Lying on your profile like a newt

Tell the truth?


It doesn’t pay to get risky with romance and the truth


Newt: Any of several small often brightly colored salamanders, living chiefly on honorariums and book sales but during the breeding season –attracted to lively debates- truth not included.

Newt, a self-proclaimed historian and educator, found himself suddenly single after years of rocky marriages and dead-end flings. A man who could talk for days about Weierstrass factorization theorem and Pythagorean theorem, found he now failed miserably when it came to honest conversations with women.

Urged by a cadre of male friends, Newt decided to enter into the world of online dating and to start having fun again. As a youth, he was the epitome of a nerd; he had been mildly popular in high school. He met and married Wendy in college, divorced, married twice more and now, years later, he was “free at last.”  He had a slight problem with both managing money and his memory, but decided to be bullish and forge ahead.

Daunted by the EHarmony Herculean task of completing dozens of pages of questions, Newt went straight to, signed up and paid his dues. Then he called his best friend, Freddie M, the clever copywriter from the ad agency downtown. The two friends met over a couple pitchers of martinis and proceeded to create a highly embellished profile.

Dressing up the Naked Truth

At the end of the fiction writing expedition, Newt sounded like a cross between Brad Pitt and Warren Buffet and Jimmy Buffet; he had it all: looks, money and margaritas. With the magic of Photoshop, the plump and graying guy was superimposed into  pictures at the Taj Mahal, standing next to a Porsche and standing in front of a Rolls Royce at the Casino in Monte Carlo.

Sports were Newt’s bete noire.

He spent free time doing book reviews  and he was glued to his Blackberry. Not a problem: Freddie M, the wizard with words, knew all the chick-magnet verbs and magically Newt had an interest in cooking, hiking, biking, skiing, and camping. The sweater vest had to go.

Within no time, the two created their own manly-man version of Eliza Doolittle. Newt went from a thrice married, nerdy engineer-type to savvy bachelor. Throwing caution to the wind, they hit the ‘send’ button and ‘Brad the bon vivant’ was born. He was younger, taller, thinner, wealthier and up and running.

Caught between the Truth and a Hard Place?

The two men decided, if they were caught,  any ‘little white lies” were because they did not have access to records and notes that would help their recollection, thereby providing an out in case of any misstatements.

Clever boys? No. Newt was good at this… he said he ‘disclaimed responsibility’ for much of the fiction in his profile.

Parable: Lying is bad form; remember the truth will set you free – and lying on an online profile means risky business.

The two men had no idea of the firestorm of attention they were about to create.


The Colbert Report with Maurice Sendak – All about Newt a

“Do Not Miss Interview”–1


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