I Texted My Closest Friends A Controversial Question and Their Responses Shocked Me

How well do you know your best friend? That’s the big question of 2017 I’ve decided just now. As we discovered in the November 2016 election many of our close friends and relatives hold opinions that we don’t even know about. Since the election, I’ve noticed myself growing increasingly suspicious of those around me. Frankly, I don’t know which of my friends I can trust.

I decided to perform a “cognitive check in” with my buds via a simple but deceiving text message. The message asks a favor that demands a level of intimacy and care but also some sort of speculation. I figured the most trust worthy friend would agree to the favor, but also share a slight concern in the way it’s detailed. Here’s the question I chose:

The message that starts it all

“Can you take a picture of my back for a school project?” Simple but deceptive. “Can you take a picture” requires a skill level that, if I’m asking, I clearly trust the person to have. The twist? Most of my friends are not photographers. Will they attempt to please my desire even if they’re not entirely sure they’re capable of completing the task? “Of My Back” is the intimate side of the question. If I want you to take a picture of my bare back, clearly I think we’re on a certain level of friendship that allows me to be open with you not only in personality but also in skin. Finally, “For a school project” is a non-sequitur designed to spark speculation because, as many know, I am not in school and therefore would in no way be required to do anything for a school project. A false friend would go ahead with it and just assumed they weren’t paying attention when I told them I was attending school. A true friend would be speculative.

With the guidelines set, I sent out the messages and waited for the results.

My roommate, Courtland.

First up was my roommate Courtland, who brought up a fairly good point: Did I mean my bare back? Of course I did, and maybe I needed to specify more. What hurt though, was his immediate rejection. Courtland is my roommate, and probably the first person I would ask if I actually DID have to take a picture of my back for a school project. I could chalk up some of his blatant rejection to speculation, as he clearly knows I’m not in school. Still, to have this blunt of a rejection this early, really pained my soul.

Round 2

Next up was my girlfriend, Sarah. Sarah is a no-bullshit person and this case is no different. She saw right through my clever ruse: she knew that I had no school in which a picture of my back would be required. Fair enough. On to the next person.

Anna The Bully

Anna and I aren’t really friends, she mostly bullies me online and in person. I only have her number because she pretended to be my lost cousin for a year and a half that only kept in touch through text until I eventually discovered she was posting pictures of our conversation on a subreddit she made called r/patrickvermillionsucks. Still, I needed to see her response. Can’t say I was surprised, though she knew I wasn’t in school she nevertheless seized the opportunity to make my life a living hell. No Anna, there is no such thing as the Backne academy. I googled to be sure.


I guess this is fine. I haven’t really talked to PJ since high school. But I mean, I saved HIS number. Whatever. It’s ok. I’m fine.

Sam immediately pitched me a project.

Sam is one of my best friends in the world, and that’s not different here. It’s standard procedure for Sam here: agree to help me out and then immediately pitch a follow-up project. You gotta wonder why he doesn’t question the fact that I said school project though.

All right

This is pretty self explanatory.

The Perfect Response

Could Collin have a more pitch-perfect response here? He’s so overwhelmingly supportive, acknowledges what an incredibly weird request it is, and even goes as far to admit his skills are limited. What an A+ human being right here. This is how you respond to a question.

Harry is a cool cat

I usually see Harry down by Leonards on third grabbing a SODY-pop and flipping a coin. Note Harry’s diversion of my insanity by quickly asking whats going on. He knows we’re about to hang out. And guess what? We did. It was sick as hell.

Just roasted

Langston just straight up roasted me here. But that’s what happens when you’re in a prank war for as long as Langston and I have been. We’ve been pranking each other since Freshmen year. One notable time includes Langston putting shoe polish on my stair way causing me to violently fall down the stairs and shatter my shin. In retaliation I threw a cobra in his suitcase on his flight back to DC after he visited once. Needless to say, he got snaked.


Finally we have Max. Max and I are relatively new friends but that didn’t stop me from fucking with him hardcore here. One of the key facts to know about this is that Max IS a photographer (or director of movies) and he IS in school. He knows I’m NOT in school so this text was no doubt a shotgun to the face of his logic senses. Nevertheless, he pulled off the perfect response. Congratulations Max, you might just make my exclusive Memorial Day Barbecue invite yet.

In conclusion I would not recommend texting your friends “Hey can you take a picture of my bare back for a school project” many of them didn’t respond, even after I said it was for an article. A lot of people said “it’s fine” but there’s clearly a rift in our relationship where there wasn’t before. Oh well, live and let learn. Patrick — signing out!