Hey, ladies, Ol’ Catfish is back!

I’m kind of funny looking. I see it most in photographs. “Wow,” I’ll say. “My head is huge.” On good days, I like to describe my body as “streamlined.” Wrists like chopsticks with veins like The Hulk. My son will never forgive me for his nose.

I’m convinced the only reason women agreed to go out with me – a short list that came to a halt some 29 years ago – is because of consistently good lighting.

I don’t say this to fish for compliments, though of course those are welcome. (No, please, stop, I’m blushing.) I say it to point out that I am not most people’s idea of conventionally good looking, unless it’s a convention of moley ectomorphs. And I’m okay with this. Imagine how insufferable I would be if I were both an amazingly gifted writer and devastatingly good looking! Very insufferable indeed. Even more insufferable.

So I was surprised to get an email last week from someone named Loisida or maybe Gina or maybe Lo Isida. Lois? It was a bit vague, a bit spammy. The subject read “Writing… and Catfish.”

“Dear Mr. Murray, Congrats and good luck with your novel,” she began, so already I knew it wasn’t some phishing ploy but someone who recognized that I was an amazingly gifted writer. Please, go on, Loisida/Gina, I said to myself insufferably.

“I had never heard of you, and what brought me to you was a Google image search. Someone who wrote to me on OKCupid. I thought they were cute. But, something was a miss.”

Well, it’s hard to tell these days who is a miss and who is a mister. Oh wait…

“The picture lead [sic] to you, and judging by the others it is indeed yours. I do not believe it is YOU that I was corresponding with on OKCupid.”

No, it wasn’t. I swear it wasn’t. I’m happy in my list-ending life as a married man and would never dream of… Wait a minute, did she just say “cute”?

“The picture comes up over and over again from below post, Yelp, etc, hell even a FB page.”

And then she linked to one of my posts from 2012, entitled “Summer beards make me feel fine.” Yes, I clicked on the link from a stranger, but only because I knew instinctively I could trust Lola/Isi due to her familiar tone and her clear understanding that I was an amazingly talented writer and also cute. My computer did not freeze or threaten to sue me. Instead, it led to this picture:

Whisker words of wisdom: "Let it beard."

Whisker words of wisdom: “Let it beard.”

“Maybe interesting to you,” wrote Loisida/Lo/Lois before offering me her best wishes and not a single promise of inheritance from long-lost cousins.

Two things strike me as odd. First that someone has taken my image to lure people into a relationship – known as “catfishing,” which makes sense: I have whiskers, catfish have whiskers. And, second, that it apparently worked.

First, why would someone create a fake online identity with an image that didn’t so much say “Hey, ladies…” as “Hey, you kids, stop peeing on my azaleas!”

If I were online dating, I would want my fake image to be sweet, rugged, smiling. Young. Less homicidal.

But, no, someone stumbled upon my picture and said to himself, “This. This is what I’ve been looking for. Poorly groomed, an old T-shirt, a stay-away scowl. And wrinkles that will help popularize the phrase ‘face fracking.’”

Do women like this look? I know my mom doesn’t. She hated that photo.

But apparently some women must. Remember that time Iolanthe/Gwynn said I was cute? Remember that? I have the email if you don’t believe me.

This gives me hope. It gives me hope the way coming home to learn that my son had concocted a refreshing beverage of water, lemon juice, pureed ginger and maple syrup gave me hope. It makes me feel the future is bright, especially for men with outsized honkers.

But I was still curious about who was using my image and why. I wanted to track him (or a miss) down. I wrote to Lasagna:

“So apparently there’s a market for grumpy, scraggly, middle-aged singles? Thanks for letting me know about this. I assure you this other person is not me. I’d be curious, though, to know what identity he’s working under.”

She hasn’t written back. Story of my life: she thought I was cute until I opened my mouth. So much for amazingly gifted writer. And good lighting.

Maybe if I’d offered my credit card number…


As of 8:00 a.m. EST, only 5 hours to go until the close of my Kickstarter campaign for A Hole in the Ground. It’s the only way to get your advance copy before the September launch.


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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70 Responses to Hey, ladies, Ol’ Catfish is back!

  1. Paul says:

    Apparently you live in Essex, UK. http://www.pof.com/viewprofile.aspx?profile_id=115706201 Your Bluenose visage is obviously seen as exquisitely attractive in that culture. If you are using Microsoft and right click on any image – about 2/3 down the list of options is one called “Search Google”. Left click on that and a new google page will appear with the image at the top and under it ‘all sizes”. Left click on the “all sizes” and rows of the same picture will appear in all different pixel counts. Left click on any one of them and you’ll get the option of “web site” or “picture”. Left click on “web site” and the site using your picture will pop up. Very useful tool for tracking.

  2. “This give me hope.”

    Do it? Do it give you many hope? Good, because you’re gonna need it when you learn your son is throwing back “detox” smoothies that celebrities use to fast themselves into negative jeans sizes. Pretty sure your genes guarantee his jeans are perpetually loose.

  3. Elyse says:

    I don’t think you look homocidal in that picture at all. Of course your wife May when she realizes you’re emailing a stranger who thinks you’re cute.

  4. Karen says:

    In addition to your escapades as an internet Casanova while living in Essex, England, you also write for the Apex Tribune. How long did you think you were going to keep that a secret from us, Ros– I mean, Daniel?????? Imposter!

    How absolutely bizarre. Do you think this OKCupid guy has left a string of broken hearts around the internet? I’m thinking this story ends with a Greyhound bus full of disappointed women showing up at your door demanding an explanation.

  5. Ned's Blog says:

    Maybe Miss Lentil was attracted to your gritty “hire-me-to-kill-your-husband” look? There’s no rule saying Cupid’s arrow can’t be from a cross bow…

  6. No worries – you’re adorbs – and if you want to talk honkers, come see the Barra side of my family. I daily thank the gods that I got the Bova nose..but that’s an aside.

    Some women LOVE skinny guys…you know the Iggy Pop/David Bowie/Smack Addict type… it’s a thing and it’s real… trust me… and since you’ve read some of my stuff – you know it to be true!

    Miss Lasagna was just so saddened by the fact that you were not that guy that she can no longer articulate, with her fingers, the utter DEVASTATION she’s experiencing.

  7. List of X says:

    And that’s the story you gave your wife to explain why there is your photo on Ok Cupid. 🙂

  8. Here’s a book idea for an aspiring writer: guy sees his pic used by OK Cupid, finds out where the person lives, travels there and finds himself. Where you hide the body is up to you.

  9. Heather Bournival says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

  10. P.S. Happy Canada Day.

    Funny that our two national celebrations come at nearly the same time even though we are so different. We kicked the Brits out, you invited them in for tea and cookies. We broke away, you united. We used guns (surprise!), you used pens. Some would call Canada the more civilized country for this but….

    Whitney, for the win.

    • Paul says:

      Thank you … and in return I’ve never known an American who failed to bring a nuclear weapon to a gun fight. Which, sadly has saved all of our asses on more than one occasion and is much appreciated. I just ask if you would please refrain from bringing nuclear weapons to afternoon tea. Thank you.

      • The closest I’ve come to wielding that kind of power at a tea party is tipping some brandy into the Earl Grey. I’m a pacifist. Unless there’s only one bag of Ghirardelli chocolate chips left on the shelf in the baking aisle during a fudge emergency. Then we’ll see who survives.

        I’m sure this will fall on deaf ears (because media juggernaut) but a significant portion of the United States of America has always been flat-out flabbergasted at the behavior of our government. And the current state of our political theater…uh…(trails off and wanders away in search of liquor).

        • Paul says:

          Oh I believe you. In fact I worked in the US for about 6 years. My experience is that most Americans are very proud of their country (rightfully so – even considering a few missteps) but many many fewer are enamored of their politicians.

        • rossmurray1 says:

          You know what unites us all? Long weekends!

          • Long is right. Every year, from the time the white tents selling cheap fireworks go up in hardware store and Best Buy parking lots until July 5, the White Trash Olympics arrives in my neighborhood with all the pomp and fanfare of a wet beer belch and the little shits in the baseball field across the street work hard to defend their title.

            And every year, I fantasize about a soundproof underground bunker.

  11. Letizia says:

    I wonder if your photo is on other dating sites as well – perhaps your “other” self is “dating” many women throughout the world. Luring other Ms. Lasagnas with your blue-eyed scowl….

  12. pinklightsabre says:

    Weird, but I was on someone else’s blog this morning and saw your thumbnail in the follow collage of thumbnails, and it was that same image you put in this post here, from 2012. I just coughed and it made something in my den here hum.

    • pinklightsabre says:

      I did that to kind of mess with you, and make you look. But also because I messed up myself: it wasn’t a Follow collage of sites, but a widget “Posts I like.” Jon’s, from South of the Strait. It shows your image because it’s in your post, but it looks like a thumbnail moniker. Sounds like a hum.

  13. Streamlined bodies get better mileage. Don’t ask me how I know. Just take my word for it. I would describe your look as “earthy.” Make of that what you will.

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  16. Ahdad says:

    You have a beard. You suck. From a non-bearder. *insert envious expression*

  17. Pingback: I am the face of erectile dysfunction  | Drinking Tips for Teens

  18. Pingback: Beauty, science-y things & writer selfies 101 – Bloomwords

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