So I made a new friend recently. But not in the real world. Because who even talks to people in the real world anymore? I made this friend on Twitter. I can usually tell if I’m going to like a person right away based solely on how much they like other people. Casper hates everyone. I don’t really know how our accounts collided but I assume it was the result of me tweeting something outrageously entertaining and amazing! Our interaction quickly went from hateful banter, to Facebook friendship, to face-to-face lunch.
Let me start by saying I rarely if ever make lunch plans with my real people, let alone cyber ones. And had I not been busy finishing a pilot and wanting to use my laptop to take my own life, I probably would have found some excuse to avoid meeting. However, Casper caught me at a desperate hour. I needed to distract myself from my own shortcomings, I needed to eat something other than Think Thin bars, and I needed to emotionally deconstruct someone that wasn’t my poodle. Judging by his fucked up profile pic (that heavily resembled my poodle), Casper was perfect!
We met for lunch one Sunday afternoon in a heavily crowded café. I made certain to notify my husband and @jennyjohnsonhi5 of my whereabouts in the event that Casper turned abducting sociopath. The minute he ordered the beet and goat cheese salad however, I loosened up, knowing I could def murder this person in a fight if I had to. Sipping iced coffees on the patio, we talked for hours. He told me about the new woman in his life, Sheila, their recent trip to Hawaii, and his impulse to expect everything to fall apart. Our love of sadistic humor and our hatred of artificial sweeteners anywhere near our caffeinated beverages bonded us instantly. I left lunch knowing I’d found a kindred spirit.
Five minutes after getting in my car to drive home, I called Casper and invited him and his girlfriend over to my house the following Sunday to have dinner with my husband and I. He agreed and we made a plan to talk details later in the week. When Thursday rolled around, I texted him to confirm and gave him our address. Five hours later, at about two in the morning, my phone beeped. I rolled over to see a cryptic text from Casper that simply said: “Listen, I haven’t been completely honest with you regarding Sheila…”
Half asleep, I managed to type: “?”
“It’s sort of a secret/surprise. But it’s something we should definitely discuss this over the phone before Sunday,” he wrote.
Of course the first thing I thought was that Sheila was Casper. Maybe he didn’t have a girlfriend at all. I reminded myself that I didn’t know this guy, and it was entirely possible that I had a fucking Norman Bates on my hands. Before I could respond, a third text appeared.
“Can you talk now?” he asked.
Can I talk now? At two in the fucking morning? About the fact that Sheila is you in a wig? Umm… lemme think, probs not! I thought to myself. Does this guy really think I’m gonna get bated into picking up the phone to hear about his drama in the middle of the night while my husband is fast asleep looking like a peaceful little Russian doll beside me?
“Hello?” Casper answered before the first ring.
“Hi” I said, curious.
“Soo… here’s the deal. Keep in mind this is my life so I need you to promise you can keep a secret,” he said.
Keep a secret? I thought. Wow, this guy really is a new friend.
“Sure, totally,” I lied.
“Okay, so Sheila isn’t really Sheila–” he started.
“She’s you!” I finished.
“No! She’s someone you know. She has a different name. I lied because, well, nobody knows we’re dating and gossip travels fast in the Twitter world,” he continued.
Wait, this guy thinks I give a fuck about who is dating who in the Twitter world? I thought. “At what point did I give you the impression I cared about anyone other than myself?” I asked, only half joking.
“I just wanted to tell you before we showed up at your house. I’m dating @lalacita28, ” he said.
I knew who @lalacita28 was. She was a perky brunette actress named Lola who was half Casper’s age and at least four times as cute. She was a ‘get’ by any man’s standards and I was quite proud of Casper for pulling such a hot P.O.A. The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way was his initial instinct to lie about it.
Before hanging up, I assured him that his secret was safe with me and that I’d never write an essay about our exchange for The Smoking Jacket.
That Sunday, he and Lola came over for dinner. We all got wasted and ended up reenacting scenes from the movie Anything Else. After they left, Jason and I talked about how much fun we had, how adorable they were, and how weird it was that they didn’t smoke pot. (Casper looks more like a pot dealer than my actual pot dealer.) We both agreed that they were people we could see again and just like that, my Twitter friend became a bona fide, real life friend.
With time, the fact that our initial interaction was based on lies became a thing of the past. And by thing of the past I mean I never shut up about it. I knew secretly I’d eventually I’d have to get payback. I just needed to wait for the right time to strike.
That time came, last night in the form of a wine-ridden text.
Casper and I have a mutual Twitter friend named @louispeitzman. He is hilarious and amazing and if you are looking for someone fun and self-deprecating to follow, add him ASAP! I’ve hung out with Louis in person on several occasions, but Casper never has. Like most people you share the most intimate details of your life with online, they’ve never actually met.
Therein was the absolute genius of this situation.
Apparently Casper saw a photoshopped pic of Louis online. His avatar at the moment is the poster from American Beauty with Louis’ head subbed in for Mena Suvari’s. If you don’t look closely at the image, you might think Louis was an achondroplastic dwarf. And this is what Caspar thought.
“Wait, this guy thinks I give a fuck about who is dating who in the Twitter world?”
Less than twelve hours ago I received another random late-night text from an obviously drunk Casper: “Wait, I just looked closely at Peitzman’s avatar. Is he a dwarf?” he wrote.
“You didn’t know that?” I responded, knowing the first rule of improv is ALWAYS to agree.
“What? Really?” he wrote.
At this point I knew I had him. So I came back even harder… “I thought you knew that! I must have mentioned it when his name came up for sure!” I wrote with tears of laughter in my eyes.
“I thought you were kidding,” he said.
Which is extra hilarious because in reality I NEVER talked about Louis’ body at all. I officially loved drunken people.
“Is he Andy Milonakis?” he asked.
“Smaller,” I wrote.
At this point I knew was time to take things to the next level by involving my better half… @jennyjohnsonhi5. I texted Jenny and asked her to tweet something to Casper about being weary of people’s bodies online. This is what she wrote: “Hey Casper, if a person’s profile pic is just their head, it means there’s not much body to show off.”
Almost instantly, as if he knew we were talking about him, Louis the not-dwarf responded with a simple tweet that read: “@jennyjohnsonhi5, do you like my body?”
It was as if the entire universe wanted Casper to be duped. Within seconds, I got a panicked text from Casper. “He knows we are talking about him!!!!”
Casper was completely losing his shit while Jenny Johnson and I were laughing our faces off over the coincidence.
“Did I ever tell you that he wears a dog collar?” I asked innocently.
“I’m going to faint, seriously I really feel terrible. Now he’s going to think this is why I’ve never met him in person,” Casper rambled.
Unable to control myself, I sent Louis one last tweet, which read: “Louis you are the perfect size to fit in my pocket. LOVE your body. Don’t ever changeJ” cc: @Casper - @jennyandteets
Before I could hit refresh, Casper was calling. Knowing my work was done for the night, I shut off my phone and drifted happily to sleep.
I still haven’t told Casper the truth about Louis. Or the moral of this story, which is not to fuck with someone crazier than you. But I’m hoping him reading this article will establish both truths effortlessly. Sorry Casper!
Is now a good time to tell you I can’t keep a secret?
Jenny Mollen Biggs is an actress and writer living in Los Angeles with two poodle angel muffins and an asshole miniature pinscher. She also has a husband. Keep up with her at IMDB or on Twitter @jennyandteets.