July 1999
s m u g
target audience
by Magdalen Powers and Steven Champeon


He Said, She Said
a man and a woman read about picking up women

I will readily admit to being skeptical when I first heard about Stefan Feller's How to Juggle Women: Without Getting Killed or Going Broke, through some spam that assumed (incorrectly) that I was a single African-American male. I'll admit it, images of Shaft in Africa danced through my head, to appropriately tasteless theme music. Imagine my surprise, then, to find that Mr. Feller has produced an eminently practical guide to overcoming shyness, firming up your flaccid self-confidence, and keeping up the charade of single-minded devotion while skipping lightly around town, making the rounds of a carefully maintained harem.

As someone who learned at an early age (though not early enough, if you ask me) that your carriage can be as or even more important than your looks, I was immediately won over by Feller's obvious experience in this respect. Rather than advocate plastic surgery, Feller advises the budding amateur polygamist to become comfortable with himself, find a friend who can give some fashion tips, and avoid discussing bowel movements with potential female partners. Obviously no slouch in this regard, Feller has managed to cut to the chase and inform us of what Women Really Want, all in one chapter:

  • not to be embarrassed when they are seen with you
  • not to be embarrassed when people hear you talk
  • to be able to lie as much about you after the relationship as you lied to them during the relationship

Sure, that sounds simple, and is advice that only a madman would dispute, but what of the rest of the book? Most importantly, does Feller answer the all-important question, do chicks really dig a shiny Lexus, or is it just that leather seats are easier to clean?


OK, before we get into the deep questions, I should admit that during my childhood, when it came time for sports, I was usually at the library. Hey, it was comfortably climate-controlled, insect-free, and I didn't have to wear a tight piece of elastic fabric that carefully protected my scrotum from harm but nonetheless revealed my skinny white ass to any steroid-addled jock who walked by. I mean, sure, I can still name the starting lineup and three pitchers deep into the 1977 Red Sox, but everybody could do that when I was a kid. So, when Mr. Feller goes into his extended Game of Baseball As A Metaphor For Everything shtick, I sort of skipped ahead to the next section. But I'm sure the comparisons between whores and the Yankees made sense somehow.

In the next section, we find tons of practical advice on where to find women, such as:

  • avoid Wyoming
  • use the internet
  • watch out for freaks
  • try not to let on that you're a stalker, especially in the supermarket

Even more practical advice - which seems, to me, to be as deeply rooted in actual experience as anything else in the book - on how to avoid messy encounters that might jeapordize your relationship(s):

  • keep your dates away from your friends
  • don't bring them to your fallback hangouts
  • always use tactics that prevent their getting directly to you
  • don't date your landlady, boss, or anyone likely to have access to important legal or financial documents
  • don't use your primary email account

Don't just lie, lie with gusto and creativity! So says Feller, if you can believe that. As long as you can keep a straight face, and she doesn't have any hard evidence, you can get away with anything. It is intriguing, however, that the most believeable parts of the book seem to be those in which Feller tells us how to:

  • find women
  • have multiple partners and evade, or at least postpone, discovery
  • break up with women

and the least developed parts of the book have to do with sex, cooking, and charity events. (Which, by the way, are great places to meet chicks. I mean women.)


If you're like me, you just blew $250 on a little graphite-colored whazzat that seems to have only one real function, that of an incredibly weak flashlight. And yea, I know, we all bought them before those ads with the nude dancers came out. Anyway, the book falters when Feller purports to tell us how to make use of technology. Feller recommends the Palm Pilot, but doesn't provide any pointers on where to get the right "black book" or financial management software, and he says absolutely nothing about infrared car-jacking or "universal remotes". What a ripoff. Sure, he names the top three online dating services. My cats can find better just by walking across the keyboard when I'm in the shower.

Obviously not very well informed in this area, Feller seems more comfortable with the traditional (if something less than twenty years old can be called traditional) tools of the trade, like beepers, cell phones, caller id, and apartments rented out to al ternate identities. Personally, I found the technology section extremely disappointing. He could have at least included some Excel spreadsheets for calculating budgets, keeping track of important demographic information, and scheduling, but all he could s ee fit to do is include some tables that look like they came straight out of the Tables Chapter in a Teach-Yourself-Microsoft-Word-in-24-Hours book, for tracking vital information like the diet, blood type, and hobbies of your various conquests. I'm sorry, but if the second edition doesn't at least have a column for "Proximity to Pharmaceutical Grade Psychotropics", I say pass it by.

The book does include recipes! Unfortunately, that's about as deep as the financial guidance gets: "cook at home." Well, duh. Though he makes up for it by reminding you to sweep up your used condom wrappers every so often, so all is not lost. Someone will benefit, as sure as I'm a liberal arts grad with a deep-seated fear of the teeming masses.

The book reveals its weakest point when it becomes clear in the later chapters that Feller isn't going to talk about how to best manage sex with multiple concurrent partners, preferring to discuss how to use it to your advantage when you need to break up with someone. After all, knowing which of your harem enjoys being tied up with nylon climbing ropes and which enjoys foot massage while hanging from trapezes is fundamental to keeping everyone satisfied and preventing embarrassing, if comical, mixups! Feller slips irrecoverably here, with pathetic advice like "call out someone else's name" or "ignore all of the other advice in the book and revert to being yourself". Thanks, Stefan. For $12, I get zero Excel spreadsheets, page after page of lame baseball metaphors, and advice on how to break up with women? Somehow, I expected more.

All in all, though, the book was better than I expected, but still fundamentally flawed in some very important areas. I'd recommend watching a few episodes of Three's Company as an example of How Not to Do It, and perhaps a viewing of any movie featuring Marcello Mastroianni for tips on the few failsafes dating more than one woman has to offer. And if La Dolce Vita doesn't answer the question about the Lexus, watch it again.


Managing a professional baseball team is tough -- but Stefan Feller has done a fine job of explaining how it all works by using a familiar social metaphor, in his handbook for new and aspiring managers, How To Juggle Women without Getting Killed or Going Broke (AOP Books, 1998).

Feller covers every aspect of the game, but he mainly focusses on pitching: "Good pitching," he writes, "can carry a ball club when the batting and fielding are sub par. The same applies to dating." How right he is! Why, more than once, if I met someone who was hitting poorly or falling asleep in the outfield, just one good spitball and the runner walked to first and never knew what hit him!

Paradoxically, my main complaint about the book is that Feller focusses to much on pitching. The game isn't always won from the mound! But he does make some good points about salary and labor negotiations, especially in light of the 1994 baseball strike. "There was not even a World Series. What a bummer," he writes. Truer words were never spoken. ... Feller also goes the extra mile and includes a couple of recipes for when the hot dogs and cotton candy are just too much. A pasta dish and a nice side of greens with Earl Grey vinaigrette will keep you from shilling for Rolaids later in your career! Unfortunately, these handy hints are pretty hit or miss. For example, while it's true that milk is "white liquid that comes from a cow," shallots are not, as he asserts, a synonym for green onions. A little more diligence in this area (it's scallions) would have served Feller well.

But these small flaws seem a paltry price to pay for such an exhaustive explication of the ins and outs of running a successful pitching staff. For example, I learned about the fine gradations among the starting lineup: "[Workhorses] may not do the job as pretty [sic] as the ace and the results will not be as consistent, but you probably will not have to worry about the same contract demands as with an Ace." Good point!

Feller also covers the tricky area of promotions: "The only way a reliever may be promoted to a starting position is if she has greatly improved in one of those areas where she was previously deficient." While I like his use of the feminine pronoun (a rarity in pro sports, even in this day and age), I was a little confused by his following examples of said improvement, such as the pitcher getting a nose job, or going back to school to get "her" high school diploma. But maybe that's due to the poor background I got from his comparatively light section on the farm system, which he covers briefly, in addition to the trickier areas of making cuts to your team, scouting, re-signing players, and making trades.

As a final send-off to fledgling managers, Feller includes an appendix of useful charts to help keep track of your team's vital stats, game schedule, and budget -- which helps to mitigate the relative pitcher-centricness of the rest of the book. I must say, I came away with a new appreciation of the art of baseball management, and a much greater knowledge of The Great American Pastime, even if I still don't know what breaking balls are. Anybody? ...



in the junk drawer:

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