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Being single on Valentine’s Day can pay off. Literally. Yahoo Lifestyle reported that Twitter user @BaconFlavoring, known to the rest of the world as just Stephen, proved that when he went out all alone on Valentine’s Day. He pretended to be waiting on a date that he knew would never show up to see if someone will offer to pay for his meal.

Step 1: Tweet about it so you won’t be bored on your single night out

Stephen tweeted about his master plan on Twitter, seemingly wondering aloud if someone would pay for his meal if he went out all suited up seemingly waiting for a date who would then never show up.

Step 2: Make sure the restaurant knows you have a date

He decided to pay a visit to Outback Steakhouse (an Australian-themed chain in the US) that evening. To lay the foundation for his well-thought-out scam, he called the restaurant ahead of time, letting them know that his date was going to be late. Once he arrived, he posted a picture of himself at the table for two on Twitter, telling his followers that he’s really taking the whole thing seriously, because he even wore a suit.

Step 3: Order your fake date their favorite fake drink

If you want to pull off a scam, you need to be believable. Stephen knew this, so he ordered a glass of wine for his non-existent date, saying that she loves chardonnay, so he’ll have that to start. After finishing a loaf of bread, he even sent a heartfelt voicemail to the missing Katherine (as he decided to name her) just as the waiter approached. Perfect timing. People started to throw looks his way as he pretended to become sadder and sadder as the evening progressed.

Step 4: Have a fake backstory about how you met each other

Stephen even made up a fake backstory about his and Katherine’s beautiful relationship to tell to his growing number of admirers – they met at the grocery store and their hands grazed when they tried to grab the same bag of shredded cheese. This is how true love starts. You have to give it to Stephen, he knows how to think on his feet.

Step 5: Very important: make sure people see you are being stood up

The people around him started to notice that he was being stood up. You can’t blame them. He was wearing a suit, sitting at a table for two, ordered a bottle of wine, and was checking his phone constantly for messages from his beloved Katherine – while in reality, he was actually updating the Twitterverse on his progress: “The waiter just talked to the bartender,” he posted. “I’m sitting in a booth at the bar and every single person within eye range has glanced at me at some point during the evening.”

Step 6: Pretend to be surprised when someone offers to pay for your meal

In the end, there were a couple who felt sorry enough for him to actually pay for his meal. Mission accomplished. As a thank you, he donated $50 (which was the price of the meal) to the American Civil Liberties Union. He got leftovers to go too. Needless to say, he scored big time. He got paid for being single.

The lesson:

Being single on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be half bad. You can make up your own date and take them out to dinner and then have someone else pay for your meal when they fail to show up. Free food is always a win and so is free wine. Just don’t look too smug while you’re enjoying your “free” food and drink. Being believable is important, or else you’re going to end up paying for all that food and then Valentine’s Day will truly suck.

But seriously

Tricking people to pay for your food is not a very nice thing to do. Stephen did make up for it by donating some money though. And he made the news… We’re just going to stop the lecture right here because it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere honest anytime soon.

But really though, what do you think? Was it a mean thing to do or was it just some good old fun? Sound off in the comments!

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