Women of a certain age, if they’re being honest, will tell you the first time someone calls you ma’am can be, well damn right annoying. C’mon, I don’t have $1,000.00 of Oil of Olay scattered all over my bathroom for this shit.
But you get over it. If you’re from the South, you blame it on “the younguns bein’ raised right.” You accept it. You buy more wrinkle cream and hope for the best.
The years go by. You get used to the ma’ams. You think, “Okay, I can live with this. It’s not too bad.”
Times change. Your kids leave home. You have grandchildren. You learn to keep up with them on social media. You’re the cool Grandma, Mimi or Nana. Or you tell yourself that anyway. (I’m Mimi. With my first grandchild I remarked that I didn’t think I could be Grandma, but I could probably pull off a French whore.)
You venture out on Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest. You get LinkedIn. You Facebook messenger. Then it happens. Someone you think you might know wants to be your friend. You accept. He says, “Hey.” You’re trying to place him. Was he at a book signing? Did you go to school together?
You say, “I’m trying to place you. I’m sorry, but how do I know you?”
Then the ugly truth.
He replies, “You don’t. I saw your profile and liked your smile.”
You think, “Yeah, right.”
So you check out his profile. No friends. No pics. No info. A picture of a handsome middle aged man in a uniform with a boat and that’s about it. You’ve been Catfished!
But as Bob Dylan said, It Ain’t Me You’re Lookin For, Babe
Catfish are bottom feeders. Lowest of the low. Hence the term from the documentary of the same name made famous a few years ago when Nev Schumann let his friends film his budding internet romance with a young talented dancer. And the world was given the first Catfish. And a popular MTV series was born. If you’ve not seen the movie, it’s heartbreaking on all sides. Here’s the trailer.
As a writer, I informed my latest Catfisher that if he really wanted to get to know me, he should buy my book. Funny, I haven’t heard from him since. Maybe he read it and it scared him off
Here’s some other scams that have popped up lately.
There’s the the IRS scam. You get a message that a warrant will be issued for your arrest if you don’t respond immediately. So you figure you’d better call and some young girl informs you that you have been doing your taxes incorrectly. Apparently for a while. But not to worry, if you can send a payment in today, you can avoid having the police swing by and pick you up.
Then there’s the, “Congratulations! You just won money scam.” You’ve won a shit ton of money, but must call a certain number by a certain time with certain information or the money is forfeited. This is when you want to channel Liam Neeson and scare the crap out the person on the other end of the line.
How to handle them?
First, just refer the IRS caller to your accountant and lawyer. They’ll hang up faster than a telemarketer when you talk dirty to them.
Same with the “you just won money” scam. Get the person’s name. Ask if there’s a problem with you checking the company out with FBI’s scam data base. (I assume the FBI has a scam data base, I usually hear a click by the time I get this far.) Believe me, you will hear nothing but dead air. Of course, if your bored, you can play along for awhile for the fun of it, or call back and pretend you’re a lawyer. All great ways to pass the time when you’re having writer’s block or waiting in line at the store.
Now for my favorite scam to date!
As I was writing this, oh I just couldn’t believe my luck, I got a direct message in my Twitter feed from, wait for it …. Leonardo DiCaprio! I thought he might be messaging when he started following me on Twitter a couple of days ago. Oh, be still my heart! I think I screwed up though. I should have never tried to be witty so early in our conversation. I scared him off with a Dylan reference. Notice it took five minutes for him to get the reference.
This is as far as I got.
Oh, Leo, my bad. I thought you were a Dylan fan. Psst! Message me!