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Random Thoughts (Blog)

Subject: Help !!!

Posted on January 22, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Most people would view AOL’s spam filter as a cruel, cruel joke whose sole mission in life is to expose them to all manner of Internet phishery and digital flotsam and jetsam. It’s a filter in the way that a poplin jacket is bullet proof. Or in the way that diet soda really tastes like regular soda. Or in the way that when someone says, "Oh no! It's totally NOT a pyramid scheme! Not at all!" its really not pyramid scheme. Or when a telemarketer says they are NOT a telemarketer. So, not really filterey at all. And on any given day, you are likely to open your mail in box and discover multiple offers for “As seen on TV!” crappery and the types of medicines only available when shipped from other countries in plain brown, must-sign-for wrappers.

 

That’s how MOST people would see it.

 

I, on the other hand, see it as an opportunity to find some new blog fodder every time I hear that, “You’ve got mail!” dude. (Actually, I don’t hear that guy anymore. I never have my computer speakers on. What I hear is a SONAR ping from my cell phone indicated a new, inbound message. Or the presence of Red October.) In the past, I’ve been offered millions of dollars to help horrible ass cancer sufferer, MRS. GHAYTH FAIZA, donate her dead husband’s money (you have to admit, this poor woman's life has been just one bout of suffering after another...) in a manner consistent with my proven compassion and generosity and apparently easily found e-mail address.


I’ve also been offered a job by Mr. Owen Smith to fill the urgent roll of "ONLINE BOOKKEEPER NEEDED............." Sure, some people might have thought that a return e-mail address of  "[email protected]" sounded a bit sketchy and mass e-mailey, but not me. I figured that he just really REALLY needed an online bookkeeper and that my proven blogging and journalism skills made me a standout candidate.

 

So when I got a message today from fellow AOL-er, Sam Sutherland, it was obvious that he needed my help. I mean, his subject had three -- THREE!!! -- exclamation points for heaven's sake! And I was at Custom Theater alone, and felt like I’d see just how badly Sam wanted my help. Enjoy the dialog… I’m going to put Sam’s dialog in italics so it’s easier for you to follow.

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sam Sutherland

To: undisclosed recipients: ;

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 1:26 pm

Subject: Help !!!

 

I'm writing this with tears in my eyes, Lena and I came down to London, United Kingdom for a short vacation. Unfortunately, we got mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed, all cash and credit cards were stolen off us but luckily for us, we still have our passports safe.

 

We've been to the the Police here but they're not helping issues at all and our return flight leaves in few hours from now but we're having problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let us leave until we settle the bills. Well, we really need your financial assistance..

 

Please let me know if you can help us out?

 

We're freaked out at the moment!!!

 

Sam

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sciacca

To: samlsutherland0

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 6:28 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

Sam!!!

 

Dude! Holy crap!!! That sucks!!! Let me immediately send my social security number, driver's license, passport, and AmEx platinum numbers. Or do you need me to just Western Union some gobs of cash?  

 

Yours in times of emergency!

 

-----Original Message-----

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 1:45 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

I'm glad you replied back to my email. Lena was seriously injured while struggling with the muggers but the doctors here said she'll be fine. I just wish you can imagine how terrible we're feeling right now. We have nothing left on us and we have blocked our cards for security purpose. I'm grateful to God that we still have our lives and passports saved cos' it would have been worse if they made away with our passports. well all I need is just $1,620 and you can have it wired to me via Western Union. Here's my info below:

 

Receiver's Name: Sam Sutherland

Location: 16 Cromwell Road,Kesington

London United Kingdom

 

As soon as it is done, kindly get back to me with the confirmation number. Let me know if you are heading to the Western Union outlet now.

 

Sam

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sciacca

To: samlsutherland0

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 6:53 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

Sam! Wow! Man, that totally sucks for Lena! Too bad she didn't take that mixed martial arts class that we were talking about. That way she would have been better able to take a punch and defend herself. I hope that she got a couple of licks in and scored some points for the home team! Ha! I have to try and make light of it at a time like this, you know, in light of my urge to jump on the next NetJets flight and come over there and have us a tag-team, British-style, royal family ass-beating on the people that did this!

 

When I ran out of money in Europe, I just called American Express and they wired money to me. You probably should have listened to me when I told you to get that Platinum Card!!! I swear, I love you like a brother, but if your negligence has somehow ended up in getting Lena hurt... I'm not sure that our friendship is strong enough to endure it...

 

I know how little time you have, so I'm just going to do my morning bike ride, take a quick soak in the tub, finish the episode of The Simpson's I was watching, grab a bite to eat, get the oil changed in my car and THEN head straight down to Western Union.

 

I worry that $1620 won't be enough. What if I send $2500? Will that give you enough of a cushion? You're good to pay me back, right?

 

Yours the instant I get all of my stuff done!

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sciacca

To: samlsutherland0

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 7:59 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

Sam! Are you still there?! I'm almost finished with my chores and then can get ready to head down to the Western Union!

 

Hang tight, old man! Hang tight!

 

Let me know that you are still there and if the $2500 will be sufficient. I'm thinking that maybe I should make it $3500 to help you upgrade to First Class seats on the plane trip home to help ease some of the pain from your arduous morning!

 

Seriously, when I think of Lena suffering even for another second… Well, I start to feel that old rage ulcer acting up. I’m sure you recall that time we beat that guy to death…I know we promised never to talk about it, but now I’m starting to feel those old, strange feelings again. Let me know if you think it’s time for me to get that wood chipper oiled up again…

 

Please advise......

 

Yours in vengeance!

 

-----Original Message-----

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 3:14 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

$2,500 is sufficient. Please get back to me with the western union confirmation number as soon as you have the money sent.

 

Thanks

 

Sam

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sciacca

To: samlsutherland0

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 9:23 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

I know that you’ve been through hell, old bean, but it seems like you’re acting a bit the puss… Would you like me to speak with the hotel man? I'm sure I could sort it out with him and vouch for all of the trouble that you've been going through today. I mean, what sort of chap would essentially hold you hostage over a bill after you were mugged in HIS country? It's barbaric and unthinkable.

 

I'm glad that $2500 will cover it. Do you need any extra to cover your food, bar tab and other incidentals while you've been waiting? I'm sure that Lena has been hitting the gin rather aggressively to calm her nerves after the traumatic morning.

 

Keep me posted!!!!!!

 

Yours in moments of uncertainty!

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sciacca

To: samlsutherland0

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 9:41 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

Dude! Sam!!! Are you still there?!

 

What's up, brother!!! You never returned my previous message! Do you still need my help? Is Lena racking up crazy charges at the bar? Do you need some extra money? I'm here at the Western Union! Respond ASAP!!!!

 

Urgent!!!!

 

Yours in times of despair!

 

-----Original Message-----

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 4:44 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

That's all we need, We do not need extra.

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sciacca

To: samlsutherland0

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 9:48 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

OK. The Western Union guy says I need to have your name....

 

And then I realized that I can't remember your name...

 

Then I started thinking....

 

Wait, how do I know you? I mean, I remember Lena. Like, I *TOTALLY* remember Lena. I’m sure she still has that mole. I know you know the one I’m talking about, you devil!

 

Anyhow, please advise....I have the $2500 ready and can't stand to think of you standing all mugged and tears-in-you-eyes in London. It's probably raining and all overcast and crap weather too. And I bet you haven't had anything to eat all day, what with Lena using all the left over money for gin purchasing. I am going to stop right now and say a silent prayer in thanks that the bar was able to offer her some modicum of peace -- a Quantum of Solace, if you will -- today.

 

Jog my memory of how I know you and I can fill this form out. Quick!!!!!

 

Yours in shared love!

 

-----Original Message-----

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 4:51 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

Receiver's Name: Sam Sutherland

Location: 16 Cromwell Road,Kesington

London United Kingdom

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sciacca

To: samlsutherland0

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 10:13 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

Ah! Sam, Sammy-Sam, Big-Sam-a-Lam Sutherland! Of course!

 

Did we go to Princeton together? I always fancied myself a Princeton man. Were you the guy that sat 4th chair in crew?

 

I just want to make sure this isn’t a scam. I mean, I have a ton of money – like A TON! -- and $2500 is nothing to me. But I wouldn't want to send it to a total stranger or anything. Sure you understand my hesitation.

 

Also, please send a picture of Lena. I bet she looks totally hot with a little swelling and bruising on her face. It probably gives her some character! I don't think a picture of Lena is asking too much for $2500, do you? Especially since we've been through so much together at Universitas Princetoniensis.

 

Sam! Buddy! I'm just standing here like a dumb-ass while the Western Union man is staring at me wondering what the hell I'm doing with all these hundreds in my hand. Plus this guy has a three-card Monte station set up and I’m *pretty sure* I’ve got his system figured out!

 

Help me out! How do we know each other? It's from Cal, right? We were Golden Bears together, right?

 

Send my love to Lena. Give her gentle kisses on her sweet, sweet cuts and bruises...

 

Yours in camaraderie and alma mater-ship!

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sciacca

To: samlsutherland0

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 10:47 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

Sam? Are you there? I'm starting to feel like this has been a scam. Dude! Not cool! After all that we’ve been through together…

 

I'm about 5 minutes away from leaving this Western Union and taking the money down to the mall and just buying a crapload of Hillshire Farms meatsticks. And maybe a new tie. A scarlet red and white one. You know, to commemorate all of our great memories at BU.

 

The clock is ticking, Sam. Tick-tock, tick-tock.....

 

Not yours for much longer!

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sciacca

To: samlsutherland0

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 11:02 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

Well, Sam. I'm gonna bail.

 

Tony, the Western Union clerk, has been really cool about me hanging out here. We sipped prune brandy from his Thermos and traded "worst BO I ever smelled" stories. I dare say, if you ever find yourself at this particular Western Union, be careful how much you wager; Tony is a tough man to top at that game! Turns out that Western Union is like the repository for horrific BO.

 

Turns out that several other people had friends that were also mugged while away on vacation in London! It's shocking really! The Smith’s were tragically prescient; there really IS Panic on the streets of London! How are things in Carlisle and are they hanging any DJs? Wretchedly, I had to just sit here and watch as these people were able to send off thousands and thousands of dollars to help THEIR friends, but I had to stand here like an impotent oaf with $1900 crisp dollars in my hand (I ran into a bit of a bad streak at that damn Monte table...believe me, it is NOT as easy as it looks!) unable to help you, my closest ally!

 

Sorry that you couldn't help yourself to help me to help you by helping me to know how I know you.

 

I'll be thinking about you when I eat all of that delicious, hickory smoked meat product.

 

Fare thee well, my friend. Tell Lena that I'll love her forever and consider her one of the greatest regrets of my life...

 

Yours in delicious meats!

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Sciacca

To: samlsutherland0

Sent: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 11:37 pm

Subject: Re: Help !!!

 

Sam!!!!!

 

I'm back from the mall!!!!

 

The meat was off the chain!!! And the mustards were outstanding. Like out-STAND-ing! They had this spicy, country Dijon with some wasabi and ginger. Dude, we have GOT to get together -- you, me and Lena, and if you can't make it, I totally understand. Honestly, Lena and I could probably stand to have a bit of "alone time" to get "reacquainted" and "catch up" -- and chow down on some of this goodness! Tell Lena I’ll make her favorite drink… I know JUST how she likes it!

 

They had a sale on the meatsticks, so I still have $1100 left over if you want it.

 

Just let me know if you're still there.

 

Not so much yours any more, but still Lena's!

Categories: January 2011, Bizarre

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