Every so often, sobering reality intrudes on the shallow mirth that typifies this blog. Today, I received a heartbreaking (unsolicited) email that I just happened to rescue from my junk folder through sheer luck, the grace of God, and a passing interest in a preceding message promising “Turbo Charged Grass Seed!”. At first, I assumed the email was spam, but I quickly realized how wrong I was when I read its contents.
It was a touching letter from a fellow named Al who, once a major investor in the field of oil and gas, suffered a debilitating stroke as a result of the shock he sustained “from the kidnap encounted from Nigeria militant group that rendered half my body paralysed”. (Lest I receive any posts criticizing my atrocious spelling, I’d like to make it clear that I’m quoting the email verbatim, heartrending spelling mistakes and all. As a result of his stroke, Ali is no doubt struggling to make due with half a brain. Give the guy a break.).
As if this wasn’t enough, Ali just received some terrible news. According to his doctor, he only has three months to live. And, even worse: “the said of it is that I have no close relative around”. Said indeed. Well, following something about spirituality and faith, he gets to the point (a.k.a. the part that involves me cashing in somehow): “I would want you to set up an orphanages foundation in my name and also donate the rest for my wealth to the missionary or charitable organizations as well as the needy, since my money would not have any benefitiary when I’m dead.” Bless his heart – provided it isn’t on the side of his body that has been left paralyzed in which case curse the sluggish organ that has no doubt hastened his premature demise. He goes on: “My account balance presently totaling $38.5M“ ! “I have set aside 25% of thise money for who ever will be willing to assist in this project as his/he reward.” Of course, helping the orphans is reward enough for me. Still, I suppose I could find some use for that other 25%.
More blah blah about faith and spirituality after which: “I am confined to an automatic wheel chair in the teaching hospital untill dearth comes calling” And sadly, I can only assume death will be not far behind. To finish: “I shall instruct the bank from my hospital bed to transfer every information you reqres including all legal documents for onward transfer to your account so that you can commence on this work of humanity.” Yes! As even the most casual reader of this blog can attest, there is no better candidate to perform work on humanity’s behalf than me.
I sent back the following message: “Dear Ali, I am sorry to hear about your hardships – the Nigerian militants, the stroke, the diagnosis, and the fact that you must spend what little time remains in a teaching hospital. I bet death can’t come soon enough. All the same, color me pink and delighted. As I have orphans of my own, I would be thrilled to help you spread the gift only money and 38.5 million dollars can buy. Count me in. Let me know what I can do. Sincerely – Aloysius P. Hazzencockle. P.S. How much is 25% of 38.5 million?
Naturally, I will keep everyone posted on my efforts on behalf of humanity. Who knows? If this works out and I put this money to good use, I may well follow in the footsteps of the great philanderers who have preceded me.
You know, I’ve often said that altruism is its own reward. Okay. Granted, it doesn’t sound like something I would say, but it’s true. I don’t write this blog for the positive feedback (Incidentally, today’s comments are disquietingly weighted toward the actors. Just saying.), or the chocolates (I prefer dark over milk.), but for the love of the art. And so, it really warm my heart to receive testimonials like the one I received yesterday from one Robert C. Cooper (photo included):
“While he will often jump up on my lap for a scratch while I’m sitting on the couch or my recliner he NEVER jumps up on me while at the computer. So imagine my surprise as I sat there checking out your blog when Oscar lept up and stuck his face in front of the screen. He wouldn’t leave either. He just sat there staring as I scrolled down. Seems you have another fan.”
I sent back an email informing him that I was going to use his touching testimonial in today’s blog. His response:
“Not at all. Now that I think about it, I believe he may have wanted more info on Fondy’s new business venture.”
Bless his furry little heart. And Oscar too.
Hey, has everyone picked up The Blade Itself and Before They Are Hanged, the first two books in the First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie yet? What’s taking you?
Finally, since yesterday’s blog was dedicated to long-time fan Carolina and her twisted ankle, I’d like to dedicate this blog to Carolina’s fractured wrist. Now, is there anything I’ve missed, Carolina? Jammed finger? Elbow scrape? Did you bite your tongue?
Well, given that my recent act of kindness has filled me with a profound sense of inner peace, I think this would be the perfect time to field your comments and queries –
PG15 writes: “ 1). What are you going to do after you finish the first draft of “The Kindred Part 1”? Will it be finally time for an actual vacation then? 2). Is it just me, or does the anonymous posters seem more…rude?
Answers: I hope to finish the first draft next week after which I intend to do some reading, watching some DVD’s and, depending on the timeline, break ground on that orphanage. 2) No. It’s about par for the course, bless their bitter, vindictive little hearts.
Breeze writes: “Just got one question what type of laptop or computer do you use?”
Answer: I use a Sony VAIO for writing and editing my music demo (“Touched By the Feeling of Love‘s Loving Fingers” will be my first single).
Mackenziesmomma writes: “What is a good kind of sushi for a beginner?”
Answer: Try the spider roll. Seriously.
Meshel73 writes: “A friend and I are going to be on vacation in Vancouver from July 27th for two weeks. What restaurants do you recommend that we visit while we are there?”
Answer: Vij’s, Yuji’s, Tojos, Fuel, Bistrot Bistro, Le Crocodile, Sha Lin Noodle House, Feenies, Don Francesco, West – to name a few.
Redhooks writes: “Have you cast some guest stars just based on their “highlight reel” of past work or does it always require an audition?”
Answer: Depends on who we’re casting.
Anonymous #1 writes: “I heard there was a very big positive response to Joe and Torri’s little display at last year’s comic con. I noticed you didn’t look too thrilled, though. A sign of things that annoyed you, perhaps?”
Answer: My God, you’ve found me out! I was positively enraged at the mere prospect of fans deriving any sort of enjoyment from Joe and/or Torri’s “little display” (whatever it was. Perhaps you’d care to enlighten me. Oh, wait. You only heard about it. BUT you were able to take note of my none “too thrilled” reaction. Well, get it all sorted out and I look forward to hearing from you. If I can manage to overcome the rage I feel at the mere mention of the incident in question.
Anonymous #2 writes: “ 1) can I mail you some of my world-famous, 70% Cocoa Lindt Dark Chcolate brownies with walnuts? 2) Will it ever be explained why the Wraith cannot feed on Ronon? 3) Ever considered a story where the Wraith gene is triggered in Teyla and she becomes a Wraith Queen for a day?”
Answers: 1) Why not. 2) It’s not that the wraith wasn’t able to feed. It was surprised by his defiance and, thus, figured he would make a great runner. 3) Something like that.
Pauline writes: “Would you consider using the same documentary style story episode as an insight into the day to day working of Atlantis?”
Crazymom writes: “GeekBoy’s favorite scene of just about any SG-1 episode is Cam’s reaction to Teal’c shooting at the stone wall: “Whoa! Bullets bounce!”
Answer: A terrific Ben adlib.
Tattle Tail writes: “As a person of good conscience, were you aware of a rebellious group who plan to hackle the panel at the comic con?”
Answer: Oooh, can’t wait. We’ll have truncheon-wielding security teams interspersed throughout the crowds, prepared to deliver a skull-crunching “whack of silence” should the need arise.
FarscapeFan writes: “The same question as yesterday: what is the chance that Claudia Black will join Ben, Chris, Michael and Amanda at Comic Con SG-1’s panel?”
Answer: Claudia will not be taking part in the panel. Sorry.