Low Hanging Fruit: Targets or goals which are easily achievable and which do not require a lot of effort.
Last weekend, I came up with my Low Hanging Fruit Theory. It included one of those nights that my friend Justin and I decided to sit back and observe human interaction. That night we were the elder statesmen in the bar. Justins girlfriend had set up a gathering among her just-out-of-college friends. I was reminded of the younger crowd as I waited in line outside the establishmenthot shot guys showed up with no jackets despite the NYC January chill. I remembered those daystoo cool or didnt want to deal with a jacket. Man, I hope I didnt look as stupid as these guys.
Upon entering the bar I was confronted with dance-floor-makeouts as far as the eye could see. I navigated through the crowd like a tiny ship at stormy seas, catching glimpses of faces in rapture singing Journeys Dont Stop Believin at top volume. Finally, I found Justin next to an empty stool in the corner of the room. This was where wed perch and make observations. As we looked around, we noticed a huge bevy of young ladies singing together in the middle of the room. Lined up around them, like rings around Saturn were layers of guys eyeing them up and deciding what to do (my jacketless buddies were definitely in orbit). And, tumbling out of this ironically organized group of people was a disgusting couple that decided to post up right next to my stool. As they grinded (ground?) to the beat, Justin told me to look closer. I noticed the guys hand down the girls pants and a crowd gathering around. The couple was on the verge of breaking into my little glass observatory, a pornographic popup that inadvertently invaded my screen. Luckily, enough people gathered around them and told them to leave the bar, and they dissolved into the evening together. This place was truly a disorganized universe, forever expanding and full of energy. Justin and I were determined to make sense of it all.
As the night wound down, I noticed fewer and fewer girls from that big stirring pot, and fewer men in the rings of Saturn. In fact, the girls were out numbering the guys. This is when it hit me. The time was prime to move in and hit on the ladies. This was the moment of the low hanging fruit. I nudged Justin and pointed to a cute blonde at the bar drunkenly chatting with her friend.
That girl is frustrated. She hasnt paired off with someone yet. You know what, if I moved in there and pretty much said lets go, Im sure shed be into it.
A number of factors created the low hanging fruit. These girls are a volatile combination of acutely competitive, but frighteningly insecure. As more and more guys picked their girls out of the big pack, the remaining girls started to get that last-person-selected-in-gym-class feeling. These girls would be more receptive to my game by defaultthey had to be wondering why they hadnt been picked up yet as the bar cleared out. The moment set the perfect equation:
Slowly clearing bar + (Girl population > Guy Population) = Low Hanging Fruit
One may ask if Id feel less satisfied or worried that only slim pickings would be left in the bar at Low Hanging Fruit time. I would argue the contrary. The population in the bar was perfect:
Wallflowers: nervous, shy girls with low social skills who are just happy a guy is talking to them.
Super Hotties: girls that are so off the chart hot that guys in the rings of Saturn were afraid to even approach.
Totally Frustrated: Girls that usually have gone home with a guy by now and are not used to being low hanging fruit.
To make matters even better, all the guys that were left were so drunk they couldnt stand up, and the girls were so drunk that they were getting emotional and lonely. This would be a cinch.
Another way of looking at it is the Thanksgiving Bufffet Effect. My family is full of champion eaters. So, every holiday we do it to the nines. On average, Thanksgiving consists of 15-20 of us, making small talk and growing desperately hungry all afternoon over cheese and crackers and pepperoni. Well, when its finally announced that dinner is ready, go on into the dining room and bring your plate, it is like the running of the bulls in Spain. Ive learned to step back and let everyone run in there. After they are done ravaging the buffet table, I leisurely walk in and select what I want. No use trying to ram in with tons of people there. I go right in to the buffet with no crowd, consider which piece of turkey I want, and take three extra ladles of gravy (remember theres no one waiting behind me or watching how badly Im over-eating). If we apply this effect to that gaggle of girls at the bar, we get a nice low-pressure evening of hitting on ladies and no cluster@#$% of guys ramming in and vying for position.
The principle applies in nature too. Animals lacking energy due to hunger will pick on the weakest in the pack because its an easy kill. Natural selection.
I applied this idea beautifully at my sisters wedding. I looked across the room and saw a girl standing by herself with no one to talk to. Turned out she was a friend of the band. Well, the band was performing all night. So I took this girl under my wing, made her feel comfortable and wanted. She was akin to the weak one in the pack because she didnt know anyone and felt out of place. The poor one that gets separated from the herd is always targeted. Before I knew it, we were making out in the bathroom.
Sometimes its good to sit back and take a scientific look at human behavior. Then we can invent no-fail schemes like The Low Hanging Fruit Theory which, like all great theories, draws its conclusion based on science: Natural Selection and the Thanksgiving Buffet Effect.
Posted by Rich Santos
Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.