5-Minute Guide to Catfishing Someone

Step 1—Know Your Mark: Think about infomercials, pyramid schemes, or timeshare contracts—they’re all designed to prey on the slow-witted, the weak-willed, and the reluctant to read fine print. Seriously, it’s so much easier to kick people when they’re already down so find that slow, tubby fuck on a seven-month cold streak who’s nearing the point of watching/utilizing every shard of porn on the Internet. His sagging jowels and Castaway beard make him look like he’s been stranded in a Chili’s for the last three years and his penchant for binging hard on Southwestern eggrolls and Tropical Sunrise Margaritas corroborate that claim. He’s a frothing crock of despair mixed with skin problems with limited good qualities. Most importantly, he’s desperate and perfect for your scheme. He’s your white whale, and not just because he has the proportions to match.

Step 2—Craft a Believable Backstory: You need to hit that perfect mix of credibly without being verifiable. Build a fake Facebook network around your person from a random high school graduating class, friend people at whatever college you desire to send your rube to, and repost a sexy-ish former friend’s pictures as your honeypot. Send him a friend request a day or two after you know he was blacked out and simply substantiate your own story behind how he met this girl for him. Worst case scenario: he doesn’t buy it and you just have to shift your efforts of creeping on an entire high school class to another dejected kid who is desperate to have someone other than himself or his doctor touch his penis.

Step 3—Settle in for the Long Game: This isn’t like settling in for 90-minutes to have a few laughs spout out your chuckle hole at some romantic comedy filled with recycled jokes. No, this is settling in to watch the entire series of The Wire; it’s going to take time, patience, and stamina to do it, but you know payoff is going to be so much greater at the end. Feel out his desperation and cater to it. Come on too strong with “I’m aching for a caking, can you drive over?” and you’ll be no more believable than all those pop-up ads. Just keep crafting believable hangups, keep laughing at whatever bullshittery or attempts at charm he rattles off, and realize that it’s going to get weird before it gets normal. Once you feel the time is right, or you find that he’s made the shift from Internet porn to her profile pictures for his bi-hourly ritual, you’ll know you can pull the trigger and invite him to drive a few hours to visit. You’ve settled in and this catfish charter isn’t heading for port anytime soon.

Step 4—Reap or Deny: Inevitably, his visit will end with him giving up searching for a non-existent person. He may come back and spill his Global Guts about what actually happened or he may try to fabricate a fable about a weekend romp filled with eardrum-shattering multiple orgasms and non-stop, round-trip, deep-throated rides on her No-Mess Express. You’re now at a Bone-Thugz-N-Harmony-esque Crossroads. Do you shatter his already-fragile psyche into a million little pieces knowing that your antics and laughter will be identified as the root cause of his depression during a group therapy session in twenty years? Or do you just bide your time, knowing that you and your fellow orchestrators now have a secret to be bound to forever, or just until the next time your victim is being a dick and you want to humiliate him? Tough call, but, generally, if he seems capable of a murder-suicide, or he’s at all related to Scott Peterson, I’ll keep it to myself.

Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan. Look for his updates at www.justingawel.com or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.