“You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man”…. (W.C. Fields)
How often have you opened an email with the header: PRIVATE, EXTREMELY CONFIDENTIAL that begins something like this:
“My Dear Sir (or Madam), I am wishing for you well this fine morning to tell you of a sadness on my country for my late husband to his estate which respectfully is gave to you for distributing the sums of $12000.00 Million from you to all you believe are worthy. I am suffering from a stroke and writing from Western Africa where our family doctor practices.”
“After many attempts and now this second to your email address for the announcing of your inheritance of $50 million US dollars from the estate of Dr. Louis Brown of Switzerland please to respond kindly for the transfer of $5,000 a week into your bank account.”
“How are you, sir, and your dear family. I am sad to tell you of the passing of my husband the President of the Fourth National Bank of Lagos. You have been chose by random select of your email address to accept $50 million dollars of his estate that will be sending to your accounts by bank draft.”
“I am sorry to be so late to be contacting you once again on behalf of our urgent business last year through Diplomat Mark Lewis of STATE (USA). Your help is needed to transfer funds of beneficiary for the late William Smith who was killed on way to our bank on the coast of Ghana. I am 15 yr old BOY and my sisters is 14 year old GIRL badly for medical treatment of now she is dieing. Please we need your help to contact us to begin transfer of $27 million USD. This consignment was supposed to be deliver to Mr. William Smith in STATE (USA) by Diplomat Mark Lewis when he was in a fatal car accident and died a few hours after. Please my sister and I seek for you to stand as our new Beneficiary/God Loving Parent to contact the Diplomat so he can be able to relocate the Consignment to you.”
It is difficult to believe that these cyber-idiots get responses to their illiterate queries. But, everyday Valet Boy receives at least one such missive filled to the brim with misbegotten bastard syntax arriving from Nigeria, Chechnya, Bangkok or Ghana, or some other far-flung-Hell-hole-time-forgot, where translation software either does not exist or is only compatible with the Commodore 64 moldering up in Granny’s attic.
I wonder if there is a Creative Writing Course taught at Mogadishu Community College where scores of the barely literate flock like lemmings to recycled IBM Selectric Typewriters while someone in authority espouses the many benefits of a first class education in nouveau journalism titled: Easy Money Writing Letters to Foolish Americans Who Are All Very Rich and Very Stupid in Your Spare Time.
But, in order for them to be successful don’t their intended targets have to fall for this bunk? And that I guess is the 64 byte question. How many people actually believe that Ms. Anita Brown’s barrister, simply and aptly named Wang, is soliciting their assistance in the disbursement of millions of dollars based upon some arbitrary, and nonexistent we might add, set of standards & requirements?
1. We believe you to be one who is well-respected in your community
2. I know you have a warm and giving heart
3. An angel of the Lord spoke your name to me
4. On her deathbed, my daughter wrote your name with her sunburned club foot
What soul is so calloused, what heart so cold that it would NOT be moved by such lamentable protestations?
Well, Valet Boy’s for one…and I would surmise Valet Boy’s Readers as well. Not to say that VB’s fan base, though small at present and therefore not representative of the global populace at large, is a hard-hearted unloving bunch. Au contraire, mon frere.
So, then who is it that keeps responding to these Yahoos, falling for their scams and sending them money? Because the root of these come-ons is to relieve you of the weighty burden of wealth and/or personal information. It must be mankind’s inherent gullibility fed by greedy lust for immense wealth without the expenditure of one ounce of energy.
And one would naturally assume that if a scam fails often enough, it would be discarded in favor of something fresher with more universal appeal such as:
1. Make her scream in bed tonight. (Now this could either be an advertisement for male sexual enhancement products or an offer to join some misogynistic mangling society. )
2. Rolex watches in bulk for $1.98 a piece. (This requires no further explanation)
3. Affordable Health Care! (ditto the above)
While the rest of the world anxiously awaits the latest Tweets from Lindsay and Ashton, or watches the clock for the sprouting of Justin Bieber’s first pubic hair, or simply drinks themselves into blessed oblivion, these intrepid would-be-authors-ne-terrorists are doing their best to wear us down to the point where we simply give up and surrender all to them in the hope that they’ll cast their web nets in other waters and finally leave us alone.
Valet Boy attempted to turn the tables on them not long ago with this response to one of their plaintive pleas:
“Dear Barrister Wang,
Your letter regarding Mrs. Beatrice Brown’s desire to include me in her late husbands’ will as a beneficiary, even though I have never heard of either of them in my entire life, was indeed heart-warming. I am so very happy to inform you that yes, I will be pleased to accept her generous offer of $100 Million US Dollars for my favorite charity “Artists in Underwear”.
However, due to the fact that I am housebound from a recent stroke/brain tumor/hemorrhagic fever accident wherein my spine was crushed when a drunken rodeo clown ran me over with a Brahma Bull trying desperately to escape the Waxahall Do It Yourself Spay-Neutering Clinic, I am unable to get to a bank to transfer the necessary funds to cover the small cost of filing the required legal paperwork.
I am also blind from having been recently stabbed in the eyes with chopsticks while dining at a new Sushi-Bar-B-Q restaurant here in town (Bubba’s Chow Mein on Main) when the irate Sashimi Chef Jay Bird Long Poo suddenly became rabid, ostensibly from improperly sliced Japanese Puffer Fish, and attacked me.
My family too were all sadly killed in a tragic science fair mishap as little Timmy, my one-legged bi-sexual ex-con 9th grade nephew, was illustrating BP’s “Junk Shot” approach to quelling the Gulf Oil Spill and the exhibit exploded, wiping out the high school cafeteria, most of the debate team and glee club as well as all 47 members of my family who had innocently gathered for our annual 10 year reunion.
On top of all that, my 1985 Honda Civic has a blown head gasket.
But, enough about me. How are you?”
So far there hasn’t been any response to my reply and the emails just keep on coming. I know, they are trying to wear me down with the sheer volume of these stupid letters in the hope that I’ll throw in the towel and just send them a fat check to stop already.
Well, Valet Boy is not quite there yet….but, his resolve is wearing thin.
I guess for now I’ll just abide by another nugget of wisdom from the ol’ sage W.C. Fields: “Never Give a Sucker an Even Break or Smarten Up a Chump.” Ah, Bill, I couldn’t have said it better.
Thanks for reading…