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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Monster Fun

A while back, I got paid to write a prank article that involved writing fake profiles for famous serial killers.

(The guy who paid me is currently going three weeks without food.

Penance? Unlikely. This is also the only guy I know who’s taken both Viagra and breast enlargement pills. Though not at the same time. I think. That would be… confusing.)

Anyway, it wasn’t my proudest writing moment, for several reasons. Pranks really aren’t my wheelhouse. Neither are dating site profiles, as I’d never filled one out before.

(As an old, and someone who met my wife in college, I haven’t dated since the days guys were flapping “Hey, baby” at girls across the bay with semaphore flags.)

Also, though I used younger pictures of the five “monsters”, I didn’t get many responses. Somebody recognized one and sent an indignant email — which was fair. Otherwise, bupkis. That was disappointing — and surprising. Charlie Manson in particular was supposed to be positively magnetic. Maybe he’s just never photographed well. Or “70s hot” is “21st century swipe left”.

Anyway, I made up a couple of responses, I think, finished the piece, and moved on. And hoped people would mostly ignore it. Which mostly, they did. And I quickly forgot about it.

Until last year, when I started getting emails from a Knoxville-area grassroots Democrat volunteer group. Which seems unrelated to lovelorn serial killer pranks. Or maybe doesn’t, I guess, depending on your political leanings.

“Some Tennessee booster borked their email address on some signup sheet, and suddenly I had my finger on the pulse of the hotbed that is Tennessee political stumping, apparently.”

The connection was a Gmail address I created for the prank piece. (legaleagle83, I think it was. One monster was a lawyer, go figure.) I’d set all of the prank emails to forward to my regular account. Some Tennessee booster borked their email address on some signup sheet, and suddenly I had my finger on the pulse of the hotbed that is Tennessee political stumping, apparently.

Mostly, it was barbecues. And passing out flyers. Possibly the odd cotillion. I didn’t read that closely, and eventually, somebody figured out the error and the emails stopped coming.

A few months later, I bought a fancy plus-sized bra online.

Only I didn’t. Some other person did. Some person in Minnesota, with an address apparently similar to one I’d created (no1shackfan, or something similar I figured Ted Kaczynski would use) for the article. So far as I know, the large lingerie got delivered, albeit to someone probably puzzled about why they never received a confirmation, a receipt or the next three editions of the online catalog.

(Yes, three. I was curious. Shaddup.)

This week, the Monster Love story has finally come full circle.

(Well, hopefully not full circle, on the “monster” side. But at least we’re covering the “love”.)

On Wednesday night, I got an email congratulating me for signing up for (Thanks!) Then one that my profile had been created (Woo hoo!), and another confirming my new picture upload. (Vogue!) Naturally, I clicked over to check out my particulars.

It appears there’s a lonely guy somewhere in Illinois, with a Gmail address similar-but-not-identical to musicman53, which I created for lovesick Manson. I learned this guy is in his 50s, and asked to match with women ages 25-35. As one does.

In the past few days, I’ve gotten emails with his matches (aged 40-60, as one should expect), helpful tips on improving his profile, and this morning, a link to reset his password.

Which I totally could have clicked on, set a new password and taken over the entire production. But I didn’t. It’s much more entertaining being an inadvertent — and (mostly) innocent — observer. I enjoy these little accidental slices of other peoples’ lives. And I’m not interested in screwing them up.

Seriously. I’m not some kind of Monster.

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