Monday, February 15, 2010

On playing Voetsie

It’s confession time. As I am sitting here writing this on the eve of that aberration know as St Valentine’s day, I am single.* I am not too perturbed by this state of affairs, but alas not unperturbed enough to avoid a succession of mildly unsuccessful dates. These events have been marred by a nervous condition (on my part) which manifests in a loss of the ability to converse in even a semi-coherent (much less intelligent) manner. Hence I developed a strategy – at the next date I will play Voetsie.

Playing Voetsie (n.) –a lesser known variation on playing ‘footsie’, a dating stratagem during which the dator regales the datee with lesser known (and entirely useless) facts about Jan Voet; synonym – kamikaze dating or suicide dating.

For those of you who wish to follow in my Voetsteps (snort), here is some raw material (with some editorial comment which you may use to reel her in):

• Jan Voet was born on 3 October 1647.

• His great-great- grandfather, Nicolaas Dirkz. Voet was the major of Oudheusden and later died in prison (see, political leaders can go to prison) as a protestant martyr (if she is religious, refrain from commenting on the unlikely notion of a protestant martyr).

• His great grandfather, Paulus Voet was a soldier in the Prince’s army which fought against Spanish rule.

• His grandfather was Gysbert Voet who was a professor primarius (dazzle her with your Latin – grrrowl) of Theology at the University of Utrecht.

• His father was Paulus Voet. He attained the magister artium at the age of 21 and became an extraordinary Professor in Metaphysics at the age of 22 (!). He studied law in his free time and attained the doctorate of law by the age of 26 (!!!). He became a Professor of Roman Law at the age of 35 (on second thoughts you may want to gloss over this bit, it could make you look bad - or you could just explain that these okes had a life expectancy of about 12 so they were in a hurry).

• Jan Voet’s mother’s name is Elizabeth (a good name, the best according to some).

• He graduated at age 20. He studied in Utrecht and taught there from 1674.

• His grandfather, Gysbert, was the rector of the University of Utrecht when Voet was teaching there.

• He was a deacon in the Dutch Reformed Church and later worked for the Church as an accountant.

• Voet was later recruited by the University of Leiden where he taught until his death in 1713.
At this point you may want to employ the more conventional method of playing footsie to check whether your date is still awake – if she isn’t, back away slowly and exit the scene – if she is, she is a keeper.
For more material you can consult De Wet Jan Voet (1948) 11 THRHR 50.

My next blog will be about internet dating and the Consumer Protection Act (I sh*t you not).
*My co-blogger Richard, oh, sorry wrong (random) name, I mean Dave (inside joke) said that I could blog about my personal life too as long as it relates to private law in some way. Not being one to shy away from an opportunity for unbridled narcissism, I intend to see how far I can stretch this mandate.

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