Yet, as with all things that seem like they might be too good to be true, I couldn’t stop those nagging feelings of suspicion. It was such a monumental task, after all, with so much at stake. Could I really consider the unthinkable – that Sam had purposely faked the existence of a girlfriend? As much as the idea horrified me, the evidence slowly became insurmountable.
Sam and I had developed an intense rivalry over the many years we had known each other. We had each found it imperative to prove our superiority to the other in every way possible. For example, we would frequently undertake endurance tests, such as seeing how long we could go without showering (still running as I write this).
However, as the most difficult task we could imagine, landing a girlfriend was consequently the most prestigious. Thus, there would be correspondingly large status gains from perpetrating a hoax. No doubt Sam also felt a sense of urgency from the fact that my own eventual success was undoubtedly imminent. The very high cost of attempting to land a real girlfriend would also have deterred him (after all, it takes real effort to come up with pick-up lines).
#1 The time taken
Sam announced his goal of landing a girlfriend slightly more than eight years ago. Now, at first this time frame may not seem unreasonable. However, when one considers the enormous logistical problems associated with the task, one may begin to wonder. What about the planning? The blueprints? The trial runs? The funding? The list goes on and on.
It is especially suspicious given that at the time of that announcement, Sam did not appear to have made any progress in the realms of courtship. I, on the other hand, had by that point already approached several females and had even managed to get my first dignified rejection . You would expect, then, that with my large head start I would logically have been the first to land a girlfriend.
#2 The implausible meeting place
Sam told me that he had met “Katie” in a club. I find this highly implausible, for I have been to many clubs and I can tell you that there were no females in any of them. Most of the patrons were middle-aged men with anime T-shirts. Some of them may have been females (such distinctions were hard to make) but certainly, if any were, none were as physically attractive as “Katie” appears to be. If Sam were less naïve about common places to meet females, he could have constructed a more plausible alibi. If, say, he had claimed that he met “Katie” outside a women’s changing room or in the park at night, I might have believed him.
#3 Sam’s refusal to send me his photographs
As my unease grew, I decided that I would request Sam send me all the photographs of his alleged girlfriend so I could do an in-depth analysis of them. What happened? He instantly refused. Now, what sort of person would decline there except if he had something to hide? When pressed, he said he was concerned about what I might do with the photographs. Okay, I was planning to zoom in on “Katie” up to 100x, but I assured him that it was solely for the purposes of detecting manipulation. He still declined.
Luckily though, Sam *did* allow me to examine the photos while keeping them on his computer. Thanks to many hours of dedicated focus, I now have them vividly implanted in my brain.
#4 The faked photographs
The photographs may have been pleasing to look at, but such a factor should not get in the way of scientific inquiry. Indeed, this made them even more suspicious, for their aesthetic appeal may have been designed specifically to distract the viewer from the subterfuge.
- The photographs mostly show the alleged couple smiling at various spots in a large park. However, the background does not change at all in spite of the clear distances between each location. This leads credence to my theory that the photographs were not taken outdoors at all, and instead were produced with a studio backdrop.
- There are no clouds in any of the photographs, despite the fact that the sky is well known for having clouds in it. This lends further support to the “studio” thesis, for it is not possible to create a backdrop with clouds on it.
- In most of the photographs, “Katie’s” long blonde hair appeared to be waving. This is in spite of there being no visible fans, nor obvious places for fans to be plugged in. Therefore, it seemed likely that Sam had simply taken pictures of himself and modified each of them with Photoshop to include an attractive female.
#5 I had never seen the alleged girlfriend
For a girlfriend that Sam claimed had been around for nearly a month thus far, you would think that I would have been given an opportunity to meet her. However, I am still waiting.
Sam had an initially appealing but ultimately unsatisfactory explanation. He claimed that he had invited “Katie” to our house a number of times and would have willingly introduced her if it were not for the fact that I have a tendency to lock myself in my room for 23 hours a day. While I do not dispute the latter part of his statement, I find this to be an awfully convenient excuse. For why does “Katie” only come at night? I would have been more than happy to meet her between the hours of 1 and 2pm, when I have breakfast. But in spite of her supposedly frequent visits, I have yet to see her once.
#6 Supposed sounds of girlfriend were obviously inaccurate
Sam contended that I should have at least heard sounds that strongly suggested the presence of a female in the house. While I did hear a feminine-sounding voice, its authenticity was questionable. How could I know that Sam wasn’t merely imitating a female voice? That had been a key part, after all, in some of the games we'd played together. Or alternatively, it could have been a recording, perhaps a looped vocal sample from a TV show - note that I had seen Sam watching what appeared to be numerous streams of TV shows on his computer. Why would he do this when we had a perfectly working television up until recently? Might the fact that it allowed him to more easily isolate the audio track have something to do with it?
Now, I did hear some other noises. To most people's ears, they have might seemed to have had a superficial resemblance to the sounds of sexual intercourse. But Sam, ever the careless fraudster, undid himself with his comic ignorance of how the act sounds. He wasn’t counting on the fact that I had a large amount of sexual knowledge from the many years I spent involuntarily listening in to my own parents (and occasionally, my aunt and uncle). And I must say, Sam did not even come close. Here is just some of what was wrong with his attempt:
- All sexual encounters should begin with the sound of bottles breaking. I believe there are two potential purposes of this. One is that the physical action of breaking a bottle increases blood flow, consequently increasing arousal. The second is that the shards of the bottle may be used as a form of sex toy.
- The female should scream and plead hysterically. This motivates the male to muffle the sound by physical contact, which is sometimes very rough but nonetheless eventually results in coitus.
- For the next half an hour or so afterward, the female should weep softly. The biological purpose of this remains a mystery.
Truly pitiful. See, that’s the trouble with attempting fraud: all the pieces have to fit together but if there’s a single one missing, it’s easily spotted when an expert examines it.
I was disappointed but not entirely surprised. I had long believed that Sam was untrustworthy, and so further evidence to that extent was to be expected.
Predictably, Sam’s response to my allegations was deny, deny, deny. His refusal to even read my detailed investigation exemplified the arrogance I had long found so distasteful in him. I can only hope that others will stop blindly following the "mainstream consensus" that they unquestioningly receive from biased sources and help me expose this fraudster.
I do hope he’ll still do the laundry tomorrow, though.