I recently met a guy at a bar who talked my ear off about his grave medical condition. Apparently, he was convinced that he was going to kick the bucket in the near future (maybe) and he cited some inconclusive medical tests as evidence. I felt bad for him but I was touched that he would trust me with such personal information. All of my nurturing instincts kicked in. I'd be strong enough for the both of us as we fought this terrible (unnamed, mind you) disease together; I'd make him soup, I'd pet his hair, I'd be his own personal Florence Nightingale.
I asked if he wanted to get together this week and he looked away with his eyes narrowed and focused on a fixed point off in the distance. "With my condition, I can't get close to anyone right now. All I can offer you is friendship." I assured him that I understood. With that, he put his hand on mine and nodded. We exchanged phone numbers and I gave him a hug.
Then, I realized the genius of his plan. He is probably telling every girl in this bar that he's dying so when they take pity on him, he lays it out there that he isn't looking for a commitment. Hey, we thought guys with puppies were irresistible, but a dying guy with a vague diagnosis? That's roughly a dozen times hotter than a puppy. I fell right into his trap! I'm such a sucker.
Well played, dying dude who's probably not dying. Well played.
p.s. - That picture is from when Charlie pretended like he had cancer so that the waitress would go out with him. It was just like that.