On Saturday night we found him, edging around the floor of popular dance bar, Rick’s American Café. He had a beer in one hand and a fire in his eyes, fully believing that tonight was his night.
“I’m come here alone every weekend and leave alone every weekend as well,” he said. “I’m just not sure why.”
His name is Kyle Dudley, and he is the standard hovering guy at Rick’s. You have encountered him before in many forms: dancing not quite with you, but next to you; pretending he’s a part of your dance circle; laughing at a group’s conversation, despite not actually knowing any of the people involved in it.
“I just want to make friends at the bar,” said Dudley. “That’s why I come. There’re so many cool people there, so I just try to work into their conversations! They usually don’t tell me to leave!”
They don’t tell Dudley to stay either. Dudley has been the victim of avoided eye contact, dirty glances, and abandonment on the dance floor. One woman, Mindy Jackson, claimed he once hovered around her group for twenty full minutes until her boyfriend told him to “Fuck off.”
“That weirdo came up to my group of friends reeking of festering body odor,” said Jackson, a self-proclaimed “Rick’s Rat.” “We kept turning away from him and flat out ignoring him and he just didn’t seem to get the hint. He would laugh and nod and try to mimic our dance moves thinking we’d invite him into our circle, I guess.”
Dudley said he didn’t earn his not-so-coveted title by giving up easily, that’s for sure.
“People like perseverance,” he said. “Every once in a while a girl will be so drunk she doesn’t care what I look like, and that’s what I admire: people who look past appearances. I want people in my life who don’t care how I look or smell or seemingly have no sense of social awareness.”
Women throughout Rick’s have complained about Dudley’s habits, but bouncers cannot do a thing considering his hovering technically hurts no one.
“You can’t throw a guy out because he’s weird,” said one bouncer. “If we tossed out every creep at Rick’s, the place would be empty. We make half our revenue from guys buying drinks for girls they have no chance with. The other half comes from cover of kids like Kyle who just sort of hang out all night.”
Dudley, a mathematics major, estimates his successful attempts with interaction at a ratio of 1:274.
“As long as there’s a chance out there that someone will be down to hang out with a complete stranger who has no confidence approaching them directly, but will lurk until maybe that someone notices them or doesn’t swat their hands away when they move in for the kill, I’ll keep doing me,” said Dudley. “If it worked in middle school, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work now.”
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