- If they have one or both arms covered in tattoos (referred to as sleeves):
Ask them which arm they got done first (or if they plan on getting the second arm done). Historically, the left arm was used to hold the shield. Shields are typically adorned with important designs such as a family crest, a country’s flag etc. Nine times out of ten, someone with both sleeves will have gotten the left arm done first. Coincidence? Ask them if they think so.
- Getting on a bus or train:
Sit next to the attractive stranger and after about ten seconds, ask them which stop they’re getting off–because you don’t want to block them, of course. Boom, now you’re talking.
- In lecture:
(Materials Required: A pack of gum–the stick kind) Sit next to an attractive stranger. Pull out a stick of gum for yourself. Pull another stick half-way out then offer it to the attractive stranger (with a smile).
- Right before the first lecture begins:
(No materials required) Sit next to an attractive stranger. If there is a not-so-attractive stranger sitting equidistant from you and the attractive stranger, talk to the not-so-attractive stranger first. Ask them, “So, what do you know about this teacher?” Chances are they will not say very much, which means it is now the attractive stranger’s turn for a question. Ask their reason for taking the class, if they already purchased the textbook for the class, or if they think this class will be interesting.
- At the gym:
If the attractive stranger is at a desk, walk up to them and tell them this joke, “What do you call an egg that jumps out of a plane? (pause and smile for not more than 2 seconds) A dare-deviled egg.” Smile, then laugh, then introduce yourself and say you just needed a laugh before your workout. If they say nothing back, fear not, because odds are you will see them again; then you can ask THEM to tell YOU a joke.
- For your fellow apartment-complex tenants:
Unless they are clearly in a hurry to get somewhere, ask them if they know the nearest/best —store around. This is a quick, easy question and whether they can offer an answer or not, you have the chance to introduce yourself.
- For online dating:
Tell them the egg joke from (5), above, or tell them another Popsicle-stick joke. One-liner jokes are the best because resisting the urge to read the punchline is like trying to eat just one potato chip. Another one-liner: “Which state has the most allergies? Mass-a-choo!-setts”
- If they are wearing a baseball hat:
Tap your own head (to remind them they are wearing a baseball hat) and ask them who their favorite player is. Whether you know the team or not, you can smile and nod and ask why they like that player. If they don’t have a favorite player, you can ask why they are wearing that team’s hat, OR ask them what is their favorite base. (NOTE: Judging by their expression, it might be necessary to say “just kidding” and go straight for introducing your name.)
- Starting a new job:
Ask the attractive co-worker how long they’ve worked at that company and about the best part of their day.
- At a bar, coffee shop or bookstore:
Ask them if they can tell you the difference between two items that are similar, indicating that you get confused between the two. What’s the difference between a latte and a mocha? Between a stout and a porter? Between Holden Caulfield and The Great Gatsby? If the stranger knows, you can graciously thank them for their help. If they don’t know, you can both have a good laugh over it. Try not to ask them something you know the answer to because you will find yourself judging their answer for correctness instead of trying to make a new friend.