re: the ascii symbol and it's meaning [if I try and use it in a message it breaks my message and loses half of it !?]
Eesh.... that was both hilarious but painful to watch in about equal measure!
I've not done anything like that before. As I've mentioned before I went through a short phase of blind web-dating (for the record - 1990's). That was quite an eye-opener as there are some pretty 'eccentric' people out there.
But above and beyond that it brought to my attention some of the fringe web-dating sites. It was amazing; there are some really seriously weird/perverted/sick/depraved/damaged people out there, and probably a lot more than you might realise. I just read some of the stuff and it was quite scary in a way. Some of it makes ))<>(( almost polite in comparison. Reminded me somewhat of the back-page small ads that appeared in the NYC paper 'Village Voice'.
Another time an ex girlfriend later friend of mine mentioned to me that she thought her boyfriend was cheating on her. We hatched a plan. I would create a plausible Facebook profile of a young lady and try and see if I could lure him in. It was pretty weird 'creating' a person. Picking some randon profile pic via Google. Good looking but not too OTT. Matching a made-up name to this photo that fitted. Adding Education, and something of a none too serious/threatening-to-mens-egos career history. + Interests that fitted the type of person created. I then went and 'Friended' about 20 completely random people, of which about half+ added me no questions. Just one asked 'Do I know you?', so I didn't reply to them. So there, a functioning plausible profile of a 'newbie Facebook member', created from scratch within a week or so.
'Joss' (short for Jocelyn => classy but casual/unstuffy, as I'd given her a double-barrelled surname lol) then proceeded to lure Paul in, and he was about the easiest 'fish' that I've ever reeled in. The ex hard-man Marine turned giggly little puppy-dog, flirty putty in Joss's hands. We agreed to meet, and what we might do that evening. When he suggested we might go back to his place afterwards, I chastised him and reminded him that I was a lady, rather than that type of women. And he apologised profusely, 'I was only joking hahaha no offence!', and continued to lap it up.
I then handed over the Facebook ID/PW to my friend, and left her to deal with him, which considering they were unmarried but supposedly 'partners', I understand she most certainly did!
They say a leopard never changes it's spots. I have no idea if that episode taught him anything but it sure as hell did me; what absolute dogs-on-heat some men who shouldn't can be!!