal, you still must fight off the gag reflex and flirt with her. But if fortune favors you, she might be hotter than her daughter.  In that case, check for a ring and make a game-time decision. But understand that the mother is the Trojan horse that'll sneak your panty raiding party past the lacey gates. If you're in with her, you're in with her daughter. Exploit that trust.

And you know what? If things don't work out between you two, you've already broken the ice with the mom.

But we've gotten a bit ahead of ourselves. We need to focus on drawing them in. Which brings us to:

The Shopping Cart, a.k.a. "The Booby Trap"

(Take a moment to appreciate what I just did there)

Understand that you will not be buying any of this crap. Every item in the cart is a prearranged conversation starter; the cart and all will be abandoned once you're done trolling the aisles.

First Item: Saw Blades
Or some other man-item that vouches for your ability to accomplish dude shit, like building stuff with wood. In passing, mention a vague project like framing a wall, or fixing a pipe.
Terrible one-liner: "Now I just need to find me a saw!" Cue snare.
N.B.: When referencing dude shit, always speak with uncorrect grammar.

WARNING: DO NOT PRETEND TO BUY A HAMMER! My friend "Hawk the Enforcer"  Cautions that buying a hammer is strictly verboten. It's akin to buying a 3-pack of rubbers and a Cosmo. It implies inexperience, and that's an implication you want to avoid like milk in the sun. Hammers are never bought. They are inherited upon death or stolen. That's it. Same goes for ladders and screwdrivers.

Second Item: Loofah
The Harold to the saw blades Kumar. Shows balance and an elevated concern for one's appearance. Plus, it reassures them that they won't be tearing up the sheets with a sweaty piece of sandpaper. Act slightly embarrassed when they notice it.
Terrible one-liner: A "Loofah" you say? Hmm, looks like the search for brillo pads continues…

Third Item: Swiffer
Creates the (false) impression that you actually give a shit about what your place looks like. In reality, you bought artificial turf for your kitchen floor to avoid time drains like mopping and sweeping.

Terrible one-liner:
"My mom thought I wasn't ready for a vacuum cleaner yet." (Give me a Hacksaw Jim Duggan "HO!")

Fourth Item: Ping Pong Balls
Yeah, that's right.  Pong baby. Says you throw down hard — but says it discretely.
Terrible one-liner: They were out of shuttle-cocks, so these will have to do. (Any opportunity to say, "shuttle-cock" should be seized without hesitation)

Fifth Item: Spatula
Tell the debutante that you turned the previous one into a molten glob of modern art during a botched attempt to cook pancakes for your roommates. Cooking is the only time men can fail and be "cute" at the same time. Turn your culinary ineptness into an advantage.

Terrible one-liner: You and your mom should come over and show me how to use this.

Gentlemen I've given you all the advice I can. You know where they are. You've baited the trap. Now put on a clean shirt and get some action.. That's what college is all about. With these tips, there's no reason why you shouldn't be the first kid on your floor to pull some squirrel this semester.