Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Congratulations beneficiary!

This is going to be a good day. Everyone is happy and proud of my ability to earn money just by sitting around.

Good day,

I know, right?

This is to inform you that the WESTERN UNION management is no longer happy
with your inability to contact us since the last time we sent you an email in
regards to the below information.

Welp, now I am sad. At first, WESTERN UNION management was happy with my inability to contact them, our clever game of me not responding to emails they never sent producing a kind of joy similar to when a father tries to call his estranged son from jail before remembering he doesn't have a son. But that persisted, and they changed emotional course, and they are no longer happy with this. As someone who has made a lifelong, conscious effort to never disappoint WESTERN UNION management (WWWUMD?), this has obviously rocked my world.

This is the 4th time we are reaching you and
would probably be the last if you fail to comply.

The "probably" makes me wonder if it's worth risking just one more unreturned email. You know, for leverage.

Perhaps we should donate your money to the Orphanage
since you are obviously indisposed to claim it.

I'm not sure what's better - the attempt to shame me in to collecting money that doesn't exist, or the threat to donate said money to charity. HOW DARE YOU THREATEN TO DONATE MY UNEARNED, DISPOSABLE CASH TO PARENT-LESS CHILDREN! I WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO STOP THIS.

Contact WESTERN UNION office now for your reference
number to pick up your first payment of $15,000.

Me: Hello, WESTERN UNION office? This is beneficiary. I am calling to get my reference number so I can pick up my first of many $15,000 payments that would otherwise be wasted on needy children.

WESTERN UNION office: OK. Your reference number is uh, 5.

Me: Thanks. Can I have $15,000?

WESTERN UNION office: OK. What is your reference number?

Me: Five.

WESTERN UNION office: Here is $15,000.

Me: Thank you.


I see that, at the behest of CEO Wesley Unimontra, who wore No. 1 when he played high school soccer, WESTERN UNION has collectively moved to foreign Yahoo email accounts. Seems legit.

Let me know as soon you pick
up your first payment of $15,000
Mr James Mark.
United Nation

Not for nothing Mr James Mark period of THE United Nation, but when I get my 15 Gs you won't be able to find me for as long as it will theoretically take me to blow 15 Gs on strippers and Schlitz. I mean, OK, I will let you know.

Endeavor to email them the following information for immediate processing,

I thought this was finished? I hate endeavoring.

Your Receiver Name--------------

Uh, for fantasy? Demaryius Thomas? How is he invol-

Your Country--------------------

United Nation.

Your City-----------------------

I don't have one yet, but I plan on buying one when I get enough $15,000 payments. I will call it something cool like Coolberg. Or YOLOtown.

Your Tell-----------------------

Before I throw a changeup, I always grab my crotch. Wait, why am I telling you this?

Your Test Question--------------

What did the cool guy say to the orphanage kids?

Your Answer----------------

Freeload much? Get a job. It's like, really.

Your Age/Sex----------------

The Triassic, if we're talking about the last time I had sex. LOL. j/k #seriouslythough

Your Id-------------------------

I don't know what this mea-


Mr.John Solomon.

No, thank YOU, Mr. John Solomon.. And say what's up to Mr James Mark. and my dog Wesley Unimontra and anyone else I may have missed who is involved in the process of me getting $15,000. Oh, and tell Wes I would rather donate to an orphanage than trade him Demaryius Thomas for Sammy Watkins straight up. He'll know what I mean.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No bag left behind: Why I bag and you should, too

When I go food shopping, if circumstances allow, I bag my own groceries.

What are the necessary circumstances? First and foremost, I must be shopping alone. If I have my girls with me, I’m sorry, but all of my attention and energy on the checkout line is focused on keeping their hands off the candy and trying to prevent them from repeatedly asking the cashier for stickers. Not that I succeed at this, as I typically leave the store with two girls plastered with stickers on their body and faces that read “THIS ALCOHOL IS PAID FOR.”

Second, there has to be no store employee available to bag. I wouldn’t want a grocery store employee coming to my job, pushing me out of my chair and sitting down to write a rambling column about my family, so I won’t impose. This rules out shopping at Safeway, which usually has baggers. By the way, I’m pretty sure Safeway baggers are obligated to ask, “Do you need help out with this?” which is embarrassing for everyone involved when I’m declining while being handed a single bag that contains a pack of gum and French onion Sun Chips. I think I got this.

Lastly, I must have brought my own bags, which I try to always do. Why? I generally am unaware of where the store’s paper bags even are, and feel as though any attempts to locate them would be an invasion of the cashier’s space. And I’ve never in my life operated the Lazy Susan of plastic bags without leaving one behind. Basically, I need to be familiar with my bags, which sounds like something a pimp of mature women might say. (For more pimp/grocery jokes, please log on to my blog.) As a side note, I never feel as Caucasian as I do when I walk up to Trader Joe’s wearing my work khakis, holding my own reusable grocery bags and, after selecting a cart, wiping it down with a disinfectant cloth. High school me would hang his head in shame. What can I say? I keep it real.

Speaking of Trader Joe’s, my weekly trips there typically involve all of these circumstances coming together to form the perfect storm of me bagging groceries. What has surprised me—and what has inspired me to write this column because, you know, I DO have a point here—is how surprised the cashiers are at this simple act.

I pretty much have the same conversation every time:

Cashier: Wow, have you thought about filling out an application here?

Me: After the day I had, I think I might! (side note: my day was fine)

Me and the cashier, in unison: Ha, ha, ha …

(awkward silence)

Cashier: Seriously though, thank you. Not everyone does this. (nods head toward adjacent aisle, where cashier is furiously scanning and bagging while 50-something woman waits, holding credit card, staring into nothingness)

It’s possible the circumstances are not just not ideal for all the non-baggers I see out there, but … there are a lot of non-baggers out there. And, you know, it’s really not that hard. There are only three things to remember when bagging groceries:

•    Put the items into the bag, not the other way around.
•    Don’t put heavy stuff on top of light stuff.
•    Save the eggs for last.*

*This would make for a good Weird Al parody song of Vanessa Williams’ “Save the Best for Last.” That song came out in 1991, so I may have missed the boat there.

It’s that easy. Plus it keeps the line moving, makes the cashier’s job a little bit easier, and, if you are physically able to stand at the credit card swiper while texting, then you have passed all physical qualifications for bagging groceries.

Oh, and then go can go home and enjoy the fruits—literally—of your labor. Despite the “literally” I just used there, by fruits I mean beer. After all, it’s paid for.

Note: This column appears in the 10/30 issue of The Glendale Star and the 10/31 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Glendale Incidents - News 2014-08-28 2:05:53

This is an interesting spam email tactic. They've taken an actual article from our actual website and used it as the subject header for this email. So, theoretically, were I an idiot, I would say to myself, "Oh, this legit person must be emailing me about something online. I better open this email and see what is happening so I can address it instantaneously and professionally. After all, I am the web editor, and I must adhere to my responsibilities."

Then I open the email.

Dear Sir / Madam,

"This person is good and nice, and I don't hold it against them that they don't know whether I have a penis or a vagina. After all, my work email handle, 'subscribe,' is not gender specific. But I definitely don't have a vagina, for what it's worth.

"Not sure why I needed to remind myself of that, but no going back now. My inner dialogue bites its tongue for no one."

I’m Mr. Zhang.

"Hello, Mr. Zhang. How can I help you with regard to the article mentioned from our website?"

Our Jingcai factory experienced manufacturer & exporter of clothes since 2006.

"Okaaaaaay, that is nice, I guess. How can I help you though with regard to the article mentioned from our website?"

We specialize in coat, overcoat, shirt, dress, pants, skirts & suits.

"I feel like we are getting off track here. How is this relative to the police blotter we posted back on Aug. 28? I just ... you have overcoats, huh?"

All our team members have had plenty of experience for years and we are enjoying high reputation for producing excellent quality.

"I'm gonna tell you right off the bat, Mr. Zhang - I don't deal with clothes manufacturers who don't enjoy a high reputation for excellent quality. I was shopping at a Jingcai factory here in Phoenix for years - YEARS - until one of the buttons on my pants popped off at an important meeting and my vagina popped out. I mean, what? It was embarrassing, is what I meant. Wasn't a week later that their rep started slippin' in the streets, and I dropped them like a bad habit. I don't front, is what I'm saying."

We mainly offer made to order clothes, OEM, private label and tag service.
We are able to make the clothes & sample according your design, picture or sample provided.

"I want a Grumpy Cat-themed overcoat that I can wear to work with a tag that says Marc Jacobs so people know it's one of those designer overcoats that's so ugly it's cool."

Welcome to send us clothes samples and designs to make samples for your reference.

"Lemme get this straight - I'm going to send you clothes samples, and then in return you send ME clothes samples? This sounds dope."

Hope to establish a business relationship with you.
Thanks a lot..

"You're welcome a lot!"

"Thank you for this picture."

"Better get the stitching right on my Grumpy Cat overcoat, son!"

"I had reservations about establishing a business relationship with you until I saw this picture. Now I am sold."

Feel free to let me know if you have any enquiries.

"Oh so we're cool with the website, right?"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: sir or madam

I must be doing something wrong if none of these spam emails can detect my masculinity through their computers. I am going to wear more cologne.

Attn:  Car Cleaners Detailing - Mesa, AZ -

You have correctly identified our newspaper's website - - as a car cleaner that does detailing. In Mesa. This is reassuring, since we were originally, back in 1978, concerned the name "Peoria Times" might lead people to believe we were a newspaper in Peoria that DIDN'T do car detailing in Mesa. WHEW.

To: The Director,

That would be me. I direct all car detailing here. And write a humor column.

Our company is specialized in Multi-Function Jump Starter. 

OK. Hey, I just thought of a cool name for your company that exemplifies everything you're about: Peoria Times.

It is a good partner of the car, car owners are also motorists essential artifact.

This sentence reads like you found a bunch of words on the side of the road and decided to line them up single file. From what I can gather, these are the major points this non-sentence is trying to make:

  • Essential parts of the car are also partners with the car. Kind of like how my wife and I are partners if my wife was my spleen.
  • Car owners are also motorists. I can't argue with this, and I'm glad someone finally had the guts to say it.
  • These first two points are as essential to basic truth as a dinosaur fossil. Makes sense.

Jump Starter has very wide range application the following:

1. Start car.

I don't believe for one second that your jump starter starts cars. Prove it.

I stand corrected. True story: One time I tried to jump start a car without making "sure at least 3 LED light are bright," and I killed a guy. (Not true.)

2. Support charge car, laptop, ipad, phone, slr, PSV, DV, etc.

Just to be clear, I'd like to go over, again, the various things your car jump starter can charge besides the car:

  • charge car No idea what that is. A remote-controlled car? OK.
  • laptop Those usually come with their own chargers but yeah, sure, I think using jumper cables to charge a laptop would be cool and normal.
  • ipad Ditto
  • phone Landlines, too, I will assume. Wonderful.
  • slr ?
  • PSV ??
  • DV ??????????????????????????????????????

I'm sorry - I am confused about all this. Is there a food chain-type diagram you can provide that will show in layman's terms what you're talking about here?

According to this diagram, the jump starter is the sun around which the planets of technology revolve? I don't know if that's accurate, but this is without a doubt the greatest diagram ever created.

If you like know more info about Jump Starter, We’ll be happy to offer more and support you step by step.

I will like know more info. How many steps are there on the ladder of jump starter discovery?

Cathy []

Cool email address, Cathy.

So I never ordered the jump starter but I asked Cathy out on a date. I wore too much cologne to let her know I was def a sir and Cathy was like:

I guess you could say I didn't jump start the relationship.

Thank you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

‘You can’t clock a toilet’ and other disputable facts

It’s cute the way kids talk. Until it isn’t.

A speech therapist mom and writer dad, we work in words all day long, and as such, our girls are far less likely than most kids their age to get away with poor speech. I mean, we’re not over the top—we’re not using flashcards like Rick Moranis in Parenthood—we just feel as though they’re at the age now where it’s important for them to pronounce things correctly. Ya’ know, to learn and stuff.

Which is fine … until they manage to drag you down with them into the abyss of meaninglessness.

They say pick your battles as a parent, and it’s true. It’s not that I pick the wrong battles—although I do—it’s that, once engaged, I get strung along on an adventure that is so far away from the initial point I was trying to make, I end up alone and left for dead on the island of confusion. If I didn’t know better—although I don’t—I’d say they do this intentionally. To wit:

Me: Anything exciting happen at school today, girls?

Girl 2: Marley at school said the toilets were clocked.

Me: That’s a great story. (debating whether or not to even bother) (voice in head screaming “DON’T BOTHER”) (decide I shouldn’t bother) (can’t help it) And it’s not “clocked,” it’s “clogged.”

Girl 2: Yep. The toilets were clocked.

Me: Honey, it’s not “clocked.” It’s “clogged.” You can’t clock a toilet.

Girl 1: It was, Dad! I sawl it!

Me: OK first of all, it’s “saw,” not “sawl.” I don’t know how many times we have to go over this. Second of all, I’m not saying Marley was wrong about the toilets being clocked; I’m say—wait …

Girls: (in unison) SEE, DAD? (start giggling)

Me: Ugh! You girls get me so flustered. What I was saying was, I’m not saying Marley was wrong about the toilets being CLOGGED—I’m sayi—

Girl 1: DAD DAD DAD, can we watch “Wild Cracks” when we get home?

Me: Oh my GOODNESS. I’m in the middle of talking here! Do we really need to have the interruption conversation again? Sheesh. And for the millionth time, it’s not “Wild Cracks,” it’s “Wild Krats.” Ts, Ts. Like cats.

Girl 2: One time I sawl cats at school tomorrow.

Me: You can’t even be serious right now. I don’t even know where to start with th—

Girl 1: Dad, the way you clock a toilet is with poo. I know that for a fact.


Girls: (start crying)

Me: OK, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled. It’s just that I’m trying to get you girls to listen to what I’m saying. You need to speak the right way or people aren’t going to know what you’re talking about. A clock tells time; a toilet gets clogged. It’s not, “I sawl it;” it’s “I saw it.” Like a see-saw. You’re not going to want to be in first grade sounding like you’re 2 years old, right? Are you guys listening?

Girl 1: Dad?

Me: Yes?

Girl 1: So are we gonna watch “Wild Cracks” or what?

 "And I discovered the 'cats' she spoke of earlier were actually bagels. Other than that, I think she's ready for Kindergarten."

Note: This column appears in the 10/23 issue of The Glendale Star and the 10/24 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Spam email of the week


I have a fund? I have fund. I HAVE A FUND!

My Dear,

I am Miss.Faith Okeke a Computer IT with central bank of Nigeria.

Good ol' "Mississippi" Faith Okeke - the Nigerian computer tech with a no-nonsense approach that belies her Southern charm. Coming to CBS this fall.

I am 26 years old, just started work with C.B.N.

I mean C.B.N. And now.

I came across your file which was marked X and your released disk painted RED,

Whew! That's a relief. Had my file marked XXX and disk painted GREEN made it to Nigeria, I would be very, very concerned. Phone calls would have to be made. Diplomatic relations compromised.

I took time to study it and found out that you have paid VIRTUALLY all fees and certificate but the fund has not been release to you.

Hmmm. That's annoying. When you almost pay a certificate you expect a fund release. That's just common courtesy. One would think I'd be aware of the fund not being released on account of not having a fund, but this is all news to me.

The most annoying thing is that they cannot tell you the truth that on no account will they ever release the fund to you, instead they let you spend money unnecessarily.

Earlier I was annoyed, but now I am really annoyed. I am going to send them an amount of money so exorbitant it will make them RUE THE DAY they caused me to spend frivolously.

I do not intend to work here all the days of my life,

I sense a change in theme here. Can we get back to talking about my fund?

I can release this fund to you

Thank you.

if you can certify me of my security, and how I can run away from this Nigeria if I do this, because if I don't run away from this country after i made the transfer, I will be seriously in trouble and my life will be in danger.

Isn't it just like "Mississippi" Faith Okeke to put her life on the line for me, a person she doesn't even know except for what she saw on my RED-X tape, which, if I remember correctly, was three hours of me trying and failing to make gnocchi from scratch.

Please this is like a Mafia setting in Nigeria, you may not understand it because you are not a Nigerian.

Don't use a mafia analogy and then tell me I wouldn't understand. I'm from New Jersey.

Speaking of New Jersey, shout out to Naughty by Nature:

If you ain't ever been to Nigeria
Don't ever come to Nigeria
Cause you wouldn't understand Nigeria
So stay the BLEEP out of Nigeria

 - "Mississippi" Treach

The only thing I will need to release this fund is a special HARD DISK

This is becoming very "that's what she said." You may not understand because you're not American and/or 11 years old.

we call it HD120 GIG.

This is some James Bond type ish right here. Even if our correspondence were to be intercepted by the Nigerian mafia, I am confident they would be unable to crack our complex HARD DISK code, and would have no idea how many gigs are in the HD120 GIG. So let's do this. How does this work?

I will buy two of it, recopy your information, destroy the previous one, punch the computer

Please don't punch the computer. The computer is innocent. Actually, you know what? Punch the computer. I don't care.

to reflect in your bank within 24 banking hours. I will clean up the tracer and destroy your file, after which I will run away from Nigeria to meet with you. If you are interested.

Are you ... asking me out? Let's just say my HARD DISK just went up to 150 GIGs, if you know what I'm saying. You may not unders-

Do get in touch with me immediately,You should send to me your convenient tell/fax numbers for easy communications and also re confirm your banking details,

Yes, let us communicate by fax for easy communications. The fax will be the easiest way. I just faxed you two things: a) my bank routing number and b) a picture of my fist to threaten your computer with if it asks you ONE MORE TIME to re-confirm my banking details, sheesh.

For phone conversation,please call me on +2348052520211

(pleasant woman's voice) Hello! You have reached the voicemail of the Nigerian mafia I mean C.B.N. If you know your party's extension, please dial it anytime. To obtain a certified copy of your personal HARD DISK, press 1 for RED, 2 for GREEN. If your personal HARD DISK is YELLOW, please hang up and dial 911. For Skip Allen, press 3. For Christian "the Nigerian Nightmare" Okoye, press 4. For "Mississippi" Faith Okeke, press 5. For all other calls, please fax us your bank account and routing number. It's the easiest way.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Christian Louboutin Bargain Sales

Let's do this.

Welcome to christian louboutin outlet, be in the front of fashion, Christian Louboutin shoes are welcomed.Christian Louboutin shoes are the shoes stylish women deserve to own.

Being stylish in itself is what earns a woman the right to have Christian Louboutin shoes, which are also stylish. And welcomed? Theoretically, a woman who punches puppies in their little puppy faces but who is also stylish *deserves* Christian Louboutin shoes. I hope the women of third world countries can rest easy tonight knowing the reason they don't have nice, expensive shoes is because they don't deserve them because they aren't stylish. So far, this email has its finger on the pulse of virtue and basic morality.

ANYWAY, I know nothing about women and have been fooled by emails before. Do you have photographic evidence that Christian Louboutin shoes are truly something women like?

This montage of crap is very helpful. Let's break it down:

YA'LL GOT THE NO-BOUTIN BLUES - Kanye West, prolly


??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? #SHOES


Even though the price of Christian Louboutin shoes isn't cheap at all, a pair of Christian
Louboutin can accompany with you for a long beautiful time.


You were not cheap
Like at all
But you have accompanied me on this long journey of life
Through the bad times
Like at that funeral
(I looked great)
And at that club where that hot guy bought me three vodka tonics
The time with you has been as long as it's been beautiful
Your heel never broke, even when my broken heart never healed
Christian Louboutin shoes, I deserve you
And you me 
Only now I realize 
The footprints on the beach were yours this whole time 

Besides, Christian Louboutin shoes are much cheaper if you know how to buy them online.Christian Louboutin Outlet are designed for women who crave for fashion.

Do you have any emails designed for women who crave English?

Whether you want to find trend shoes out for dating or shoes for holidays

Oh these old things? These are just my black and white MLK Day Christian Louboutin shoes to represent racial equality. I see you're wearing ... are those sandals? How pleasantly pedestrian.

or send them as a gift to girlfriend or your mother,

I can't buy my wife an Old Navy t-shirt without her finding a reason to return it, but yes - maybe I, 36-year-old straight man, should buy Christian Louboutin shoes FOR MY MOTHER.

Christian Louboutin shoes can satisfy you.

Like chicken soup for the soul. A dark, dark, disturbed soul.