A lot of atrocities have been committed in the name of love. There have been stalkings, scams, and things to vile for me to mention here. Sadly, though, there are no super-heroes dedicated to battling these crimes of the heart. Why aren’t there more heroes out there, protecting the sanctity of this, the holiest of all emotions? You don’t see Batman beating up the jerk who broke you heart. Spider-Man doesn’t go after that good looking person who won’t return your phone calls. The only I can think of is Sailor Moon, who vanquishes villains in the name of love and justice. Where, then, are the Sailor Moons when people like me are stung?
About a week ago, I got this e-mail. “Someone has a huge crush on you. Go to HugeCrush.com to find out who!” Intrigued, I went to HugeCrush.com. This is how it all works. Someone left their e-mail at this site, and you have to randomly type in people’s e-mail addresses until you hit upon the sender’s. This person allegedly has a crush on you. If you need a hint, you click on “hint,” and it’ll give you one. If you’re just absolutely stuck, you can buy a key, and then be flat-out told who it is. After I got through to the site and read these instructions, it was time to start guessing.
I clicked for my first clue. “Try a hotmail account.” So, I entered every hotmail account I know. Nothing. I go for another clue. “Try a Yahoo mail account.” I don’t know any Yahoo mail accounts. “Perhaps it’s someone you work with.” If it’s one of those idiot teenagers I work with, I’m giving my two weeks notice. Last thing I need is for them to start harassing me at home. But wait. Everyone at work still treats computers like some strange, foreign toy. How could they know my e-mail? I go for another clue. “Maybe it’s someone who shares public transportation with you.” Wait a minute. I live in a small farming town. I don’t use public transportation. These clues have nothing to do with the person who’s identity is unknown! They’re being randomly generated!
Out of desperation, I try every female e-mail address I know. Nothing. Still desperate, I try every e-mail address I know, regardless of gender. Still nothing. What the hell is going on? Is this just some complete stranger who glimpsed me in the store and decided to hunt me down? This mystery is really starting to bug me. It’s time to seek the easy answers. It’s time buy one of those keys. I follow the step-by-step instructions. $5 U.S. I can live with that. I enter my credit card number and hit “purchase.” My credit card was rejected. WHAT?? But it’s good! I haven’t used it in months! My credit is good! I’LL NEVER KNOW WHO IT IS! I NEED TO KNOW! I NEED TO KNOW!
I was completely stumped. I had run out of e-mail addresses to randomly try. I had no opportunity to purchase a key. There was a third option. In the e-mail I got informing me of this crush, there was the option to say, “No thanks, I don’t want to be a part of this.” I could do that, but then, I’d never find out who this is. And, as previously mentioned, I NEED TO KNOW!
Time was running out, as I needed to go to work. As in all matters like this, I unloaded my frustration and grief on Chuck, thanks to ICQ. I headed off to work, and spent a hellish eight hours in the hell that is the store. (See the column Sunday Sucks for the elaboration.) I returned, and found some words of wisdom from Chuck. It was his usual sympathetic words. “Wow. That’s tough. Hey! It’d make a great column.” Then, there was a second ICQ message from him. “OK,” it read. “I just did some playing around with HugeCrush.com. Go to my site [kenten.com] (oh man, I just revealed Chuck’s true identity!) for an emergency column I wrote about it.”
I headed over to Chuck’s site to read his complete report. It seems that he too was the recipient of a huge crush. Like me, he began randomly typing in e-mail addresses to try and reveal who it was. Then, Chuck had a brainstorm. On a whim, he typed in my e-mail address. It turns out it was me. Chuck, being more logical than me, began analyzing the set up. Why were you always required to enter two e-mail addresses when you made a guess? Why did he get a huge crush when I randomly guessed him? Chuck began doing the addition. I get a huge crush. I type in e-mail addresses trying to figure out who it is. He gets a huge crush. It turns out to be me, who typed in his e-mail address. Then, chances are, someone out there got a huge crush from Chuck, and it’ll be one of the e-mail addresses he guessed. It’s a never ending chain of e-mail addresses. It’s a scam! It’s designed to collect e-mail addresses, probably for spam lists! And, with the whole key business, they make money too! Chuck, having seen Fight Club one two many times, then spent the rest of his column outlining an intricate revenge plan to use this to take down big corporations.
When I learned of Chuck’s findings, I was appalled. Having a person who has had a crush or two in his time, I know of the agony of trying to reach out to that object of your affection. And here, some greedy little .com was using that to their advantage. Here it is, the most fragile and misunderstood manifestation of love, and it was being used to manipulate people into forking over their hard-earned cash. How dare they! Here I was, obsessing over who this possible secret love might be, but now I know that it was probably someone I know, who got stuck with a “huge crush,” and randomly entered my name.
Stop and think about the average person who has a huge crush. It’s an adolescent. The hormones are just kicking in. They think they’ve fallen in love with someone. They don’t know how to express those feelings. Here we have the weak and defenseless person-child, stumbling upon what they think is a forum to let their feelings know. They use it, and what happens? Some slimy underworld creature gets just that much richer. It’s sick.
Where are our brave and bold knights? Those who use their swords to defend those who can’t defend themselves. This is an occasion for a knight if I ever heard one. Love, the most pure and noble of emotions, being used to fleece people for money. This world needs more Sailor Moons. In today’s society of greed being good and one night stands, someone has to stand up and defend good old fashioned love. But how do you battle something like this? How people express their emotions is something that’s very difficult to legislate. People will still do it even though there is a law against it. Laws and justice are two very different things. The police can’t do much against a person or corporation that breaks hearts. We need our knights. We need our Sailor Moons. But in a world of greed being good and one night stands, does love even exist anymore? There’s no point in having Sailor Moon if she has nothing to fight for.
[And to those who got a huge crush from me, my sincere apologies.]