This undated publicity photo shows Sean Connery as James Bond in a scene from the 1963 film, “From Russia With Love.” (AP/United Artists and Danjaq, LLC)
Columnist

Listen, there are some behaviors we can all agree are courtship and NOT predation! You get it, gentlemen, right?

We all know that there’s a dance that goes on between men and women, if you will, a kind of ancient ritual that dates back to time immemorial.

[Pauses to mop brow.]

Like, for instance, here are a few examples of fun flirting that might be just, you know, this flirty business of media, ha ha ha HA, that we all know and love.

[Oh god, oh god, oh god.]

We all can agree that a totally understandable thing to happen is that when a woman is sad, you offer her a reassuring wave, but your arm is much longer than you thought it was, and also her shirt blew open, and also it isn’t your arm?

These things happen to all of us, we can agree, I think.

[Hyperventilates for a full minute.]

We have all been there.

You might, for instance, press the secret button on your desk that locks the door, a normal thing that Matt Lauer had and that many of us, of course, have as well. I, at least, have several, as a red-blooded American male. And an equally normal button that turns on the music, and the further even more normal button that reveals the sharks circling just beneath her.

It’s sort of, banter, I guess, is the word. We all have banter. Banter and a basement flirting cage. Those are things we all have, and we can agree that they are normal features of human life. Men are men and women are women. Ha ha ha ha ha.

[Removes shirt, which has been entirely sweated through, and puts on another one.]

We understand one another. A little mild flirtation is nothing, like when you strap a woman to a table with a laser that can cut her in half. Or when you turn around in the chair stroking your cat on your lap and say, “Look what I grabbed.” This is definitely not the behavior of a serial harasser or, also, a Bond villain. Men and women play such games every day. It’s all the dance! All the dance! The madcap whirligig we call the workplace.

The other day, a woman said to me, “Don’t look at me like that. It makes me uncomfortable.” But I remembered that was just what Padme said to Anakin Skywalker and they had a great romance. I dropped several dead birds outside her office door (also courtship, I think), and she didn’t seem pleased. But that is just a classic “Nick and Nora” romantic move.

We have that “will they, won’t they” tension. She says we won’t. I say we will. We will find out who is right!!!!!!

One day, I just stepped into the shower with a woman, just walked right on in there and she was like, “OH GOD WHAT’S HAPPENING I LIVE IN A NIGHTMARE?” But I was like, “JAMES BOND DID IT, LADY, CALM DOWN.” I released a big animatronic spider into her room and she screamed and screamed but that’s just, like, leading me on, I believe, is the phrase I want?

Right? That’s… that’s a thing… we all do. If I’m saying this with a rising inflection, it’s because it is suddenly occurring to me that I might have misread a signal.

Oh god, is it not a thing we all do? I’ve never asked a woman, I just watch a lot of movies.

Pursuing someone in a hovercraft for many miles shouting, “I’LL FIND YOU CARRIE. I’LL FIND YOU. DON’T THINK I WON’T.” That’s, just, you know, the game, no? Just, rudimentary stuff.

I have done nothing wrong. Another romantic thing to do around the office is hang mistletoe (mistletoe implies consent).

Ha ha. Love. Flirting. The wonderful cycle of life.

[Sweats heavily.]