The Tale of the Made-Up Boyfriend or Girlfriend is one as old as time itself—or at least as old as The Brady Bunch—but I guarantee you've never heard it told like this.
Where to even start? How about here, at Xiaxue's blog. Xiaxue is Wendy Cheng (pictured, center), a Singapore native just going about her life—modifying her appearance to look more like a Hilton, getting a little plastic surgery whenever she can secure sponsorship, documenting it all obsessively online. You know, the usual.
So along comes "American douchebag" Peter Coffin—an aspiring comedian who quit his job to become famous on his own YouTube channel. (He explains it all here.) Yup, just another attention whore with a dream. The trouble begins, however, when Coffin starts to cyberbully Xiaxue over Twitter. She eventually blocks him, but then receives similar taunts from someone claiming to be Peter's beautiful Japanese girlfriend, Kimi Kobayashi (pictured, right). When the girlfriend's Twitter feed mysteriously disappears, Xiaxue goes all Nancy Drew on Peter's ass.
It doesn't take long before Xiaxue uncovers a fake girlfriend house of cards of staggering proportions. By the end of the post—and she does a pretty good job of laying it all out for you—you'll have encountered multiple false identities, scattered across continents and social networking sites. You'll have read flirtatious conversations between Peter and his fictional sweetheart. You'll have browsed his fake girlfriend's fake photographs, including one of her elementary school class (all of whom she hopes are okay after the earthquake). And you'll also read some disgustingly racist remarks—an example is on the right—made all the worse because they've been put in the mouth of the actual Korean woman whose identity was hijacked for Coffin's own fake-getting-laid purposes. Xiaxue ends the post by inviting the world to visit Coffin's Twitter page and tell him how they feel.
The post instantly went viral, and Coffin, realizing his epic charade was over, took to Reddit to defend himself. Calling it a "smear campaign," he says that he too was duped by a mysterious internet impostor claiming to be his girlfriend, whom he has never met. Right. Meanwhile, a triumphant Xiaxue has been updating her own blog, where she's posted a cease and desist from Coffin's "lawyer," which, she points out, comes from the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org." This guy's got more make-believe friends than Mr. Rogers.
And there you have it. Two internet celebrities are born... which was kind of both of their goals in the first place. So who's really the fool in all this? Could there be yet another hand hovering over the proceedings, playing us all like pawns on some giant, pink-glitter chessboard? If that's the case, then I hope to never meet the person to whom that hand belongs. As it stands now, I'll just be happy if I never meet Peter Coffin.