With my script work behind me for the show’s fourth season, I now have the opportunity to catch up on some of my other writing projects – namely, my inspired responses to email scammers.
I received an email from a Mr. Jain Haggis who is – stop me if this sounds familiar – on his deathbed and looking to bequeath a sizable sum ($8 million dollars to be precise) to a worthy individual willing to put the money to good use (ie – in Mr. Haggis’s words “distributing the money to Hurricane Katrina victims in USA ,Charity organisations,and motherless babies homes”). Well as it so happens, my alter ego Aloysius P. Hazzencockle is in the process of helping another dying philanthropist’s dream come true, so he was more than happy to respond:
“Dearest Mr. Hagis,
I was overjoyed to read your email and your desire to bequeath me $8 million dollars, yet very saddened to hear about your terrible sickness and your oddly feminine first name. Speaking of motherless babies homes, I am, coincidentally, in the process of building an orphanage with another dying (or possibly already dead) benefactor and could use the extra infusion of cash to help defray the costs of the wave pool and jai lai court I am thinking of adding to the grounds. (Incidentally, do you have occasion to play much jai lai in the hospital where you are wasting away or has your condition reached that state of decrepitude that precludes your participating in athletics? If you have, then I’m sure you can attest to what a sensationally revelatory, truly cathartic, and life-affirming experience the sport can be. If you haven’t, then, enh, you’re not missing much.). The orphanage itself – really more a castle as, at the initial planning stage, it became apparent to me that I couldn’t possibly spend all that money on a simple orphanage and certainly not one in the middle of nowhere like Africa which, last I heard, hardly cracks the top ten list of most popular tourist destinations – is almost complete and I would be happy to honor any last requests to have your ashes sprinkled over the property. Preferably, this should happen before the end of September as that is when the first bunch of itinerant urchins arrive and I would rather not to upset them with the sight of your cremated remains dusting their soccer field. No pressure but, ideally, if you could find a way to die within the next three weeks, then we could make the proper arrangements to have you incinerated and distributed in a timely manner. Should you find this in any way problematic, I’d like to point out that, technically, you don’t have to be dead to be cremated.
Anyhoo, looking forward to that check –
Aloysius P. Hazzencockle”
I also received an email from someone who wrote to inform me that I needed to contact a Mr. James Williams (email address enclosed) to make arrangements so that I could receive the $500 000 USD owed me from some forgotten business transaction. I followed up with Mr. Williams –
“Dear Mr. Williams,
I just wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you. My checking account was credited with the sum of $500 000 yesterday. It was great doing business with you.
Several hours later, I received an email from James Williams, informing me that he, in fact, still had the $500 000 USD in his possession and required my personal information in order to get me the money. I wrote back –
“Dear James Williams,
As I stated in my previous email, I already received the sum of $500 000 USD from your offices. The transaction was completed the day before yesterday when the money was cleared and deposited into my account. I didn’t really believe it – until I cashed in $150 000 and bought myself a new Aston Martin.
Again, thank you for your generosity.
It’ll be interesting to see how far I can take this one.
Finally, an email from a Mr. Usman John directing me to contact (email and phone number provided) The Shalom Global Security Company to facilitate the transfer of 1.2 million dollars owed me for reasons unspecified. All I need do is send them a check for $95 and the money would be mine. Instead, I sent them the following email –
“To Whom It May Concern
I was contacted by a Mr. Usman John to pay you the sum of $95 in order to free up a bank draft of 1.2 million dollars, but when I phoned the office number provided in the email, I was told that Shalom Global Security had misplaced the money and had awarded me a full set of Encyclopedia Brittanica minus entries C, F, and Q-V instead. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am, especially since said encyclopedias are the 1957 Hungarian editions!
I’m about a third of the way through Jack McDevitt’s Seeker and added to my never-ending to-read list by picking up three new titles today: Stephen R. Donaldson’s Lord Foul’s Bane (based on Rob Cooper’s recommendation), Dan Simmons’ “Children of the Night” (based on a book club recommendation), and the first book of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series: The Gunslinger (based on y’all’s recommendation). I’ll get to these right after I finish George R. R. Martin’s A Clash of Kings and Iain M. Banks’ Use of Weapons.
I was contacted my Eileen Ko who confirmed my panel at this year’s Anime Evolution taking place at the gorgeous SFU campus (aka the Tollan homeworld). Hopefully, I’ll have better luck at that location than Narim did.
And by the way, in case you thought I’d forgotten, work continues on gathering together material for Stargate Atlantis’s very first blooper reel that will be one of the special features on the season four DVD box set. Some recent finds include: an uncoordinated wraith, an indignant replicator, and a little something for those Shepkett fans out there.
No mailbag today as I’m taking the day off to spend quality time with the dogs. Tomorrow, I’ll ignore the dogs and get back to your letters.