Catfish: A Tale of Two Strippers
Heading out of work last night, my good friend Artemis rang, breathless.
Artemis: “Catfish! Have you seen Catfish?”
Me: “Is that the internet dating, are-they-who-they-say-they-are show?’
Artemis: “Yeah. Yeah. On MTV. Huuuu-mil. Love. It. Humilos fall in love online, then the show checks it out, and it’s just so huuuu-mil.”
Me: “Wow. That has everything: aspiration; human tragedy; solid undertones of trailer trash. I love this.”
Artemis: “Yes. Yes.”
Me: “I must watch this. And I must bring it to The Flack.”
Artemis: “My work here is done. Godspeed Ares. Godspeed.”
Episode Two of Catfish kicks off with Trina the Natural. She’s an exotic dancer based in Maryland. If you’re not familiar with her work, here’s the Official Trina the Natural website*. Here’s her twitter account: over 8000 followers. Wow, more than Titus O’Reily.
* Don’t open on a work computer.
For the past year, she has had an online relationship with a fellow exotic dancer, named Lee Avent, who goes by the stage name Scorpio and is based 1000km away in Atlanta.
They met on MySpace. Seriously? People still have MySpace accounts? You get what you deserve on MySpace. Just ask Rupert Murdoch. Hello Justin Timberlake.
Scorpio has insanely sick abs. Sick. He strikes the sort of poses reserved only for totally street bad-asses. Here’s Scorpio’s website.* (see above asterisk)
What Trina the Natural and Scorpio have is clearly very, very special. They both have a passion for disrobing. They love the arts. They speak every day on the phone. For hours. They both like to stay in shape. They are both lonely souls wanting to form a lasting, beautiful bond.
During the course of Trina the Natural’s one year relationship with Scorpio:
- He has sent her just three photos of himself;
- All of the photos have been of him alone, with no other friends, in no location that can be readily identified (aside from the obvious location of: “between the sheets”);
- He has on numerous occasions been unavailable to meet in person, regularly claiming that he travels too much for work; and
- He has refused to Skype her, saying he cannot access a program that is used by well over 600 million people. Yet he chooses to use MySpace which has 25 million users. This digital consumer choice has all the logic of Monty Chevalier’s decision in 2007 to buy an iriver rather than an iPod. Feel free to tweet Monty about this choice.
At this stage, I’m starting to have a few doubts about Scorpio’s bona fides.
Trina the Natural will have none of that. She is IN LOVE. But to be sure, she calls in Catfish producers Nev Schulman and Max Joseph.
Nev and Max are crack investigators. Max reveals that Trina the Natural goes by the name Trina the Natural “because her body is 100 per cent natural and nobody believes that it is, because she’s got a really tiny waist and a badonkadonk”. Thanks Max.
Nev and Max turn their finely honed investigative skills to Trina the Natural’s relationship with Scorpio, to see whether Trina the Natural has been catfished. Duped. Deceived. Hoodwinked. Bated. Bamboozled. Conned. Hoaxed. You get the idea.
After 11 seconds on Google, they uncover that Scorpio the exotic dancer is actually a dude called Larry Drummer.
This means that Trina the Natural’s flame has either lied about being Scorpio, or that he is Scorpio but is already in a relationship with someone else, or that there are two Scorpios and the one who Trina the Natural has fallen in love with has been beset by a series of implausible but true challenges that have prevented them from meeting in person.
All of this from punching a couple of names into Google. The case of Nev, Max and Trina the Natural certainly brings to life the saying: in the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
There appears to be a lesson here about making the right choices when it comes to the interwebs. Are these poor choices in the digital economy a trend among exotic dancers? Who can say? But if you are an exotic dancer looking for love online, can I recommend a course in computer literacy or internet basics or social media 101? Courses like this are available online. Save yourself some heartache.
Following these investigative bombshells, Nev, Max and Trina the Natural regroup in a cafe to discuss next steps. She orders a hot chocolate topped with whipped cream … and I lose my last skerrick of sympathy for Trina the Natural. She has clearly not read my coffee guide: what your coffee says about you.
Still clinging to hope, Trina the Natural gives Nev and Max permission to contact Scorpio, which they do. Despite Scorpio’s initial reluctance, a rendezvous is organised.
During the course of that phone call, Scorpio reveals he has four kids (he previously told Trina the Natural he had two) and that he has moved to Maryland – where Trina the Natural lives. Weirdly, he has neglected to inform her of this pretty significant development in a relationship that is characterised by the tyranny of distance.
The discussion of next steps moves outside the cafe and, suddenly, a massive peel of thunder hits so close that it scares the living suitcase out of Nev, Max and Trina the Natural. Even the gods have lost patience.
The big day arrives and Trina the Natural fails to completely live her name, as she straightens her hair for the meeting. This attention to detail is let down somewhat by her conspicuous VPL across her “badonkadonk” (thanks Max).
They drive to Scorpio’s house and a man answers the door. He says he is the man who has been in the relationship with Trina the Natural for the past year.
Yet it appears that he has eaten Scorpio.
He is a big unit. He is not Scorpio.
He is Lee Avent. He is the man who has connected with Trina the Natural for the past year. Instead of a six-pack, he has a keg.
He says his love, their connection, was all for real: “The only thing that wasn’t true was the whole male dancer thing and the six-pack abs thing.”
These appear to be threshold issues for Trina the Natural.
She freaks out. She does not want to be anywhere near Lee Avent and his two cubic zirconia earrings. She cannot even look at him.
Nev, Max and Trina the Natural hightail it out of there. An extended thoughts-gathering period ensues.
Trina the Natural talks it over with BFF Monchelle.
Trina the Natural: “He’s not in shape. he’s not 6′ 1″. He’s not athletic or nothing … I feel so stupid. How did I not know he was lying?”
Me: “GOOD FREAKING QUESTION.”
Monchelle: “Are you going to base it all off looks? You were talking about marriage. I think you should talk to him, then maybe you won’t be so angry with him.”
Trina the Natural: “I think I might do that.”
Wow, just like that. Not an hour ago, she couldn’t even look at him. Couldn’t even stand in his vicinity. The power of suggestion is clearly strong with Trina the Natural. If we ever meet, I’m totally trying out my Jedi mind tricks.
So Trina the Natural and Lee Avent meet again.
Lee lays it all on the line. He loves her. He did not want to lose her. He was in so deep, he didn’t know a way out. He’s lost sleep thinking of how he has wronged her. He is so sorry for deceiving her and his heart is breaking. She is the most special thing in his life. He wants to be a part of her life. He is devoted to her.
“Let’s be friends” is Trina the Natural’s reply. Monchelle, it turns out she is basing this all on looks.
And then Trina the Natural declares that she has learned her lesson: “I’ve got to be more careful with people I meet. Next time, I’m going to ask more questions”.
Or maybe hop on Google for a few seconds.
And so ends Catfish: A Tale of Two Strippers.