Back in the basement, people begin filling the room--the women first. Each of them sits facing the door where a Cobra banner, from the cartoon G.I. Joe, hangs. Schwimmer gives the ladies a pep talk about the event's mechanics. Each man will sit across from a woman of his choice, and the two will have three-and-a-half minutes to talk. Then, the men will rotate. Each of the twelve women will get to talk to each of the thirteen men.
The participants, who are all between twenty and thirty-five, wear nametags with a randomly assigned nerd moniker. "April O'Neil"--the reporter friend of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles--sits next to a statuesque woman whose nametag reads "Harley Quinn," the female sidekick to the Joker in DC's Batman series.
The men, who have just heard a similar speech from Schramm upstairs, file in. The room erupts into a cacophony of conversation.
A dark-haired bearded man sits across from a slim, stylishly dressed woman.