Friday, January 30, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: Re:Steel products supplier from Huaye Group

I honestly didn’t know there was a group other than Huaye by which to acquire a steel products supplier, but OK.

Dear Manager,



Nice to contact you,

Is it? I am going to make fun of this.

Shanghai Huaye Iron & Steel Group is a China’s top 500 enterprises Rank No.104 with 24  years' development as a manufacturer of various steel.

I like my steel like I like my facts—cold and hard. And the fact is I only do business with Top 100 Chinese enterprises. You have exactly 24 hours to move up four spots, or the deal is OFF.

Just kidding I don't care let's do this.

I am Cindy with four years sales experience,

Cindy sounds like a traditional Chinese name and your vast experience in steel sales speaks for itself. Show me the dotted line and I will sign for any amount of steel. I need steel, and lots of it. I don't eff around when it comes to steel. Steel me.

Hope this e-mail would make us know more about each other.

Me too, Cindy. Me. Too. One thing you should about me from the outset is that I have a cleft lip. Also, I don’t need any steel. I was joking earlier.

Products are introduced as below: 


If I woke up one morning and this was on my doorstep, I would definitely know what to do with it because I am very good at steel. (I would get inside of it and ask my wife to roll it down a giant hill.) But what I really need is a bundle of steel rods.




This will do.




ME LOOKING AT BLUE STEEL BE LIKE


Well this has been fun. For me at least.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: MRS VERONICA BRIGHT

This sounds like a cool new show on Disney Channel.

> Saudaзхes amigo,
>
> Vocк pode se perguntar por que eu estou chegando a vocк, apesar de amigos que conheзo hб anos, a razгo singular й que eu tenho pela prуpria natureza desta proposiзгo e da confidencialidade exigida decidiu lidar com uma pessoa que eu nгo conhecia antes, para que possamos desenvolver a confianзa e executar esta operaзгo sem um terceiro
> knowing.I pessoa nгo teria usado esse meio (Internet), mas eu escolhi para chegar atй vocк
> atravйs dele, porque й a forma mais rбpida, mais segura e mais segura de comunicaзгo.

I went ahead and bolded the words I understand, thinking maybe they are clues. So, knowing that I don’t speak whatever language this is, I decided to scroll down on my Internet, and I discovered MRS VERONICA BRIGHT had translated this entire email to English. They don’t call me Sherlock Homeboy for nothin’.

Ø      Greetings Friend,
>
> You may wonder why I am reaching out to you in spite of friends that I have known for years,

Yes, that is the first thing I wondered.

the singular reason is that I have by the very nature of this proposition and the required confidentiality decided to deal with a person that I have not known before so that we can develop the trust and execute this transaction without a third
> person knowing.I would not have used this medium (Internet) but I chose to reach you
> through it because it is the fastest, surest and most secured medium of communication.

“I would not have used the Internet, but I used the Internet.”

> However, this correspondence is un-official and private, and it should be treated as such.

I am treating it as very unofficial and public. Hope that works.

I also guarantee you that this transaction is hitch free from all what you may
> think of.

Aside from being a beautiful sentence, that is a Joe Namath-esque guarantee that correctly assumes it can read my thoughts. What I am thinking now is that it’s cool how “hitch” = identity theft + money theft. Bernie Madoff was an honest businessman except for that hitch tho.

> I am Mrs. Veronica Bright of The Bank of East Asia USA, San Gabriel Branch,California (USA)

The Bank of East Asia is in California. I bet when East Asians call their bank’s customer service department, they’re always complaining that the reps speak Californian instead of fluent East Asian.

I am contacting you based on Trust and confidentiality that will be
> attached to this transaction. The Management and the Legal department of our bank in a recent meeting recommended that the account of MR. DAVID ANGELLl, who was one of my branch depositors, should be declared Dormant, confiscated and the depositor's fund sent to the Bank Treasury according to American Banking and financial law.

Sure, but where (yawns) do I come in?

> Mr. David Angell and the wife died

*the wife*

in world trade center as a victim of the September 11,2001 incident that befell the United States of America.

Considering it’s 2015, this is actually one hitch I didn’t see coming.

he owns a dollar account with the sum of 58.2M (Fifty Eight Million, two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) deposited in a Secret account with my branch .In fact, since his death, no next of kin of the account holder nor any relative of him has shown up for the claim,this is because he has the account as a secret account thus he left all the
> documents for the deposit with me.

Mr. David Angell: Hello. My name is David Angell, and although I work in New York City, I would like to set up an account with the Bank of East Asia, which is in California.

Mrs. Veronica Bright: Sure, Mr. Angell. Would you like that account to be checking, savings, or secret?

Mr. David Angell: Secret, please. I don’t want any of the family I don’t have knowing about this, especially “the wife.” Only you, Mrs. Veronica Mars, will know.

Mrs. Veronica Bright: It’s Bright.

Mr. David Angell: Yes, that is why I am wearing sunglasses.

Mrs. Veronica Bright. No, my name is Mrs. Veronica Bright.

Mr. David Angell: Whatever.

The wife whom he signed in

*the wife*

as his next of kin died with him on that fateful and sad day.

Thank you for rehashing the part where the wife died. I almost forgot about the wife dying.

This is where I am interested and where I want you to come in. I want you to come in as the relation of the deceased;

Sure, why not. Lemme just slide in there like


 Do not be bothered that you are not related in any way to him as I am in position to affix your name as the next of kin.

Oh OK.

The whole Procedures will last only 9 working days to get the fund retrieved successfully without trace even in future. 

Even THE FUTURE is no match for this fail proof plan.

After the transfer of the money we shall share the money 70-30, which is I will have 70% while you will have 30%.

But I am doing all the work. 

K fine.

- - - - - - - -

UPDATE: So I'm reading Mike Sack's Poking a Dead Frog, and I come across this:

I'm embarrassed to admit I did not know who David Angell was, and had I knew, I certainly would have approached this dumb spam post a little differently. I basically assumed this was all BS. That said, I am reinvigorated in my pointless battle against spam and its effort to take real tragedy and turn it into, at best, nonsense, and, at worst, deception and thievery.

RIP David Angell.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I really don’t think I’m strong enough … to win this argument



And there I was, as the prophecy foretold, trying to convince my 5-year-old daughter that Cher is a woman.

Friday mornings are flagged as “playlist Fridays” for when I drive the girls to school. What this means is that I create a Spotify playlist of their favorite songs, and we pretty much jam out at volumes that my wife would no doubt deem inappropriate. It’s a little something special we have together, and it also gives me some important leverage throughout the week. For the last time, get out of the dog bed or playlist Friday is CANCELED!

It’s often the case that throughout the week the girls will make requests for the playlist. Our youngest will request literally every song she hears, regardless of whether or not she likes it, if it’s on the playlist already, or if it’s even a song. She has requested commercial jingles for car insurance to be added, and anything with even a faint melody will result in a Pavlov’s dogs-type reaction of, “DADDY, CAN YOU PUT THIS ON THE PLAYLIST?” I just say yes.

Our oldest has a bit more refined taste. So I listened intently as she asked if I could add to the playlist a song she’d been hearing at school, and she was going to try and sing it for me. “Do you belieeeeeeve in life and some (trails off) … I really don’t think it’s dah dah dah OH!”

I was like, hold up—is she singing Cher? How is that … what? They’re listening to Cher at school now? This is what we’re paying for? Anyway, I sang it back to her to confirm, and she nearly lost her ever-loving mind with excitement that I knew the song and would add it to the playlist.

A couple days later, Friday morning, I was building up the anticipation for the song as it was about to premier on the playlist, but when it did—specifically when the vocals kicked in—I was the only one fist-bumpin’. Our oldest was very disappointed, sad even, as she maintained that this was NOT the same song and she didn’t want “a boy song.”

Now, throughout the day, our girls’ school plays, on the intercom speakers, Kidz Bop versions of popular songs. If you don’t know what Kidz Bop is, consider yourself lucky. In fact, there’ve been occasions when I’m signing the girls in for school in the morning, and the five seconds of hearing a Kidz Bop version of “Call Me Maybe” makes me think I’m going to have a seizure, and I’ll ask the girl at the desk how she deals with this all day long, and she’ll turn to me wide-eyed and say, “I DON’T KNOW.”

Obviously, our daughter had heard the Kidz Bop version of “Believe”—from the album “Kidz Bop Sings Late 90s Comeback Pop 70s Diva Hits,” apparently—and had been unable to process the voice discrepancy between tween girls and Cher. This, of course, resulted in me seriously trying to convince her that Cher was a woman, to the point I was becoming legitimately flustered that she didn’t believe me.

Making matters infinitely more complicated was the recent resurfacing of a picture—thanks to my lovely wife—of a Halloween of yore that featured me dressed as Cher and my wife dressed as Sonny. Our girls have seen the picture, and amazingly it has done very little to convince our oldest daughter that Cher is, in fact, a woman. LINES HAVE BEEN BLURRED and I’ve decided to put off this gender discussion (which I guess should include the topic of Cher’s former daughter as well) to a much, much later date.

For the time being, the weekly playing of “Believe” is consistently accompanied by the question, “This is a boy song, right?” I just say yes. 

Note: This column appears in the 1/29 issue of The Glendale Star and the 1/30 issue of the Peoria Times.

OH, AND UH 







Friday, January 23, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: Tax refund message!

Cool! Usually my tax refund message comes from my tax professionals after I've filed my taxes and relates to the taxes I pay in America, but this email from office@hmrc.gov.uk seems excited, if not legit.

Tax Refund Notification

Profesh header

HM Revenue & Custωms (HMRC)
Date: 19/12/2014

The “o” in “Customs” here is either a “w” in a weird font or a pair of boobs, in which case, sign me up for taxes! I look forward to arranging the details of my taxes with an organization that is under the impression there are at least 19 months. And what was your gross income for the month of Boinktober? I don’t see it listed on your W2.

A tαx refund of 472.49 GBP. (Still Pending) Due to invαlid αccount record we were unable to credit your αccount. Please submit a verified tαx refund form.

How you gonna mess with a man’s GBPs, UNCLE SAM? Sheesh. Anyway, yeah, let me just fill out a verified tax refund form, which is a thing, for this random email.

A refund can be delayed for a variety reasons. For exαmple submitting invalid recΩrds or αpplying after the deadline.

I appreciate you trying to pass the blame for this to me, but I keep my taxes tight, son. Valid and on time, and you know this, man. Also, the irony is not lost on me that an email accusing me of submitting invalid tax records spells “records” with a horseshoe.

To αccess your tαx refund, please follow the steps bellow:

Am I bellow? Should I bellow? Is that step one? I’m going to bellow just in case.

- downloαd the Tαx Refund Form αttached to this emαil

I’m good.

- open it in a browser (recommended mozilla firefox)

Downloading a zip file and opening a link in a browser are two different things, but I do appreciate the browser recommendation. I was going to open this in Explorer and there’s NO TELLING what could have happened there.

- follow the instructions on your screen

Thank you for making this a step.

Note: If you received these e-mαil in your BULK/SPAM section please add to your address book custΩms@hmrc.gΩv.uk

Can’t think of how an email containing that very sentence could have ended up in spam, but OK.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: No Risk Mattress Business

Pffft. Tell that to “Mattress” Mickey Plume, who infamously crashed and burned during the great mattress recession of ’98. RIP Mickey Plume. His headstone reads, “He loved mattresses, but flew too close to the sun.”

Respected Honor Customers,

Far be it from me to criticize your mattress marketing techniques, but I can only hope this mass email did not reach someone unworthy of the respect and honor you have quite recklessly bestowed. If some sketchy mattress dude is now walking around out there thinking his respect and honor is on par with my own, I’m gonna be pissed.

We are one of the cheapest luxury mattress factory.

If I assume the attention you would have paid to speaking normally is instead focused on mattress production, then and only then is this sentence convincing.

If you want to start mattress business with our factory

I do. (slides ring on mattress factory; we kiss)

(MOQ must be at least one 20 feet container, it is about 200 pcs mattress),

Obvs. What do you think I am, some kind of mattress novice? Like Imma MOQ a 10 feet container for 50 pcs mattress? Bitch, please.

You just need to pay 30% deposit and 70% balance can be paid 60 days after you get the copy of B/L.

It’s uncouth to talk about money this early in the mattress business process. You have offended my respect and honor.

If your company is avaiable and powerful in your country

Not sure what qualifies a company as available, but—and I don’t mean to brag—I have the most powerful mattress company in America. If you need a bill passed or a foreign dignitary poisoned, come see me. I'll be seated on a fine mattress in the back of the store.

(because we need to check your company credit at first),

This is the second time you have offended my respect and honor. I should also mention that credit score doesn’t tell the whole story. You should check out these customer testimonials:

(10-minute video of elderly woman sleeping on what appears to be a mattress)

Suffice it to say, she got that mattress at Mike’s Mattress Store. I think.  

pls feel free to contact with me to start our cooperation.

I have a feeling this is the beginning of a long and prosperous mattress-based relationship. And while I know I’ve said that before, this time I am serious. (accidentally submits MOQ for 10 feet container, 50 pcs mattress)

OH NO WHAT I HAVE DONE

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Chasing cars



I’m not sure if the same can be said about the road of life, but on the literal road I prefer leading to following.

It provides for an interesting dynamic, following another’s car. The leader must always be cognizant of the follower, especially when it comes to speed, lane changes, and going through yellow lights. My constant awareness of the person behind me and willingness to sacrifice my usual driving techniques is what makes me, I believe, a pretty good leader.

But there is also responsibility on the follower, who must navigate the timidity of defensive driving with the subtle aggression of staying behind another vehicle. It’s also important that the follower develop a rapport with the leader because when these two drivers are in harmony, it becomes a virtual orchestra of driving beauty in which a synchronized blinker provides the beat.

But that is rare. A few years ago I followed my father-in-law from New Jersey to Pittsburgh. It was a seven-hour drive that mercilessly fluctuated between 92 mph in the left lane and 48 mph, also in the left lane, the difference in speed a result of whether or not he was on the phone or trying to find a protein bar in the console. (It should also be mentioned that when my father-in-law is reluctantly forced to follow me, he does very bizarre things like refusing to stay in my lane and driving way ahead of me and using his indicator to show me which way he thinks we should go, all for the sake of proving that he follows NO MAN.)

Of course, the context for this typically involves a general uncertainty about the whereabouts of the destination. For most of my life, I did not consider there might be an etiquette to leading when everyone knows where they’re going. I was dating my wife when she was following me back to her parents’ house. I wasn’t trying to lose her—NOW’S THE TIME TO MAKE MY ESCAPE—but rather became less and less aware of her whereabouts, subconsciously understanding she knew the way. Nothing was subconscious, however, about her reaction when we arrived: “What’s your problem? Leaving me in the dust like that? WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENED?”

I’ve since adjusted my ways, although I have to admit I often feel my wife has to step up her following game. Although her extreme cautiousness is commendable, it makes it very difficult to lead.

Case in point: We picked up my in-laws at the airport, and my father-in-law rode shotgun with me while my wife drove her mom and the girls. Exiting Sky Harbor can be a bit tricky, and my wife felt uneasy about it, so I tried my best to keep her in sight. But there were lane closures and a lot of airport traffic, and she got lost in the shuffle. Still, I slowed to an absurd crawl after merging, cars whizzing by left and right, but I did not see her. What is she doing? I thought I finally caught a glimpse before hitting the highway, and felt reassured she noticed me and was on her way.

Merging onto I10 out of the airport is no picnic, and it’s not something you can do at 40 mph. It’s a sensory overload—202 HERE; 10 EAST THERE; WHO LIKES THE 51?; STAY IN THIS LANE FOR THE SEVENTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN—and I had no choice but to go and try to let her catch up on the 17.
And I tried. There I was, doing about 45 in the right lane, my eyes glued to the rear view mirror as my father-in-law, unaware of how slow I was going or that anyone was even following us, told me a story about how he convinced a Cox customer service rep to sing to him in Italian over the phone. Meanwhile, in the car I could not find, this was going down:

Mother-in-law: What is he doing? Where are they?

Wife: I don’t know, MA!

Girl 1: Mommy, I-

Wife: GIRLS! QUIET DOWN—YOUR FATHA LEFT US ON THE HIGHWAY.

Mother-in-law: Him and your fatha … I tell ya’. Listen, he’s driving way too fast, what can I tell ya. But I’m not gonna say anything … I just got here.

When we arrived at breakfast, my wife wasn’t as reluctant to say something. Turns out I am the only one who thinks I am a pretty good leader. Oh well. There’s always the road of life, I guess.

Note: This column appears in the 1/22 issue of The Glendale Star and the 1/23 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Spam email of the week

Subject: Happy Day Partner

I'm not sure if this is a salutation, an email from a dating site, or a solicitation from a daycare for cowboy children.

Happy Day Partner

It's a salutation.

Please Partner accepts my apology''

I forgive you? (I am Partner.)

 Hope this mail will fine you an excellent
Condition of health with your family. I'm happy to inform you about my
Successful.

in getting those funds transferred or diverted under the co- operation of
a new Partner from Paraguay as i cannot wait any longer. Presently I'm in
South Korea For investment projects with my own share of the total sum.


Starting a new paragraph mid-sentence is something that would normally cause me to immediately end a partnership, especially considering there is a new Partner from Paraguay in the picture (slut). But as I stated earlier, I forgive my partner. We can work this out.

Meanwhile I didn't forget you're past efforts and attempts to assist in
Transferring these funds despite that it failed us some how because of
your lack Wisdom.


My ability to forgive is truly being tested, as much for the insult as for the misuse of "you're."

Now contact my new secretary in Nigeria her name is
Miss. JOY AZU


I can't believe you've cycled through yet another Nigerian secretary, partner. Sheesh. Welp, at least JOY AZU sounds better than your last one, DEPRESSED UZA. Man, what a B.

Ask her to direct you how to get the total
US$2, 000,000 which I deposited
as Cheque as your compensation for all your past efforts and attempts to
assist me in this matter.


Yes, sure. I will ask the Nigerian JOY AZU about my $2 million. This is a very casual conversation.

I appreciated your efforts at that time very much and I am God fairing man
I Promised my God that I will not let any fellow or sit on some body sweat
so far God has made it possible for me.


Moses: (breaks commandments)

God: Moses, for crying out loud!

Moses: Sorry, God. I got kind of upset down there. Yeah so, uh ... how many commandments were there? I'll carve them over again on this rock.

God: Twelve.

Moses: Twelve? I thought there were only 10?

God: The last two were on the back.

Moses: Really? OK. What were they?

God: No. 11 was "Though shalt not let any fellow."

Moses: ...

God: ...

Moses: You, uh ... you gonna finish th-

God: No. 12 was "Though shalt not sit on somebody sweat."

Moses: ...

God: ...

Moses: ...

God: You know what? Just forget those last two, OK? Those are just common sense rules now that I think about it. And I'll carve these over, don't worry about it.

Moses: (sits on somebody sweat)

God: MOSES! For crying out loud ...

 Don't bordered or worry your self by contacting the office to avoid
charging you for illegal claims or double transaction or trace your
information for arrest


Is this your first time using language? I feel like maybe it is. Anyway, thanks for your reassurance to just not worry about getting arrested.

Thanks Once more, as I cannot afford to lose this fund. I am very sorry, as There s nothing I can do than this and I want you to share this joy with me since Your information made this to come through but Do to lack of finance and wisdom.

You know, I DO have a college degree.

It will take me a while before I can reach Africa or get in touch with you
Again,


Understood.

and our office is now closed and relocated in my guesthouse to
avoid trace.

Best Regards,
 Mr/Mrs. Peters Williams.


What happens at Mr/Mrs. Peter Williams' guesthouse stays at Mr/Mrs. Peter Williams' guesthouse. Because it's untraceable. (For what it's worth though, what happens there is that Peter Williams scientifically transforms himself into a hybrid man/woman and has impure relations with an assembly line of Nigerian secretaries, making each a false promise of a lifetime partnership. But you didn't hear that from me.)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Spam email of the week

You know what I need? Some cheap, non-woven bags.

Subject: re:cheap non woven bags

Nice day!

Dear colleagues

(looks around) I think it's just m-

Nice day

I KNOW, RIGHT?

This is Rick from Shandong Deson packing for shopping bags.

Hi Rick.

Knowing that you just imported non woven bags from china recent months ,

You must have me confused with someone else. I imported woven bags from China this past August. (checks receipt) Dammit. Please continue.

so we wonder if you can give me chances to offer you some bag price .

I will give you three chances to offer me some bag price.

We are very good at non woven bag and foldable shopping bags with all kind shape.

That was your first chance. It didn't go well.

Any offer pls let me know

Second chance. Fail.




THIRD TIME'S A CHARM RICKY BOY, HIT ME OFF WITH 100K PIECES OF THE FOB NINGBO FLAVA. #FOBNINGBO

(next day)

Haven't heard from Rick in a hot minute. Hope he's OK.

Subject: re :second email non woven bag supplier .

Say word.

Dear our colleague

Looks like I made the exclusive Shandong Deson list of esteemed colleagues. Holla atcha boy.

Did you get the mail of yesterday for non woven bags?

Duh, Rick. You got amnesia or su'in?

This is Rick  from Shandong province china ,do you know Qingdao internationl beer festival?

what

Qingdao it is very near from us .

Okaaaaaay.

Attached of some pic

You did NOT attach pics of the Qingdao International Beer Festival in an email titled "second email non woven bag supplier ."



Oh *butt* you did.

,welcome to be china next year if you have time

I would love to be China next year, Rick. Really, I would. But I already promised France I would be France.



You make a solid case, Rick. Change of plans. Looks like I am going to be China next year. Hey, by the way, any word on my non-woven bags?


Thank you.

(next day)

I wonder what Rick is up to today.

re:the 3th mail of shopping bags

"the 3th" Never change, Rick. In my defense, the second email of shopping bags had nothing to do with shopping bags.

Dear Colleagues

What did I do to deserve this?

How are you today

Rick, please don't small talk me. It's ya' boy, Mike. YOU KNOW ME, MAN. What are you gonna do next, talk about the weather?

And what is the weather like in your country , as winter is coming ,pls keep warm in time

WHERE ARE MY SHOPPING BAGS

Rick  stands for Deson packing wish you have a good wednesday

Dammit. You too, Rick. I can't stay mad at you. You cray. But I ain't mad atcha.


Never change, Rick.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pit perils and fuzzy dilemmas



Every seven or eight years it seems, my body goes through some dramatic change. Not as fun and weird as puberty, just … weird. Is this normal? That is why I am writing this. To find out if I am normal.

The most frustrating bodily change happened sometime shortly after college when, out of nowhere, I started pitting out. If you don’t know what pitting out means, it’s when your armpits sweat so profusely that it’s visible through your shirt. And that’s regardless of how many shirts you’re wearing because the double-edged sword of pitting out is that, if you try to wear more layers to cover your sweat marks, you will only sweat more. Thy pits are a tameless shrew.

There are few things more uncomfortable than pitting out. Sure, the feeling of sweat under your pits is awful, but there is also the embarrassment of raising your hand at a party to let it be known that, yes, you would like another beer, only to reveal your pits are floating in a salty sea of sweat for no apparent reason because it is winter and literally 2 degrees outside. That is a hypothetical scenario that has never happened to me.
That’s not even to mention the undershirts ruined. Pitting out inevitably results in the armpit section of plain white Ts turning to a gorgeous shade of British-teeth yellow. By now you’ve hopefully settled down and married because if not, GOOD LUCK.

Anyway, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I went all in. I started using a prescription strength deodorant called Certain Dri. It costs like $10 per tiny bottle and you’re only supposed to apply it every 72 hours because it’s that strong. Lord knows what chemicals are contained therein, and I was well aware that using this crap could result in armpit gout sometime down the line. But desperate times called for desperate measures. And it worked.
It worked so well, in fact, that after about three years of using Certain Dri, I stopped, and all has been relatively well, armpit-wise, since. (Save for a recent trip to NJ when, the second I stepped off the plane I started pitting out and had to immediately rush to a pharmacy to buy Certain Dri. WELCOME HOME.) It should be noted that I brought a few boxes of Certain Dri to Arizona seven years ago just in case the problem resurfaced, and when I checked those boxes recently, whatever the active chemical is had pretty much melted through the box to the point I was surprised the entire drawer wasn’t on fire. So that bodes well.

But just when I thought it was safe to think another seven-year bodily cycle had not produced something super weird, another issue surfaced. Belly button lint.

Belly button lint. Guys – belly button lint. And I’m not talking about a small piece of fuzz here and there. I’m talking about, if I started collecting my belly button lint over the next month and I could sew, I’d have a new wardrobe.

So there I was, Googling “why do I have belly button lint?” while my wife laughed and laughed in the background. Google only provided reasons for isolated occurrences—material of the clothes, not drying your belly button enough post shower (!)—but little in the way of the consistency I have experienced. But I did come across this wonderful sentence: “People who have a ‘snail trail’ of hairs from their pubic region to the navel have more stomach lint.” 

So there I was, shaving my stomach while my wife looked on in horror. NOT SO FUNNY NOW, IS IT? I also shaved my armpits, just to be safe.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for stopping by today. To read this.

 
This column appears in the 1/15 issue of The Glendale Star and the 1/16 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Spam email of the week

Subject: ADK: Abby Danielle Kiki

I am assuming ADK is a singing group and that ADK > SWV.

Sam has sent you a link to a blog:

Thank you, Sam. I like when people send me blog links via emails with headers like "ADK: Abby Danielle Kiki" instead of me going on a blog of my own volition.

Hi i'm Charlotte

Here is a list of people SO FAR involved in this terrible email:

  • Abby
  • Danielle
  • Kiki
  • Sam
  • Charlotte

I am Mike.

you do not remember me we'd a discussion on-line

Why are you certain I don't remember you, Charlotte? Was I drunk during our discussion online? No, I don't think so. Of course I remember you, Charlotte! You have blond hair and almost have your GED and your favorite ... thing is ... something ... j/k I don't remember you. I was drunk.

please join with me at night i can be online there late in the evening

OK. Late in the evening is also the best time to catch me online, chatting with babes. Hold up, actually - let me check my "chatting with babes" schedule ... (opens employment manual to the page specifying "No chatting with babes online during work hours") ... yep, in the evening is best.

please e-mail your profile link to me at http://exclusiveoffers.us/5rw2g/ Many thanks Unsubscribe http://exclusiveoffers.us/unsubscribe.php#c9kp9r

Emailing my profile link to a website (??????????????????????????????????????????) and then immediately unsubscribing from the website I sent my profile link to seems like a cool way to carelessly dispose of the precious minutes of a fleeting existence.

Blog: ADK: Abby Danielle Kiki
Link: http://adkgirls.blogspot.com/


I have yet to determine if this email is a promotion for a weird pop group, a solicitation to date online, or both, but I went on the blog. The blog is one post, from November of 2005. It reads:

ADK is a site based on three girls who meet up and form a band. They have many adventures together. Please check out this site so ADK can become famous!

(note: this site is not permmited for anyone under the age of eight.)

http://www.freewebs.com/abby_danielle_kiki/


Listen, you're not going to find anyone who wants ADK to be famous more than me, but I am skeptical about a site which boasts content unsuitable for a seven-year-old. Eight? Eight is cool. But seven? Sorry, bruh. So even though I am well above the minimum age requirement, I'm pretty sure it's in my best interest to avoid this site at all costs.

Also, my apologies for suggesting earlier that ADK might be better than SWV. I let my emotions get the best of me.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Spam email of the week

Subject: Please if you have the fear of GOD, Please Reply.

OK.

Dear Blessed One,

Urgent Assistance Needed!!!


This subtle desperation is appealing to my senses.

Greetings to you blessed one!. As you read through my message, I do not want you to feel pity or sorry for me,

No problem.

for I believe someday,somehow,we will all surely die,

What a unique belief. To each his own, I guess.

My name is Mrs. Mrs.Blessing Handerson

For some reason, it's the "Handerson" I find most humorous. Maybe it's because I'm imagining a spam sitcom called "Harry and the Handersons" about a sasquatch who is blessed.

a Citizen of the united kingdom, I am a 53years old woman, I am diagnosed of Cancer of the Larynx and it is terminal, medical science can not do anything for me at this stage. I believe in miracles because I believe in GOD, however I prefer to pass on at this stage since I am bed ridden and in constant pain.

Here is the Cliff Notes version of this email so far:

Dear stranger,

I want to die.

Before this happened, my business and concern for making money was all I lived for, I never really cared about other values in life.

You remind me of a famous, Christmas-themed literary character, Mister Mister Ebenezer Handerson.

But since my present situation, I have found a new desire to assist helpless families. I have been helping orphans in orphanage/motherless homes. I have once donated some money to orphans in war ravaged Eritrea,Somalia,Sudan and some East European Countries.

God: Welp, it says here you spent your whole life chasing that paper.

Mrs. Mrs. Blessing Handerson: Yes but one time I donated to some orphans in Eritrea or something.

God: I don't see a record of that.

Mrs. Mrs. Blessing Handerson: It was online.

God: No, I mean of "Eritrea."

Mrs. Mrs. Blessing Handerson: ...

God: ...

Mrs. Mrs. Blessing Handerson: ...

God: Awww, c'mon in.

Having known my condition I decided to entrust my last funds I have deposited in Europe ( USD$ 8.5 MILLION) to either a philanthropic or devoted individual that will use his judgment to distribute the money to charity organizations and feel free to reimburse yourself when you have the money with a total of 40% for your assistance also for any cost you incur during the process of collecting and distributing the money to charity organizations.

(picture of me handing a fake Ronald McDonald and several disappointed small children an absurdly giant check for $10.83 made out to RONALD MCDOOGAL ORPHANAGE HOUSE FOR KIDZ ZONE while a wad of cash hangs out of my back pocket)

I have left the hospital and presently at home, I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only few months to live.

I don't feel bad for you, but only because you told me not to. But also because you are fake and terrible.

It is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations,because I don't have any child and my relatives and friends has plundered so much of my wealth since my illness,

Your relatives and friends sound chill.

 I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them. Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me collect the deposit and distr-

Oops I accidentally cut you off and deleted your email and then cleared my deleted messages because I hate this email so much. But good luck with everything. Who knows, maybe you'll be the first person to live forever.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Front yard follies and the backyard blues


For the past few years, “playing outside” meant the backyard. Our girls, however, are getting older and enjoy riding their bikes and scooters, so playing out front has become a thing.

A very stressful thing, for us. Whereas we can continue to get stuff done while they play in the backyard, we have to be with them out front. The backyard is contained; the front is a seemingly endless frontier of invisible yet challenged barriers. Also, cars.

Making matters more difficult is the fact there are suddenly many children in our neighborhood, most of whom either have no parents and live alone like Pipi Longstocking or have parents who treat the front like we do the backyard and are nowhere to be found. I often have to beep my car horn at random children to get out of our driveway when I am trying to pull into the garage, and the neighborhood kids have recently taken up the hobby of ringing our doorbell after 9 p.m. and running away. I am only a few years away from answering the door for no one while in my underwear and then stomping out a flaming bag of poop.

Still, we cannot deprive our daughters of the enjoyment of playing in the neighborhood. (Wait, can we?) I recently allowed them that very privilege since I had yard work to do anyway. IT WENT GREAT.

Me: Girls, come here. We’re going to go out front an-

Girls: YEA YEA YEA! (jump up and down, hug each other)

Me: OK, but hold on. Because here are the rules. I need you to listen to these rules very carefully or you’re coming back in right away, got it?

Girls: GOT IT, DAD.

Me: The first rule, the most important rule: No going in the street. No. Going. In. The. Street. It is dangerous, and I’m not going to be able to have my eyes on you the whole time. Got it?

Girls: (staring through me)

Me: Got it?

Girls: GOT IT, DAD.

Me: Also, you (point to Girl 2) start with the bike, and you (point to Girl 1) get the scooter. However, I expect you to share without fighting and without complaining.

Girl 1: Can I have the bike?

Me: I just—did you hear what I just said? You get the scooter, and there’s no complaining. If I hear complaining or fighting, we’re coming in right away. Finally, no riding past where I can see you, got it?

Girls: GOT IT, DAD.

Me: OK, let’s go.

Girls: YEA YEA YEA!

Wife: (in background) Good luck! (directed at me and said with extreme sarcasm)

Literally 10 seconds later

Girl 2: DAD, SHE’S IN THE STREET.

Me: (look up to see Girl 1 in the middle of the street on her scooter, smirking at me like, “Whatchu gonna do?) You’ve got to me kidding me. YOU—get inside.

Girl 1: (flips out)

Me: (take Girl 1 inside as she loses her ever-loving mind; go back out) Well, enjoy riding in peace while your sister recovers. (do some work, look up to see Girl 2 just sitting on the bike with her mouth wide open) Yo, what are you doing? You’re out here to ride, not sit there.

Girl 2: Oh. (makes weak attempt to pedal, falls off bike, almost into cactus in our front yard, starts crying)

Me: What? Who falls off a bike with training wheels while just sitting there? (check her) You’re fine. Come with me and let’s see how your sister’s doing. (go inside, talk to Girl 2 again, go over ground rules and remind her it’s her last chance)

Girl 1: GOT IT, DAD.

(go back outside)

Literally 10 seconds later

Girl 1: DAD, SHE’S NOT SHARING THE BIKE.

Me: (ignore)

Girl 2: DAD, SHE’S IN MY WAY.

Me: (look up; Girl 2 is riding her bike in circles around Girl 1, who is standing there and hitting the bike with her scooter every time it passes; I watch intently to see if my penetrating stare will change their behavior; it doesn’t) Both of you, GET INSIDE!

Girls: (flip out)

Me: (open front door, send them in) Go play in the backyard!

Wife: Oh, no, what happened? I can’t believe they’re inside already. (said with extreme sarcasm)

Note: This column appears in the 1/8 issue of The Glendale Star and the 1/9 issue of the Peoria Times.