September 27, 2023

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks


I recently opened my e-mail and saw three messages.

The subjects were: ” IT’S WORTH A TRY”, “LET’S KEEP OUR FINGERS CROSSED” and “TRY IT!!” All of them were preceded by “FWD:FWD:FWD:FWD:FWD:” which means they were all forwarded at least five times.

The list of names on the front of these messages is always five times longer than the message and they never wear out because there is a constant supply of new people joining the ranks of the interconnected. Each new friend or relative who obtains a computer and starts e-mailing means that we go around again with the same list of tired old scams.

I had seen every one of these at least a dozen times. The writer claims to be a lawyer, knows the law, and swears that this is true. If you send the e-mail to at least 17 people Bill Gates, the president of AOL, or Smokey the Bear will personally deliver a check to you in the amount of $54,985.

I decided to try an experiment. I wrote an e-mail claiming I was a lawyer, signed my name and sent it to ten of my friends. I then sent another e-mail asking if they believed it to be true. All ten said “No.” I sent another e-mail that read, “If you believe me, there is a possibility I could get you some money.” Two replied that they really hadn’t known me very long, and it was possible that I was a lawyer. The other eight tired of the game and chose not to answer.

Next I sent the same e-mail to ten people that I did not know and asked them the same question. Three said, “Yes,” five said, “Maybe,” and the other two sent me an e-mail that makes an obscene gesture if you scroll real fast. (Who has time enough to type all that stuff in?)

I figured that I had three hooked for sure, and five more “possibles,” depending on how much money was involved. I was satisfied, so I abandoned the project.

I also get e-mails from well-meaning friends about a little girl that disappeared and all the mother wants is for me to forward the e-mail to everybody I know so that if anyone sees her they can contact the police. The e-mail says she lives in southern Minnesota, but no town. Just how the heck are you supposed to contact the police? But I suppose you could track her down using her last nameůit’s Jones.

There are also e-mails that warn you about possible dangers. The latest one I received claimed that the skin of bananas from Costa Rica carried flesh-eating bacteria. It even went so far as to tell me that it was being kept a secret so even if I called someone to check, they would lie to prevent mass-hysteria.

Occasionally you do get a well-traveled e-mail with good information. I recently received one that explained how I could perform CPR on myself by coughing if I thought I was having a heart attack and had no aspirin handy. This idea can even be used while driving and is much better than mashing your chest against the steering wheel. There’s also no danger of deploying the air bag. At my age, I can use all the health tips that I can get especially if I have a heart attack after realizing that I had a banana for lunch.

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