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What good were eyes to me? Nothing I could see could bring me joy.
December 11, 2006 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Fooled By Cybermum “Like millions of teenagers, Ben Atkins spends hours on social networking websites. So he was delighted when he met his perfect girl online, she shared his love of philosophy and bass guitars, and thought he was wonderful … But the lovely Cheshakitten was actually Ben’s mother, Anne, posing as a teenager to find out more about this internet phenomenon.”
posted by Tenuki (98 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Metafilter: It's your mother.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:09 PM on December 11, 2006


... gouges eyes out.
posted by basicchannel at 3:10 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ouch. oedipuspwn3d
posted by craven_morhead at 3:16 PM on December 11, 2006 [5 favorites]


Ok. That's just a bit weird.

*backs slowly away from the internet*
posted by loquacious at 3:16 PM on December 11, 2006


That's horrifying.
posted by liquorice at 3:16 PM on December 11, 2006


That's Hawt!
posted by The Power Nap at 3:18 PM on December 11, 2006


Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
posted by jkaczor at 3:19 PM on December 11, 2006


Oh my god. And how the hell did the Daily Mail come to do a story on it?! That poor, poor kid.
posted by maryh at 3:20 PM on December 11, 2006


It started with a bet. I can never resist a challenge and this one, posed by a mischievous friend, was a humdinger: could I befriend one of my own children on one of those ’social networking’ websites for teenagers without being caught out? Could I make a convincing youngster and engage my son in online conversations?

Jesus. Hate to break it to you, Ben, but your mom's a dick.

I said I would do it only if it was a bit of fun - an amusing jape rather than a sinister deceit to uncover any dark secrets.

And the sociological implications held some appeal.


A *total* dick.
posted by mediareport at 3:20 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


....oh my. Well, someone's going to be in therapy for a while.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:22 PM on December 11, 2006


Wait, did she actually use the word "jape"? Man, I totally thought Philip K. Dick made that one up.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 3:23 PM on December 11, 2006


And how the hell did the Daily Mail come to do a story on it?!

The Daily Mail story was written by his mother, just to make his shame total and public.
posted by Tenuki at 3:24 PM on December 11, 2006


Thou shalt not jape!
posted by SteelyDuran at 3:26 PM on December 11, 2006


The mother did this on purpose, on a bit, with help from one of her older sons.

The internet is no longer my friend.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:26 PM on December 11, 2006


lol pwn3d, indeed. This is much worse than realizing that your parents are the ones answering your Santa Claus letters. :)
posted by anthill at 3:27 PM on December 11, 2006


This just made me appreciate my mother (and the fact that she never did anything remotely like this) that much more. I think I'll give her a call tonight.
posted by SBMike at 3:28 PM on December 11, 2006


She's so proud of her son for being a poser, too. I still feel sorry for him, though.
posted by Hildegarde at 3:29 PM on December 11, 2006


Awkwaaard...
posted by Cyrano at 3:29 PM on December 11, 2006


Sorry, tenuki, I was stuck on the kid's bebo page and missed your main link. That she wrote the story herself is just... well, let's just say her son isn't the only one who needs therapy...
posted by maryh at 3:29 PM on December 11, 2006


"In my technologically simplistic ethic, time spent on a computer is equivalent to squandering one’s youth in a drug-soaked brothel..."
posted by ericb at 3:31 PM on December 11, 2006


Ohmy...he probably got off over thoughts of her.
posted by liquorice at 3:31 PM on December 11, 2006


liquorice -- yeah.

Hey, Wht RU wearing? Wanna have cybersex? teeheehee
posted by ericb at 3:33 PM on December 11, 2006


Let me be the second to say eeeeew.

Reminds me of the classic My Internet love is a corpse-hoarding granny.
posted by jam_pony at 3:33 PM on December 11, 2006


ew.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:34 PM on December 11, 2006


"Where are these frightful young people the media bemoans, youngsters who can barely spell their own names and are obsessed with sex? They’re all on Bebo. It’s very depressing. These are tomorrow’s voters. No wonder the country’s in a mess."

"she admits that while at university she was ‘quite happy’ with the idea of homosexuality, until someone took her through the Bible passage by passage"


It's like a cardboard Hollywood caricature of a nosey sneaky uptight bitch
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:34 PM on December 11, 2006


My sister-in-law sent her son an email inquiring as to his preference for dinner that evening. His email response:

"This is so gay. Never email me again."
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:34 PM on December 11, 2006 [4 favorites]


From the last link in the FPP -- "Christian author, broadcaster and vicar’s wife Anne Atkins..."
posted by ericb at 3:36 PM on December 11, 2006


Anne, posing as a teenager to find out more about this internet phenomenon

She should have called Mark Foley or Ted Haggard. They could have told her about hitting on teenage boys and where to procure male hustlers and meth.
posted by ericb at 3:38 PM on December 11, 2006


Oh - Anne Atkins. That explains everything. She's fricking nuts.
posted by rhymer at 3:41 PM on December 11, 2006


In in your internets, fucking up your head for years to come.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:41 PM on December 11, 2006


I love philosophy and bass guitars.

God you're so hot. Wanna fuck?

OK! But first, clean your room and then come to the dinner table because you're food is getting cold.

Ermm... mum?

Oh yeah, then I'll totally do you.

posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 3:52 PM on December 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


That last comment of mine works better when I use square brackets instead of the pointy ones. Here it is again, as God intended.

[Cheshakitten] I love philosophy and bass guitars.

[Bennyboy] God you're so hot. Wanna fuck?

[Cheshakitten] OK! But first, clean your room and then come to the dinner table because you're food is getting cold.

[Bennyboy] Ermm... mum?

[Cheshakitten] Oh yeah, then I'll totally do you.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 3:54 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Poor kid. Life in prison is going to suck too, once they find out he killed his own mother.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 4:02 PM on December 11, 2006


I guess I can't be mad at mom for making the Red Lobster employees sing me happy birthday anymore.

P.S. I look sinister wearing a foam lobster on my head.
posted by The Power Nap at 4:04 PM on December 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


Of course, if my mother was as completely retarded as this, I'd probably be in therapy already.

I mean, she managed to prove that on the internet, you can pretend to be someone else? Maybe for her next trick, she will demonstrate that it really is possible to lose money to Nigerian scammers.
posted by jacalata at 4:10 PM on December 11, 2006


We've traced the IP! Get out! She's on your WiFi network!
posted by hal9k at 4:10 PM on December 11, 2006 [5 favorites]


In case you're wondering where she's coming from, she regards notorious Holocaust-denier David Irving as a significant historian.

Unsurprisingly, she's also not down with teh gays. It's the Daily Mail, after all, not known for its liberalism.

Although where it is written in The Big Book Of Being A Rightwing God-Bothering Wingnut that it's OK to flirt with your own children anonymously, Satan only knows.
posted by imperium at 4:18 PM on December 11, 2006


What a bitch. Also:

Unfortunately, the site has real teenagers on it. And that was quite a shock. Where are these frightful young people the media bemoans, youngsters who can barely spell their own names and are obsessed with sex? They’re all on Bebo. It’s very depressing. These are tomorrow’s voters. No wonder the country’s in a mess.

Erm, strictly speaking the country's in a mess because of today's voters. You know... like you, you sociopath.
posted by brundlefly at 4:18 PM on December 11, 2006 [5 favorites]


Mom?!?!!?
posted by effugas at 4:24 PM on December 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


So, thinking of Alex’s advice on spelling, I replied: ‘I don’t think Aristotle wd agree with ur definition of tragic. where’s the pity, where’s the terror, where’s the fatal floor?’ No, Alex said, that was the wrong combination of clever and stupid, but it worked.

Heh.

Erm, strictly speaking the country's in a mess because of today's voters. You know... like you, you sociopath.

Again, heh.
posted by delmoi at 4:31 PM on December 11, 2006


Soylent green is youuuur moooom!

Oh dear.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:38 PM on December 11, 2006


The real question is whether she put out?
posted by fenriq at 4:47 PM on December 11, 2006


It reminds me of this much more creepy story in salon where a woman pretends to be an online predator in order to scare his kid off viewing porn online. And then writes about it in salon...

By the way searching salon for things like "mother teen porn" and so forth will get you some pretty strange results...
posted by delmoi at 4:48 PM on December 11, 2006


You just knew there was going to be something relevant on Bash.org...
[1][2]
posted by juv3nal at 4:50 PM on December 11, 2006


"it was an intriguing idea, a little like a scenario from a Shakespeare comedy in which a character disguises himself to try to discover his lady’s true character"

More like Hamlet in Gertrude's bedroom.

(or maybe Coriolanus...)
posted by papakwanz at 4:54 PM on December 11, 2006


I also like the fact that the kid's older brother helped mom to fool little Bennie. That is one fucked up family.
posted by papakwanz at 4:58 PM on December 11, 2006


hal9k for teh win.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:00 PM on December 11, 2006


I hope the girl I met online and have subsequently dated for a year doesn't turn out to be MY mom. Awwwwwkkkkwardddddd.
posted by haveanicesummer at 5:11 PM on December 11, 2006


Wow. That is so totally fucked up, I don't even have words for it. And I don't mean that the kid's mom posed as an internet teenager. I mean that the kid thinks Anselm is profound.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:14 PM on December 11, 2006


On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog mom.
posted by caddis at 5:15 PM on December 11, 2006


by the way, what's up with the font on that page? ouch, my eyes hurt.
posted by caddis at 5:20 PM on December 11, 2006


Man Dates Gal On Internet For Six Months -- And It Turns Out She's His Mother!
posted by niles at 5:21 PM on December 11, 2006


"she admits that while at university she was ‘quite happy’ with the idea of homosexuality, until someone took her... passage by passage."

Well, sure, that would mess anyone up.

Selective editing? Moi?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:24 PM on December 11, 2006


Creepy, but it could be worse...
posted by jack_mo at 5:31 PM on December 11, 2006


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHH

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Where are these frightful young people the media bemoans, youngsters who can barely spell their own names and are obsessed with sex? They’re all on Bebo.

YOU ARE ALSO ON BEBO

YOU ARE ON BEBO, SEDUCING YOUR GOD DAMNED SON

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH
posted by Greg Nog at 5:39 PM on December 11, 2006 [6 favorites]




I would give Ol' mom a real introduction to cyberlife with a little identity theft. Post her SS#, a couple credit card numbers, birth date, cell phone number, maiden name....that would about do it. Welcome to the cyberworld mommy.

Not sure what she was thinking, but I would be pissed/embarrassed/shocked. Unfortunately, thinking like a teenager I would believe there was something wrong with me instead. Hopefully the kid shakes it off and gets away from this dysfunction as soon as possible.
posted by fluffycreature at 5:50 PM on December 11, 2006


jack_mo - but the guy in the story didn't think it was so bad he was flirting with his mom:

"The truth is, I got to see a side of my mom I'd never seen before. I'm grateful for that."


Coincidence they are from France? Some stereotypes die hard. Or not at all. I'm laughing. Hey, at least they are adults, not like the original story.
posted by Listener at 5:54 PM on December 11, 2006


Huh. I'd always bemoaned the fact that Wisconsin is devoid of drug-soaked brothels. Little did I know...
posted by wandering steve at 6:03 PM on December 11, 2006


My theory is that given her publicly-proclaimed homophobia and her Bible thumping, she was afraid her son might be gay because he was reading too much philosophy and writes well ... sounding a little light in the loafers ... so she tried to try and figure out whether he might respond to a girl who is effectively a middle-aged woman (and his mother) ... and like any mother who is desperate to believe her son of questionable sexuality is straight, was so delighted he showed up at the pub and was 'in love' with this girl he had never seen, that she simply had to inform the world!
posted by Azaadistani at 6:10 PM on December 11, 2006


Hey, that's a good theory.
posted by SBMike at 6:15 PM on December 11, 2006


I must relate this story, as it seems most appropriate:

A few years back a friend knew this guy he was in orchestra with, who would come to his house just to use the web under whatever pretense he could come up with. He used to go on Yahoo/Lycos Dating and Chat to try and get laid. I was round too one day, chilling, watching TV with my mate. He was making the tea and took a cup up to this guy, conveniently noticing his username and the chatroom he was inhabiting at the time.

We quickly registered a new account on the living room pc, nerdlover69 I think we used as the handle, and proceeded to join said chatroom. After slowly building up a rapport, he invited us into a private chat. Of course, we accepted.

Forty five minutes later, a crowd of 4 or 5 people in muffled hysterics had built up in the living room. The chat was getting somewhat steamy, but also rather ridiculous. We had painted the picture that we were a 35-year old bored housewife from somewhere in the US (don't recall sorry), and were getting quite excited at his suggestive talk.

This was all too much too bear so we decided to try and bring it to a close, mentioning that our husband would be home at any minute and we would rather not be caught indulging in such steamy chat. He seemed a little hesitant to stop the action there, so we suggested that we swap emails. Of course this was the perfect opportunity. He told us his, and my friends address, which was only too well known to the chap upstairs, was typed back. Enter was pressed.

I have never heard "You bastards!" yelled with such feeling before, and I doubt I ever will again...
posted by 999 at 6:33 PM on December 11, 2006 [4 favorites]


Hah, that's better than mine. I always picked nonfeminine nicks because otherwise I would get hit on out of the blue, hard. It was gross. Then I was on some gay bbs for some reason -- gay and lesbian, I should say. Some guy started talking to me. What did I look like? I guess he liked more feminine guys...and he assumed... and... it was creepy. I could have stopped it earlier, but I thought there might be some polite way out.

Sometimes there is no polite way out.

Oh, and about the French? Not slamming anyone there. Could just as well say, "Any surprise the guy was European, not North American?"
posted by Listener at 6:40 PM on December 11, 2006


the horror... the horror...
posted by mwhybark at 7:14 PM on December 11, 2006


Without exception, this is the greatest story of all time.
posted by danb at 7:19 PM on December 11, 2006


Metafilter: Without exception, the greatest story of all time.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:42 PM on December 11, 2006


Move on over Serge Gainbourg...it's Lemon Incest Web 2.0. Gross.
posted by Falconetti at 7:59 PM on December 11, 2006


She didn't 'fool' her son into falling for her. She stalked him. Exchanging 10 or so messages on a social site is nothing. Show me the AIM logs! The e-mails! The text messages!

I wouldn't be so damned proud of the kid, if I were her. He agreed to meet a stranger in a pub. Seems pretty reckless to me.
posted by graventy at 8:15 PM on December 11, 2006


The Daily Mail strikes again!

I wasn't the least bit shocked when I learned it embraced fascism in the 30s.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:17 PM on December 11, 2006


aww eww ewww eww ewww eww *barf*.

Thanks internets, it's been real.
posted by ninjew at 8:43 PM on December 11, 2006


Never have I been so proud my mom hasn't been on the Internet.
posted by drezdn at 8:44 PM on December 11, 2006


Got milf?
posted by rob511 at 8:45 PM on December 11, 2006


Child abuse. Send the bitch to prison.
posted by Goofyy at 9:15 PM on December 11, 2006


From now on I'm responding to all emails from females with "This is so gay. Never email me again."

You know, in case it's my mom.
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:27 PM on December 11, 2006


Ah brundlefly, your subtle jabs of irony are the sole brightspot in this otherwise aphotic wedge of urban Americana called MeFi.
posted by subaruwrx at 9:51 PM on December 11, 2006


HA HA HA HA! This is so awesome.

The only one of our children who is a teenager is 18-year-old Ben; the others are older or younger.

I am older than I once was, and younger than I'll be. That's not unusual.
posted by hoborg at 11:39 PM on December 11, 2006


I put on my robe and wizard hat ...
posted by moonbiter at 12:26 AM on December 12, 2006


...oh EW.
posted by divabat at 12:37 AM on December 12, 2006


EEEEeeeeeeewwwwwww!!!!!!
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:43 AM on December 12, 2006


Falconetti & Listener (clearly not a reader...)
Why do you think they are french?

Did you miss the bit where she writes for the daily mail (does that sound french?)
Did you miss the bit where the family live in Oxford?

Have you just assumed that they were french from your own prejudices?
posted by dash_slot- at 12:51 AM on December 12, 2006


[Cheshakitten] I love philosophy and bass guitars.

[Bennyboy] Aight, I put on my robe and wizard hat.
posted by dreamsign at 1:18 AM on December 12, 2006


Argh, moonbiter beat me to it!
posted by dreamsign at 1:20 AM on December 12, 2006


dashslot, I was referring to this other article linked by jack_mo above.
posted by Listener at 1:23 AM on December 12, 2006


He agreed to meet a stranger in a pub.

Oh noes!
posted by ninebelow at 2:35 AM on December 12, 2006


makes sound of cat attempting to yack up a hairball
posted by unrepentanthippie at 4:37 AM on December 12, 2006


Anne Fucking Atkins!
posted by alloneword at 5:55 AM on December 12, 2006


"Christian author, broadcaster and vicar’s wife..."

Need I say more?
posted by bashos_frog at 6:30 AM on December 12, 2006


Wow, this is freaky. When encountering young asshats online sometimes I tell them "I could be your mom".

So this has strange echoes for me, though in a different sense.
posted by beth at 6:37 AM on December 12, 2006


dash-slot, you petit morveaux

Did you miss the bit where it was a joke about someone famous for incest? Instead of being a shrill ass, try not assuming the worst about someone on the scantest of evidence. I was deciding whether to reference Gainbourg or Jerry Lee Lewis and went with Gainsbourg because I like his music better, not because he was French.
posted by Falconetti at 6:55 AM on December 12, 2006


Further investigation reveals that her son is a Wykehamist. the human race is safe. No one from that school ever bred successfully with a member of our species.
posted by alloneword at 7:33 AM on December 12, 2006


so this is why online dating sucks?
posted by sonofslim at 8:24 AM on December 12, 2006


*picture of a fluffy kitten with a Photoshopped smile, standing on a keyboard* IM IN UR BEBO, CHATTING UP MY SON
posted by adipocere at 8:28 AM on December 12, 2006


I'd hit it.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:30 AM on December 12, 2006


Thanks. Now everytime I post a Mefi comment, I'll worry about having an internet fight with my mom.
posted by tehloki at 9:09 AM on December 12, 2006


But, more than that, I’d seen a wonderful side to my son and got to know him in a way I’d never have thought possible...

However, she still hasn´t discovered how he is in the sack...
posted by iamck at 11:49 AM on December 12, 2006


Listener: thanks for the clarification.

Falconetti:
Hehehe. You snotty little brat. We found no English translation for 'morveaux' in our French to English Dictionary.

However, I'd like to point out that Serge (BTW, most of us were talking about someone else entirely, so it's not surprising a bear of little brain like me mistook your reference for the Atkins family) made a record called Lemon Incest; do you therefore accuse him of committing the abominable offence of schtupping his own flesh & blood?

Also - if you take such grand offence (" a shrill ass", indeed) from my rather polite jab, I hope you don't get involved in a true Mefi mudfight.

Vraiment.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:19 PM on December 12, 2006


Nope, don't accuse him of actual incest, just using using the association to make a joke. And the song is very disturbing liek this article. The best part is, the joke wasn't remotely funny and didn't quite make sense, so it doesn't really deserve such exegesis.. You caught me at a bad time, apologies for the escalation.
posted by Falconetti at 4:19 PM on December 12, 2006


Oh, hope things are better now. No harm, no foul.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:11 PM on December 12, 2006


Hmm...judging by the *hordes* of young girls who now appear to be besieging young Ben's Bebo page with sympathetic comments, I would suggest that nasty mum has actually been stung, rather than vice versa.

It is quite possible, is it not, that young Alex warned young Ben quietly, and Ben realised that his mother would write about this or broadcast it somewhere, and therefore his 5 minutes would be assured. What better way to reach out to sympathetic girls everywhere? Win-Win.
posted by Duug at 11:12 AM on December 13, 2006


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