Wednesday, August 30, 2006

If You Can't Stop Em

Then infiltrate them, a fox amongst the hounds, and insult them with insincere imitation.

If you have no life like me, it's something to do.

The Nigerian 419 avalanche continues, and I have just about worn the print off my *Delete* button; then, I get this one email from some hork named Bell Chika.


Instead of starting up a dialogue with this bozoid, I took and sort of **rewrote** his scam letter to me.

Then I emailed it back to him. And about 20 other recent scamster email addresses I'd saved up. Along with two of my blog readers (I was careful to 'bcc' them two), just to see how alert they are.

I present you now with a scam letter to the scamsters:

Subj: Re: Senegal Victim's Advocate Office (Signatories To The Seinfeld Re-runs Deal)

Attn: Please,

I am so very sorry if I pried into your privy during a mammoth power dump, but I am convinced that you are just the one to provide me with a solution to my most desperate hour of need, perhaps to be superceded by an even more desperate hour of need, when I need one.

Pleased it be that I am Mr. Chika Bell, distant cousin to Tinker Bell, now a penniless waif currently in the care of the Senegal Victim's Advocate Office, a non-profit organization of dubious antecedence and sexual prodigy. I am writing on behalf of ... myself: in 2003, I was happy, pre-testosteronal, and heir to an ill-gotten fortune, placed in trust for me by the dictator who adopted me, General Ukulele Ungabungabunga, who was subsequently killed in a rebel suicide hamster bombing on the road to Dakar, while seeking prostitutes.

I myself was, at a young age and no longer under the tutelage of my protector/dictator/pervert, set upon and defrocked by a deranged pygmy in a Sponge Bob Squarepants outfit, and will forever after will be haunted by the lyrics of that stupid theme song. Up to then, I'd been a happy if frustrated 17 year old virgin, what with all the camels having been run off during the years of civil war, but I digress.

Nonetheless, with the stains of a perverse sponge permeating my personage, I ws deemed too young and prone to to attacks by wayward crustaceans, to be able to access the funds left to me by my pervert adopted dictator. Thus, they were placed in a trust.

Now, I learn that the Barrister-General of the Senegalese Port & Spirits Authority, Rasheed Achmed Fahrad Ackbar Mohamneggs Hussein al Ben Sadr Suckeggmule, has made it legally impossible for me to have access to my funds, and is in concert with Crosby Stills Nash and Swiss bankers to confiscate my rightful inheritance.

This is where you come in as the saviour of myself. You, being the good Christian/Catholic/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist/Mormon/Orthodow National Hebrew Kosher Hotdog/DeadHead/Fatwa/Organic Tofu/Perpetual Cosmic Horkage/Agnostic/Atheist/Bloody Post Nasal Drip -- or whatever you are consigned to be by the Great Meadow Muffin Maker in Paradise -- I know that I can count on your intercession on my behalf.

I ask of you to kindly front as my lawful next of kin, with a foreign bank account, to petition the Senegalese Chamber of Tourism and Hostages as my bonafide next of kin, whereupon the entirety of my rightful assets -- $35 Million in bills of US Confederacy denomination, secretly acquired by my late benefactor from gypsies, tramps and thieves -- will be delivered into your account, before it can be confiscated by the diabolical Barrister-General and his odious harem of Teletubbies and SpongeBob Squarepanted perverted pygmies.

Time is short as the bank has petitioned the Barrister-General of too many surnames for permission to confiscate all of my rightful funds, within 25 business days.

So you see, I need your patience, trust, diligence, honesty, blind devotion to bullshit and thorough gullibility NOW, to make this miracle happen. Upon your email that verifies your willingness to be saviour, I am agreed that you will be entitled to 55% of this fund, while I will take only 35% -- my wants and needs are austere, being a humble waif with low self-esteem after my experience with the pervert pygmy in the Sponge Bob outfit -- with the remaining 20% going to expenses, taxes, dealer prep and options, not to mention a math tutor for me, since I don't think those percentages add up right.

Once we have the funds successfuly ensconced in your bank account, we ill destory all documents and part ways and curds with our respective shares; whereupon I shall seek asylum at the Neverland Ranch, since I am given to understand the surigically-altered pervert that runs the place is busying chasing kids and camels in Qatar.

I cannot stress this enough: YOU ARE MY LAST, BEST HOPE IN THIS LIFE. Perhaps even in my next two or three lives, if reintarnation is your bag. All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us to see this through. I also need a promise from you that you will not only maintain absolut confidentiality (or whatever brand of vodka you prefer), but that you won't give me up to another pygmy pervert in a Sponge Bob Squarepants or Barney the Purple dinosaur outfit.

Please know that as you read this, you are fully protected from any breach of the laws of Nature that might apply. I don't know about anything else.

I am most eager for your early answer and affirmation.

My regards,

Mr. Chika Bell, waif, victim, part-time victim model for Reuters photographers, and afraid of amourous seafood

Snegal Victim's Advocate Office

Dakar, Senegal

Tel. +221-440-9966

So far, I've received one response from a scamster, complaining that my "format is too long too read".

Details, details...

* well actually, just about completely

** well actually, pretty much completely...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Skunks On A Roll

Or not.

With all the hype that accompanied the opening of the sure-to-be cult classic, Snakes On A Plane, it occurred to me that before a bunch of silly sequels start getting lined up to rival Rocky, Police Academy and Halloween as some of the most ridiculous sequel series ever come down the Hollywood Blvd, let's start with something that can surely have a whole series of guaranteed sequels built into the original that kicks it off.

And you'll find it right hyar.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Skunk Five Years Later

No frills here; Monica's recent post on concerning stories of the "backdoor draft" -- something which I personally oppose for those who've done their service and thensome -- coupled with an upcoming anniversary, prompted me to repost a column I wrote and posted on my website on September 13, 2001.

Except for an updated note at the beginning, the column says it as I said it then, and there's nothing I would say different, five years later.

'Nuff said, and hyar it tis.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Bi-Centennial "What If..?"

I'm about a month early on this particular bi-centennial anniversary, but name ain't Hallmark.

Follow the link to read a short tribute to the end of a fantastic journey, two hundred years ago. As well as a wee bit of speculation as to what this journey might have meant, had it been assigned and constituted differently.

Read on hyar.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Time To Give, A Time To Heal

As most know by now, a rather vital, vibrant member of the blogisphere has undergone a medical trauma; though by all accounts it could have been much worse. Known to many as she likes to brag as "The Good One", I'm sure her definition, and that applied by her colleagues, friends and family, differ greatly. In her definition, it's tongue in cheek, or so I surmise it; the rest of us -- some by personal knowledge, some by just the sense we have of the her we've come to know in this medium -- know otherwise.

Look in a lot of dictionaries under "good", and her example is there.

Over the more than year and a half I've known of this particular person, she's opened her home to others, opened her life to a legion of bloggers, opened her heart to a fair number therein, and was even willing to give a physical part of herself to another in need. We've lived with her family, through her words, her fears and anxieties, her deep pride and hope that she'd done things the best she could for her three children. Not that one might consider them "children" by conventional sense: one is a youthful veteran of serious health issues, who went on to serve his nation for two tours in a tumultuous war zone; another, with wisdom beyond his years, prepares to follow his dream of serving his country as his older brother did, and more: first as a Marine, and second as a politician, determined to make the world a better place.

And then of course, there is the one...the only...FoN. A child and not, at 15. And let not the nickname fool you: Julia is, by all accounts, every bit as intelligent, focused, deliberate and well-grounded, as her two brothers. And just as her two brothers, whatever she sets her mind to, will happen. Never underestimate a FoN on a mission.

This exceptional lady and mother has, indeed, much to be proud of.

She might even have received a gift beyond her (almost) wildest dreams: a posting on her blog from her Hollywood idol....can't say if it's authentic or not, but at this point who cares and I digress.

Yep, she has many friends and admirers, as can be read daily from those who post to her blog; that counts not those who are genuinely blessed to know her personally, be they long-time friends (even when they're having sports bra issues in public parks) or those of more recent acquaintance, lucky enough to be touched by her incredible self.

And of course, there's ol' Skunk: she loves to 'tease' Skunk. And flirt with Skunk. All in good fun, with a genuine wish that ol' Skunk one day finds...well...y'know: his own Barbara Feldon ;-) Something ol' Skunk will debate with her about whether he's really deserving of or not, but that's for another, better time.

Just now, ol' Skunk adds his prayers to those from the multitude of folks who know and adore this fine, incredible woman. She who has always asked for our prayers for others, wouldn't ask now for ours. She wouldn't have to, even if she were of a mind to.

Few I know in this life are more deserving, period.

Lastly, the ol' Skunk has one admonition for this tenacious, head-strong lady of formidable faith and persistence: there's a time to give, and a time to heal. Now's your time to heal. Let others, recipients of your faith, love and friendship now step up, just as you have to/for them, countless times.

In uddah woids, sit down, rest, relax, and RECOVER. FULLY. COMPLETELY.

Consider that an order, Monica.

With luv from your friend,

(and, of course, a host of others)

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Accidental Coach

Have you ever been mistaken for someone else by the public? Were you shameless enough to take advantage?

My given name was never an issue until some Hollywood twit who appropriated my name after I'd made established use of it started directing movies: some good (The Rock) and more not so good (Pearl Harbor). In 2004, I received a series of three phone messages from an Ohio-based factory working mom, seeking a part "in your (my..snort) next movie" for her and her 14 year old daughter, both of whom she assured me, "could act real good".

By the third message, I thought it best to let her -- or more specifically, me -- off the hook, and returned the message to her answering machine, letting her know I wasn't the one she thought she was calling.

It's probably a good thing she didn't accidentally call Parker/Stone's voice mail, but I digress.

Though I was told a few times that I looked like Dennis Weaver (in his role in the movie Duel, until my hair went gray and my moustache went phffft), no one ever thought I was him, thanks to the age difference. But on one occasion back in 1989, I was thought to be someone I wasn't, three different times in the same location.

Several someones in south New Jersey have autographs that are truly unique. And worthless.

Not being an autograph hound myself, I don't have a single autograph of note from anyone. I've been used to get autographs now and again, the most famous of which was from Bart Starr. But not being a collector of them, I didn't then, and don't now, have a great hankerin' to be an autograph magnet, either.

Even accidentally.

In the summer of '89, I -- along with two working colleagues -- was in south New Jersey, there to conduct a surveillance operation at an industrial facility on an on-going theft issue. At the same time, the NFL's pre-season training camps were underway. And it so happened -- which we didn't know at first -- that the hotel we were staying in for the next few days, was also the temporary home to players and staff of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles.

I first became aware of this when taking the elevator to the ground level to meet with my cohorts for breakfast. It stopped three floor short, and four sizeable specimens lumbered on, leaving me squeezed in the corner. At ground level, their exit (allowing me to breath air again) stirred a lot of buzz in the lobby, whereupon I learned for the first time who they were, and that the team was staying here during training camp.

As a Broncos fan, my initial reaction was a quietly uttered "eh".

But it sort of explained what would follow.

After returning from a meeting with plant officials, two of us boarded the elevator along with four young teens, who immediately began asking for our autographs.

I developed a *duck hit over the head* look, while my cohort -- quicker than me at the time -- said, "sure, kid...", and promptly signed some illegible scrawl in their little black book they handed him, telling them he was a special assistant to the special teams coach.


When I challenged him with a "what the New Jersey toxic waste dump are you thinking?", after we exited the elevator, he just laughed and said, "they'll never know the difference".

The next time I was accosted for an autograph -- the next morning, again as I entered the elevator -- I couldn't bring myself to play the game, much to the amusement of my two colleagues, both of whom had unhesitatingly complied with a couple requests made of them. I was having a bit of an ethical debate with them over why not just tell 'em you're not affiliated with the team, and their snide response of "let 'em think they're getting an autograph; makes 'em happy". Besides, as they liked to point out, assistant coaches come and go like the seasons and cheap dates. An analogy I could appreciate at the time, but I'm digressing again.

Finally, the morning after our assignment had wrapped up, we were to gather in the lobby for the ride to the airport. As was usual, I was the first to get situated and down to the lobby, awaiting my molasses-speed comrades. Sitting in a chair and working on my expense report (that's another ethical debate, but I digress even more), I was approached by two young lads who asked me for my autograph; it occurred to me then that my choice that morning of a green shirt might be easily misconstrued.

Yup. This morning, I tempted the fates and actually thought to play the game; but I just couldn't bring myself to. At least, not entirely:

"Look kids, you don't want my autograph. I'm nobody special. I just coach the waterboys."

I was right; with a disappointed "oh", they left, seeking bigger game.

Looking back at it, perhaps I should have enjoyed the moment as the "accidental coach" more fully. As my cohorts suggested, they would have never known.

But I would.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Reunion With Raspberry Annie

*another chance to laugh at moi, from the '06 archives*

Tuesday, August 8, I spent the second half of my work day being reacquainted with a blonde I hadn't seen since 1989. It was an interesting reunion.

And no, Monica: she's not my type. Especially after what I did to her 'baby', which inadvertently provided the one moment of improv, unintended 'comic' relief in the day-long class.

Unlike 'Annie', 'Baby Annie' rested on a table in the training room, awaiting his/her turn at being the 'dummy of the moment'. When it was my turn to demonstrate proficiency, there was a brief period of uncertainty as to who the real 'dummy' was.

The scenario: you encounter a parent with a conscious, apparently choking infant. After going through the preliminaries, you pick up the infant in the prescribed manner, and commence the American Red Cross procedures to relieve the infant of whatever he/she is choking on.

As I went to shift 'Baby Annie' on my left forearm for the face-down back whacks (not the recommended term BTW), I inadvertently managed to *conk* 'Baby Annie', head first, on the table:

Instructor: "You just knocked the baby out!"

Me: "It's easier when they're unconscious anyway..shifting to the unconscious infant-with-blocked-airway scenario..."

In another five minutes, we were able to resume training; it's hard to do rescue breathing when you're laughing.

Elder 'Annie' wasn't amused.

Bottom line: after a 17 year hiatus from having been so, I am now, wunst again, certified (vs certifiable, but we've already covered that in the previous post). But it wasn't always thus. Read hyar for a time not so long ago, when it 'tweren't the case.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Meme Versus The Outhouse

I tend not to partake in what passes in blogdom as 'memes', but they certainly do make up a fair portion of what many bloggers indulge in. A blogger starts a 'meme', hoping to get other bloggers who visit their site to partake and spread it throughout blogdom. An example: several bloggers I regularly read do a "Thirteen Thursday".

The point I gather of a 'meme' is for a blogger to tell others about him/herself, and reveal little factoids about them, their lives, and how they think and feel about things. And to encourage other bloggers to follow suit.

I kinda thought that's why they were blogging in the first place, without the prompt of a 'meme', but I digress.

Writers -- admit it or not -- like the world to know things about them. They like to be read. They like to hear feedback. They like to know that something they've written has "legs" and gets publicity. Many -- not all -- crave the limelight, and to have the kind of writing career enjoyed by folks like Dave Barry, J. K. Rowling, Erica Jong, P.J. O'Rourke, John Grisham, Julia Moore, Dr. Ruth, Zugspitz & Phlegm and other (sort of) widely-read authors.

Whether any of the aforementioned participated in a blogging 'meme' to get where they were going I can't say, but I digress again.

I pride myself on being unfettered by literary ambition, and not having the sense God gave a door knob to know it's limitations. For these non sequitur reasons, I shall break with my heretofore 'meme'less tradition, and step up with a new 'meme' of dubious antecedence and little practical value, but great for killing time probably better spent doing something else, like finding and refilling the blinker fluid reservoir on the car.

As with any 'meme' online, anyone is invited to participate. Keep a couple of these questions in mind in case a Nomad like alien probe visits you seeking perfection, and responding to your answers with a terse "non sequitur; your facts are uncoordinated". The first question may just buy you the time you need for escape and evasion. Let it also be disclaimed hyar by yours truly that I made up only one* of these meme questions. That probably doesn't help much, but I digress thrice:

1. If a sheep is a ram and a donkey is an ass, why is a ram in the ass a goose?
2.* Why does noel have an "L" in it?
3. If left out overnight, does sour cream go "good"?
4. If necessity is the mother of invention, does that make a loaf of bread the mother of a 767?
5. If you experience flatulence that comes out "honda honda honda", and it is discovered that you have a tooth with an abscess, does that mean that the abscess makes the fart go honda?
6. If bees are driving you buggy, will locking u buggy and hiding the keys help?
7. Can you save the whales by keeping them out of the forest during logging operations?
8. If a plane crashes on the border between two countries, in which country are the survivors buried?
9. If you have a shoe box and a 6' 7" politician corpse to bury, can you get 'em to fit by giving them an enema?
10. How do you get down from an elephant?
11. Some months have 31 days; some have 30. How many have 28?
12. How many innings in a football game?
13. If you cross an atheist with a Jehovah's Witness, do you have someone who knocks on your door for no reason?
14. Can a constipated mathematician work it out with a pencil?
15. Did the clumsy optometrist, upon accidently falling into a lens grinding machine, make a spectacle of himself?