Recently, my email box has been full, bursting with contacts. Some of them are not desirable. "After careful review of your qualifications......., regret to say......." But among the rejections, and the ever popular and seemingly never ending, solicitations from insurance companies, I am suddenly receiving personal communications from dear friends from around the world. People, whom I didn't even know that I knew, but yet who insist that they know me. These missives are glowing accounts of my trustworthiness, my honesty, my Christian charity. Either, I am a really great person, or I am part devoted Bassett Hound. And these people, whom I have no recollection of ever meeting, want to give me money.......lots of money......scandalous amounts of money.....richer than God kind of money. Let's face it, who couldn't use a few hundred thousand dollars, especially those of us currently unemployed? But how stupid do these people think I am? How desperate?
I have literally heard from all four corners of the earth. The Columbus thing, just like the 1969 Lunar Landing, are just so much urban mythology, and yes, the world is still flat. I am happy to report that I have friends in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and the Sudan, not to mention, another cadre of pals situated within the United Nations. Added to this distinguished list are a whole army of solicitors from the UK. The solicitors are a bit different from the rest of the group of new found comrades, in that they don't presume to speak to my sterling qualities personally, except to mention how highly their client (now deceased from a lengthy battle with some variant of cancer) always referred to me, insisting that I needed to be the person to whom all their earthly wealth would be transferred to upon their demise. Seems everyone is convinced that I am the guru of all enterprises charitable. I find this significant, because for the last three months of job application, one would conclude that I am qualified to do nothing. I can't get a minimum wage job, but these folks want to entrust me with millions, in some cases.
I actually do read these things. I am fascinated by the mindset that says if they throw enough zeros on a letter, I am going to snap it up like a brook trout on a fly. They haven't even spelled my name correctly, and yet I am to believe that they know my personality traits in depth and with some assurance. Letters, purporting to come from barristers and solicitors in Britain, home of the "pure English language", are so riddled with grammatical irregularities, misspelled words, and improper word usage that it is actually humorous. Reminds me of the old TV program: "Kid's Say the Darndest Things!" Or even better yet, if anyone remembers Huntz Hall and Leo Gorcey in the Dead End Kids series of movies....these letters massacre the English language to about the same extent, and with the same result-GREAT AMUSEMENT! Comedy Club open mike night, and no cover charge required.
Can anyone tell me? Do people really give all their personal information in response to these things? About 50% of them get sidetracked into my Spam folder, and my computer security puts big, bold, fire engine red banners on them-"Do Not Open! This may be hazardous to your computer's operating systems." The computer is not making value judgements about my financial well being, so the warning is confined to crashing my computer. It is the equivalent to the electronic version of "Danger! Will Robinson, danger!" complete with goofy robot and flapping accordian arms. I guess that I am also curious about the mindset that says anybody in this world is going to will millions of dollars to a total stranger, trusting that it will be put to charitable use for humanity. I have always wondered what happens with terminally ill, cancer patients in Britain that they cannot directly bequeath this wealth to the charities near and dear to their heart? Is paranoia a known side effect of cancer treatment in the UK, because the letters indicate that the terminal patient doesn't trust anyone in the world, not family, not legal counsel, not churches or clergy. They trust me, and only me. It is a mystery, for sure.
The most creative efforts attempt to confuse you with a series of certificate, account, and tracking numbers. Once again, the premise is that a ton of official looking numbers and letters is going to convince me of the legitimacy of this bequest. And exactly what are they hoping to get from me? I mean, I might well have less than they do. I have security systems on my computer, my phone, my home, for pity sake. The information which they are seeking is pretty much public knowledge, if you have a computer and know how to Google Search. "So exactly (quoting Basil Fawlty now) what is the Bloody point?!" I have visited Snopes, and some of these people have been dying of cancer for decades, as reports of these questionable bequests have been circulating in the same format for years. In order to persist, there has to be some sort of return or reward. And it would appear that Snopes has been posting alerts about these and other similar cons as long as the scams have existed....So, exactly who participates?
I will concede one thing. It is, most definitely, an unexpected and unintentional, side benefit. Reading all these letters, on the heels of all these rejections, gives me the opportunity to restore my faith in myself. After being told how unworthy, and incapable, I am, I can receive assurance that I truly haven't reached the bottom of the heap yet. And my good mood is probably not for the reasons that anyone would think. It has nothing to do with buying into the propaganda concerning my personal ethics, morals, and behaviors, but rather derives from a much simpler satisfaction. I am not stupid enough to believe these items, nor do I provide the perpetrators with sufficient info to cause me extreme financial and career distress. At least, I know that I am not that stupid....at least for now. For a few minutes, I can pretend that I am one of the popular kids while I survey an email box filled with international friends and long lost family.
Filed under: Musings