How to not win friends and influence lovers, Shanghai edition

Now this is spite raised to an art form.

As long as my colleagues are posting unconventional love-related stories on Valentine’s Day, this one might as well get some play too: A Shanghai man whose romance dissolved last year decided to spread the misery by leading a campaign to buy up every other seat for a Valentine’s Day showing of the movie, “Beijing Love Story.”

The man crowd-sourced the effort, and other presumably jilted lovers followed suit, which made it impossible for a couple to buy two adjacent seats from which to watch a romantic movie at the theater in Shanghai’s upscale Xintiandi district on the lover’s holiday.

The man told the Shanghai Post he meant it as a joke, and that it could be read as a drive to force singles to mingle. Yeah, right.

From the South China Morning Post:

“Want to see a movie on Valentine’s Day?” read an online message by the stunt organiser, who is known on the internet by the initials "UP". “Sorry, you’ll have to sit separately. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Give us singles a chance.”

"UP" described himself to the Shanghai Morning Post as a "computer nerd" who broke up with his girlfriend last year. The stunt was surprisingly difficult to pull off, he said.

"In the beginning, I wanted to buy all the tickets [online] but I discovered that the theatre's ticketing software wouldn't let me," he said. "Then I went there in person to see if I could buy directly, but because Valentine's Day tickets were being sold at a fast rate -- especially for romance movies -- the theatre folks wouldn't sell them all to me.

"I also didn't have enough money. So finally a friend recommended that I start a campaign on a crowdfunding site, and there were enough single internet friends out there to help me raise the money to do this sort of thing. I hope all lovers understand this is just a small joke."

Maybe. Or maybe it’s insight into why the guy no longer has a girlfriend.

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Twitter: @smartelle

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