Need a friend? Rent one in Japan

We may be digitally connected to our friends, through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the like, but sometimes it's nice and necessary to hang out with people in the flesh.

That's where Office Agents apparently sees an opening for a business.

Office Agents, a company in Tokyo, Japan, will rent out a fake friend, relative or work colleague to anyone who needs one.

The idea goes like this: Maybe you're going to your high school reunion and don't have a significant other to take, or perhaps you have a big investor coming to your company, and you want it to seem -- well, bigger and more staffed than it actually is. Or perhaps a loved one's funeral isn't going to be very populated, and you'd like it to seem like your great aunt Mildred had more friends than she really did.

Frankly, the more I think of examples of why you might want a fake friend, the more pathetic this sounds. Although, I guess there are some instances where it may not be entirely pathetic to hire a fake friend. You attend a wedding in a city that you've never been to. You only know the groom and bride. You don't want to show up alone...