One sad loser

Chris Taylor reviews the book that keeps score in the relationship game
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Indy Lifestyle Online
PUBLISHED this week just in time for Valentine's Day fallout is The Scorecard, a volume which promises to act as "the official rule book for the relationship game; the book that once and for all explains the point system that women have secretly used to grade their mate's performance." Author Greg Gutfeld's simple scoring system awards points for everything from first impressions to negotiating the terrors of marriage. Of course, you can also lose points for doing some arse stupid thing.

Crass or not, The Scorecard does have its gems of wisdom. Like the simple equations of relational cause and effect: "Buy her an expensive dinner + see a movie of her choice = one vigorous sex act." Likewise, the pointers on small talk with the little lady could be useful for the befuddled idiot- man. When commenting on a woman on TV it is generally best not to say "She's fat... but I'd do her." And try not to let her catch you giving yourself the thumbs up in the mirror while making love.

Gutfeld believes that women love these books on relationships because they love relationships like men love football. "Men," he says, "treat relationships in a far more simple and straightforward way." I smirked to myself. Maybe other men are insensitive enough to need this sort of guide book, but not me. And how better to prove myself than to test The Scorecard on my own loved one during an evening out? As ever during the "getting ready" period, the bloke continues in real-time and the woman enters the shadowy, slow-moving world of preparation time. And when you delicately call, "Are you ready yet?" and receive the thunderous response, "In a minute!" you know you may as well de-coat and sit down for the Bruce Willis movie that's just started on the telly.

So finally, my beloved stalked into the room and presented me straight away with what The Scorecard calls "The most dangerous question you'll ever have to face": "Do I look fat in this?" There was a pause (which I later discovered from the book already put me in deficit point-wise) and I said, "Fat? Darling, I've told you before, it's just a wide dress." Thumbs up there, I thought, leafing through the book for the right page. I was sure I'd gained some good points there but I was confounded to find that the book awarded me -40. How could this be?

I'll spare you the rest of the horrible details. I tried everything I could think of, and when I looked to the book, it always gave me minus points. For the sake of my dignity I decided to embark on the one course of action that would assure me of complete success. I would unleash my tongue and let it do its terrible dance of love on her body, sensuously probing, sending her to the erotic edge. Never fails. At last, I worked back up from under the duvet, with tongue cramp and bits of belly button fluff, and came to gaze upon her face. But it wasn't suffused with aroused wonderment. It was snoring. She'd fallen asleep. Ah well, back to the scoreboard.

'The Scorecard' is published by Andre Deutsch, pounds 4.99