Today was a much better day insofar as I experienced no internet problems, didn’t encounter any black ice on my way in to work, nor did I have a bird shit on me. Instead, Tuesday was a quietly productive day spent helping to break a story (a possible episode #12) with a new freelancer. This one promises to be another interesting studying conflict and character. Another visit to the Destiny in Stage 4 and the Icarus Base in Stage 5 shows the sets are coming along nicely. The ship interiors are particularly impressive.

Like most of you, I receive my fair share of spam emails. Unlike most of you, I often try to make it a point to write back. After all, who wants to miss out on the opportunity to inherit tens of millions of dollars from the estate of Nigerian prince or collect a staggering $50 million USD in the Spanish Lotto? I don’t and neither do my various online personas (www.spambait.wordpress.com): the opportunistic Aloysius P. Hazzencockle, the lovesick Percival H. Lintmuffin, the megalomaniac Baron Destructo, he befuddled Margaret Quibble, the lovable Cookie Monster, the all-business Melvin’s Kidnappers, and, of course, the oh-so-sarcastic Norman Shuttlecock Jr. who received a note from an African banker alerting him that he had discovered $36 million USD in a dormant account. “The account holder,”he writes, “has long since passed away (Dead) leaving no beneficiary to the account.” Then, in a proposal fraught with misspellings and grammatical errors, he proceeds outlines a plan by which I could act as a beneficiary and lay claim to this enormous sum. All he requires to get the ball rolling is my Bank Account number. The email is signed “Yours Faithfully,
FROM:Mr:Kevin William.“ What an opportunity! Norman Shuttlecock Jr. wrote back:

“Dearest From,

I consider myself blessed that a) you have chosen to approach me with this opportunity and b) your bank’s education standards are low enough to permit someone like yourself to hold a position in their employ. Your general disdain for punctuation aside, the offer sounds very intriguing. (By the way, thank you for explaining that “passed away” meant “Dead”. I’d initially assumed it was a euphemism for defecation.). But, onto business.

You write: “I am certainly sure that he is dead and nobody will come again for the claim of this money”. How “certainly sure” are you? The-sun-will-rise-tomorrow sure or There‘s-no-way-he‘s-got-the-flush-so-I‘m-going-all-in-with-pocket-aces sure? I only ask because I wish to avoid the inconvenience and general embarrassment that comes with having to reimburse embezzled funds. Also, you write “A foreigner can only claim this money with legal claims to the account”. However, in accessing the funds, we would be making an ILLEGAL declaration, thereby seemingly contradicting the terms you had initially set out. Unless, of course, the aforementioned terms are not so much set-in-stone regulations as they are mere suggestions along the lines of “Wait half an hour after you eat before going swimming”, “Best Before October 12th”, or “Harmful if Swallowed”.

Well, if you’re feeling confident then, heck, what do I have to lose (beside my money, personal data, and freedom should the authorities learn of this transaction)? I have attached my banking information as a Ferbit file. Just in case you experience trouble opening the document, I have also attached it in Gergelplax.

Looking forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Norman Shuttlecock Jr. “

The next morning, I discovered an email in my inbox that began: ““Norman Shuttlecock Jr, I received your mail, you should send the information plain text because the attachement cannot be open.” Then, to allay any fears I may have concerning the legality of the transaction, he assures me: “The security of this business is 100% guaranteed, and there will never be any question both now and in future because HERITAGE is not a crime anywhere, also, anybody, organization, foundation or even animals can INHERIT…”

Even animals? Well, then. Norman Shuttle Jr. wrote back:

“This is wonderful news! If what you say is true, that even animals can inherit this sum, I know an aardvark that could really use the money. Our local zoo has given him two months to move out of his enclosure (They renovated the place and jacked up the rent in an obvious attempt to attract more affluent residents – ie. Koalas, sharpei’s, wealthy baboons. I‘m not exactly sure how they can get away with it but, apparently, Tenants’ Rights Laws in this state do not extend to mammals. The zoo says they have received complaints from neighbors claiming my friend is up at all hours of the night but I feel this is an unfair criticism given that aardvarks are nocturnal. Also, the zoo has found him in contravention of a strata bylaw that prohibits the construction of inground pools, although my friend insists this was merely excavation work on a new burrow.). He is short on cash and in desperate need. I think he would be a perfect candidate for you as his landed immigrant status fulfills the foreign residency requirement of the transaction.

How should we proceed? Will he require a bank account as well?

Sincerely,

Norman Shuttlecock Jr.”

The following day, there was another message from Mr. William sitting in my inbox: “I am very serious with this transaction, if you are serious, send your empty account to start processing the payment.”

Egads. Fearful he had offended the poor guy, Norman Shuttlecock Jr. wrote back:

“I’m glad to hear it. I too am very serious and, more importantly, so is the aardvark. The only problem is that in order for him to acquire a bank account, he is required to provide either a driver’s license (which he doesn’t have, the result of an impaired driving conviction in ‘07) or the guarantees of TWO signatories. I can be one but, sadly, his only other friend, a pygmy marmoset, was recently put down in a case of mistaken identity involving a flea outbreak, a bowler hat, and a spiteful snow monkey. Would you be able to sign a legal affidavit confirming you have known the aardvark for at least a six months and consider him a citizen in good standing? If so, we can proceed with this transaction immediately.

Looking forward to doing business with you.

Sincerely,

Norman Shuttlecock Jr.”

Alas, Norman Shuttlecock’s inbox sat empty all day. Fearful of blowing a golden opportunity to help out an aardvark in need, he followed up:

“Hi Kevin,

Even though I didn’t hear back from you, I assume we’re still proceeding with this transaction. I informed my friend, the aardvark, about the plan to make him the beneficiary of the $36 million USD inheritance and he was understandably thrilled. He called you a heavenly slice of Angel Food Cake in a sea of Devil’s Food Cake. He also says to stop calling his sister.

As I mentioned in my last email, in order for an aardvark (or, frankly, any mammal) to open a bank account in the United States, he/she requires two guarantors to vouch for him. That said, I have drafted the following statement for you:

“To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this letter in support of Herscheval Quentin Aardvark‘s request to open a bank account with First Infidelity. I know Herscheval through the San Bernadino Community Theater Group, where I am the technical director. We worked together on several local theater projects including H.M.S. Pinafore, Grease, and Still Fresh: The Alfonso Ribeiro Story.

 

In the two years I’ve known Herscheval, I have found him to be a well-grounded, trustworthy, upstanding member of society with little, if any, anger management issues and no known drinking problems to the best of my knowledge. I feel he would make an excellent client for your bank as, in addition to his strong character, he possesses significant experience in deposits and withdrawals, albeit of a non-fiduciary nature.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Norman Shuttlecock Jr.”

If this doesn’t pan out, I’m afraid we’re going to have to make alternate plans for Herscheval. Anybody have a place with an extra room. And very relaxed pet bylaws?

Let’s hear your thoughts on the ultimate zombie collection: The Living Dead.  And get those questions in for editor John Joseph Adams.!

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grapesofwraith

Hi Joe!
Great to hear your bad luck spout is over. But if you go by your 1 day good, 1 day bad, how does tomorrow fare?
Thanks for all the spambait updates, made me have a big laugh.
I totally forgot to ask a blog dedication yesterday (it’s ok now though)…today is my birthday ! Big 17. I wanted to watch Obama’s inauguration. I was taking a US History final. It’s all ok though, because I got to read your blog updates (which you were able to do after yesterday’s incident) !! Hopefully FROM Kevin responds soon, and you can post those too!
~Rich

Deni B.
Deni B.

Ok, I about peed my pants laughing with Ferbit and Gergelplax bit wink Thanks for the laugh, very much needed today! It’s 23 degrees in Gainesville, FL tonight, and getting colder tomorrow night. How are your dogs? Haven’t heard anything about them lately! Have a good night:)

Kody
Kody

I’m glad you are having better luck today. I’m about to have to start your tactics with spam mail. I’ve been either ignoring them or clicking on the handily provided “unsubscribe” link. Unfortunately, when I do that, 20 other addresses send me the exact same gimmick. I think it’s really sad that I have to spend more time wading through junk mail than I do reading my actual mail.
Oh well. Off to neverland now. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
– Kody

Narelle from Aus

Hey Joe,

I don’t read the Horror selection but I do have a question for John Joseph-Adams about creating a compilation.

When creating a collection such as this do you find yourself with too many options and have to make some tough choices as to which to take out or have a few in mind and go hunting for the rest?

Joe, has 2 million visits come and gone?

herbertsommerfeld
herbertsommerfeld

Hi Joe,

I wanted to say, “Thank-you,” for helping me out. Perhaps I will see you tomorrow.

Herb

suziesbluefeather

See Joe, I told you today will be better for you! I personally had an awesome day as I was able to enjoy a hot shower from my own home. Turns out that you can’t use the echo friendly light bulbs with our pipe heating unit because it doesn’t put out enough heat to trip the sensor or something. Yeah for water!!!

Sorry to say that I do not have any questions in regards to The Living Dead. While I did read it there is a cutie asking questions about a different book and I have to follow the hormones. I hope he doesn’t mind. Please let him know though that I did enjoy the book and that he did well in creating a great zombie collection. I will recommend it to my horror friends.

So Joe, are you back to eating real food yet or are you going to go for more than 2 weeks? Did you reach your goal? For Paul’s sake I hope you reached it.

B Angel
B Angel

Hi Joe Mallozzi,
Glad the Good Luck is back!
Someone on one of the forums posted a link to an old LJ post that has the funniest translations (from Japanese to English) as closed captions.
They are from the DVD of Atlantis episode The Seige 2 and are really good:
http://users.livejournal.com/_phoon_/20913.html
May your good luck continue tomorrow. smile

Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee

Yo Mr. M.,
Yeah… Have you hit the 2 millionth posts on your blog?

Inquiring minds want to know… and oh, I too almost wet my pants reading today’s entry! It was hysterically funny!

Second Q: I echo Shirt n’ Tie’s question of yesterday “What is the status of your super secret project?” Are you done yet? When will we see the fruits of your labor? Remember, months ago, you promised to reveal all when I made a guess as to what the actual project really is…! So did I guess right after all?

Cheers,
Patricia Lee

Ganymede
Ganymede

Hey Joe….
Was just wondering.. who’s your Military Tech Advisor for SGU? Better question: DO you HAVE one??! Sure HOPE so!

I was just over at GateWorld checking over the latest cast info, etc. and starting to wonder about this Lt. Scott … I pray he’s NOT going to end up being another whiney [and panicky] type like Ford was – seriously, that character really did have ‘issues’ and should NEVER have gotten near a Stargate! So what that he knew how to blow up things. Hell, *I* know how to blow up things!! — Otherwise, ALL of the other Military characters [i.e. the silent background people] were somewhat spot on!

As quoted from the site:

“Green and rough around the edges, Lt. Scott is thrust into the role of leader well before he is ready for the responsibility. He must learn to command, earn the respect of his people through action, and manage the diverse personalities aboard the ship.”

Okay, Joe, FYI – to BE a Lt. one has to go to a “Academy” and/or through Officer Training, “where”, [oh gee look!] they have to LEARN **ALL OF THE ABOVE**!! Or they don’t pass AND certainly wouldn’t be allowed into the Stargate Programme… **DUH**?!!! This is the 21st Century, Sweetie, *not* ‘Nam!

[For those born after 1973, the above character description is pretty much the definition of a “FNG”, who usually didn’t last longer than a couple weeks and/or their first patrol outside the wire!– that is, if he didn’t get ‘fragged’ by his own men first!] [Present day version: think Afghanistan/Iraq, foot patrol (aka IED BINGO), Pretty Boy would be the first one in line with the multi-tour/NCO guys taking up the rear…]

I’m betting the Greer character will be having the Lt. for breakfast!!

PoorOldEdgarDerby
PoorOldEdgarDerby

Joe, it seems that any idiosyncratic behavior on the part of your Mr. HQ Aardvark should have either been addressed on the inital lease application or said behavior is culturally innate of Hercheval and likely protected under the Fair Housing Act, a cause worthy of the ACLU (or the CCLA).

But if you he’s not looking to drag this on, he should try applying for room & board at the bat house.

I’ll try to get “The Living Dead” tomorrow.

Obama!

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

At least I had the sense not to be drinking anything while looking at your post today. Thanks for the laughs, and I do hope that this string of emails will continue to play out.
Can’t find my copy of Living Dead, so I’m holding off for another day and see if I can figure out which gremlins took off with it. I know I found it suprisingly enjoyable, given my lack of interest in mobile morbid entitites, but I don’t want to post a review of individual stories without a glance to remind me about specifics. Looking forward to reading other opinions in the meantime.
So, when will TPTB allow you to start posting pictures of the new sets? Please, Mr. Cooper and Mr. Wright? Just a couple of teensy weensie glimpses(not including the Cooper/Binder picture of a couple of days ago). I’m going through sufficient Stargate withdrawal right now that anything will help. Mind, I’m still more excited about the Atlantis movie, but I do put Universe information ahead of the SG 1 movie. Here’s hoping the week continues to improve for you Mr. M.

Morjana

Hi, Joe.

I went to the library today and stocked up on some books, and managed to get (and just finished reading) John Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War.” Excellent novel.

I was concerned about the theme of “manifest destiny” that was being preached, but at least, finally, the concept was discussed in the novel, pro and con.

Just started “The Ghost Brigades.” I’m impressed with the humor mixed with the drama and the horror. The Ghost Brigade looking for something more than being just what they are — family, love, creative purpose, laughter, joy.

Brilliant idea having Mr. Scalzi as creative consultant for SGU.

Gene Roddenberry did the same thing with the original Star Trek (not having Mr. Scalzi as a consultant, but utilizing the talents of so many talented scifi writers, including Theordore Sturgeon, Harlan Ellison, David Gerrold [of course, he was a novice then], Jerome Bixby and Robert Bloch.

Best wishes!

shiningwit
shiningwit

Lets hear it for the Aardvark!

er..some of us (meaning me) are missing doggie updates. And has Lawren recovered from his dog/house sitting venture?

shiningwit
shiningwit

@B Angel. Thanks for the link, I’m still chortling muchly. Defendoof indeed!!

sirle
sirle

Hi Mr. Mallozzi,

It’s become quite a habit to read your blog daily & I must confess that this entry is the best yet. It’s absolutely hilarious! Others thought I were crazy when I suddenly started laughing on my own for no apparent reason. So, thanks for making my day a bit funnier.
Also, now I know how to act towards those (spam)claims.
How are your cute dogs?

All the Best,
Sirle

rsthomas90
rsthomas90

I’ve missed Norman and his friends, their emails do make for brilliant reading X]

My Name Is Scott
My Name Is Scott

Hey! Quick question…

Stargate has always been cool in that it takes place in the present. Ark of Truth, though, was released after it would have taken place. When Ark of Truth came out, season 4 of SGA was airing and Carter was already in Pegasus, so it had already taken place by the time the film was released. Continuum, if I understand correctly, was shot to take place before SGA season 4, but ended up aligning VERY nicely with Carter’s departure from Atlantis at the beginning of SGA season 5.

My question: Will the coming SG1 and SGA movies be shot with a specific timeframe in mind, and will they take place in the IMMEDIATE present (time of DVD release)? It know it sounds nitpicky, but it’d be odd to watch a new Stargate movie, knowing it took place a season back. It’d be like watching season 1 of SGA during season 9 of SG1. I’d get confused because I’d start thinking they were happening at the same time.

Essentially, will greater attention be applied to release dates so as to keep everything (continuity, ORDER) intact?

Thanks!

Anais33

Coucou Joseph!

Vous allez bien? Moi super!
Contente de voir que cette journée, c’est mieux passé pour vous^^!

Ma cette aprés midi je ne travail pas donc je vais pouvoir me consacré à la convention. En plus un chaine du cable va parler de cette événement, c’est vraiment bien =)!

Bonne journée, bisou

Jinx

See…the bird poop thing IS good luck!

And it’s a good thing you included Gergelplax, my laptop wouldn’t open Ferbit either if it had the chance.

I’ll sign for the aardvark if you still need someone…..

Do not remove, under penalty of law.

Trish (aka whovian)

Hey Joe,

Why is it that most spammers refuse to use proper English? And I, too, am glad that FROM aka Mr. Williams explained that *passed away* means *dead*. I thought it was something else entirely. wink

I think we can give poor Mr. Herscheval a place to stay. With the two gigantic dogs I have, no one likes to take a peak over my fence. Also, the dogs love to dig. Therefore there maybe be several burrows already ready for him.

@grapesofwraith: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! grin

Trish

TBA
TBA

Hehe, brilliant replies as always ^^

I was wondering, is the Goa’uld-controlled-Trust still active on earth, infiltrating governments and large corporations, or are they rounded up now by the NID? It was an interesting concept really, and a shame it wasn’t used more.

amac251
amac251

Joe,

Did you ever consider pitching a half-hour comedy series centered around a witty (albeit lonely) person who spent much of his/her free time answering spam emails? What a fresh concept for a television program! (It would be like a techie-Seinfeld of the 21st century!)

Go for it!

NeKo
NeKo

That was the funniest thing ive ever read!

drldeboer
drldeboer

Your sugar free kick is catching. For the moment, I’ve switched to locally gathered honey in lieu.

I made the mistake of getting City of Saints and Madmen before The Living Dead, so I didn’t get a chance to read it on time. I’m not really all that into zombies, of all “monsters” to me they are most boring. Maybe this story collection would change my mind, but it’ll have to wait.

I believe sanity has finally returned to Washington DC and that President Obama was most amused by the Blue Book this morning. The best picture of all yesterday was VP Joe Biden’s “see ya” salute when the helicopter with the Bushes left the Capitol for the last time.
DD

gilder
gilder

Hi, Joe,

A few years ago, you (I think) said that location shoots in USA were prohibitively expensive due to US customs duties on cinematic media. Since SGU is scouting in NM, what has changed? Is it related to the current economic situation, or has MGM opened its purse?