Date Talk: To Win Boys, Girls Should Shut Up, Says 1968 Scholastic Book

Categories: Studies in Crap
Each Friday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State basements, thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets.

Date Talk

Author: R. N. Lawrence

Date: 1968
Publisher: Scholastic
Discovered at: Kayo Books, 814 Post, S.F.

Guesses About What The Guy on the Cover Might Be Saying:

  • "Girl, I lettered in make-out."
  • "Can I at least smell your hair?"
  • "I don't see anything, but without getting down to the scalp we can't rule out an infestation."

Representative Quotes:

"New words being tossed around: cybernetics, demography, fail-safe. If you don't know what they mean, you better find out." (page 37)
"Wrong: That's a classy chapeau. (Slangy.)
Right: That's a very good looking hat." (page 153)

When we think of 1968, we tend to think of American youth in the jungle or the streets, changing the world through either protest or napalm, which is still pretty much the dividing line in American politics. But we too rarely remember the four-square silent-majority kids of R.N. Lawrence's Date Talk, a crowd that knew the surprising secret truth of youthful romance: To succeed in love, compliment your date's hat and be ready to discuss cybernetics.

Those, of course, are advanced tips. Before getting to them, teens should master the basics of good chatter. In the case of young girls, that means not chattering much at all. Lawrence advises:

"Boys have a way of wanting to be leaders -- and the fact is, they usually are. A lost ski party in the mountains would look for a boy to lead the way out. It's his job. Let him lead in talk, as well."

Lawrence adds: "Don't lead him. Would you on the dance floor?"

In actual practice, being led in conversation means that girls should not correct their dates. Here Lawrence shows how to react when a girl knows something a boy does not:


The girl's job is to follow but still fascinate. Lawrence encourages his audience to read widely and know all Madagascar, Chile, Saskatchewan, and the Galapagos. He calls for every teen to possess "more information. More dope on what's going on in this Brave New World." He even promises:

"Sports, club elections, ball teams, even dates won't be enough. And neither will the usual boy-girl 'line.' Get on that space-ship, you're going places!"

Once on that space ship, though, the girl is something of a hostage:


In short, Lawrence's advice for girls: Know everything about everything, but don't ever let on that you know or feel anything a boy hasn't brought up. Also, teen conversation is freshened up by light BDSM.

But, on the off chance you find yourself free to speak, here's a list of "expressive words" sure to dazzle:


Here's the sort of thing Lawrence suggests kids actually say to stir conversation:

"Well, friends, we've talked about everything here except what's really on our minds. What do people think of high school education in the U.S.S.R. compared to ours?"

Next: Ridiculous quizzes, terrible advice, and more

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Question: when one seeks to engage one's boyfriend in the James vs. Conrad/Mansfield vs. Porter line of conversation, is it considered unfeminine if one frames the question in terms of who would win in Thunderdome?


"To Win Boys, Girls Should Shut Up"

As true now as it was then.


Alright. Seriously. I really need to know how I scored on the quiz.


Joseph Conrad vs. Henry James? Today's teen debates Snooki vs. Paris. What a shame.


Michelle Bachmann: What's your point? Only in a really screechy voice.


" A lost ski party in the mountains would look for a boy to lead the way out. It's his job."Alas Mr lawrence (alta ego "Maverick") as the sole male in the ski party had to resort to chicanery when the two phenomenaly attractive women he was trapped with in a snowy abyss looked to him for help.  Before they went beserk or threw a tantrum, or worse led them on a wild goose chase, Maverick asserted his manly authority."Now, ladies" he said, brushing the snow from his manly moustache, "Lets not get in the doldrums or epostulate on the situation without benefit of a penis - you'll be fine. Most bears around here are nocturnal.  The pickings around here are spartan and even the most demonical beast would find it too cold to  turn us in to worm eaten bits of flesh.""Sir!" Katie waved her hand zestfully. "I've got a phone...""No."  Maverick glared at the young woman.  "This is a man's job for men. I have crampons and a swiss army knife.  This is my dance and I am in the lead.""But..." "Do you have a penis?" He demanded."No, but behind you...""Then be quiet."Her friend Alison smiled vicariously as her friend was dismissed without being listened to and watched the bear approach Maverick from behind. She had to admit that the way in which the bear took off their guide's head was pretty effective.  The female Grizzly finished her meal and the young women remained still and remembered everything that they had been taught by the hot Forestry Guide back at camp.  Eventually the bear finished her meal and Katie gave their co-ordinates to the main camp at the base of the mountain vi her iphone.Picking a small perrenial flower Katie tossed it in the general direction of Maverick's corpse."I know that the bodies of the dead are supposed to be sacrosanct, but..."  She gave a heavy sigh."He did spout a lot of bilge though," Alison replied. "What with all the hurly burly I don't blame the poor bear.""Probably it's anti sexist ass alter-ego.  Maybe daddy bear had been reading rubbish self help manuals." She shrugged and waved at the approaching rescue helicopter she had contacted via text. "Let's call the bear George.""George Elliot." "Done."

(No idea what "logrolling" is.  An American thing or is my dictionary out of date?  Googling it seems to turn up some "interesting" sites which make me want to shower in bleach).

Alan Scherstuhl
Alan Scherstuhl

"Logrolling" is last-century's way of saying "reach around" or, more politely, "you scratch my back, I scratch yours." If I were to go to your blogpost and leave a comment as great as the one you left on mine, I would be logrolling!

Zestfully,Alan S


it may be "last-century" but it's a great term. and I wonder how many people in the "blogosphere" get the joke that's on the right side of many blog pages...the "blogroll" ... ?


Thanks! I thought it was something to do with lumberjacks...


It is also a lumberjack sport.

Alan Scherstuhl
Alan Scherstuhl

I neglected to mention that every word on Lawrence's expressive words list has been used in articles about John McCain. 

Worm-eaten Maverick
Worm-eaten Maverick

Thanks to this quixotic and explicit column, I'm ready for some hurly-burly chicanery! Color me demoniacal!

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