Updated: Oct 4, 2022
FORTROSE -- Euan McIver, 24, of Tulloch Town, has finally found his ideal mate, or so it would seem.
One of the first users to sign up to the Black Isle's newest dating app, MingR, McIver told us about the local dating scene. "Aye, well, a lot of my friends moved away after the [Fortrose] Academy, so there's not a lot of people left around here my age." But that's not McIver's only dating dilemma. "Since Jamie [Johnston] left, I am the only gay of the village, and that really puts a cork in my choices." It is unclear whether McIver is a fan of banned TV programme, Little Britain, or if the programme may actually have resonated with viewers outwith the influence of public censorship.
"Anthropologically speaking," said Iain Malarkee, 74, of Feddon Hill, "there is a direct connexion between today's dating apps and throwing stones as an act of aggression." Malarkee went on to explain his obtuse theory: "Tool-based society in the Pleistocene Epoch dawned with the discovery that humanoids could maim each other from a safe distance by hurling rocks," he said, whilst doggedly roaming the High Street in search of free Wifi. "Across the development of the longbow and gunpowder, it was only a matter of time before modern-day human beings would interact romantically without the need for being in each other's company."
Meanwhile, McIver told us about his experiences using MingR. "I set up my account, like, and began scrolling through the 17 other users. On my fourth time around, I started reading the profiles, and one stuck out." The profile, attributed to a user named Frankie Bridgestone, carried no profile picture but did list a number of qualities that caught MvIver's eye.
"Aye, this Frankie liked a bunch of the same things as I do, like watching TV, a cup of tea, having a lie-in and whatnot. And when I noticed that he hadn't specified whether he liked males or females, I thought I'd give him a right-swipe and see if he wanted to meet." That's when the confusion started.
"Right", he continued. "So I said, if you're interested, meet me at the [late] Fortrose Cafe the next day for a cake and a cuppa." But after arriving early for the rendezvous and waiting an hour, McIver began to think Mr Bridgestone wasn't going to turn up. "So, I got on The Anderson's Wifi and logged on to MingR. I thought maybe he'd forgot or something, so I decided to ring him. But every time I did, my screen said 'Self'. So, I thought, what's he doing putting my number into his profile?"
"Try as we might," said Emma Fourth, CEO and Webmaster at MingR, "we cannot catch all bogus profiles." She went on to explain that Frankie Bridgestone's profile was set up one month earlier, on 13 September, by McIver himself. "Aye, well that explains it," said McIver when presented with the news. "I admit, I'd had a couple of tinnnies that night and decided to apply for the job at the Co-Op. I'm not gonna lie, my last three applications were rejected, so I thought I'd use a different name and see what happened. In all the excitement, I must have got the MingR site and the Co-Op site mixed up. They look really similar after a few pints."
As for McIver's romantic future? "I'm not saying I'm giving up on MingR, but maybe they should consider expanding into Dingwall or even Alness to deepen the old gene pool, like."
This article contains additional reporting by Jess Anderson