Man receives fake phone number, faces rejection

Joe Carlson

Jeremy LaRoche watches TV in his living room, a sinking depression sapping his will to do anything but passively absorb another episode of CHiPs.
“I don’t really have the strength to move,” he says, “except to get another beer.”
His face wrinkles in a grimace as the California Highway Patrol on the tube begins another caper. “I always hated Ponch,” he says, performing finger ballet on the remote.
LaRoche was cast into a “black pit of sucking depression” Sunday afternoon when he came to the realization that she’s not calling back. She, in this case, is a woman he met at Sally’s Saloon and Eatery “the other night.”
The alleged exchange took place about an hour before bar time, as LaRoche was ordering his third beverage of the night.
“I said to the bartender, ‘PBR me, ASAP'” LaRoche says. “I could tell my sharp wit really impressed the chick standing next to me. So I said, `Thanks, man,’ to the bartender and tipped him a dollar, to show the girl I was loaded.”
According to LaRoche, the woman turned to him and said she was extremely turned on by big spenders and asked him to buy her a drink, which he did.
“She ordered two double gin and tonics with Sapphire — the other one was for her friend — but I figure, you have to invest a little to get a little return, if you know what I mean,” LaRoche said.
The woman said her name was Samantha — Sam for short. He said he thought he was “in like Flynn” when she told him her name.
LaRoche returned to his game of pool in the back room, where he continued to look across the bar at “Sam” all night. From that vantage point, he said he envisioned their courtship, a romantic affair of hazy sunsets and poetry, which culminated in marriage.
“I definitely would have liked to go on a honeymoon with her,” he said.
Just before bartime, LaRoche said he asked Sam if he could buy her another drink. She obliged. As he returned, he struck up a conversation about the Bulls game.
“She didn’t know much about sports, but I could have taught her what she needed to know,” LaRoche said.
She hesitated at first when he asked for her number, but eventually gave in when he threatened to sing “Henry the Eighth I am, I am” until she went out with him.
LaRoche said the phone number was hard to read, and it only had six digits, but that he figured she just forgot to add the last number after all those drinks he bought her.
“I used the process of elimination to get her real number,” he said.
Hopeful at first, LaRoche called number after number, to no avail. After a few days, he began to realize he’d been had.
For now, LaRoche says he’s going to try to drink off his depression and try to repair what’s left of his life. “My emotions are a mess.”
Experts say only time and counseling can heal the deep wounds of broken relationships and the ravages of love gone bad.
Dr. Madeline LaMadeline said broken relationships and lost loves are among the most scarring of emotional traumas.
“It can take a week, months, years, lifetimes really, to get over the loss of a loved one,” LaMadeline said.
For his part, LaRoche said he’s on the road to recovery.
“You know, looking back, I don’t think her name was really Sam, to be honest. In fact, I think she lied to me. I can’t believe how scheming women can be — look at me now. She probably does this to men like me all the time,” LaRoche said.
“There’s nothing worse than a tease.”