Thursday, July 10, 2008

One born every minute

In my Yahoo mail account I get a lot of spam, which does not get sorted properly. It seems that more of it gets sent to my inbox than my spam folder. This means that whenever I check it I click a row of emails and hit the spam button, and then open the genuine mail. (Not that there is much genuine mail. I only use that email account for one thing.)

There are a lot of variations on the Nigerian scam. It amazes me that anybody actually falls for that any more, but apparently there really is one born every minute. There are people out there, it seems, who when they get fifteen emails from fifteen different people wanting to send them money, think, Wow! All these people want to send money to ME! How wonderful!

My reaction, however, when I see the subject line, FROM THE DESK OF MR AMADU BELLO, is to wonder what Mr, Amadu Bello's desk looks like. I also wonder what the desks of Mr Patrick K.W. Chan, Mr Mani Bako, and Mr Muhammed Omar look like. Do they all share the same desk, or are they sitting at different desks? Are they all in the same room, like a big schoolroom, typing away like mad and sending off their wonderful offers? Do they ask each other for advice about spelling and grammar?

I can imagine it. Mr Bello yells to Mr Chan,

"Can I say an obscuring business suggestion? Something sounds wrong. What do you reckon?"

Mr Chan yells back, above the clatter of keys,


"Oh, of course. OBSCURED," says Mr Bello, banging his forehead on the mysteriously undescribed desk he is writing from. Then he types,

I have an obscured business suggestion for you.

A little while after he hits the 'send' button, somewhere across the world someone who was born in the wrong minute opens his email and exclaims,

"Hey, WOW! An obscured business suggestion! Just for me!"

Around the same time about fifteen million spam filters send the email into spam folders, and another fifteen million spam filters fail to do so, causing a lot of air to turn blue.

Meanwhile, I'm still wondering what Mr Bello's desk looks like.


Keera Ann Fox said...

Thanks for reminding me that I actually have a Yahoo account of my own. Which I, too, use for one thing and one thing only.

I imagine the Nigerian desks are ancient left-overs from colonial times, in massive, imported oak, standing in the middle of a large, bare room, directly under a single lamp with a couple of fans in the ceiling rotating lazily. No, wait, that was my co-worker's description of Kampala airport's custom's department. Never mind.

Badaunt said...

That was pretty much what I was imagining. Something colonial and splendid.