As I watched the recent footage of a female fan clawing at Tim McGraw’s pant leg, causing him to shove her hand away in an attempt to avoid being dragged into a sea of crazed women, I silently nodded my head in understanding.
Being that my job has kept me in the public eye for more than a decade, I have some advice for the country superstar when it comes to avoiding overzealous women trying to get their hands on you:
Become a humor columnist.
In the last 15 years, the closest I’ve come to having a strange woman grab at me was during a fundraiser dinner, when part of my pulled-pork sandwich went down the wrong way and a nurse in the audience gave me the Heimlich Maneuver.
And while I thought she had taken a button from my sport coat as a keepsake, surveillance footage showed it popping off during a chest thrust. Which wasn’t the least bit sexy.
The truth is, men like Tim McGraw need a team of security specialists coordinating crowd control for shows and public appearances. By comparison, my recent reading at a public library required a security force of one just off-duty Walmart greeter — who, as it turned out, was only there because the library calendar mistakenly listed a presentation on genealogy that day. Fortunately, we were able to talk him into greeting dozens of others who, after learning I was the featured guest, had to be escorted out by a more calloused late-fee librarian.
That’s because, while women often say a sense of humor is an extremely sexy quality in a man, let’s face it: No one tells a joke quite like a shirtless Ryan Gosling.
To test this theory, I actually had Ryan Gosling join me for a bookstore reading. Both of us were shirtless. He went first and had the audience of mostly women laughing hysterically. Not to say that I didn’t. It’s just that I hadn’t started reading from my book yet.
What I can tell you is I never realized how hilarious my book’s copyright information was until it was being read by Gosling.
As a service to men like Gosling and McGraw, here are a few tips I have found to be successful when it comes to avoiding the creation of a woman frenzy. First, try being a little less attractive. While it’s true that six-pack abs are seen as an indication of your commitment to fitness, anyone can pop open a cold one; but tapping a pony keg requires real commitment.
Also, pace yourself with the talent a bit. Just because you’re an award-winning performer doesn’t mean you need to perform at the highest level every time.
If you’re reading this, then you understand what I mean.
Lastly, a little clumsiness wouldn’t hurt. Actually, that’s not entirely true; it should definitely hurt a little. But speaking from experience, nothing stops droves of frenzied women in their tracks faster than a really bad cartwheel that ends with you hugging tree trunk.
Especially if all you’ve been drinking is diet soda.
If you utilize these techniques, rest assured you can go to any library, grocery store or public appearance and not cause women to go crazy — or, with enough practice, any reaction whatsoever.
But just to be safe, I’d also stay away from the pulled pork.