Friends of mine in Chicago have an associate who I’ll call Spider and is probably the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He’s the definition of a blue-collar worker, minus any assholeness. He’s a dockworker who can also work on cars. A true monkey wrench, this Spider. He fixes anything. He’s also part of our “Asshole Book Club” that was formed by Chicago reclusive author Clive Javanski several years ago. But more on that later.

Spider has been catfished. Spider has been catfished long before catfish was the word to describe being catfished.

You see, at the moment Spider is having Internet relations with an attractive white girl in Ghana. That’s right. Ghana. Which I just read is somewhere on par with North Korea as far as economy goes. Maybe that’s why “she” is asking Spider for money.

Spider met “Yancy” through one of those suspicious Internet dating sites. It may have been Asian Friend Finders. She sent him pictures of herself. In them she looks like any white twenty-something ex-sorority girl who drinks a few beers at a Wrigleyville party on the weekend. Yet she lives in Ghana. It’s possible, I suppose. I think less than 10 percent of the population of this West African country is of white descent. And pretty much everyone speaks English. I have not heard her voice, but Spider has and he says it sounds “weird and high” – almost like she’s on helium.

Anyway, let me cut through the catfish and get down to details. Spider talks to “her” on the Internet several times a week. I was there when one of these conversations went down.

Apparently this Yancy girl has a fetish in which she has Spider take out his money, lay it down on the floor, take a picture of it and send it to her on Yahoo Messenger. She also wants him to send her an iPad. I witnessed the exchange on the computer where she asks Spider to stuff some money in the iPad when he mails it to her at some P.O. Box.

He’s seriously considering doing it and I think he will. And this comes after Spider has been ripped off already by a catfisher. Not long ago, he tells me, he met another girl online who lived, coincidentally – in Ghana. He sent her money for a plane ticket to O’Hare airport so she could visit him. He went there to pick her up and surprise! She wasn’t there.

“She’s white, but she’s black,” Spider once said of this girl. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I like it. It’s one of many incredulous comments Spider vomits up.

Spider says he may visit Ghana. This Yancy hasn’t been to keen on that idea. Of course, because the gig would be up. Either that or she (he, they) would do something more nefarious to Spider and no one would ever see him again. And I can’t let that happen because I’d lose my mechanic. We try to talk to him about this, but he doesn’t listen. He is unaware that this scam is widespread. Ladies and gentlemen, people (suckers) like this truly exist. Hell, I’m almost thinking of setting up a fake something and having Spider send me stuff to a P.O. Box.