Today's edition of The Queue is one part off-topic and two parts on-topic, but each and every part is worth it. Trust me on that one. Oh, and there's a couple more bad words than usual. You have been warned. I hope none of you are too scandalized by it.
"There is this girl I like that works at the mall, I want to ask her out but I don't know how. What would YOU do?"
Does she know who you are? If not, introduce yourself and start talking before anything else. I'm assuming you don't work with her, so maybe talk about her job. Ask if she likes working there. Or if you're knowledgeable about the things her store sells, try and start a conversation about something there. If you go the small talk route, start talking and then introduce yourself. You don't generally walk into a store and say, "Hi, my name is Alex!" to an employee, do you? It's kind of weird. Be friendly, start a conversation, then give your name.
If you two already know one another, just ask. If she's not interested, let it go for awhile. Don't be that creepy pushy guy that's basically forcing a girl into a date. Let it go, and maybe you can try again sometime down the road when you know one another a bit better. The absolute last thing you want is to look creepy, so if she doesn't dig the date, find other ways to get to know her better. Swing by the store once in awhile, be friendly but not creepy. You'll become someone she recognizes then, and you can try again when she might be more comfortable with the idea.
Don't try to be funny unless you are damn sure you can do it without it sounding forced. A lot of people take the "be funny" thing and use it as an excuse to crack crappy puns or knock-knock jokes. They don't work. Or at least, they usually don't work. Just talk to her like you would talk to anybody else.
Have a destination in mind for a first date in advance. Movies are cliche, but they work. Same with grabbing dinner. Are there any festivals going on in the area? If you're still a teenager, the girl might just appreciate kickin' it in a park on a nice day. As a teenager some of the best time you can spend is just lazing somewhere comfy, so parks are fun. If she suggests something, go with her suggestion. You want a destination in mind so you don't ask her out and end up going, "durr uhhh ummm I don't know what do you wanna do lol?" If she has an idea, that means she's really into the idea of a date and you should roll with it.
Also, don't bring up WoW unless you know she plays. Seriously. I'm not saying be ashamed of playing, it's just not the kind of thing that will make a girl more likely to date you.
Don't take my advice as the only things that could possibly work though. It's what I would do. Michael Gray, who is a man with much more experience than myself, has other advice.
Michael Gray says...
If she doesn't know you, I'd say be more straightforward. Making smalltalk to step up to an ask out makes it disingenuous. My favorite method is to go:
"Hey! My name's Mike. Look, I know we don't know each other, but I've noticed you around a few times. I know this is kind of forward, but I was wondering if you'd be down for going for a coffee or beer some time. I feel like I'd like to get to know you a bit better, if you think you might be interested."
The important phrase is "get to know you." Because that's all you're doing right now. "You seem interesting, and I'd like to get to know you."
"How soon do you think we will get another expansion after Cataclysm?
I ask because the psychology of content available is still tied directly to levels needed to be achieved. 5 levels does not seem like much especially when the state of the game is now impacted by random dungeons - not necessarily the number of quests available. I truly believe that people are going to be clamoring even harder and sooner for WoW 5.0 than they have been for 4.0."
I don't think that's true at all in WoW's case. I really don't think most people consider a character "done" when they hit max level in World of Warcraft. I'm sure some people do, the people that are just diehard levelers, but for the most part... if you've been playing Wrath of the Lich King since the beginning, compare how much time you spent leveling your main to how much time you spent gearing that main. I'm sure you've churned out at least a little Tier 9 via the dungeon finder. The time you've put into random heroics alone is probably more than the time you spent leveling.
WoW is very odd in that level is almost a meaningless number overall. Getting your hands on XP is easy, and 4-5 tiers of raid gear has a far larger impact on the power of your character than 10 levels does. As a fresh level 80 in greens, you're struggling to do 2000 DPS. As a level 80 in Icecrown Citadel epics, doing three times that number is a completely trivial task.
WoW has always been more about the endgame. Reaching the level cap is really just the beginning of character progression. They could tell us the expansion isn't raising the level cap at all but is still supplying all of the content that would otherwise go towards leveling, and almost nothing would change.
I think the expansion after Cataclysm might come faster, but not because of the level cap issue. It's Blizzard though, so you can never really predict their plans. Cataclysm could have a Patch 4.87 for all we know.
"What's the story behind the gryphon nested right outside the Stormwind City flightmaster? Does it even have a name? The poor guy (or girl) seems to have no purpose other than serving to break the fall of every toon that comes flying off the wall above it (one never takes damage if you land on it). If you look closely it seems it's eventually been smooshed into its nest from all the flying leaps from which it has absorbed damage. What's up with that?"
The Gryphon's name is Henry Hodgekiss, he's 36 years old (in Gryphon years) and a Libra.
He enjoys long flights over the beach, eating rodents, and being made out of two animals. His wife Penelope left him recently because of his crippling titmouse addiction, so he was forced to take the job of security guard outside the Stormwind Gryphon roost. Every day Henry stays still... motionless save for a slight movement of the head or wings, so small that even the keenest-eyed observer will swear he didn't move at at all. Patiently he sits, absorbing the g-forces of the Alliance's collective ass as it plummets onto his head from above. What is he planning? We'll have to wait and see.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW.com crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column! Leave your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em!