Me and My SPAM Buddy

From an early age I was told I was not quite normal. That seems like kind of a harsh thing to tell a kid especially if you are that kid’s parents. The thing was, I thought that was a good thing so I grew up thinking that not being normal was actually a good trait to have. I can’t really explain why but I just seem to have the ability of piecing things together slightly different than other people. In some ways this has been a great thing. I have a knack of looking at something from a different perspective and providing an observation that might otherwise go unnoticed. On the other hand this can sometimes get me in trouble or at least into an area that is uncharted and pretty weird. The invention of the computer and more specifically the Internet hasn’t helped at all; in fact it has made matters worse. Now I have a lot more information at my disposal I tend to put it together in rather unique ways. Take e-mail for example. Like many of you I get up each day and check my email and find out that more than half of my in-box has been filled with SPAM. Usually at this moment I take a severe detour to begin trying to understand why unwanted email was named after a canned meat product but I’ll spare you from that and try to get right to the point. Unlike most people, I don’t just immediately start deleting these unwanted messages. Instead I read each one. I blame my mother for this. She always said that if someone is willing to take the time to send you a letter you should at least have the common courtesy of reading it and acknowledging them. So for some unknown reason I started replying to SPAM and what I found is that those people really don’t want you to reply because they never respond back or if they do it is usually to ask me to quit emailing them. That seems a little messed up don’t you think? Today I got an email and I thought maybe I would share it with you.

FROM: Buma Sese Seko
TEL : +234-1-7756039
Attention Please,
May I take the privilege to introduce myself; my name is Mr. Buma Sese Seko a brother of the late President of the Federal Republic of Zaire, President Mobutu Sese Seko (now Republic of Congo, under the leadership of the Son of Mr. Laurent Kabila). I am currently under political asylum in Nigeria. I presume you are aware there is a financial dispute between my family (the Mobutu’s) and the present Civilian Government. Based on what they believe as bad and corrupt Government on my late brother part, May his soul rest in peace.
Following the above mentioned reasons, I am soliciting for your humble and confidential assistance to take custody of Fifteen Million, United States Dollars only (US$15M) also to front for me in the area of business investments you desire profitably well.
Presently, this Sum of US$15 Million Dollars has secretly been deposited into a confidential Security/Courier Company in Europe, where it can be released to you by the Security Company based on my recommendation on that note; you will be presented as my partner who will be fronting for me and my family in any subsequent ventures. For you might have heard how a lot of my brother’s bank Account has been frozen.
To show my preparedness and appreciation to conduct this business with you, I shall give you 25% of the total money and 5% for miscellaneous expense and 10% on any profit realizable in the process of investment of this fund in your country.
Please, I need your entire support and co-operation for the success of the business venture, your utmost confidentially, sincerity and secrecy is highly required, due to my family’s present predicament.
Details of how I intend to carry out this project will be discussed as soon as I get a response of your willingness and interest. I sincerely will appreciate your urgent acknowledgment as soon as possible by contacting me on my Telephone number:+234 1-7756039 or E-mail address. Thank you.
Yours truly,
Mr. Bema Sese Seko

Well this was interesting. Here was a guy who seemed nice enough. I definitely was going to have to reply to him. So I sat down and penned my response that went something like this.
Dear Buma,
First let me say that it was indeed a pleasure on your part to introduce yourself. As I am sure you are well aware, we Americans are extremely wealthy and influential and do not usually respond to anyone via e-mail unless they are part of the royal Congo family. I had immediately planned to delete your e-mail message until I noticed that you were indeed related to the late president of Zaire. I think I met your brother Mobutu at a 7-11 about a year ago; he was buying Ding Dongs and a Big Gulp. I am sorry to hear about him being late. I was late a few times but then I bought a new watch. So I understand you are in an asylum in Nigeria. I had an uncle once that went a little nuts after a cow kicked him in the head. We sent him to an asylum but my mom always said Uncle Billy was “planting tulips in the rose garden”. I had no idea what that meant. Maybe we should have sent mom to stay with Uncle Billy.
Wow Buma, it sounds like you really have some problems. I wasn’t aware of your issue with the Civilian Government. Don’t you have to wonder why they call it civilian? It really sounds more like an Uncivilian Government. I appreciate you trying to solicit my humble assistance but to be honest that probably isn’t going to happen. I am anything but humble and if you start sending me $15 million I will guarantee it ain’t going to be much better. I will be honest with you Buma, I am not real good at custodial work. I rarely sweep the floors and I don’t do windows. Personally, I am looking for a little more commitment. Oh sorry Buma, I hope you don’t take offense when I used the word “committed”. I know how sensitive it is for people who live in an asylum. Anyway, rather than take custody of your money, I would be willing to adopt it. I can give it a nice home and will make sure it is well taken care of. Of course I would give you visitation rights but like Uncle Billy, those visits would have to be supervised. After all, I can’t have you going nuts over my money. When the money got old enough to understand, I would be happy to explain to it where it came from. Who knows, maybe the money will even try to get a hold of you to ask why you gave it up for adoption.
I did have a few questions about how this whole transaction would go. I read where you suggested I would be your partner. I am not real comfortable with that title. Could you by chance refer to me as “significant other” or “money-laundering love god” instead? I think it is important that we establish the appropriate titles early on so the children do not get confused. I have to admit, I am all tingly thinking about all this confidential and secret stuff. It all sounds so under the table. I am really sorry to hear about your brother’s assets being frozen. We had something similar happen in our family. Aunt Maggie happened to pass away when she got trapped in our walk-in freezer. Her assets were frozen solid as was the rest of her body. There she stood with a slab of bacon and this surprised look on her face. We had a bugger of a time finding a coffin where her arm and the bacon would fit inside. Buford down at the mortuary tried to help but he broke off Aunt Maggie’s arm so at the funeral we just stuck her arm in one of the flowers and hoped no one would notice. You might try that with Mobutu.
I appreciate your willingness to throw numbers around about finders fees and stuff like that. I have to admit, I don’t usually get involved with things like that. I just leave that up to my attorneys and business managers. Since you are not from around here, let me make a few suggestions. First, there are a lot of shady characters out there and so you need to be careful about making offers such as this. That and $15 million is a lot of money to people from your country. I would suggest in your situation that perhaps you should transfer the money into something a little more concrete that would not draw as much attention to yourself. Here is my idea. Go down and withdraw all the money and then go to the nearest Virgin Records store. Tell the kid behind the register that you would like to buy some Box Car Willie CDs. I figure that if you buy in bulk, you can probably get a pretty good deal of say $15 per CD. Given your cash, you should be able to buy 1,000,000 CDs. This will have two effects. First, it will make Box Car Willie bigger than Elvis and let’s be honest aren’t we all tired of all the Graceland hype anyway? Second, you are no longer laundering money but rather are a record producer. Everyone knows they are sleazy guys anyway so you and your corrupt family will fit right in. You can then send me the 1,000,000 CDs and I will try to return them to Virgin Records here. I will then invest the money in bubble gum and will send you a couple of packages per day keeping 25 percent of course since it was my idea. What do you think? I think we stand more of a chance of getting away with this that if we used your idea. Not to mention, if we get caught it is easier to get rid of the evidence this way.
As you can see, I am very willing and interested in helping you out of your monetary bind. I know how tough it is for people in the asylum to get to a phone If you do happen to elude Nurse Ratchet and get to a phone, you can reach me at (202) 647-4000. Be sure to dial 10-10-220. I think this call is going to take a while so you may as well get a break on the cost. You know you can talk a whole hour for just a buck? I can’t wait to hear from you Buma. This should be a lot of fun!

I’m really looking forward to starting a personal relationship with Buma. Who knows maybe I can actually make a difference in his life.

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