Join 3,417 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Saved By The Blog
June 3, 2009 8:00 AM   Subscribe

The Girl Who Cried Webmaster: "I’m annoyed and exhausted, I have a considerable load of work to take care of, and after you’ve read what appears below, you’ll probably agree that I’ve earned it."
posted by grumblebee (84 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
That story is 6 years old.
posted by chunking express at 8:02 AM on June 3, 2009


I am so confused. The entry just launches into an expose of a person I've never heard of. What is the context behind this?
posted by neustile at 8:03 AM on June 3, 2009


Well the dude is from Toronto and plays the accordion. He's like Internet famous here.
posted by chunking express at 8:08 AM on June 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


What is the context behind this?

"At least a couple of readers of this blog guessed that something was wrong when the Ten Cool Things About the New Girl blog entry that I wrote last week vanished. They were right, but they probably had no idea how wrong things went. I’m going to tell the story..."

Easy to miss, it was right under the title of the piece.

That story is 6 years old.

So? Interesting tale, thanks grumblebee!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:09 AM on June 3, 2009


It's the Canadian version of the Hipster Grifter.
posted by brain_drain at 8:10 AM on June 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Fair enough: it is an interesting story. It's just strange to see it picked up again now.
posted by chunking express at 8:11 AM on June 3, 2009


Funny, someone else linked to this recently, from somewhere in the Mefitic realm, too...
posted by Mister_A at 8:11 AM on June 3, 2009


chunking express, when a story was written doesn't matter to me, unless it's a timely news story that might affect my life in the here and now. For most stories, all I care about is whether or not they are good (e.g. entertaining) or bad. You are free to disagree with me about stories -- or to agree but feel this particular story is bad. In either case, flag.

neustile, I don't know anything about the blogger or the girl. It's just a story about a guy who got duped and who learned about the con from readers of his blog. I thought it was an honest, well-written story, which is why I posted it. Sorry, I can't provide more context.
posted by grumblebee at 8:11 AM on June 3, 2009


Funny, someone else linked to this recently, from somewhere in the Mefitic realm, too...

I remember reading this on some Metatalk thread about unowen. Great story.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:13 AM on June 3, 2009


I’d outsmarted her into lying and giving herself away, just like my childhood literary hero, Encyclopedia Brown.

That's gold.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:13 AM on June 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


It was referenced on Coding Horror a couple of days ago.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:17 AM on June 3, 2009


I've seen this elsewhere on MeFi before. I swear it. Can anyone with better search-fu confirm?
posted by orville sash at 8:18 AM on June 3, 2009


I believe this is from MetaFilter's Own® AccordionGuy.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:18 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dear Blog:

Know that cute astronaut ninja girl I met last week?
posted by Damn That Television at 8:20 AM on June 3, 2009


I believe you're right, burnmp3s.
posted by Mister_A at 8:21 AM on June 3, 2009


This is actually one of the least "Omg-crazy-pathological-liar" stories I've ever read, esp. when you compare it to the internet legends like that kid who made the "impossible is nothing" video about himself
posted by Damn That Television at 8:23 AM on June 3, 2009


Yep, that's him. He was linked here before too about his craigslist wedding story.
posted by chunking express at 8:23 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


BLOGS SAVE LIVES.
has anyone printed this up yet? or is joey still waiting for his shirt?
posted by the aloha at 8:24 AM on June 3, 2009


I think Eastenders already did this.

what?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 8:24 AM on June 3, 2009


Yeah, good story. Does anyone have any more back story?
posted by OmieWise at 8:25 AM on June 3, 2009


BLOGS SAVE LIVES.

The moar you know!
posted by grouse at 8:26 AM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah I saw that a couple months ago. I'm not sure how I got there but it seemed like I'd started at metafilter.
posted by delmoi at 8:26 AM on June 3, 2009


Imagine: Checking references. What a concept.
posted by Decimask at 8:27 AM on June 3, 2009


I could have sworn that this was posted here a long, long time ago but I can't find it. Maybe I just happened across it on the net a few years back.
posted by LeeJay at 8:29 AM on June 3, 2009


I don't understand. Does she love beards?
posted by orme at 8:30 AM on June 3, 2009


Afterwards, as I left the bar, the waitress stopped me — I was so unnerved that I’d forgotten my umbrella at the table.

Noooooo! Don't forget the umbrella!

When I first started the article, I thought the 'new girl' was someone he hired as his webmaster rather than his new girlfriend.

Imagine: Checking references. What a concept.

Apparently, so did Decimask.
posted by incessant at 8:30 AM on June 3, 2009


It's pretty funny how something old will get linked on a site (I think I saw some reference to it being on a "hacker news" site) and then it gets redistributed all over again, even when the story's 6 years old. This reminds me of a longer duration version of when Louis CK's rant about people taking their technology for granted had a second life a few months after its first heyday.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 8:31 AM on June 3, 2009


...that kid who made the "impossible is nothing" video about himself

Aleksey Vayner (previous MeFi thread).
posted by ericb at 8:35 AM on June 3, 2009


incessant: Indeed. I didn't clue into the fact it was his girlfriend until the last couple of paragraphs. Drawback of starting a drama in media res.
posted by Decimask at 8:35 AM on June 3, 2009


Joey's a mefite. The blog is great and has many terrific stories, such as this one (previously).
posted by jasper411 at 8:37 AM on June 3, 2009


NiI was hoping New Girl would turn out to be a serial killer, or his sister.
posted by xingcat at 8:41 AM on June 3, 2009


Yeah, I remember reading this, I dunno, a couple years ago. It's a good grifter story, for all that.
posted by From Bklyn at 8:42 AM on June 3, 2009


It's pretty funny how something old will get linked on a site (I think I saw some reference to it being on a "hacker news" site) and then it gets redistributed all over again, even when the story's 6 years old.

The BBC News page has a 'most emailed' section, as do many sites. I tend to check it every morning when I get into work and I've seen a handfull of stories resurface multiple times as they get rediscovered months/years later. It's almost always this story.
posted by permafrost at 8:44 AM on June 3, 2009


This is actually one of the least "Omg-crazy-pathological-liar" stories I've ever read...

It wasn't really about the "crazy liar" part so much as the "how a regular Joe handled it".
posted by DU at 8:44 AM on June 3, 2009


GET and POST. What’s the difference?

For some reason, that phrase is slaying me dead right now. Not the phrase so much as imagining someone saying it in a Hollywood Nazi accent, with a cruel gleam in his eye.
posted by mph at 8:44 AM on June 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


And this is why I tell the ladies I'm an unemployed, slacker, porn-addicted, full-blown OCD, not even finished high school, gambling, loser. They will get so unbelievably happy when a few weeks into the hook-up they find I'm really a part-time, stuck in third world bureaucratic limbo, junior researcher, webcomics-addicted, mildly OCD, overeducated vaguely-manly subsistence-salary geek.

Or they would, if they didn't run like hell before they had the chance to find the truth!

*righteously ponders investing in an accordion*
posted by Iosephus at 8:48 AM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hah, I've seen pathological nutters like this in action - it's amazing the contortions they'll go through in order to keep up the bulwark of fiction they've constructed. The best was when she held a five minute public phone conversation with a person who didn't exist, simply to provide more contextual evidence that she really was a forensic pathologist working with our local police department.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:50 AM on June 3, 2009


Me: GET and POST. What’s the difference?

Yep, this was where I fell in love with this story. Everybody knows that AccordionGuy is amazing.
posted by jessamyn at 8:59 AM on June 3, 2009


Okay, okay, since this is an old story, I can finally fess up - I was New Girl. When Accordion Guy didn't say anything about my beard or complete lack of female sex characteristics, I resolved to see how far I could take it.

Turns out quite far.

Well, at least until it came to GET and POST. I could explain away my throaty baritone, but I couldn't explain away that.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:02 AM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


The only problem with this story I've met many, many "web programmers" with actual jobs who didn't know the difference between HTTP GET and POST.
posted by zixyer at 9:05 AM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


delmoi, it was here, in the original hipster grifter thread.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:10 AM on June 3, 2009


Really entertaining read!
posted by orange swan at 9:11 AM on June 3, 2009


Presumably, this is the Aleksey Veyner v-resume on Veoh, for those who gave it a pass the first time around (like me). The old thread's links no longer work.
posted by Decimask at 9:13 AM on June 3, 2009


I'm fascinated by compulsive liars and the fictitious swirl of a universe they create around themselves. I'm thrilled to see them caught and yet the imaginative side of me is still somehow cheering them on.
posted by vacapinta at 9:18 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I too have discovered a truly marvelous proof of the same theorem. Unfortunately, I can't write in the margin of this metafilter comment.
posted by formless at 9:23 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


DEAR CRAZY LADIES: GET puts the data into the URL, and POST inserts it into the body of the message.
posted by joelf at 9:27 AM on June 3, 2009


I had a neighbor a few years back who, after I'd known him for a few months, revealed to me that he was a habitual liar. He was going through a 12-step program at the time.

Yes, he'd told me a few tall tales before this. Nothing too extreme. He was just one of those people who, no matter what the topic was, he always had relevant and often fascinating real life experience ... to the point that my inner bullshit detector had really begun to buzz.

The weird part was that once he started the 12-step thing, he always mentioned it whenever he met someone new. Then he proceeded to lie like a muther@#**$. ie: "Hi, I'm Jim, I'm a habitual liar. Let me help you with that transmission problem you're having. I was on Tony Stewart's pit crew when he was just starting out."

I doubt his name was even Jim.
posted by philip-random at 9:29 AM on June 3, 2009 [10 favorites]


The true mark of a compulsive liar is that they never tell the truth. They just compound lies upon lies. Sometimes their new lie is worse than the original lie, and much, much worse than actually telling the truth.

"Those kids aren't your niece and nephew. Are they your kids?"

"That's preposterous! The truth is ... they aren't my niece and nephew. Three years ago I was part of a child pornography ring - long story short, don't want to get into the details. My job was to lure children into the van, then get them hooked on drugs. Nothing bad, just over the counter opiates. When they decided to start putting photos up on a website, I volunteered to be the webmaster. That's how I got into programming, but I obviously couldn't put that on my resume. But I was secretly working with the FBI undercover. Eventually, we busted the ring, but I had to disavow any link with the pornography ring. Partially because I had to kill two guys, but it was totally in self-defense, and I'm in the witness protection program. But these two kids eventually wrote me a really nice thank you letter, though, and they're in foster care. We're pen pals, and I practically feel like they are my own kids. I actually their lives."

Protip: never believe anything said by anybody after the words "the truth is."
posted by jabberjaw at 9:37 AM on June 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


This has got to be a double.
posted by chillmost at 9:39 AM on June 3, 2009


Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar.
posted by ericb at 9:41 AM on June 3, 2009


The deal is that Jeff Atwood referred to this in a blog post, then the post did the rounds on reddit and digg again. But it's basically old news. And I mean, you all haven't memorize all of DeVilla's blog? For shame. He's internet famous.
posted by GuyZero at 9:59 AM on June 3, 2009


A friend of mine had a friend who claimed to have graduated from both university and a community college, to have had leukemia and TB, to have spent time in the military, and to have owned his own mechanic shop, plus some other things I can't remember. All by the age of 20. I hate being lied to like you can't imagine, but some of the more imaginative and shameless liars do provide some good entertainment value.

The gotcha moment made me think of a favourite gotcha story from my experience. The story stars two of my co-workers, "Genevieve", an attractive and intelligent woman, and "Donny", a foolish horndog who relentlessly pursued a number of his uninterested female colleagues. Me among them. Don't even get me started on the wretched love poems he published in our departmental newsletter.

Anyway. Genevieve and Donny were chatting. Genevieve, among her other accomplishments, is a gourmet cook and quite knowledgeable about wines. Donny was trying to come across as being very knowledgeable about wines. Genevieve asked him, "So, do you like [name of winery] red?", though the winery she named doesn't produce a red wine, only a white. Donny said, "Oh, it's the BEST!!"

And SCENE.
posted by orange swan at 9:59 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


The story might be a old, but Accordian Guy is topical. He was the first answer on an AskMe yesterday.

I mean topical as in, "of local or temporary interest." Not as in I want to apply him to my skin.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:07 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Many years ago, I was lovers with a pathological liar for about 7 weeks. Horrible at the time but a fascinating period to look back on. orange swan's example was typical of my lover: mention a band, she was always like, "I love that band!" even if the band was made-up or completely unknown outside its hometown in rural northern Michigan.

One thing she was really good at was the non-answer answer that satisfies in the moment but is revealed later to be completely empty. "Do you love me?" "I'm here, aren't I?" You think you've heard a "yes," but later when she says, "I never said I loved you," you look back and realize it's true.

She was lovers with a friend of mine at the same time. I knew that, and insisted that she tell the friend. She said she had (or, more likely, implied it along the lines of, "We discussed it," or some such). One night I was on the phone with my friend and I said, "I'm so glad you're OK with me and H. being involved. " She said, "You and H. being what now?"

We decided to try to get at the truth by ambushing H. I will never forget how miserable she looked, faced with the two of us, unable to come up with a story that gibed with everything she had told both of us, unable to knit it all together in any way. I halfway expected her to turn into a writhing band of smoke and then disappear into the ether.
posted by not that girl at 10:10 AM on June 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


>I’d outsmarted her into lying and giving herself away, just like my childhood literary hero, Encyclopedia Brown.

If anyone's childhood literary hero wasn't Encyclopedia Brown, I want to challenge you to an egg-spinning contest.

Fun Fact: When I had to legally change my name years ago, the first time I filled out the form I wrote that my new middle name should be Encyclopedia. My family made so much fun of me I ended up changing my middle name to Cupcake. I still sometimes regret not going full hog and changing my full legal name to Honey Encyclopedia Brown. I could be a Bond Girl, and child detective, and a porn star, all at the same time!
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:32 AM on June 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


This thread is getting really weird.
posted by frecklefaerie at 10:39 AM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


i once knew a girl who was so good at lying she convinced me that i could fly. i went up onto my rooftop and said the magic incantations that she had written in crayon on the back of a chinese food menu, and sprinkled a handful of salt into my hair. then, pulling on swim goggles and spreading the cape she had fashioned for me out of a rainbow brite bedsheet i backed way way up to the peak of the shingles, then tumbled and ran and leaped hard off that shit, over the red slat fence, over the cherry blossom tree, into the branches of the birches and then out up and into the clouds soaring and screaming like a F-16 fighter plane eagle raining death on the mice and communists scurrying far below.

i miss that chick.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:48 AM on June 3, 2009 [7 favorites]


Juliet Banana Lorena Cupcake Honey Encyclopedia Brown is either New Girl or Whistleblower or both.
posted by xod at 10:49 AM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Will the internet ever get past the viral streaming of old stories?
posted by graventy at 10:50 AM on June 3, 2009


"This thread is getting really weird" said The Frecklefaerie.
posted by JtJ at 10:51 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Has anybody stopped to think that Accordion Guy Joey DeVilla is the actual habitual, compulsive liar?
posted by jabberjaw at 10:56 AM on June 3, 2009


Reminds me of the Deception episode of Radiolab which featured a story about Hope Ballantyne.
posted by kmz at 11:00 AM on June 3, 2009


Thanks for posting this.
posted by Nattie at 11:04 AM on June 3, 2009


Has anybody stopped to think that Accordion Guy Joey DeVilla is the actual habitual, compulsive liar?
Well, he does work for Microsoft.
posted by Zonker at 11:10 AM on June 3, 2009


Has anybody stopped to think that Accordion Guy Joey DeVilla is the actual habitual, compulsive liar?

Shiiiit, dude. And what if the color I think is "blue" isn't the same color everyone else thinks is, like, "blue." Blue could be different for different people.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:22 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


P = NP ? was the worst episode of Columbo ever.
posted by Bonzai at 11:40 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Has anybody stopped to think that Accordion Guy Joey DeVilla is the actual habitual, compulsive liar?

Not sure how tongue-in-cheek this is, but I'll (over)kill it dead as a tangent right here and now. I've known AccordionGuy IRL since way before anyone used the acronym IRL. Back in undergrad in the early '90s, we DJ'd at the same campus pub, and after we both moved to Toronto in the late '90s, he and my now-wife used to co-host a birthday party because they have the same date of birth. He was at our wedding.

Dude is honest as the day is long. A fairly shameless self-promoter, sure - he'd admit that himself, I think, it's no happy accident he finds himself internet famous and there's no crime in that other than one of fashion in certain circles - but he's a total straight shooter. I'd trust him to take my firstborn accordion busking on Queen West after dark.
posted by gompa at 12:37 PM on June 3, 2009


I've known AccordionGuy IRL since way before anyone used the acronym IRL.

How do we know you aren't his sock puppet?
posted by grouse at 12:50 PM on June 3, 2009


Oh good grief. I barely know the guy but he's solid. And by solid, I mean dude could stop a few rounds from a Glock. He tells off-colour jokes. He like attention. He was blogging before it was cool. But he's not the compulsive liar. A compulsive lair, perhaps. A compulsive layer? Only in Photoshop.
posted by GuyZero at 12:58 PM on June 3, 2009


I could be a Bond Girl, and child detective, and a porn star, all at the same time!

.... Marry me.
posted by webmutant at 1:08 PM on June 3, 2009


Juliet, Honey Wheeler was also Trixie Belden's best friend, so you'd have the double-detective whammy.
posted by adipocere at 1:09 PM on June 3, 2009


I love how shocked some bloggers are when they realize real life is dramatic.
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:19 PM on June 3, 2009


Listen, I know gompa's mom. She's published peer-reviewed work on Accordian Guy.

I think she'd be the first to agree that he's not for everyone, but there is some exciting research being done that could lead to breakthroughs.
posted by graventy at 1:23 PM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I could at least slow down a few rounds from a Glock. Whether I'd still be alive after the experience is a completely different matter.

As for the "New Girl" story, I'm amused at its new lease on life, but I'm not too surprised. When it happened six years ago, the term "blog" was still pretty obscure in some circles, while nowadays it's not unusual for a character on a TV show to have one. From the comments and emails I've been getting, a good number of people are hearing of this story for the first time. Maybe Scoble will stumble into my Worst Date Ever series of articles and that story -- six years since the posting, ten years since it happened -- will find a new audience too.

As for the truth of the story: I wrote it the morning after I confronted the new girl with the "GET/POST" question and the "P=NP" Columbo trick (the only time I ever found any practical use for that particular gem of computational complexity). It is the truth, told as a remembered it that morning, and from what I could piece together at the time. There's a handful of people in Toronto who were also hoodwinked by her, most of them in the LiveJournal community (surprise, surprise). It was my first (and hopefully) last appearance in both LJDrama and Cruel Site of the Day.

I'd be happy to field questions...ask away!
posted by AccordionGuy at 1:26 PM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


.... Marry me.

And change my name to Honey Encyclopedia Webmutant? Never!
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:33 PM on June 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Listen, I know gompa's mom. She's published peer-reviewed work on Accordian Guy.

I actually know more about AccordionGuy than you could possibly imagine, graventy.
posted by gompa at 1:36 PM on June 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Why are all Canadian scammers goth chicks?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:53 PM on June 3, 2009


If anyone's childhood literary hero wasn't Encyclopedia Brown, I want to challenge you to an egg-spinning contest.

My childhood literary hero was Harriet the Spy, so if I lose the egg-spinning contest, I'll get you on the onion-impersonation round.

Also, Bugs Meany's wrist was, too, tanned!
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:24 PM on June 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Until read the comments here I hadn't noticed the date on the blog post - but now I'm fresh off reading a bunch of related links and completely sure that I could never pull off pretending to know all about "P=NP." I'm also psyched that AccordionGuy responded because my first thought was "wonder what he thinks about all this now, looking back?"

AccordionGuy - so have you ever been called upon to be a Whistleblower yourself? People like the New Girl - or at least the ones I've known - tend to repeat the same pattern over and over - I was curious to know if you've gotten a "so do you know New Girl" email from someone else doing a background check. Or has she moved out of area and thus into a fresh new group of folks? Have you been tempted to Google her name since that blog post? I admit to doing a Google search or two with the Person I Know Like That That Burned Me and My Friends. And feeling very relieved when I see that I don't live anywhere near said person!
posted by batgrlHG at 6:47 PM on June 3, 2009


Here's a story from my life, make of it what you will.

A bunch of years ago I actually knew somebody who believed he was close to a breakthrough involving P=NP. He'd already broken one of the early versions of PGP & his work was allegedly making some people in Fort Meade nervous. Coincidentally he was also a sociopath but in another direction: he had an obsession over my girlfriend at the time & decided the best way to deal with the situation was to kill me. His plan was quite simple. He smuggled himself across the Iron Curtain & flew to Nicaragua (via Cuba) then started walking North with the idea of just keeping going until he reached the US. Apparently it was the heat & humidity that proved too much for him; after a few days in the jungle climate he gave up & turned around.

I never heard what became of his math project, but all things considered I guess that's for the best.
posted by scalefree at 7:37 PM on June 3, 2009


batgrlHG: I've been contacted other people in Toronto who she scammed for various things -- money, a place to crash, and so on -- but these had all taken plave prior to my meeting her. When this story broke for the first time back in April 2003, it made the rounds of the local LJ community, who made the majority of the people she knew in town. It turns out that she's one of those people who news reports often describe as "known to the police" and apparently high-tailed it out of town.

I've done searches on her name from time to time, but turned up nothing. Not surprising: turns out that the name by which all of us in Toronto knew her was fake.

I haven't been called on to be a whitsleblower recently, but I've been called on to lend a hand to people who've really needed it from time to time, and I generally do so. I'm grateful for Whistleblower's help, and we've caught up socially every now and again. We could use a few more people like her.
posted by AccordionGuy at 6:39 AM on June 4, 2009


From the craigslist wedding story: At that point, Amanda said “I just wish that there was someone here to blog all this”

I love this.
posted by Locative at 9:53 AM on June 4, 2009


Maybe Scoble will stumble into my Worst Date Ever series of articles and that story -- six years since the posting, ten years since it happened -- will find a new audience too.

I see what they meant above about self-promotion...

...still, it's worth it. Very amusing story...
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 4:37 PM on June 4, 2009


My childhood literary hero was Harriet the Spy, so if I lose the egg-spinning contest, I'll get you on the onion-impersonation round.

This comment just completely made my day. Thank you.
posted by jokeefe at 11:37 AM on June 9, 2009


« Older The 10 Best Top Ten Food Lists: the most erotic fo...  |  Kim Jong Il has reportedly cho... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments