Two years ago, while searching for jobs on Gumtree, I spotted quite possibly the best (and strangest) advert I’ve ever come across.

Being that I’m wasn’t a bald man (I’m still not, so I don’t know why I phrased it like that), I laughed it off, resigning myself to the fact that this was one mystery I probably wasn’t going to solve.

Except I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Why the oddly specific number of bald men? Actually, scrap the number – why was this person trying to round up bald men, full stop?! And not just any bald men, but fully bald ones?!!

Eventually, after many WhatsApp conversations with friends, I concluded that this must be for some sort of student film.

Phew. What a relief. And so, I went on with my life.

We all know that’s not what happened though, don’t we?

Unable to stop the niggling itch of curiosity, I did what any person would do:

I set up a new email account and replied to the ad

That’s right. I catfished a man who was actively seeking bald men for unknown purposes.

Naturally, I told him that I, a proud bald man, would love to take part in his project, and perhaps he could tell me a bit more about what it involved?

It wasn’t long until I got a response. Excitedly I opened the email, eager to find out what this strange project was all about.

And it turns out, it was actually something pretty wonderful

But rather than carrying on telling the story now, I’m going to share the blog post I wrote when this all happened two years ago. Names and a couple of details have been changed as I never got final approval to share the story, but it’s so cool that I’m going to take a chance. If the people involved are actually somehow reading this, I’d love to hear from you!

The adventure continues…

Used cars.  Furniture.  Clothes.  These are just a few of the things you might search for on Gumtree.

I myself was browsing the job listings when I stumbled upon something that caught my attention.

The advert on Gumtree

The advert posted by Scott, a multimedia designer from Bournemouth.

Needless to say I was more than intrigued.

I sent a screenshot to my friends who were all as amused and baffled as I was.  We speculated that it might be for a student film or some sort of game.  I was too curious to let it go though, so I did what anyone would do and emailed Scott, pretending to be a bald man.  OK, so probably not what most people would do, and definitely one of the weirder things I’ve done recently, but something told me there was an interesting story behind all this and I was determined to find out what it was.

Emails were exchanged back and forth and I found out the basic gist of what the bald men were needed for.  They were to stand in various locations and hand clues out to someone.  To whom, I didn’t know.  Why?  No idea.  Clues to what?  Couldn’t tell you.  What was this all for?!

I still had so many questions!

After further digging all was finally explained, and guys, I just wasn’t prepared for how bloody lovely it would be.

It turned out Scott was enlisting the help of bald men for… a MARRIAGE PROPOSAL!  I won’t lie, I definitely did not see that coming.

Scott and his partner Kate are big fans of the J.J. Abrams show Fringe and the plan was to have the bald men dress as Observers (a character from the show) and hand Kate clues as part of a treasure hunt.

Fringe GIF

The hunt was designed to take Kate to key places in the couple’s relationship – where they first met, their first date, first home etc.- and end up at their house, where Scott would be waiting on one knee in a gift wrapped box.   I mean, seriously.

Happy tears

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge soppy romantic.  I love nothing more than a good proposal story and I’ve secretly dreamed of being a proposal planner for years.  And the fact that it was a sci-fi themed treasure hunt making it both incredibly sweet and incredibly geeky…I just couldn’t believe how amazing and TOTALLY UP MY STREET this was!

I was so overwhelmed by how fate (and masquerading as a bald man, probably best not to forget that!) had led me to this lovely man who was planning something amazing for the woman he loved, that I knew I had to get involved.  Now unfortunately there was a rather large and obvious hurdle here, being that I’m not a bald man.  Oh, and the fact that I’d essentially been catfishing this poor guy, probably in one of the most bizarre ways possible.

It was time to come clean.

I apologised for wasting his time and explained that I was simply intrigued and wanted to find out more.  I told him that I was touched by his story and would love to still be involved.  Unfortunately I would be unable to help on the bald man front, but perhaps I could come along on the day to document the whole thing for my blog and buy them both a celebratory drink afterwards.  I didn’t have high hopes being that I could see how, objectively speaking, one might think I was a bit of a weirdo.

But somehow he was undeterred by my less than normal first impression and happily agreed that I could come along and write a post about them.  Now to cut a long story short, unfortunately his original proposal plans fell through as he was unable to find enough volunteers.  By this point I was too invested to give up on their story though, so I found out what he ended up doing instead.  And guess what?  It’s still pretty damn romantic.  Seriously people, y’all need to find yourself a Scott.  #BoyfriendGoals.

Scott proposed to Kate on their four year anniversary.  He printed out 16 photos of key moments in their relationship and laid them in a trail from the front door, up the stairs and towards a table with Kate’s favourite flowers on (four sunflowers, one for every year they’d been together).   Each photo had a sentence on the back that helped to tell a story, except for the final photo which simply said ‘turn around,’ where Scott was already waiting on one knee.

Kate said yes, of course, because, come on, how could she not?! Also, this would be a pretty terrible blog post if she hadn’t!

The happy couple hope to get married exactly a year from the day they got engaged.  They are both big fans of sci-fi and action and hope to incorporate their love of Fringe into their wedding by having Observers dotted around throughout the day.

EDIT: This was their plan at the time of writing (two years ago). I hope they ended up having the wedding they dreamed of, in all its geeky, sci-fi glory.

Scott and Kate – thank you both so much for sharing your story with me (sort of). It brought me so much joy.

Oh, and I think I really need to watch Fringe

 

In case you’ve already forgotten, there was a wee bit of snow last week. On Thursday, I was sat at my desk, watching the world turn white and the traffic outside come to a complete standstill.

As we all left the office, I asked Matt how long he reckoned it would take to get home. 2 hours, he replied.

Pff, I thought – there’s no way. The traffic’s bad, but it’s not that bad.

Oh. Sweet naive Mel. How wrong you were.

17:00: Here goes. This won’t be that bad.

17:20: As I sit, still stuck in the car park, my confidence starts to waver.

17:30: Hmmm, I don’t have the most petrol. But I’ve got enough to get me home.

17:31: (I hope)

17:35: I could pull into Tesco for fuel, but at this rate it will probably add another year onto my journey.

17:40: This is getting a little bit ridiculous. In the last 40 minutes, I’ve moved about 300 metres down the road. Should I just abandon my car and walk home?

17:45: No, that would be silly. I’m sure the traffic will ease up soon.

17:55: It would appear the snow is coming down harder now. Still, I’m sure the traffic will ease up soon.

18:00: I miss my home.

18:20: Fuck, I can still see my office from here.

18:21: I no longer miss home. This car is my home now.

18:30: I’m so glad I have supplies (3 bags of Pom Bears).

18:40: I’ll just have one bag of bears. Probably should ration them out in case this is a long night.

18:41: My OCD makes me reluctant to touch the crisps, so I develop a very elegant way of pouring them into my mouth, straight out of the bag.

18:45: Bag number 2. There are now bears flying around all over the place. Perhaps my system isn’t quite as elegant as I thought.

18:55: I’ve crept forward approximately 30 feet in the last ten minutes. Despair has set in. Almost 2 hours have passed and I can still see my office in the rearview mirror.

19:00: ‘Get in my face bears!’ I cackle madly, shovelling bag number 3 into my mouth. Am slightly afraid of the hysterical edge to my voice. Cabin fever, I fear, is kicking in.

19:10: I now have no food, no water, and I’m starting to need a wee.

19:20: Shit, but for real though, what do I do if I have to wee?!

19:25: Realise I’ve spent the last 5 minutes working out how to fashion a makeshift nappy out of the half a pack of sanitary towels in my bag.

19:30: Beginning to have serious doubts about the durability of my DIY nappy.

19:32: What would Bear Grylls do?

19:45: Screw it, I’ll just wee if I have to. Seats can be cleaned, and maybe if I carefully aim the heating vents at the scene of the crime, it will dry quick enough to not become too uncomfortable. (Spoiler alert: I didn’t end up weeing myself. But I’m certain I was capable of it.)

19:55: I’ve been stuck next to a Domino’s for the last 15 minutes. Is this the universe’s way of taunting me?

20:00: I am still on the road I work on – how is this possible?!

20:05: Seriously, 3 fucking hours? To travel approximately 1 mile down the road?

20:10: Things are starting to get a bit hairy. Cars are skidding on the ice and slush, and struggling to get up the hill. Police are having the push people.

20:15: I manage, somehow, to get up the hill unaided. Feel slightly baffled that my tiny little Vauxhall Adam full of decapitated Pom Bears, fared better than the sturdier, more beefy cars in front of me. I’m also a little bit proud.

20:20: I’m now next to a pet shop. If it comes to it, I find myself wondering, which pet food would I prefer to eat?

20:25: Rabbit food would probably be the best option. It’s vegetarian and probably the least offensive in terms of taste.

20:30: Is this what it’s come to? 3 and a half hours stuck in the car and I’ve resigned myself to weeing freely and eating pet food? I’d be shocked if I wasn’t so busy feeling frustrated.

20:35: I’m also feeling slightly anxious, if I’m honest. My petrol is rapidly running down, and I’ve turned my engine off to conserve fuel. Any amusement I’ve found in the situation up until now is rapidly dissipating.

20:45: When I turn my engine back on, the ‘ice is possible’ warning sign lights up. You think you’re sooooo fucking funny, don’t you, car?

21:00: 4 hours now. Starting to seriously doubt I’ll be home before midnight.

21:05: As I realise I’m about to reach a huge hill, my stomach sinks.

21:15: Cars are really struggling to get up this hill. Shit, what happens if I genuinely can’t make it. Hopefully someone will help me, but what if they don’t? For the second time, the reality of the situation hits me and I feel panic building.

21:20: It takes a lot of sliding around (plus smacking into the kerb), but I get there, unaided. Again, I am relieved and slightly astonished.

21:21: My burning clutch smells UNHOLY. (Not a euphemism.)

21:30: With all this time stuck in the car, I learn that my theory (below), is indeed, correct. I have now heard approximately 8,000 Ed Sheeran songs.

21:45: ‘This is a really nice song,’ I think to myself. I wonder who it is.

21:47: It’s Ed Sheeran. Of course it bloody is.

22:00: This truly is one of the most ridiculous situations I’ve ever been in.

22:05: There’s literally no way anyone could come and rescue me. My only other option is to abandon ship and walk.

22:06: Ffs, it’s 2018. Why doesn’t teleportation exist?

22:07: Actually, no – I’d just settle for some sort of more effective way of dealing with snow.

22:08: No, again, scrap that. Right now I’d just settle for another bag of Pom Bears.

22:10: To think, I was actually planning to drive up to Nottingham tonight. *Laughs madly to self*

22:15: Another Ed Sheeran song.

22:20: Why did I eat all my food earlier?! I’m definitely going to need to get some kebab shop cheesy chips in my face.

22:25: What if the kebab shop is closed?! Wouldn’t that just be my luck?

22:35: *’Perfect’, by Ed Sheeran plays* – Ed, mate, come on. Now you’re just trolling me.

22:40: I’ve had to undo my trousers to relieve unnecessary pressure on my bladder.

22:50: I have arrived at the kebab shop. I can’t quite believe I’ve finally made it. My head feels fuzzy and my bottom is completely numb.

22:51: I step out of the car and two things happen simultaneously. 1) I almost slip over on some ice, and 2) I realise my trousers are still hanging open.

As I stumble, I imagine myself splayed out on the ground outside the kebab shop, legs akimbo, with my trousers round my ankles.

And really, after everything I went through to get home in one piece, that would just be fucking typical, wouldn’t it?