Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Slithering Man

Unless one has been living on a planet in a distant galaxy, it is common knowledge that the internet is now used for matchmaking. Entrepreneurs are getting quite creative - or desperate. Apart from Christian Mingle, which advertises every three minutes on TV with "God's match for you," there are sites to meet fellow wine lovers, Jews, gays, the over 50's set, married people looking for a fling, professionals making over $100,000 grand a year, ad nauseum. You name it, you'll find it.

A lonely policewoman, tired of the macho guys back at home, decided to seek out her soul mate in cyberspace. From the heart of Africa, she found solace in a man from Ghana, who, like all internet Romeos, presented himself as handsome, kind, rich and especially in love with this women who responded to his foray into ladyland.

They actually had a stimulating exchange of emails, and when he proposed to her, she arranged to go to Ghana. Now remember, the woman is a tough gunslinger who knows the racket. Not a shrinking violet, she plans to call his bluff, with only a sliver of hope that he might be 'real.' Sounds like jolly fun.

Not expecting the guy to show up, she arranged a meeting at her hotel once she landed in questionable territory. Most people would chastise her for taking this gambit too far, but as a cop, in all likelihood she had a concealed weapon on her and good aim to boot -  a decided advantage under the circumstances.

Much to her surprise - or dismay - the fellow did show up. But he didn't waltz into her room as the dashing prince of computer lore. He dragged himself in by his arms, his paralyzed body lifelessly following muscular upper limbs. A childhood victim of polio and without the means to buy a motorized wheelchair, let alone one powered by human effort, he demonstrated quite a lot of  willpower and determination.

Now remember, this man is capable of concocting a conversation so enticing, so loving, that said woman flew halfway around the world to check it out. Within that crippled body was a human being - yes, capable of an internet scam but also endowed with enough hope, heart and/or courage to come clean with the real deal.

The lady's knee-jerk and final response was, "Go slither back under the rock you came from." Then she slammed the door behind the soles of his feet as he exited.

This cautionary tale raises a most important question for you and only you to decide: what was real and what was a lie in this scenario?

 As for me, the rock tumbler of life is hurling stones at my heart.

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