I Solicited Spam Mail to Stop the Lonliness
I had heard that the Internet was a great way to meet people. I rushed to sign up for an “email” account. For weeks I didn’t get a single letter. I thought that nobody liked me. Then the spam came. At first I hated it. But then I sorta began to enjoy it - I pretended that the people sending me spam really really liked me. Many of them called me by my name – or, at least, recognized that I was a “Dear homeowner.”
I went out of my way to get more spam. Did you ever get those mails from spammers offering to send out an email on your behalf to millions of people? Yeah, you can send mail to MILLIONS of “qualified consumers” for just a few thousand dollars, apparently. I get offers to do it all the time. I always write them back asking if they could please make sure that I was on as many mailing lists as possible.
A Special Note from a Special Spammer
Then one day I got a letter from a nice young man in Nigeria. He said he was the heir to a personal family fortune, but that his country was unstable and his family had been killed in the revolutions. He was looking for a safe bank account that he could transfer millions of dollars into. All he needed to know was my bank account number, my social security number, birthdate, mothers’ maiden name, and a few other personal details so that he could wire the money right into my checking account. Then, if he made it to the United States alive, he would reclaim his money and give me a handsome reward.
I just knew it was a scam and that he was really an evil man trying to get my bank account number and steal all my money. But … I was so lonely … I just wanted someone to TALK to me. So I wrote him back and gave him all the info. I even told him I would give him my credit card number and expiration date if he would just write me back.
The next day I went to the bank. I expected it to have been emptied by my special new friend.
Instead I saw that I had a balance of $365 million dollars.
More and Merrier
Weeks went by. Then months. My Nigerian friend never contacted me, and soon my emails to him began to bounce. I had lost my special, special friend. And I was very depressed. He must have been killed by the revolutionaries. He never ever escaped.
Finally, the grief was overwhelming. I decided that my Nigerian friends’ fortune was a gift from the powers that be, a gift of friendship and love, and that I would use it as such. So, do you remember those spam places I talked about that send mail to millions of people? I hired one. I paid $30,000 to mail over thirty million people. I told them that all they had to do was write me back and I would send them each a check for ten dollars.
At first I didn’t hear anything. Then, after a couple of days, a single tentative email came through: “Are you joking?” it asked. It was the first letter I ever got just for me and me alone. I cried tears of joy. Then I sent the guy ten bucks.
Soon, word spread. I got ten letters a day, then fifty. By the end of the week I was getting over a THOUSAND emails daily! I read each and every one, grinning ear to ear, warm and fuzzy inside. And I personally wrote everybody a check for ten dollars and sent it on its way.
If they bothered to write back and say thank you, I was resplendent with glee, and mailed them an additional $50. One person wrote in to say, “Normally I have to punch monkeys for that kind of cash!”
I found that $365 million dollars is a LOT of money. The interest alone more than covered my first month’s activity. Also, people began sending my email to all their friends, which meant I no longer had to pay spammers to do it for me. An article about me in Forbes magazine said that this was a very “viral” marketing scheme and that I was rapidly growing a massive online audience. They pointed out that my willingness to just give people money for no reason harkened to a return of the dot-com economy.
Anyways, I started to pay people bonuses if they said nice things to me. One guy put a smiley in his email so I sent him an extra $20 grand. One fellow said he was trying to put his son through college – I gave him a hundred bucks and said if his son wrote me, I’d pay his tuition. He did, so I did. Then all his friends wrote me. I felt like I was “one of the gang,” so I sent them $40 thousand dollars apiece.
One man wrote in to tell me I had nice tits. I don’t have tits, mostly because I’m a man. But the thought is what counts, so I set him up with a $200 thousand dollar trust fund.
The Bonds of True Friendship
This went on for many months. I was in heaven. Some people wrote back to me constantly! I sent them more money than I could even keep track of! I never had so many friends. I felt so loved.
Finally, though, the money ran out. I thought that of the millions of people I paid to write me, at least a few would keep writing. But they didn’t. The letters slowed down. Soon all I had was spam. My bank account was cleaned up and closed. The party was over.
Then one day I saw a man on CNN. He was a little Nigerian man. He was weeping. The translator explained that he once had a huge family fortune, but that he had lost every penny to some unscrupulous Internet scam artist known to him only as “Dear Homeowner.” He had tried to escape to America but found that he had not a penny to his name. Tears streamed down his emaciated face like rivers; he looked directly at the camera and screamed, in Nigerian, “Damn you, homeowner! DAMN YOU TO HELL!” He fell to the ground, choking with sobs, and the news channel cut back to a stern looking anchorman.
I had lost my only real friend.
I’m sorry, Nigerian friend! Maybe if we write everyone back and explain what happened, they will send me back your money?
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