The Internet Matchmaker

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By Ken Begley

This electronic, microchip-driven world we live in never ceases to amaze me. Electronic gadgets and gizmos that weren’t around a few years ago now seem to be indispensable to most people.  You know what I mean.  We have cell phones, Internet, Facebook, e-mail, texting, computers, pagers, fax machines, and on and on.

Yet I never expected a microchip would be used to look for prospective mates.  I saw one statistic that said one out of every four married people met their spouse on the Internet.  Is that not unbelievable?  But it’s true.  Let me tell you a story.

A few years ago, my buddy and I use to do odd jobs for our army reserve unit.  It caused us to travel from time-to-time, visiting different units around the eastern half of the U.S.

Anyway, this buddy of mine is real tech-oriented.  He has the standard cell phone on one side, a little computer with Internet access called a Blackberry on the other.  He also carries around a laptop computer with a built-in wireless connection to the Internet in a little backpack.  He uses them all, all the time.  He’s never out of touch.

I’d hate to see him get caught up in a rainstorm.  The whole shooting match would probably short circuit and he would go up in an electrical ball of flames.

We had a couple of hours of downtime while coming home waiting for our plane to show up. He was killing time using his laptop to get on to the Internet.

“What are you doing?”  I asked.

“Would you quit looking over my shoulder”?

“Why?  What’re you doing?”

“Well, if you must know, I’m checking my Internet dating service to see how many women I’ve been matched up with.”

“Have you run all the single women off in your neighborhood already?”

He didn’t answer.

I think he’s a little deaf, as he frequently doesn’t seem to hear me.  I always have to repeat myself louder to him.

“I said, have you . . .”

“I heard you the first time!  For your information, this is the quick, easy way to dating.  You fill out a detailed resume and they match you up with someone you might be compatible with.  You e-mail back and forth and if both agree then you can meet for a date.”

I looked down on the screen.  He had about 40 e-mails from around his home from all sorts of women.  What some women won’t do for money, and he has a pile of it.

“How do you know these women are who they say they are?  The last time I checked those keyboards will say whatever nimble fingers type.  How do you know, say Vickie there, isn’t some guy named Clyde in the federal penitentiary just waiting to rip you off somehow?”

He ignored my astute observation and said, “They include pictures as well.”

“How do you know they didn’t come with the picture frame they bought at the Dollar Store?”

“Forget I said anything.”

“No, I’m curious now.  What do you say in your e-mails?”

“They have a bunch of preset questions you can choose from.  You just pick some and send them to each other.”

He showed me several of the women who wrote him.  All of these women were professional types drawing big salaries with movie star looks.  Yeah, sure, I believe that.  Looked like trouble to me.

He asked me to watch his computer while he trotted off to the restroom and to get something to eat.  

He had one good looking, high-priced lady lawyer’s questions up on the screen.  I thought I’d save him some time and answer them for him while he was gone.  Tell me if I did a good job.  

Question:  Do you like to exercise?

Answer:  I walk everywhere nowadays.  Especially since my car was repossessed.

Question:  Do you like to get out a lot or are you a homebody?

Answer:  I sit at home, collect lint, and only come out on triple coupon day.  

Question:  Do you own your own home?

Answer:  I will when mama dies.

Question:  What’s your favorite recreational activity?

Answer:  Walking around parking lots looking for loose nickels after I deliver all my newspapers in the morning.

Question:  Would you consider yourself to be secure financially?

Answer:  Only if you answer this e-mail.

I quickly sent off the e-mail and then kicked the plug out of the wall as he rounded the corner. I faked stupidity, rather easy for me, when I was questioned on how his computer was disconnected.  He didn’t have a chance to reconnect before our planes arrived.

Hey, I’m doing my best to keep him out of trouble!  What are friends for?  Though I’m sure Clyde, I mean Vickie, will be disappointed.

Writer’s note:  Vickie and Major Tom got married.  She said she knew he was the one because of his great “sense of humor” when he replied to her e-mail.  They live in her mansion, and when she isn’t modeling she has her other job as an international lawyer.  It’s a good thing I told him how great that Internet dating is.