"Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by again?"
Corny chat-up lines will always be around. However, a new survey this week revealed that women much prefer a compliment.
Now, I've given this some thought, and I'm not so sure. Chat-up lines have their place, but maybe not all chat-up lines.
The survey, carried out by dating app Flirt Planet, included the notorious line: "I like your dress, but it would look better on my bedroom floor."
I can't imagine anyone being thick enough to actually say that, but then again, you can hear anything after a couple of beers.
The second-worst line was the sleazy: "I'm looking for treasure -- can I have a look around your chest?"
That should rightly get the slap in the face it deserves.
Other perils include: "Your eyes are like spanners -- every time I look at them my nuts tighten." Oh God.
Why do some men persist with demeaning rubbish like this? Aside from old macho posturing, the answer lies in the stress of the dating game.
To fully understand this, Irish women need to understand that this fear begins early. (I'm sure today's generation is practising the one-liners in the creche, but that's another matter.)
My first experience of chatting-up was in a community hall. It was one of those hot teenage summers and I had a mad crush on this girl. I remember a slow song came on and the lads were saying, "Go for it, go for it".
The girl stood 10 feet away. She looked over. I looked back. She looked back. It was like walking across a tightrope between skyscrapers. I tried to talk to her as she played with her hair.
"Eh . . . I . . . em . . . yer. . ." After five minutes of my Neolithic grunting she turned her back and headed for the ladies. I could hear her howls of laughter above the music. That's when I realised you needed a chat-up line.
But as I got older I saw how some men developed their corny lines into something approaching an art form. You know, like Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in Wedding Crashers.
At the risk of divulging some trade secrets, women need to understand how men work when they are out on the pull.
An Advanced Chat-Up Artist will always let the fools go first. They are secure in the knowledge that lines such as "Did it hurt -- falling from heaven?" will at best render the girl hysterical with laughter.
The pro then moves in with the classic follow-up line: "You okay there? Yer man's harmless, really."
The master says this with all the sincerity of someone who has just saved the girl from an awful death, which in a way he has. The chat-up maestro then solidifies his standing by saying, "Ah sure, God loves a trier" with a sympathetic nod towards the poor misbegotten amateur chat-up man nursing his battered ego in the corner.
Now the women of Ireland are ready for one of the master's classic chat-up lines.
He will casually drop into the conversation a brief mention of his charity climb in Kilimanjaro. To raise funds for dogs with ADHD, of course. There will then be a mention of how his good friend BOD happened to text him after the rugby match the other day. Straight after the whistle, of course.
If this hasn't swooned her, he may mention how he loves walking by the sea after a hard day -- making loads of money.
Confronted with that, I wouldn't be worried about amateur lines such as: "Are you tired? Because you've been running round my mind all night."
I mean, you'd never fall for corny syrup like that, would you?