Several years ago, my friend Susan asked if I thought she could find a companion through an online dating service. My response was “you’ll never know unless you try.”

It still sounds like a good answer.

Since we are both pretty much “babes in the woods” when it comes to such things, I told her I’d help her get registered. That lent a whole new meaning to “the blind leading the blind.”

We chose ChristianMingle simply because it sounded safer than HookMeUpToday.

Susan got on her computer and I got on mine. The idea was that I would follow along and help her craft honest, yet interesting answers to the questions. The problem surfaced right away when I discovered I couldn’t follow her unless I too answered the questions, thus creating my own profile.

Most of you know the last thing I need in my life is another life companion. Most days, I can barely manage the one companion I already have, let alone another one.

But, in an effort to support my friend, I created a profile thinking I could hit the unsubscribe button at the tail-end of the website and get on with my life.

As it turned out, this website is a lot like the Hotel California; you can check in, but you can’t check out.

Within days I was buried in “perfect matches”.

Obviously I wasn’t interested in even reading the profiles — seeing as I have my hands full already — and after a while, the “matches” started slowing down and then finally stopped altogether, until about a month ago.

Even the online dating industry has hit an economic slowdown because my years-old profile was reactivated and I started getting more offers to dance than the only girl at a military ball.

Have I mentioned my tolerance level for stupid drops daily these days? Well, it does and the thought of opening my personal email only to be bombarded with unwanted attention actually made me shudder.

So, I took the opportunity to “edit” my online profile. The following is an abbreviated version of what lonely guys now get a crack at:

WF, in early 60s, but with the temperament of a spoiled 10-year-old, seeks partner who will continue to make life all about me.

A successfully employed professional would be my first choice, however, because I am on numerous government subsidies a partner need not actually be employed. However, if not employed, said partner must pretend to go to work everyday, M-F. I will not tolerate 24/7 companionship, as it takes to much time away from concentrating solely on myself.

Now, more about me. I’m a good catch because all of my children are grown and, even if they ever do get out of prison, they don’t know where I live.

I was so happy to find an online dating service that has no restrictions. I have two years left on my parole. I am not a danger to you or anyone else. They never actually proved anything other than I was the one who carried the shovels and dug the holes. If there’s a next time, I’ll be sure to wear gloves and burn the boots.

I have a lovely four bedroom, two-bath home in a small, rural town where everyone knows everyone’s business. If you bring enough money to the relationship, we might be able to get the house out of foreclosure before we’re evicted.

I take good care of myself and get my hair and nails done every week. Yes, I know that might sound excessive, but time-and-time-again I’ve discovered strong sharp fingernails really are a girl’s best friend.

My favorite pastime is watching daytime court drama and soap operas on TV while wearing my pajamas and smoking cheap cigars. I have four St. Bernards that run the house at large and are allowed on the furniture. I buy their food with food stamps because they only get the leanest cuts of beef. Twice a week they eat chicken. To make sure they get some grain, they snack on Shredded Wheat cereal.

If interested in a woman who will always be a challenge please send by return email your bicep measurements, height, weight and most recent report of net worth. I’ve decided I do require a rich man after all.

Linda Brown is Herald marketing director. Email her at lbrown@ottawaherald.com