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Doug, here are a few dating tips

Published November 18, 2006


Doug, Doug, Doug.

Is that any way to get a girl?

Everyone who wants to has seen the video by now, and I have to say it's not great reality TV. There's no sound - what can we expect from a security camera anyway? - but even if it had a sound track, I doubt it would make it onto Public Access. The dialogue, let's face it, doesn't help.

But you know, you're not the only divorced middle-aged guy who would appear to be clueless when it comes to meeting girls. Dating acumen diminishes in both sexes, starting around 18, so you've got a lot of company.

Since it would be difficult for you to fit in a dating coach what with your big job and counseling and so on, maybe we can just give you a few tips, okay?

First of all, your line: "You give me money every month, do you know who I am?"

It needs some work. On several levels, this is not the kind of advance a girl will go for. Girls are most definitely not looking for guys they have to give money to every month - or even every year. Girls prefer men who give money to them, got it? I'm not saying every girl is a gold digger, and lots of women get stuck with deadbeat guys they end up paying for, but generally it isn't something they know at the outset.

The What's My Line? intro is a bit dated, but what's worse is, in game show terms, the reveal - when you whip out your business card. This might work if you were, say, George Soros or at least a Hollywood producer, but tax collector?

I'm sorry, Doug, it's a good job, great benefits, and the $148,000 salary is nothing to sniff at, but it's just not sexy, if you know what I mean.

And, Doug, even if it were, this is not the year to tell anyone you're the tax collector! People are not happy about paying their taxes, Doug. In fact, they're so not happy they may even blame the messenger, and that's you. It's true you don't make the decisions to raise people's property taxes to the point they can't afford to live in their own homes, but you still take the money.

I'd suggest you save the job description for, maybe, the third date. Better yet, the engagement party.

Glib may not be your strong suit; who wants a glib tax collector anyway?

Still, you don't need to be the cleverest guy in town to get a girl to talk to you. "Hi, I'm Doug," would really be okay.

And keep in mind, the only girl who is going to respond in a positive way to an advance from a guy who's blotto is one who is also blotto, and you probably don't want a girl like that. So it would be a good idea not to go directly from the office to a bar - especially if you get off work at 5 or 5:30. Go to a gym first. Pound that treadmill, work on a six-pack - abs, that is. The gym is also a great place to meet girls.

Now for the clothes.

It's kind of hard to tell from the video what you're wearing - they really should make those security tapes in color - but in a photograph it appears to be a medium gray suit. Good choice - for a tax collector. After work, however, you might want to consider something less bureaucratic and a little more risky.

You might ask Kevin White where he gets his clothes. He always looks sharp. No one would ever suspect he's a county commissioner.

Sandra Thompson, a Tampa writer, can be reached at sthompson125@

[Last modified November 18, 2006, 06:15:05]

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