Don’t let the likes of Hugh Grant and Gerard Butler fool you: a swanky loft, forty dollar Pinot Gris and one of those awkward mid-length middle-part haircuts aren’t necessary to host an enchanting night in. Being unsuccessful, talentless and alcohol-dependent don’t have to hinder your romantic sensibilities – they can help! Follow these ten steps, and your date will go from thinking, “I can’t believe this guy just pissed his pants,” to “I can’t believe this guy just pissed his pants!” It looks the same, but the emphasis makes a world of difference. Seriously though, try not to wet yourself. 1. Locate your roommates. They’re home? Kick them out. They’re too drunk. Of course they are. Beg them to leave. “Dr. Who is just starting.” You’re going to have to slip them sleeping pills. It’s no big deal. You know what the difference between this and date-rape is? Rape. And you’re not going to doing anything weirdly sexual to your passed out roommates. I repeat, you’re not going to do anything fucked up to your passed-out roommates (except pile them up in the closet like dead abductees.) 2. Clean up. You’re busy, I know; so just do the best you can. Prioritize: floor vomit, toilet vomit, soiled sheets, stray drugs, empty cans. That’s really it. Any “normal person” clutter can and should be left: it makes you look down to earth, which every single dating profile ever claims to like.3. Set the mood. Your iPod only has ironic 90s jams for when you’re playing flip cup. Your laptop only has weird trance for when you’re stoned and playing Starcraft. The radio is, unfortunately, your last salvation. Pro tip: play top 40. When she asks, note that you use the radio to keep up with contemporary music. It’ll make you look unique and alternative, while still interested in mainstream culture. And she probably likes all that shit in secret anyway, because she’s a girl. 4. Start cooking dinner early. Make something that takes like four hours to cook. This has many benefits. First, it’ll create a false sense of extravagance. Second, your house will smell good, which will get her hungry, in turn making whatever shitty meal taste better. Finally, it’ll delay the eating process, letting you drink more. And there’s nothing better than drinking on an empty stomach: it’s economical and efficient! 5. Booze. Let’s be honest here: you’re at no point in your life to be “the one.” You’re not going to be the dependable, long-term type. You’re the fun guy who she hangs out with when she wants to get trashed without feeling bad about it, knowing full well you’ll always be two steps ahead of her. So embrace it. Shit, the best part of being this guy is that she isn’t expecting some primo Zinfandel. Just grab a twelve of like, Corona, and say you “went fancy” for her. She’ll “appreciate it.”6. Get dressed. You’ve really got two-options here: “ultra-ultra-casual,” or “classy-shmuck.” The former is your regular pair of jeans and your cleanest t-shirt. The latter, and better choice, is supposed to say, “Look, I’m a total failure, but at least I’m trying,” and consists of a blazer on top of a polo that’s too small, the dress pants your mother bought you for your grandmother’s funeral, and those “gay elf shoes” you stole from that shitty New Year’s Eve party in spite of the jerky host who wouldn’t give you a hand-job even though she totally led you on through the mere act of inviting you. Gel your hair for bonus points. 7. Cologne. You don’t have any. Sprinkle some store-bought Garam Masala seasoning mix on your neck. Now you smell “cultured.” 8. Oh shit, you forgot to shower. But you just put your cologne on! Wash your hair in the sink. Use hand-soap as shampoo. Get stray toothpaste stuck in your hair. Look at yourself in the mirror and question your entire existence. Finish your shower beer, despite lack of shower. 9. Actually try and tidy. She’ll be here any minute and you’re definitely re-evaluating that whole “down to earth” bit. Better at least pick up the cat shit.10. Await her arrival. Ten minutes. Twenty minutes. Well, may as well have just one more beer. But if she arrives while you’re mid-drink you’ll look like an alcoholic. Only realistic option is to shotgun it, obviously. Of course the doorbell rings mid-shotgun. Finish quickly. Open door. Don’t vomit. Please don’t vomit. Oh god just don’t – Fuck.
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