[T]he guy who accompanies his buddy to a bar to help him pick up babes. He does whatever it takes to give his friend some time alone with the girl of choice: telling flattering lies about him, enticing away the sidekick girlfriend, running interference at the approach of a rival male.
Yeah, that guy.
For the record, Wonkette is not a fan of this article -- and I'll agree that its not the most practical use of a significant amount of newspaper space. However, to be fair, the article had the requisite mention (read: cliché) of Goose and Maverick, which distracted me for a moment. And for those that don't get out much, the article provides some sage advice:
1. The wingman delivers the introduction, knowing that his job is to make his buddy look cool.
2. The wingman will find a way to squire away the target's sidekick. Maybe he buys her a drink. Maybe he drags her over to the dance floor. He keeps her occupied until the lead man gives him one of two signals. Either the transaction is going nowhere and they need to bail, or he's about to go home with the target.
3. Duties of the wingman: He must be decent-looking but not too handsome, or the lead man will end up being the wingman. He must be sociable, able to move the conversation forward or back off, depending on how the lead is doing. It helps if he can gather intelligence on the girl early in the evening, sense whether his buddy has a chance and impart that wisdom privately before the offensive starts. Whether or not he's interested in the sidekick, he has to act like he is and, if she's really unattractive to him, be willing to, as these guys say, "fall on the grenade."
4. [W]ingmen profess to have a moral code when it comes to their buddies. One rule is, don't say something embarrassing about your friend to the girl he's after, even if it makes you look witty.
5. Another, and possibly the most significant, is this: Never, as the wingman, hit on the target yourself.
While the article does ask the important question: "Are girls okay being seen as mere pawns in this game of chess?" the clever folks at the Post avoid answering it by stating that women take wingmen along, too.
In that regard, here are my additional tips for being a good girl wingman, compiled from years of experience:
1. Refuse to answer your friend when she asks if she should (a) dance with; (b) kiss; or (c) go home with a guy. You're not her mother. And, if you give her bad advice, she will remember -- and probably blame you. Therefore, answer any of these questions with "I don't know. What do you think you should do?" It's very effective.
2. Do not judge. Your definition of cute is vastly different from that of your friend. And, if you say that the guy is a dork, inevitably he will wind up being her next boyfriend.
3. Wear comfortable shoes. Ultimately, you will be required to dance with the even geekier friend.
4. Monitor your friend's alcohol intake, as long as it doesn't unnecessarily impinge on your own. I mean, besides the beer goggle effect, you certainly don't want to be the one holding back her hair while she pukes.
5. Have cab fare to get yourself home, just in case.
These are only the first 5, but I'm sure I could come up with others. Maybe I should consider becoming a professional wingwoman.