Thursday, October 30, 2008

Guest Blogger: Bob McCarty Writes

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am not supporting Barack Obama in 2008. My reasons are ideological and policy-based, though I'm told that my lack of support makes me all kinds of a bad, greedy, mean-spirited person.
Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Even a moron who thinks like that, but I digress.
But unlike some folks who disagree with me ideologically, I have an ethical line I won't cross, politics be damned. And so does one of my fellow bloggers, and fellow conservatives, Bob McCarty.
A few days ago, Bob received an email solicitation from a person purporting to be a Kenyan journalist who writes for a couple US-based online publications. This person claimed to have a source that had positive proof of Obama's muslim connections, something Obama denies. He offered this "very valuable private and confidential damning info about Senator Barack Obama that may tilt the stakes in the presidential election and change the course of American history" to Bob because he felt it important to get the truth out about "BO" (as he referred to him), and because "BO's people" in the Kenyan Intelligence services were trying to silence opposition and get back the positive proof of "BO's" muslim background.
Oh yeah...and for a little cash, of course...*TOING*.
Bob -- a gifted entrepreneur, writer and political analyst -- smelled a rat. So he contacted me, a scambaiting "rat sniffer", whose played with a scammer or two in my time. And instead of taking the bone in our teeth and running to the world shouting, "SEE??? SEE???", like, Dan Rather, Reuters or the NYT have been apt to do with other faked information, we decided to take a different tact. Together, we decided to let this fellow think we were buying into what had all the textbook makings of a scam.
Today (Thursday, October 30 2008), Bob McCarty Writes publishes the entire story (and scambait). Read it HERE.
It was a hoot, folks. And it gave me a chance to reprise my "talefone voice frum Coffee Barf III -- Son of Starbucks, y'all".

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dear Skunky XX -- Opportunistic Translations

In the ongoing saga of Russian bride scamstresses, I get a few repeats. Primarily of photos. My newest scamstress calls herself Irina (my 5th or 6th Irina), and is using the same series of photos that three other scamstresses have used under the names of Katya, Olga, and Misha (since late 2007). Scammers of any sex don't apparently understand the adage that familiarity breeds contempt.
Eh...I don't mind. Besides...I like this current version of Irina. She writes so...convolutedly. I especially liked this passage from her most recent missive:
My day today begin well enough for day. I as usually prepared myself as a breakfast after last night I did the washing machine. She very much helps me. I in general like to home at be much and like being domestic affairs. I am confident that you like me to cook! I make the good Pizza! I like to eat houses and I do not like to go in restaurant of a fast feed. I like be eaten slowly. You too? You take me to eat and enjoy, yes?
*restraint, restraint*...of course, I know what she means. I think. But an email written like this one just cries out for literal interpretation, Dear Skunky style. I realize that if "Irina" or her handlers have any gist of English replies, I may well lose further opportunities for eating Irina.
But you'll pardon moi here for giving into temptation, and not being directed from evil interpretation ('cuz I wouldn't be Dear Skunky, otherwise):
WTF??? I mean, wow. We've corresponded twice, and already you want me to eat you? Whoa. That's a record in my dating history. But I digress for a moment, though I'll undigress shortly.
You eat houses? You must have an iron stomach and the appetite of a goat or a great white shark. They'll eat anything, though I think a shark will draw a fin at tofu. Tell me, hon, is there any particular type of house you find culinarily preferable? Does one with a thatched roof remind you of Shredded Wheat? Is a mud hut more like kasha or borscht? And how does your digestive tract handle sawdust, epoxy, caulk, plaster, et al? Small wonder some of your older Russian women are the size of brick crap houses....they are what they ate...literally. Well, please don't be in a hurry in your case; you're still quite petite, and I like the idea of being able to get my arms around you, without first having to treat your foundation for termites and/or other pests.
I want you to know that here in America, we have a place called The Waffle House. That ain't what it's built out of; that what they serve inside. I just want to make that clear to avoid any future misunderstanding here.
Now, back to your earlier premise. You want me to eat you? And slowly? *TOING* I will be more than happy to accommodate you on that score, when you find your way over here by whatever means you have available. Hubba, hubba! Slowly is the only way to go on that score, nyuk nyuk!
And one last thing, Irina...making it with your washing machine. I know that some women like to use artificial appliances for self-gratification, but I think you may be experimenting beyond the pail, if I may be so up front. At least tell me you're using protection, or low-speed agitation cycles. Otherwise.....woof, you're gonna need a serious rebushing, and in short order.
Now I'm going to have that image in my head every time I go to the laundromat...yowza.
Irina -- or whomever -- didn't bat an eye at my reply. The next email I got made no reference to, or questioned any of the above.
This one's gonna be fun, laundromat mental images aside. Yowza. Still developing....

Thursday, October 23, 2008


*From my 2006 archives, but as true stories go, it's still a keeper*

Anyone who's moved and had to schedule the various and sundry changeover of services (phone, cable, etc), has most likely had at least one untoward experience with it in their life. Anyone who's spent the better part of a day awaiting scheduled services with a company that "will get there" and doesn't, can identify at least somewhat with what follows.

In the spring of '00, I moved to my current location. With plenty of moves in my life, I am a faux pro at it, but one thing I excel at -- besides being a wiseass and flatulent -- is organizing services and having my ducks lined up in advance of a move. I was particularly ready on this one.

Or so I believed, up to the day before what would transpire over the next several days. This is a true story, absolutely lacking in embellishments. I couldn't of made this up if I'd tried.

The phone company Qwest -- formerly US West -- wishes I'd forget it.

Moving is as easy or as hard as one wants to make it. Pre-planning goes a long way toward making it easier, even if you're doing the bulk of the moving yourself (as I was). So on the same day that I'd signed my new lease -- three weeks in advance of 'M Day' -- I made all the requisite calls for utilities, cable, and telephone service. All was arranged to go into effect on the morning of Moving Day. It all seemed so easy.


On Moving Day, my discovery that gravity wasn't as kind now as it had been as early as my mid 30s, was prodigious, what with three flights of stairs between me and where "The Pile" was steadily growing. But eh...between O2 and dry heaves, I was content: all was in order.


During a mandatory breathing break (to avoid hyperventilating), I checked my phone, with my scheduled first telephone number from US West: deader than an Andrew Dice Clay sitcom. After the carload was dispensed with and another collected and delivered, I checked again. Nada.

I stopped over at the management office to reconnect with civilization and find out, in essence, "WTF?". I learned from the bored-sounding USW representative that the number I'd been assigned already belonged to someone else. I got a cheesy apology, a 2nd new number, and a promise that my service would be on by 7pm that day. That night, I gave them an extra half-hour for good behavior, and checked the phone: dead.


The next morning, I again ventured out to civilization and spoke with USW: this time, with customer support in Omaha, NE. They told me that the second number I'd been assigned belonged to someone else, so they had already assigned me a third new number which they couldn't communicate to me because my phone was dead. After which they discovered that...*TOING*....the third number belonged to someone else. So they assigned me a fourth new number, but....because it was the weekend, they couldn't get my phone service turned on until the next Monday, since this was Omaha (it could have been the beach, for all the good it was doing me). I reluctantly accepted no phone service for the weekend, and let it go at that.

Then came Monday: no phone. I call and this time get a phone service center in Montana. There I am informed that the fourth new number I was assigned belonged to someone else. I -- with rapidly-thinning patience -- asked the account rep(tile) to review my account, and he rather flippantly noted that my situation was "a bit unusual". But he assured me that the fifth number he was now telling me would be mine, all mine, and active on Tuesday morning by 8am.

He just didn't say for what time zone.

Came 8am on Tuesday....dead phone. Nearly dead patience. Same with 9am. Same with 10am. I was hamstrung, awaiting the cable guy (with my luck, it'd be Larry), and hoping they wouldn't call first to confirm because they still had the first f***ing number USW had given me.

Then a sign that perhaps the Apocalypse was on the horizon: at about 11:30am (which I guess is 8am somewhere, to USW), my phone had a dial tone. IT'S A MIRACLE! Happy to have rejoined civilization, caution still urged me to verify my number by calling a sibling, giving her the number, and asking her to call me back. 10 minutes later, I called again, and she informed me that the number I gave her -- my fifth new number from USW, belonged to someone else! Lucky for me, she took my second call from her Caller ID phone, and gave me my sixth new and final phone number.

Deluded consumer, cave in.

A couple hours later, with working cable, I saw a US West advertisement come taunting me across the screen, with the closing mantra, "Life's better here". Incredulous as I was at the arrogant audacity of the statement, I wasn't about to call and ask USW/Qwest just where the hell "here" was.

After all, I didn't want my sixth new number to suddenly "belong to someone else". My reaction would have only fueled faux global warming...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pet Rock Delusions

*This was originally published in August 2005; another in the 'Seymour the pet rock' posts, for your amusement. Seymour is currently still residing on a farm in Ohio, but is expected home from his three years abroad and Ohio sojourn in March or May, 2009...and no, I'm not going to get him sushi, sake, or a geisha for his homecoming*

Seymour -- the precocious pet rock -- is a 'news junkie'. Parked atop one of my stereo speakers,
with a panoramic view of the TV (and an inexplicable ability to access the remote when I'm not home), he keeps up on current events. Sort of.

After my tweaking of the rock over the Persides Meteor Shower, he was seeking a counter 'gotcha', when I came home from work, thoroughly annoyed with Colorado geology.

On June 22, 2005, a rockslide closed US 6 in Clear Creek Canyon. The canyon is still closed (top two photos), and not projected to reopen until mid September, 2005. So my route to work is reduced to two options: I-70 westbound to optional exits 248 or 243; or the 'slow boat' route, CO 46 (Golden Gate Canyon Road), a winding, picturesque mountain road. The I-70 route takes, on a good day, 30 minutes; CO 46 on an average day takes 45.

There aren't many average days on CO 46.

On August 14, 2005, I-70 temporarily lost it's utility as an alternative: three sizeable rockslides came down on the highway just to the west of Idaho Springs, CO (bottom photo). While my needs didn't take me that far west, the traffic backups reversed flow right into my realm. While trying to get to work, I found myself in a 60 minute crawl to cover 2 miles (to my desired exit off I-70). Later in the day, the backups from the detour extended 14 miles.

Hearing me muttering about 'ill-mannered geology', Seymour was in his element. And there's no slapping the arrogant, 'gotcha' grin off a pet rock; trust me on that.

Today -- Tuesday -- as I prepare to head for work, I hear that I-70 west is shut down again: same reason, same area, same monumental traffic jams. That means CO 46. The 'slow boat' route. With a ton more traffic than normal.


Seymour is beaming.

Anyone want a pet rock? I'll pay the shipping.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Seymour and the Persides Education

* This is a repost from 2005, but it's also a great example of why I am still single, and would likely make a lousy parent*

It occurred to me -- and was confirmed on the radio -- that the annual Persides Meteor Shower was on tap for the next two nights. Weather-wise, it was looking to be a good night for the show.

Seymour, the ever-inquisitive pet rock, demanded to know what I was musing about.

When I told him all about the Persides celestial event, he was jumping up and down on top of the stereo speaker, saying "I wanna see, I wanna SEE!!!" Oy vay. What do you do with a pet rock that's acting like a 4 year old?

Simple: tell 'em the truth. It doesn't always work with a 4 year old, but Seymour ain't a 4 year old. Then again, it didn't work with Seymour, either.

I explained to him that a 'meteor shower' was not a bunch of space rocks doing kinky things in a Roman bath house (he remembered some reference about that in the movie Airplane); it is a myriad of tiny space debris, hitting the Earth's atmosphere.

And burning up.

Seymour's eager anticipation -- apart from a momentary scowl for the reference to 'space debris' -- turned to wide-eyed horror, when he realized what I was saying: the rocks burn up. Millions of 'em.

Seymour was suddenly quite unamused. Particularly when I took the psyops lesson further, and told him "oh, lighten up'll be cool!"

You've heard of a glare that would split a rock. Ever received such a glare from a rock?

I don't have to take the rock out on the patio to see the Persides Meteor Shower now. He'd rather watch The Outer Limits on the VCR.

Ain't I a stinker?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How To Lose $250,000 Euros

The quick answer to that question is, "vote for Democrats". But I digress.

In the midst of this financial crisis, I seem to be attracting more and more *luck*, in that I just won two more foreign lottos: one from Spain, and one from Microsoft's Netherlands branch. Between the two, my total (to be) take (en for) is $1,250,000 Euros. Slightly more, in devalued Yankee dollars.

Not bad for one day's email. Good thing I'm winning this before Obama & Co. might just get the chance to tax the snarf out of it.

However, with the respective replies I sent to the respective lotto "coordinators", I think I can safely say that I'll never see a Euro of either. Sorry, tax 'n spenders.

*Gasp*, you say, can I let this happen, after such incredible *luck*? Easy, for me: it's all in the reply. For which I have a gift.

For this one, I'll focus on the Microsoft Corporation Sweepstakes, notification from Mrs. Maria van de crap Kuykenfaast (

We are pleased to inform you of the release of the long awaited results of Sweepstakes promotion organized by Microsoft Corporation, in conjunction with the foundation for the promotion of software products held this September 2008, in The Netherlands. Where in your email address emerged as one of the winning emails in the 2nd category and threfore attracted a cash sum of 250,000.00 Euros and a Dell laptop. Your reference number is MSCORP-STK/915-2693, and your batch number is 2008/101/8/MIC.

To begin your claim, do file for the release of your winning by contacting our Foreign Transfer Manager: Mr. Piet van der Kuijt
Tele: 0031-628-693-618

The Microsoft Internet Email lottery Awards is sponsored by former CEO/Chairman Bill Gates and a consortium of software promotion companies. The Microsoft internet email draw is held periodically and is organised to encourage the use of the internet (ROFLMAO...yeah, for scamming) softwares and promote computer literacy worldwide. Congratulations!!
Mrs. Annije de Heuvendaal
Promotions Manager

Whether or not this scam is actually originating in the Netherlands, I don't know or care; but long as I'm not going to collect on it, I might as well cement my ineligibility to be named to the diplomatic mission to The Hague, as well. And for this, Jack N. Ewehoff is eminently qualified:

Microsofties, Netherlands branch

Dadgum, I do feel lucky this month. You're the third lotto I've won hyar in a week. I do thank ye fer that, shore 'nuff.

But, strange as it's gonna sound, I gots a complaint hyar...why don't you f***ing Dutch get pronoucible names? I mean, c'mawn: Piet van der Kuijt? What the f*** is that? Why do you all want to sound like you sell, or are, pork and beans? And who is this Dutch broad, Annije de Heuvendaal? Even Vanna White's gonna warn you against buying too many f***ing vowels! Gee-sus Crikey, folks, haven't you ever heard of K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple Stupid? Is it because you can't make up your minds as to whether or not you're called Holland or The Netherlands? Is it because you live below sea level with the brine shrimp, and limp around with sore feet from those ridiculous Noah's Ark-shaped wooden shoes (they won't keep you afloat, idiots, if the levees go, or did anyone ever tell you fools that)? Or is it you prance around windmills, with those outlandish Sherwin Williams haircuts, trying to do Jill in a peat bog while smoking rolled apple cores? Or is it that the excess humidity molds out your alphabet, causing these dysenteric names like Poort de van der Voorten Bloggen van Hapsenchancen Pieten Jerkingherkinjk?

On a brief aside, I'll bet you know why lesbians like to visit Holland, right? They heard that people put their fingers in dykes there....mwhahahahahahahahaha! Well, okay, so it's funny to folks other than lesbians. Back to my main point, if I had one.

Y'know, you ain't been invaded by and overrun by the Germans since '45. Quit sucking up to their alphabetizin' and get on with your life. You don't have to bow to Schicklegruber any more! Get names that people can pronounce, like Butch, Bob (impossible to mess up), Annie (enough with the useless 'j's in idiotic places, already), Hank and Sue (even your lawyers can understand that one).

Okay, I think that's, wait. There is one more thing: make sure I get my money in convertible Euros, not guilders. What the f*** is a guilder? Someone who makes fish breathing apparatus? THEY GOT THEIR OWN, PIET VAN DER MORIJON! Dang! Don't they teach you Dutchies any biology sh** over there?

Okay, now that's it. You can send me my money. I have a new method of delivery that's totally 'green' and environmentally friendly, and I'll give you details on how to use it, unless you want to ask Speed Diplomatic Courier Services about it, though they'll probably lie to you and try to get you to use the more environmentally-gnarly modes that spew carbon footprints all over the van de crap place. Eh....up to you.
Jack N. Ewehoff

Not unexpectedly, I didn't get my money (unless it overshot and wiped out that crustacean dance studio in Vaduz, again), nor did I get a reply from Piet van der Pukijt. But I did get an admonishment from the US State Department, after they got a protest from the Nigerian Consulate in The Hague.

Seems the Nigerian ambassador couldn't "read well and the contents therein are well understood" my reply. Worse...neither he nor his staff got the joke about the dykes.

Prolly not worth explainin'...y'think?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lost The Translation

*From the 2006 Archives*

And more than once, at that.

At a time when illegal immigration is a hot topic, and Gunsmoke is relating his own experiences with our INS, I digress back to a time and experience when I had the opportunity to undermine that great myth of international travel, The Ugly American.

Or to underscore it.

In the summer of 1989, I was assigned to accompany another corporate investigator and auditor (who doubled as our translator) on a trip to Mexico City; seemed that an asset there who'd helped to uncover a case of embezzlement in the corporate facility (a couple years prior) wasn't terribly amused when the embezzler got what amounted to a slap on the wrist. So he decided to join the fun.

Clumsily. Amateurishly. Badly.

At any rate, it was to be my first trip outside of the continental US in this life time*. The senior (and very well-travelled) investigator undertook to enlighten me about Mexico City, customs, and the way things were. The stories he told were eye-openers, including his experience of being in his Mexico City hotel room when the big quake hit in 1985; it cured him of his love of high rise buildings ever more.

We flew from Denver to Houston, went through Customs, then flew onto Mexico City. Enroute, he enlightened me about the horrific air pollution that usually shrouded the city, worse than anything I'd ever see in Denver, as well as the madcap cab drivers and the harrowing trip we'd most likely endure from the airport to the hotel downtown.

And he cautioned me about my sense of humor with the Mexican customs officials: leave it in my carry-on. El horsefeathers.

Murphy's Law was along on the front-half of that trip: we flew into Mexico City through a crystal clear, cloudless sky, with visibility for miles. Our trip through customs was a breeze (and yes, my sense of humor stayed put, despite temptations and opportunities); and the cab ride in a renovated Volkswagen Beetle was a pleasure, not in the least what I had been prepared for. The auditor and myself -- newbies to south of the border -- needled and tweaked our senior guide accordingly.

He just smiled and took it in good grace; he knew.

For the next three days, it was an experience I'll never forget. Just a few examples:

-- our first walk along the main avenue through Mexico City, on which the hotel was located, revealed groups of Mexican Federales (police), in bands of 12. All armed with shoulder-fired automatic weapons. A further eye-opener came from the Mexican corporate attorney we would work with on the embezzlement case: as a gringo, he counselled, never leave the main avenue for more than a block either way on foot, alone, and not even on the main avenue on foot at night.

-- during another of our walks from one office building to another, I noticed that many of those on the street were looking very intently at my new Reebok tennis shoes; when I asked about it, our guide chuckled and told me my shoes would be worth hundreds of thousands of pesos on the black market, and they'd slit my throat like a chicken to get them, if I were off the main avenue.

-- during the suspect interview, it became apparent that our auditor/translator was woefully out of her league in translating; her Spanish was classic Castillian, which was fine in Spain, not here. Our guide took over the duties, remarking that persons of single language abilities were handicapped. Weak grins all around.

-- on our walk back to catch a cab to the hotel, we happened to be walking past what appeared to be an armored car (aka, a Brinks-type), when I heard a distinct *clunk*, followed by a sound that sent a chill through my toenails: the cocking of a machine gun bolt. I glanced to my right, and not six feet away, behind the plexiglass of the car, stared an armed guard, with his machine gun barrel out the gun port. Pointed at us. Our senior member just muttered "just keep walking", while he took our ready-to-faint auditor's left arm, and I took her right, and we "just kept walking" while carrying her. The spinchter battled me for dominance in that instance; still don't know how I won out.

-- but it got a second chance to win the day, on the cab ride back. The wild, madcap, "no rules, just go like hell" style of cab rides he'd described from his previous Mexico visits, on top of the other day's events, was just about what the doctor didn't order. The auditor was green; my sphincter wanted to scream. I was too busy holding on (in more places than one) to even think of cracking open my book of English-Spanish translations for something that would convey "whoa, dude!" to the driver. Despite the horns, angry shouts, a few screeching tires and one very green auditor, we arrived at the hotel, and crawled out. I thought about kissing the curb, but decided it'd be in bad gringo form.

-- that evening, the senior member decided I should 'christen' my corporate credit card, and buy dinner for our little group of four. Which I thought nothing of, until the bill arrived: 339,800 pesos!!!! It took a moment for the exchange-rate gear in my head to kick in and remind me that it was only about $148 American dollars (the rate of exchange back then was something like 2300 or so pesos to the US dollar). I'm told the look on my face was "priceless"; I'm glad it wasn't added to the bill.

-- and, of course, the 'lost the translation' moments: I tried my very elementary Spanish when making a call back to the Denver-based corporate office; I started with an afternoon greeting and started to slowly state the numeros uno at a time, when the operator deluged me in a virtual avalanche of, to me, unintelligible espanoel. I was forced to meekly mutter "no habla espanoel", at which time she glided seamlessly into accentless English. And when I stood in the hotel gift shop, getting a promised souvenir for our corporate receptionist, thumbing through my English-Spanish dictionary while the senior member and the gift shop clerk waited with patient, condescending smiles. When I was finally unable to find the spanish word for "wrap", I wound up making a rotating circle with my hands, and muttering "uh...wrappo por favor", which she did with a smile, while the senior was convulsed in the corner. I had to hear that story recounted for the next year at the office...

-- and, of course, the "tipping" episode: the next morning, I was asked if I'd left a tip on the pillow of the bed; "uh, to enlighten me?". When we returned from the day's activities, I found that my room had been serviced marginally. *El TOING*. So the next morning, I left a $1 US bill on the pillow. Upon our return later that day, I'd of thought I was a visiting dignitary: the place was spotless. I hope I didn't cause a riot on check out day, when I left a $10...

-- finally, the trip back to the airport. The cab I'd had worse ;-) Going through Customs, I wasn't concerned, having only the el wrappoed por favor souvenir to account for in my carry-on. Our auditor, however, decided to put her Sony Walkman in her carry-on (on the trip in, it'd been in her checked luggage), so she could listen to tunes on the flight home. When her bag went through the x-ray machine, a security official directed her and her bag off to the side. And up behind her stepped a Federale with an automatic weapon at the ready. We couldn't step over to support her this time; she wavered, but remained upright until cleared to proceed.

Fortunately, it wasn't far to our gate, so carrying her and our luggage was awkward, but manageable...

And yes: despite my knowledge of the admonition about the water, and my careful adherence to it, I did contract a mild version of Montezuma's Revenge a day after returning home.

At least I didn't have to worry about losing the translation on that.

* if you subscribe to the previous life thang...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dear Skunky XIX -- Identity Crisis

Dear Skunky is not very nice.
Nawp...Dear Skunky took advantage of a script gaffe...and a couple of name gaffes...and just got "strangeness" on a poor, seeking-love Russian bride scamstress, who thought I (aka, Jack N. Ewehoff) was her soulmate and perhaps her key to happiness in the USA.
Yawp. And I krapped in her kasha. All because I couldn't overlook some minor gaffes.
Baaaad Skunk. As a recent telephonic push pollster found out, I'll never be compassionate enough to be of any use to progressives, but I digress (with apologies to Jack K for the digression).
In the midst of juggling four Russian scamstresses at once (I shoulda been that bold in high school; then again, it's a whole lot easier and safer keeping four onliners straight, than four at the same school, and getting gang-mugged behind the bleachers when they inadvertently get together and compare notes), I get me a fifth: under the usual "not her real name or email" category, I get an email from "Errol Darby" (, that says in part, "Hi! I find you on Internet and I be very happy if we know each better, as you see it? I write you and hope that you will turn its attention to me, I very good girl (*nasal spew of beverage*) and very care tenderly, I hope that I ponravlyus (WTF???) you. I just think that we can move on to "you"? I will await your respond. I just want to say that if I can not get to this site is still a site to me in my email address:
Well. Never having been 'ponravlyus'ed before, I reckon ol' Jack is in for a new experience h'yar, one that Dear Skunky owes an exploration of to his readership. So Dear Skunky again dons his Jack N. Ewehoff persona, and dives right in:
I'm not right sure what your first name here is, but I am amused to hear from you. You bring to me an experience I have yet to have had in my life, that of being "ponravlyus"ed by anyone in email. I hope that, depending on how I turn my attention, you'll pontificate on this ponravlyus thingee in detail, and if I'll find it to be pleasurable, or rather like a porcupine enema. Awaiting your well-read reply.
A day later, I learn that her grasp of written English isn't much better, her name (for my purposes, I think) is Yuliya Kashapova, and that she "am glade to get answer you! I happy so much you have written me! I have hopes to get to know us better and correspond this, yes? I now try tell you more: I am 26 year olds, 56kg weigh, and 171 cms of tall. I am harmonious body brown eyes black hair. You see my photo attached (and yep...the photo is of a very harmonious bodied female of the black flowing hair variety). I life in Almetyevsk , Russia, my city is 1300 km from Moscow. Also I hope my email big suprise for you, really? But most important I like to say to you I have decide to look for man thorogh internet thanking my best girlfriend Anastasia (hopefully, not one of the two current Anastasias that I'm fencing with...otherwise, see above comments) who is best my friend here and she meet man in Latvia Riga City by internet. He name of Valdis and they much happy in togathering! I want say you I can speak English with out problem I think so...I hope you can to understand my writed English with okay problems? Really please to tell me? Ok? Say to me so in next email? I have got to mine diploma of profession "economist" (hey, honey, you can be a talking head over hyar just now...) and will like learned about career chances in your country with this diploma (you can wipe your hands on it while cleaning toilets, waiting tables, etc...and she goes on) for this is really what to you brings me to meet. You are much interesting person to me from your profile (I GOTTA find this friggin' profile they all mention) and I hope to be much the interest also you that will find me (nawp...nuthin' wrong wid her English...bwhahaha). Waiting for your answer, I am Yuliya.
Yes, she is. Well, maybe: a not-so-quick check of a Russian scammer photo database does find what appears to be a matching photo of Svetlana, from Kazan. Details, details. Why let such minor details get in the way of true luv, yes? Don't worry; I won't.
Having used the "love-lorn" approach on my last scamstress (and currently on two more), I decide to return to a format that Dear Skunky has been castigated for by much more than compassionate progressives, and readers who missed the disclaimer about not drinking and reading at the same time:
First off, may I say up front that your education is obvious to anyone who reads your email; you write English better than inner city kids in California. Bravo, my lipshen (yeah, yeah, her English is better than my Russian). And that That is one beauty of a woman! Do you know her? So, you are educated as an economist? Again, wow: what timing you should find my mysterious profile and write to me! We need one more economist to tell us what to do with the current economic malaise here. That's a great idea, Yuliya.
I go on to tell her about my fictitious life in Waterloo, Iowa, my fictitious house, my fictitious job, and my not-fictitious pet rock, Seymour (who's still on a farm in Ohio, but that's for later). I finish with Yuliya, I hope you'll send me more photos of beautiful women, and tell me more about what getting ponravlyused is like, and whether it involves interesting sex positions, whipped cream and crackers or not. Write more when you can!
I gotta wonder that at some point, her handler(s) -- at least one of them -- will have a better grasp of written English than "Yuliya" seems to. But to my delight, not in her next reply:
Dear Jack!!! Thanks to you the reply I get and I readed with much gratitudes! I like you like to me, yes? This I reads! I am much glade you likes to me!
Now, there seems to be a 'blip' in the script: what I tell to you before Jack, I learn profession to be hairdresser and this is my work (is THAT what's wrong with all of OUR economists? They're really HAIR DRESSERS?..and she goes on) at salon where I dress hair many hours a week. I like my work because it creative and it allow me to be creative and deliver to people pleasure. I work in small firm on hours of 9 to 6 nightly. I write you from work of place here because I cannot have computer internet in my home place but my manager he is fare with to me and ok me to write you here when I break from work. When I am off time I like go with girlfriends to sport club and spend time with advantage of my body (hubba, hubba!) that we all like do. I very much like to sports...if your body has movement it is much the healthy, yes (yeah, a couple-three healthy movements a day are what they do call for, shore 'nuff)? Wheter tell me please, you are like to sports? Do you do to like the spot on TV? I like watching figure skating and ski runs! My time is now to back working my Jack! Please write me more!
But of course I will:
I am most gratified to know that you are gifted intellectually and well-educated, so that you can balance economisting and hairdressing, too. And those pictures...dang, woman, I wanna meet THAT girl, whoever she is! Speaking of sports, I do love sports, indeed. In fact, you might say I'm sporting right now as I reply to you. Beyond that, I like football, NASCAR, hockey, exercising until being incompacitated by raging thigh cramps, projectile-vomiting, killing terrorists with laser-guided bombs, and bedroom golf. I may one day get to show you bedroom golf, Yuliya. It's all in the stroke control. Yowza. Finally, may I say that I am so very glad that you keep movement to stay healthy. I enjoy a couple-three good movements a day, too. Especially with a good magazine.
Send me more of those pictures, babe.
Neither Yuliya nor her handlers seem as yet to be reading much of what I'm saying; but Yuliya is about to experience another 'blip' on the correspondence radar, which suggests to me that (a) she's trying to multi-task with another potential dupe and (b) she ain't good at it, but (c) he's getting racier pictures than I am:
My Carlos *TOING*
I love to you the life you promise me to provide! I will make you happy with love and we raise good family together, yes? Please to hurry to send the plane ticket money to me, I impatient to be with you to love and be tenderly to! I want for you this photo of me to make to you fantasy about us together! Your Ekat!
LMAO...yep, it came from the same email address as her previous ones did...yep, it came to my email address as the other ones did. And it came with a photo of a totally naked woman that doesn't look quite like Yuliya. But now, suddenly, I'm Carlos, and we're into the 'rat-killing' part of the scam, having leaped over all the other preliminary snarf, and I'm pissed because Carlos has been getting better pictures (until now, anyway; now it'll be his turn to be pissed). What's worse, I don't even know how much money I'm supposed to be sending. Hate when that happens. Probably a lot for that photo.
So I guess I'll play along, sorta:
My darling Ekat,
I am so taken by your words and your wishes, my darling! Like you, I dream of sex with crustaceans in cocktail sauce, and all the trimmings! It cannot happen too soon...well, yes it can. Because I lost your wiring information, along with my own identity! I began this as Jack, and now I'm Carlos. But for you, my raving lunatic of a naked beauty, I will be a door knob. No! I will be a tree stump, if that's what your little heart desires! More photos! Woohoo!
Now, I get a couple of days before the next email comes. It's again from Yuliya...or is it:
My Jack,
I wait impatient for your reply to me! I have much to be happy when you write me and tell me things of love (huh?...we ain't GOT that far must be thinking about Carlos..that tool). I must to say that love is a feeling of much growth to me. Can to you I say this? Really? I want you to not offended this make you, my Jack. Please to me what it is you feel and say inside to me? I am much to be happy about you in my life! Your Yuliya
*Tell the handlers: I think we have a teleprompter programming short here*
Okay, so she can't keep straight who she is or I am, or where she is with who in whatever other scams she's running. Fine. Let's play really out there and test her and her handlers' grasp of movie trivia:
Yo, Adrian! Badda boom badda bing, it's me heah! Yeah, me! Mulligan, your bombs are coming down on our heads! You can't hear me? The reason you can't hear me, is you're firing your mortar on your end, and they're dropping here, on OUR end! NO, THE KRAUTS ARE NOT HERE! WE'RE HERE! I DON'T KNOW WHERE THE KRAUTS ARE! JUST LIFT YOUR GODDAMNED BARRAGE, OVER! Oh man, don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning...think that bridge will be there, and it'll be there. It's a mother beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Okay? What are you doing? Oh, drinking wine, and eating cheese, and catching some rays, y'know...what's wrong with the tank? Oh, the tank's broke and they're trying to fix it....well why are you up there helping them? Oh man, I just drive 'em, I don't know what makes 'em work....definitely the anti-social type...*woof woof woof*..yep, that's my other dog imitation.
With all kinds of love and hot pig sex, Larry the Cable Guy
Apparently, neither Yuliya, Ekat, or her handlers have seen Rocky or Kelly's Heroes:
My Jack,
I say to you I love the letters to me sent! You very kind man and to this I think one to be loving to me, yes? I feel yes love inside of me to you, Jack. To you I come to America and not to fear be in foreign place away from home for you will be to me as one I know can love with me! This is true with you, yes? I can say now I know that I love you, my Jack! Your loveing Ekat
Okay.....the train is off the tracks, the teleprompter's fried, Fannie Mae's found out that Freddie Mac's gay, the taxpayers are getting screwed, and whoever's writing these letters is more lost than Nancy Pelosi at an ethics convention. And poor old Carlos, wherever he might be...wonder what HE must be thinking about now, besides being pissed that I got one of the nudey photos he was supposed to get?
I wait a couple days, and in that time, someone over there is starting to get caught up on the mixed emails, and even perhaps starting to understand a bit of what's been writ:
My Jack,
I am not to understand some of the items noted your emails to me now. You to me speaks of mortars Krauts? Sex with pigs? Who is to this Larry Cable guy with you? You write much to me strangeness, Jack. I wish understanding of this now for you to explain me. Ekat
LMAO...I write strangeness? At least I know (I think) who I am! Oh hell...let's mix a bit of Jack N. Ewehoff, Baaaad Skunk and the General (from Kelly's Heroes):
Yuliya-Ekat-Svetlana-et al,
I am not the least bit surprised at your total cornfusion about now, my little Russkie changeling. You've cornfused the absolute sh** out of me. To the point that I don't know if I'm Jack, Carlos, Sebastian Lipshiz, or some other dupe of unknown antecedence and prodigy. But I want you to know that I don't care who you call yourself; for $10,000, you can call me Billie Sue. Long as you keep sending me those naked pictures of whoever that beautiful woman is, I am so not caring who you are, who I are, or where this trolley car is floating near a blackhole in space! History waits for no man, Jablonski...I'm pushing on to the Rhine! Attack attack attack! That's the kind of fighting spirit I was talking about! If that guy's a major, he's a colonel now! What am I doing here, Booker? C'MON, LET'S GET THIS ARMY OF MINE BACK IN THE WAR! Woohoo, Barney the Purple Dinosaur is here...I love you, you love me, I can eat kids three by three...
See, Yuliya-Ekat-Svetlana-et al, it doesn't matter! What matters is, you keeping them hot pig sex photos a comin'! Yowza woof woof!
Jack N. Ewehoff, or whoever you want me to be
That was a mistake on my part; I overplayed my hand and I'm going to lose my supply of photos:
You not real to me! You write nunsense stuff to me and you think that not to know this I can find. You false person! Stop now to write me anymore at once! Yuliya
She must be a Democrat: I'm the "false person"? Well okay, so I am in this mode ;-) Oh well...I never did find out what getting "ponravlyus"ed is. And that's the end of those nice photos, especially the last one. The last one I'll get from Yuliya-Ekat-Svetlana-et al. Pity, really. And no, male readers, I won't share it on the blog (I do have some female readers I wish not to offend...but I can email it 'pon request LOL).
Baaaaad Skunk.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Vomit Comet Special

*Another nugget from the March '07 archives*

Today, I provide you with a lesson in getting from "A" to "B", the peculiar way I do it.

And why you shouldn't orta, the way I do it.
Point "A": I recently had a nice email exchange with Amelia Earhart. Yes, you read that right: Amelia Earhart. Granted, it wasn't the Amelia Earhart who made all those piloting records in the 20s and 30s, and who shattered more than a few female stereotypes in doing so. It wasn't the same Amelia Earhart who was lost somewhere in the Pacific, on an attempted transcontinental flight in 1937.
It was her namesake and current-day descendant, Amelia Earhart, who is a student at CU in Boulder and does traffic reports from the helicopter for 850 KOA in Denver.
Like her late relative (their geneological links date back to the 1700s, according to Earhart II), this Amelia has a love of flying. Her long-term goals include learning to fly "all kinds of planes" and one day, retracing the flight of her lost namesake, completing the flight that the first Amelia failed on.
I'll be able to say I had an email chat with her before she became famous, but I digress.
In reply to her comment on "loving to fly", I admitted that I wasn't such an eager advocate of flight in "anything that had wings". Granted, I have flown in a number of things that "had wings", though only as a passenger. Were I to be at the controls, one needn't look any further than a cockpit view of Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett in It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, to grasp what the experience would probably resemble.
I don't like small planes, period.
Which brings me to directly to "B": back in my corporate travel days, I did quite a bit of flying (in a passenger seat, not up in the cockpit) commercial. Usually the smallest bird I was aboard was a 737. But a couple of times, I was forced to suffer the commuter route. One such required me to depart from Knoxville, TN, on a 737 and fly to Cincinnati; from there, I had to take one of those twin-engined prop jobs to South Bend, Indiana.
Which I didn't know, until I arrived at the departure gate in Cincinnati.

I can't remember the official designation of the craft; I just know it was a 12-seater, and it was booked to capacity. As I approached it, I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach: I'm going to get sick and die inside a flying cigar tube.
See, back in those days, a mild amount of turbulence would make me airsick. I knew how to combat it in the larger aircraft, like DC-10s and Airbus 300s. And it was never a problem aboard the then-new 757s. I'd had a couple of rougher flights on 727s, MD 80s and the plane with the equivalent of an in-cabin outhouse, the 737.

But aboard the small prop jobs? Ack. I had been forced to take one once, from Atlanta to Knoxville. When the plane mercifully landed, and I failed to stop myself from kissing the tarmac in front of amused fellow passengers, I vowed to never again ride aboard that option. Every trip to Knoxville thereafter, I rented a car and drove from Atlanta.

But I had a schedule and coworker to meet in South Bend; driving was not an option.

Not a Catholic at birth or in practice, I briefly became one as I crossed myself three times and boarded the flight, and wedged myself into the seat built for sixth grade kids. Nobody looked particularly happy aboard this plane. No one, save for the four year old lad, sitting on his mother's lap across the aisle from me. I was sure she was going to strap him in to the window seat next to her; but some moose planted his carcass in that seat as the last passenger to board, and it became obvious she was going to take her four year old along sitting in her lap.

The flight crew -- all two of them -- sat up front, ala Rooney/Hackett. No one said a word about the arrangement. If they knew, they acted like they didn't. Then the props fired up, and I forgot all about the FAA violation across the aisle.

And with that, the Vomit Comet Special was off. It was supposed to be about an hour or so flight to South Bend, which was about an hour or so longer than I was into. But I was determined to put on a good face for the concerned-looking mom and her loving-every-second-of-this son. Actually, I was finding that it wasn't hard to put on a good face: the plane wasn't bouncing like a fishing bobber on a wind-whipped lake, as had been my prior experience with one of these abominations of flight. I tried to relax and opened my book.

For about fifteen minutes.

At which time, it grew dim inside, and darker outside: we were engulfed in clouds. Lacking much in the way of communication with the "flight deck" (aka, there was none), we didn't know that we were flying into a squall line of thunderstorms that were, at that moment, pummeling the South Bend area and points S/SE.

We only knew that whatever "smooth" flight we had been experiencing up to then, was over. We became that aforementioned bobber.

Trying not to be too obvious with my gradually greening gills, I glanced around the cabin and was somewhat assured: no one was enjoying this any more than I wasn't. Except for that four year old, who was "oooh"ing and "aaaah"ing as the plane bucked and jumped like a penny arcade horse.

He didn't even pay a second's notice to the sudden sound of something pelting the side of the plane. I glanced at the white-knuckled fellow on my windowseat side:

Me: Rain?
Him: off the props.
Me: Oh, is that all?

My outward nonchalance was truly amazing, as I was silently asking God for a touch more sphincter strength, as well as regurgitation resistance, which was getting more difficult by the bounce.

Then, all at once, came a bright flash, a loud roar, and the plane dropped some unknown amount of feet abruptly, putting my stomach against the insides of my teeth. I might well have lost it then and there, but for one sight: that of a four year old lad, whose eyes were suddenly as big as saucers, and was no longer having any fun with this. Nor was his mother, already the pallor of death white, and now reckoning with the spreading urine stain from his pants to hers.

Things could be worse, I reckoned without retching; the kid could have been in my lap.

Fortunately, nothing more drastic than that last fun-ender happened in the next 45 minutes; we bounced and bucked all the way into South Bend, where the pilots, to their credit, made a sweet "no bounce" landing, and taxied us up as close to a jetway as we could get in the prop job.

I didn't bother with the tarmac kiss this time; it was raining.

So I am more than happy to leave the round-the-world flights in bouncing vomit comets to the Amelia Earharts of yesterday, today and tomorrow. They can have the records.

I'm content to hold onto my lunch.