irma vep (olivier assayas, 1996)
by request/film fatales #81: knock down the house (rachel lears, 2019)

fool me once

I don't often get blatantly personal around here. As the motto for the blog says, I want you to read what I thought of Irma Vep and from that learn what I am like as a person. But something happened this weekend that is worth passing along, even though I'm the butt of whatever joke might exist. I'll be vague about names.

Yesterday afternoon, I get a notification on a social media site that a young musician I like has begun following me. There is absolutely no reason for this, but 1) I am gullible, 2) I am starstruck, and 3) I didn't have anything else to do. So I followed the person in return.

I get a request to take the discussion private, and I do. Over the next half-hour plus, we have a long private chat. They thanked me for my support, and asked how long I'd been a fan. Not long, I said, just a few months. They thanked me again, and asked how they could pay me back. I replied that they should just keep making music, and they said they were working on something.

I figured that was that, and told my wife I'd had a brush with fame.

But a couple of minutes later, they started the chat up again by asking how my family was doing during the pandemic. I wasn't sure why they asked, but mostly I just thought even famous people are bored during the quarantine, and this person isn't as famous as, say, Miranda Lambert. So I answered, and to be polite, I asked how they and their family were doing.

They said things were fine in their city (naming the correct city for the artist in question). And again I assume the chat is over. Until they say they are sure I have an amazing family. I mention a friend of mine who lives in that city, and they replied "Nice".

I could go on ... the chat certainly did, for another ten minutes. Finally they said we could be friends, but better to do it in private, because they couldn't spend all their time in public with their fans. OK, I said.

Then they gave me their cell number so I could text them. And yes, I am dumb enough that I gave them my number.

Sure enough, I get a text from them right away. The conversation moves to the phone, where it continued for another ten minutes or so. They asked for a photo, I sent one (yes, I am that dumb), they said I looked "handsome", and finally it was time for my wife and I to have dinner. So I said thanks for the chat ... earlier they had asked if my wife would mind that we were chatting, and as our conversation ended, they said they hoped after the pandemic we might meet, and they would like to meet my wife, if she'd want to.

I told my wife all of the above, and we laughed and tried to figure out why the person had followed me in the first place. Later, I began to tell the story in an email to a friend, and it was then that I finally got a clue. I went back to the original follow ... it wasn't from a verified account, but the artist had another account that was verified. I then looked up the cell number, and the area code was in an entirely differently place then they supposedly lived.

And friends, it was only then that I realized I'd been chatting to some anonymous person and not the musician.

I blocked them on social media and on my phone, and decided whatever, it was kinda fun. I also contacted the real artist to let them know someone was impersonating them online.

Yes, I fell for the above.