"Girlfriend-Express,' it read. "We'll find you Ms. Right."
They were offering to find me a girlfriend for $19.95. I wondered how they could even make such promises. Why does the Better Business Bureau let someone operate such a scam? Why would the Gutterfrump Times even accept their ad? I thoroughly scanned for the catch. I had no doubt that one was lurking somewhere.
The phone number was a local call. Not a 1-800 number. Not a 1-900 number. Nothing that said $5.95 per minute - just one price. I noted that it even had the same first three digits as my own number.
I made the call.
"Girlfriend Express, can I help you?"
"Yeah, I saw your ad and wanted to find out more."
"Yes sir, basically we have you answer a bunch of questions," the male voice drones. He sounds almost like a teenager. In fact, he sounds like the kid that lives next door who spends most of his time throwing rocks into the apartment complex pool when his parents aren't home. I wonder whether this is a joke. "Based on the way you answer the questions we find you Ms. Right. We set up the date, hand you her phone number and directions to her house. Then after you go out on your first date you both pay us $19.95."
This throws all of my questions out the window. Everything I had planned to use to debunk this foul scheme has just been negated. It sounds too good to be true, or too good to be untrue - one of the two.
"Great…." I mumble, instantly defeated. "What credit cards do you accept?"...
The phone rang sometime around 6 PM.
I had fallen asleep on the couch watching a documentary about the St. Valentines' Day Massacre on A&E.
It rang about four times before I finally stumbled into the kitchen to check the Caller ID box. Damn it! Anonymous. Split minute decision here. The phone is only going to ring one more time before my answering machine takes over.
Picking up the phone when it's 'Anonymous' is never a good idea. Anonymous is never very much fun to talk to. Problem is, they call all the time. Ex-Girlfriend? Late car payment? Someone who wants money for the Sheriff's association? Ex-Girlfriend who wants money for the Sheriff's association? I throw caution to the wind and pick it up anyway.
"Mr. Mitchell?" a teenage sounding voice says.
"This is Randall from Girlfriend-Express."
"Ohhh. Yeah." I say, still trying to wake up.
"We have a date set up for you tonight at 8:30 PM with a potential girlfriend."
This wakes me up immediately.
She Hates My Futon, by Craig Mitchell