Go on any date and there's a high chance you're coming back with a story about how weird the other person was. For whatever reason, that likelihood increases tenfold when it's a Tinder date.
My last Tinder date, at a zoo, was with a guy who kept shushing children because, like all children, they were talking too loudly and he feared this would "disturb the animals". Still, we soldier on, don't we, because in a toss-up between "string of dates with an adult bed-wetter" and "60 more years of comprehensive loneliness", the former just about edges it.
Recently, though, I've heard about two scenarios that take the first date horror story to new extremes. Two stories that seem to have really done the rounds; the gender-neutral generation's equivalent of "Marilyn Manson had two ribs removed so he could suck himself off".
The first is via a video being circulated on Twitter, and the second I actually initially heard on a first date, which should have rung some alarm bells. While both are very entertaining, I just don’t know if I believe that they’re real and not simply urban legends. You may well have heard them yourself, but here's the gist of both:
Story One: Man and woman speak on Tinder for six months before deciding to go on a date. He picks her up for dinner but she starts to feel sick, so he takes her home. On the way home she starts feeling better and asks him if he wants to come in for tea. He agrees. When they finally get home, she starts feeling sick again so he agrees to leave and she goes to bed.
She wakes up in the middle of the night and can hear noises downstairs. She calls the police, but when they arrive they tell her, "Your door is locked, so you should be OK." She insists they knock her door down and take a look. They do, and they find the guy in her house. After initially refusing to show her what they have found, the police relent: her flat has been entirely covered in plastic, and there's a saw and a hammer on the floor.
After a drugs test, police find the woman has so many drugs running through her system that she shouldn't even be conscious. Supposedly, the guy stole her keys as he was leaving and used them to let himself back in.
Story Two: A man and a woman are at said man's house on a dinner date. The woman needs the toilet, but before she knows it she has shit herself. She tells her date, apologising profusely. He's very sympathetic and offers to fetch her some clean stuff, before telling her to give him her clothes so he can put them in the washing machine. No questions asked.
After getting changed she walks back in, to find him covering himself in her shitty clothes. He'd slipped her laxatives.
Now, yes, both stories are very good and no one dies – which is nice and makes them a little bit less suspicious. But there are also just so many reasons that these stories are definitely fake.
FIRST RED FLAGS
Story one: Going on a first date and suddenly feeling sick during dinner, and then letting someone you've never met take you home (bearing in mind you feel and may well imminently be sick), and then deciding to let them inside your house? Nope.
Story two: Any story based around "explosively shitting yourself" already sounds far too playground-rumour for me to ever fully believe.
IT'S JUST DEXTER, REALLY, ISN'T IT?
For anyone who hasn’t watched Dexter, it's a Showtime TV series from 2006 about a blood-spatter expert who also commits murder in his spare time. He has a signature method, which is always very clean and involves using lots of plastic for his "kill rooms".
Now, the idea of "kill rooms" isn't exclusive to Dexter, but the stealing of keys – as you'll know if you've watched the show – is very on brand. Someone doing Dexter copycat murders in 2018? I don't think so.
ARE THE POLICE EVEN ALLOWED TO DO THAT??
Here, they've told someone who is understandably scared, having had an intruder in their home, that they're actually fine because the doors are locked. I don't know a huge amount about police protocols, granted, but you have to assume that any decent human being in possession of a police badge and pepper spray would at least give the house a quick once-over.
Also, the refusal to let her see what has been happening in her own house? Definitely not a thing.
Maybe the only accurate part of these stories is police incompetence?
IT WOULD HAVE BEEN REPORTED SOMEWHERE
The "violently shitting during dinner at someone else's home" one would have 100 percent been reported somewhere by now. If there was an actual victim, or even any kind of evidence whatsoever, the Metro would have had their five best content aggregators track it down immediately.
THEY’RE JUST, LIKE, DEFINITELY, 100 PERCENT URBAN MYTHS, AREN'T THEY
No one knows where they came from. Small details keep changing. This girl on Twitter claimed that her friend's friend is the girl from the laxative story and that it happened in Dublin and that the guy is apparently a serial offender. And the Dexter copycat also happened in Dartmouth, apparently?
Again, sounding far too much like that playground legend about the kid who stuck two pencils into his nose, inexplicably smashed his head into a table and died from 2B-through-the-brain.
IMPORTANT Q: WHO STARTED THESE STORIES?
Whoever started these rumours should feel incredibly proud of themselves.
How do you create a lie that travels across the country and gets altered and warped and prompts people to say, apparently quite earnestly, "Yeah, this happened to my uncle's best friend's daughter last weekend"? Very admirable. Whoever you are, fantastic work.
My conclusion is that since the last show she watched in full was Dexter, both were started by my mum in a final attempt to scare me off ever meeting anyone "from the internet" ever again. If I'm wrong, they were in fact started by you, @ me and let's chat.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.