Sandy Crocker is somewhere in Ireland right now, searching for love – and given the international attention his story is getting, if he doesn't find his mysterious freckled redhead, she's either gone deep into hiding or has completely forgotten their two-minute encounter in a café more than a year ago.
His hunt has become the source of such speculation that even British bookies are weighing in, though the odds of the besotted Canadian dentist actually finding, and marrying, the object of his desire are very, very long.
In the interest of a good story, the world's media is happily offering their help. A Time magazine online post ran with the headline: "Hey (Irish) Ladies! Is This Canadian Man In Love With You?
Depending on your view, Crocker is either a) a creepy stalker or b) a hopeless romantic. (The ABC network has decided it has the makings of a "fairy tale.")
But just to offer further assistance in pinning down the search, according to the local newspaper, The Clare People in Ireland, the two crossed paths at the An Teach Bia, a café in Ennistymon, County Clare, on July 9, 2011. He asked for directions. She, according to his account to the newspaper, generously provided them. They parted ways – he was heading home the next day – without him learning her name or where she was from. Filled with regret, he went looking for her – even returning that evening with his brother to search again.
Alas, the lass was nowhere to be found.
Now, you have to admire the efforts to which Crocker has gone – travelling across the Atlantic to follow up on a passing exchange. (The odds, as the bookies have apparently rated them, are much higher that he will captivate the heart of another young Irish woman, according to an interview on CBC Radio's As It Happens Monday.)
But his not the first online tale of people hoping that true love might result from two strangers locking eyes, however briefly. A search on Kijiji turns up a list of "missed connections" ads, including this one, posted in Ottawa Monday night about an elusive Cute Girl on the No 12.
And there's even a website called imetyouonce.com where posters can tell their stories, and hope that by some luck the object of their intrigue will happen upon their profile description. (The website doesn't give its success rate – which one can imagine is fairly small – but it does state among its guidelines: "We'd prefer sleazy people to go and use another website.")
As for Crocker, he is giving himself four weeks to find love. And if not, well, he's certainly found fame. And that always helps.