When I woke up Wednesday morning the first thing on my Facebook newsfeed was an invitation to Kylie Jenner meet-and-greet at Montreal poutine joint La Belle Province. The event promised a guest appearance by Blac Chyna, a Tyga DJ set, and free Kylie lip kits to the first 200 attendees.
Obviously, I clicked "Interested" and carried on getting ready for work.
By the time I was done breakfast, my inbox had been flooded with messages from worried friends inquiring about this very off-brand new interest in everyone's fourth-favourite Kardashian.
By lunch, the event had snowballed into a maelstrom of photoshopped Kylie pictures and fake celebrity tweets along with a tirade of comments about whether or not this was really happening.
Amused at the stir this was creating, I reached out to organizer Devin Gibbs, an Alberta-born, Quebec-based student who told me he'd spent the entire day laughing at the internet monster he'd created.
Gibbs explained he'd been inspired by a friend's fake event which featured Enya performing at an Ohio Petsmart.
"Honestly, I'm fascinated by Kylie Jenner and have no idea why," he said. "I was thinking of when she came to [Montreal outdoor dance club] Beach Club last year for her eighteenth birthday and just how random that was."
At first, Gibbs says he didn't even invite anyone. "I tried to invite my whole friend list, and Facebook blocked me, so I shared it, and other people started inviting friends."
In true Kardashian-Jenner internet-breaking fashion, the page spread like wildfire and now has thousands of attendees, much to the amusement of its creator.
"I think [it's because] the idea of Kylie Jenner at a decrepit Belle Pro' is amazing in and of itself," Gibbs says. "People only set foot in that place when they're wasted."
Gibbs says people have become incredibly committed to trolling the event, but between cleverly photoshopped Kylie Snapchats and fake event posters are earnest posts from Kylie fans hoping to meet with the reality star.
An afterparty, held at Montreal fast-food landmark Orange Julep, was also created, though Gibbs isn't sure who's behind it. "We know nothing about that. We're not affiliated with that afterparty, and I don't know where they got 'official' from."
As for La Belle Province, Gibbs says the company hasn't reached out, though one confused staff member did chime in. "I had a girl comment that she works at the location and that she could confirm it wasn't happening, but that's pretty much all I've heard from them.
At press time, nearly 5,000 people had expressed interest in the event. A far cry from the teenager's 60+ million Instagram subscribers, but still a heck of a lot of people for an imaginary autograph session at a greasy restaurant.
The fact that some of these potential attendees believed or wished this event to be real is a testament to the Kardashian-Jenner's uncanny ability to turn even the most banal of events (real or imaginary) into a high-profit, high-visibility affair, for reasons that continue to baffle so so many of us.
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