Wednesday, July 29, 2009

ScamDog Millionaire

It began with a very basic, concise email from somewhere, Africa:
Plese, I am need of you help. Please to writ me for moor at (yahoo email account with a French ending).
This was on April 30.
Since then, over 120 emails have gone too and fro between the pictured (so she claims) Juliet Samuels -- a 24 year old orphan, who's Burkina Faso father left her over 15 million USD ensconsed in a restricted account in the Bank of Africa, Burkina Faso branch -- and her "hero", also pictured above.
Yep, that's right: Eric Cartman, from South Park, the Cartoon Channel animated series.
I did a little research on this Juliet Samuels, and found -- besides a Facebook account for a Juliet Samuels, from Nigeria, with pictures that didn't match the ones I'd received -- several listings of naughty, fraudulent activities, as well as photos of several different versions of Juliet Samuels, including the ones she'd sent me. She/he/it apparently tried and duped a few others in Europe, and possibly here, out of funds.
I was more than pleased to bring such a string of success to a screeching halt. Or let Eric do it on my behalf.
So between April 30 and July 24, Cartman (aka, yours truly) engaged Juliet and her cornudopia of handlers, and managed the following:
- to encounter, in the first week, a competing Juliet Samuels (with similar MO and geography), who I played off against the one above; when the one above told me to "ignoor the lieing c*** is fake", I simply knew I HAD to stick with Juliet #1. I've never had any scammer employ the "c word" against another, making this one worthy of playing out to the end.
- to get two different barristers/bannisters fired from the case, as Eric insisted he'd followed email instructions to a tee, and Western Onioned the payments to the respective persons, "only to have the monies intercepted and stolen by crooked associates of the bannisters, who then claim I didn't send the money, and demand more". Ms Juliet and her "guardian" in the Burkina Faso refugee camp -- Reverend Father Jude -- in both cases took Eric's side, and "fired" the bannisters. I took particular satisfaction with the latter one -- Gilbert Kastrow -- since he wrote and declared me "a lire" who he would "espose to my clint, Ms Samual", only to have me, after being told by Rev. Father Jude that Kastrow was "relieved" of his duties, write him back thus:
nyah nyah nyah nyah, ny-ah ny-ah,
you got f***ing fired, you got f***ing fired!
nyah nyah nyah nyah, ny-ah ny-ah!
The last thing I heard from Kastrow was all in caps, unintelligible, and in part unreprintable, except in all *****s.
- from helping Ms Juliet Samuels "came to your contry for new lif and educaton", to having her commit herself as "the futore Mrs Eric Cartman, sole help me God", I got myself yet another pledge of devotion and hot pig sex for life from another scammer.
- well okay, so she didn't really commit to hot pig sex. But the implication was there ;-)
- and after declaring to Rev. Father Jude that now that I am dealing with one so pious and gawd-fearin' as you, I have all the confidence that I've ever had in these dealings that the ends will justify the means employed herein. I thank you for that from the bottom of my colon. Rev. Father Jude replied in the spirit I hoped for: yor words are pleesing to me to give confident that we will bring a good conclude to my frend Juliet's dreams.
- he don' read me vewy well, do he?
Unfortunately, the string began to unwind after July 20, with the unsuccessful attempt of, wrong epic...with the evermore insistent demand from Rev. Father Jude that Eric provide a "relable communicate number to commence to have a voice chat".
Eric's reply that dude, quit bustin' my balls about a phone call, m'kay? I got your wiring information right hyah, and soon as I sell my friend Kyle into sexual slavery, I'll have the money to send to bring my fair Juliet for some Girls Gone Wild videos, brought not only a more stringent demand for a phone call, it brought a sharp inquiry from herself, demanding to know from Eric what the video you speek of that you say me to be? i am not hapy to her you spek of me like that.
Did Eric want to try to stretch this out? If so, how would he answer that question?
He answered it in typical Cartmanese:
Babycakes, what, you think that when you come over here, it's all peaches and cream and a life of luxury on satin sheets? Before you and me can do the horizontal mambo, baby, you gotta show what it is you got, and marketing appeal to go widdit. I'm in the entertainment industry, honey, and you gotta fit in. And those Girls Gone Wild videos get you credibility, baby. Then, there's my situation to consider: I gotta be totally redrawn, so my 8 year old dink doesn't give you gnarly papercuts in a compromising groinicological area of your 'natomy, you catchin' my drift hyah?
This drew something of a incredulous rebuke from Rev. Father Jude:
Eric, what is this you say? I not Juliet are up to make what you meen with words here. Juliet is upset by you. Explan this soonest, and get the money sent to clear this queston.
They're upset, but not so upset as to forget to demand Eric send $500.
So Eric did, on one of those patented fake Western Union receipts, which Eric obligingly sent to Rev Father Jude, resized just enough to be fuzzy to read. This drew comment after the Rev's first effort to cash the receipt:
Eric Cartman, this recept you send is not good to read the western union coudnt not make out the informatons and not verify the payment. please to resend a better copy soonest.
Eric stayed in character hyah:
Rev, why're you breakin' my balls here? I'm 8! I sent you what I got, and I can read it fine, dude. But if it puts a flivver in your quivver, I'll send it again. I suggest you get better glasses.
And Eric re-sent it, with another stepdown in resolution. This went down badly in Burkina Fasoville:
Cartman, what is this you hand to me now? i cannot to read it and western union cannot to read it or verify. stop this now and verify the money is send soonest now!
And from Eric's sweet Juliet:
Eric my love, please not to let me down so close to us happyiness! Coperate with Rev Father Jude to make the payment and I am to yours fourever.
But didn't Rev FJ tell me that Juliet was "upset by me"? Eh..whatever. Eric prefers staying in character:
What the f*** is the problem down there? Listen you two: do you want me to leave hyah to come thyah, to show you how to cash a simple Western Onion wire thing? You take it, you walk into Western Onion, you place it on the counter, you say "cash my Western Onion and respect my authoritah!", and wham, bam, thank ye Ma'am, you're paid. If an animated cartoon character can get it, why can't you?
Uh-oh...did Eric finally say something that triggered one of those internal *TOING*s in someone down thyah? I think he did. The email comes from Juliet's addy, but it isn't made clear who is actually writing:
what is this things you writ? explan what it is to mean animated cartoon character? certanly you dont make to jest me now? this serious busness to be done.
A *light bulb* finally is going off in Burkina Fasoville, I think. It's probably one of three working ones they have in their fly-infested Internet cafe. Eric suspects that we're near the end of the deal, so he decides to lay it out there for one last chance at comprehension:
Dudes, you are sooooooo friggin' inept! A child can cash a Western Onion receipt, simply by walking into WO and cashing it! I oughta know, 'cuz I'm a child! Been stuck at 8 years old for going on 14 seasons now, dammit! Missed puberty and all that, too. I oughta kick my creators right squarah in the balls for messin' with my dating life and drawing me over-developed everywhawh but whawh it counts. Damn this animation stuff! But I digress hyah.
Juliet, if you can't figure out how to cash a simple WO wire transfer, then I reckon you ain't up to makin' a Girls Gone Wild video to support me in a manure and lifestyle to which I am unaccustomed and undeserving of, but am more than willing to learn to adapt to. Why do I get all the dumb ones on hyah?
As for your Rev. Father Jude...Kyle, I'll bet that's really you tryin' to screw with me, isn't it? Isn't it? That's you, isn't it, Kyle? I'm coming over to Stan's and I'm gonna kick you squawh in the balls when I get over there! You hear me, Kyle?
I am pretty sure that most of that reply went over all the heads of the entire fly-infested Internet cafe down there in Burkina Fasoville; but not Juliet -- or whoever is posing as Juliet -- decided to go for what they consider will chill my bones....and I consider a trophy:
Email Title: just wait
may God hellp you becaus you will soon perish.
I guess they think that's supposed to scare an animated 8 year old.
Since I sent them back a page and a half of solid Bwhahahahahahahaha!, do you reckon they'll figure out that intimidation didn't work, either?
One thing I think's a dang fer sure: I don't think I made any fans of South Park here, do you?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jupiter Gets A Boo-Boo

*Is this a rant, or an off-the-wall aside of thrice-concussed observation? This blogger reports; you decide*
When the news reports surfaced about the planet Jupiter this week -- that it was hit by an "Earth-sized object" that left an "Earth-sized hole" in it's atmosphere -- it was quickly swallowed up in news coverage by a hellth care and cap 'n tax scam unfolding in Congress, and a haughty Harvard professor teaching the world to shriek in stupid hystrionics.
But thank God for Brian Williams of NBC.
While I was secretly listening to that hated mode of information dissemination -- talk radio -- it was reported by one pundit* that Brian Williams actually did report on this episode on or after July 25, 2009. And he allegedly had a line in the report that was classic: "and there's nothing anyone can do about it".
"There's nothing anyone can do about it"?
Did Brian really say this?
My first thought was...."Brian...DOH...what was someone SUPPOSED TO DO about it?" Maybe Earth First and Greenpeace will schedule a "JupAid" concert somewhere, so Bob Geldorf and Bono can sing the praises of helping affected Jupiterians by singing about their plight? It's worked well for Darfur.
Or were Robert Duvall and Tea' Leoni supposed to sacrifice themselves to stop whatever-it-was from hitting Jupiter, in a clandestinely-built rocket ship that Morgan Freeman secretly commissioned with the Russians?
It worked better in the movie.
It's not like it was a slow news week, but Brian, Brian, Dan Rather's former text writer. Can't you see what it got Dan?
Then it (tried to) hit me: somewhere, in some private jet that's creating a carbon footprint the size of a "Earth-sized object", the darling of the enviroids -- AlGore -- is hearing about this, and preparing to increase his stock portfolio of carbon offset scams by going to obscure places to wreck their weather and proclaim from the mountain top, "Jupiter is the victim of human-caused global warming". Meantime, White House (de)press secretary Baghdad Bob Gibbs will tell the media and the jedi mistress muppet Helen Thomas, that the cosmic catastrophy on Jupiter is a problem that the president inherited from James Garfield.
Which Helen Thomas will be able to testify to.
I'm sure the conspiracy theorists will weigh in with their own notions: the "Earth-sized object" is actually a rocket, launched clandestinely from Dick Cheney's secrety Wyoming wilderness hideout, chocked full of all the incriminating evidence of Dubya's, Reagan's, Nixon's, Eisenhower's and Teddy Roosevelt's guilt in staging everything and anything bad over the past century and a half, including the disastrous changing of the Coca Cola formula. That should be good enough to get, the HuffPo, Bela Pelosi and Al Sharpton started about appointing an "independent prosecutor" to look into the allegation with claims that "it's the seriousness of the charge" that warrants review.
But, in the end, cooler heads will prevail at an Antarctic outhouse near someone, when they determine that Marvin Martian had his aludium Q36 explosive space modulator returned to him by a waskily wabbit, and even an idiot like Chris Matthews will refrain from reporting that, unless he can blame it on Sarah Palin or Toby Keith.
But NASA and those who operate the Hubble telescope, know what hit Jupiter, leaving an "Earth-sized object" hole in the atmosphere there.
It was a copy of HR 3200, leaked by a Twitterer from the White House. All 1200 gobbledy-gook pages of it.
Marvin would have preferred his lit aludium Q36 explosive space modulator, I reckon.
* The Weekend with Mike McConnell, 7-26-09

Friday, July 24, 2009

Facebook 'Fail Safe'

Either Facebook's gotta weird sense of humor, if not a "shock-comedic" sense of timing, or their computer's done throwd a binary thingee.
For those of you who are members of Facebook, you know the gist of how it works and what it is. For those who aren't and don't, Facebook is what is termed a "social networking" site. It allows you to cyberly hook up with friends, colleagues, et al. And it provides all kinds of silly, amusing little quizzes, tests, etc., most of which are meant to be fun and not very accurate (like the one that said, after I answered a half-dozen questions, that I should live in NYC...a more revolting idea is hard to come by).
My Facebook page didn't get a lot of activity -- including from me -- until recently, when I added a work place colleague, who was connected with a whole slew of other work place colleagues, current and former. And suddenly, I was (sort of) inundated with "friend requests".
One former employee, shortly after we exchanged friend requests, apparently took one of those silly tests that Facebook offers. It had something to do with the name of whom you were most likely to marry, or some such. In her case, the first name she was most likely to marry, happened to be MY first name. Eh....there's a lot of us so-named out there. And on her own "wall", she noted that this was okay, since her fiance had the same name.
Happy irony for her, right?
Well, later that day, I got a curious 'request' via Facebook, allegedly from that particular 'friend': telling me that her and I were now 'engaged', and I should 'confirm' or 'ignore'. After I got done laughing my backside off (and there's a lot to laugh off, lemme tell ya), I whimisically clicked the "confirm" button. I remember this former colleague as having a lively sense of humor, so what the horsefeathers...with my sense of humor, I'd play along.
Next thing I know, my "relationship status" on MY page was now prominently displaying "engaged". To that other person. DOH!
And my new 'friend' wasn't so amused by it, after I sent her a "we ARE???" comment back, let alone any other comments she might have drawn from her own social network. I mean, if you knew and saw her, you'd think for me, "good for you", while to her would go "WTF are you thinking?". Besides the fact that we're separated by about 24 or so years chronologically, and I'm on the losing end of the chronological.
Anyway, she later this day sent me a "they're (at Facebook) a bunch of retards!!!" comment.
I reckon so.
So now, thanks to Facebook in the latter case, I've been engaged twice in my life. Once by choice (an abysmal one, akin to buying a ticket on the RMS Titanic), and once glitch. The second "engagement" in this life was much more short-lived than my first; less than a day. Which is just as well, since it was a computer malfunction that did the engagin' ;-) And it's not a good thing to let a computer speak on ones' behalf like that; if you saw the 1964 movie Fail Safe, you know exactly what I mean.
Bottom line h'yar: watch all those tests you take and results you post, Facebookers. You might get more than you bargained on. Like getting computer-engaged, or being stuck in NYC.
Neither of which worked out well in Fail Safe, either.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Grits: It Just Ain't For Breakfast

*from my culinary "mostly true life" archives*

Grits. Not an easy subject for a Colorado-based Yankee to broach. To hear it told, grits are symbolic of the South, like pecan pie, home, guns, women, mama, NASCAR and college football. Absolutely NONE of which is to be taken lightly or in jest down yonder. It's a sin, comparable to not opening a door for a lady, pooting in church, or saying "huh?" when references are made to Bear Bryant and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Though, if you're a cultural and culinary Yankee barbarian like me, then it's probably expected by my southern acquaintances.

For those who have no dietary experience with this southern staple, allow me to briefly sum up what grits are: it starts life as corn. White corn. If it isn't a hybrid corn, it gets that color realizing what it's being prepped for. Then it is either ground up or soaked in lye water. They used to make soap out of lye. It'll clean anything. Not that they leave the lye in the grits, in the case of soaking (used on hominy grits): after a couple of days, the hominy is rinsed until the lye is gone. At least, that's what they say.

While I didn't delve into the recipe end of grits, I'm sure there's no end to them, like uses for zucchini: plain grits, cream of grits, grits soup, grits tortillas, fried grits, baked grits, grilled grits (don't ask me how), grits as a side dish, grits as a main dish, biscuits and grits, cheesed grits, grits pie, grits bread, etc. Back in my formative days, I first heard Granny (The Beverly Hillbillies) make reference to "possum grits"; I thought she meant the last facial expression on a possum a half-second before a pickup truck turned one into a roadside buffet for crows.

Fortunately, I had limited exposure to grits in my formative years. But then came a day in the late 1980s, and I had an unexpected, a near life-altering experience with them. It was at a restaurant in a Ramada Inn, overlooking I-75, just west of Sweetwater, TN. I had ordered my customary artery-hardening breakfast without a careful examination of the menu's fine print. My rather stunning waitress brought -- along with eggs, bacon grease and toast -- a bowl of what looked like thick, gritty mashed 'taters. Being somewhat testosteronally distracted, I half-heartedly asked her about the 'extra'. She, in a seductively sweet southern accent that melted my attention span, told me that it was grits and was included with the order.

Now, there are many foods I hated in my youth that I came to appreciate later, like broccoli and asparagus, drowned in melted cheddar cheese. So -- and because my waitress was a babe with great eyes and other parts -- I decided to give it a try. With no thought other than to get her phone number and her father's permission to marry her, I took an ample spoonful of grits and shoveled them home.

*Whoa*... I'm not sure how a mind-numbing brain lock and full 90 degree eye-crossing are medically explained, but that's where I found myself the instant the grits hit my tongue. Every alarm bell in my sensory system went *Buzzer...Warning, Warning*, yet I was stuck: I feared to swallow, yet I couldn't spit it out (the retch-force of the pending salvo might have carried to and through I-75, causing a multi-vehicle accident). Turning blue, I never thought I'd see single images again. I was convinced I was going to die like this: with a mouthful of grits, and my tombstone would read Grits and Couldn't Bear It.

But I had to do something, before the ever-heavier lump on my tongue ate my brain like a Billy Bob Thornton movie.

And then it became even more imperative: the no-longer-future mother of my children was coming back. Realizing that something had to give to save a rapidly-fading chance at winning this stone babe's heart, I had no choice. I became a very temporary in-crisis Catholic, crossed myself...and swallowed.

There were no words to describe it in the dictionary. I checked later.

When she arrived, my threadbare composure was barely concealing the WWE-style gopher Texas cage match now taking place in my stomach:

"How were the grits, hon?" she purred.
"Uh..." was about all that came out, since I didn't want to follow up with something solid.
"Y'all jst ask if ya want more, sugah".

And as she walked away, she giggled. She knowd. Another danged fool Yankee bit the grits. I reckoned I could put the phone call to her father on permanent hold.

At any rate, I know some great folks from the South. I know them to have great charm, traditions and heritage. I know them to be proud, industrious, chivalrous and upstanding. And if they eat grits, I know them to be incredibly tough and durable.

As for me...I suspect I now know where Stephen King got his idea for the horror story, Children Of The Corn. 'Course, he's a Yankee, too. Far as southerners are concerned, 'nuff said.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Crustacean Idol?

*From my '06 fishing archives, and one I prolly shoulda left there...*

Personally, I don't see a resemblance to Simon Cowell here, do you? Not that I know if this specimen is a he or a she, but I digress.

Irony comes in many forms; sometimes, one has to look hard in life to note it. Other's obvious one looked a little harder than was warranted.

I recently took my Ma fishing at a place called Flatiron Lake, W/SW of Loveland, CO. Small acreage reservoir, between two larger fishing lakes in the area. This one -- according to the CDW officer who stopped by and did that inevitable fishing license check -- stocked rainbow and cutbow trout, as well as suckers.

Not all of which were living in the water; at least one was assumed to be at the waters' edge.

I hadn't been fishing in a spell, but as we set up along a sparsely-populated shoreline, I had cause to feel confident: two fishermen were leaving with a stringer of decent sized trout (14-16"), and folks in the other direction were just landing a specimen.

"This will work", thunk me.

In life, sometimes a reputation follows one in whatever they do, and wherever they go. This is generally true of celebrities, but occasionally touches those of (much) lesser stature. Particularly in a cyber-connected world, as would shortly -- and unexpectedly -- be demonstrated.

While Ma caught two trout in relatively short order (one a 13" keeper, the other a 10" wannabe that was sent back to find a larger colleague), I sat there doing little more than drowning worms. A couple of insignificant nibbles, and little else.

Finally, though, I felt that had-to-be inevitable 'tug' on my line. Or at least I thought I did. Then again. And again. Not really like a fish toying with the bait before running with it; but enough to let me know that I had something doing out there.

So I patiently awaited one more, "got 'em" tug, and set the hook. And missed.

I thought.

As I reeled in to check the bait, I noted that there was more resistance than there should be; perhaps I'd hooked the younger sibling of Ma's caught and released trout. Or some kind of bottom snag that I'd pulled free. Perhaps even a land shark, playing docile and attempting to pull a "candygram" on me.

When my hook cleared the water, I found it was none of the above. I had a hitchhiker; one clinging doggedly to what was left of my bait, with a "mine mine mine, it's MINE!" look on it's crustacean mug.

A 4" long crawdad.

Hefting it above the surface of the lake, I quickly noted that I didn't have the hitchhiker hooked: but for one claw, determinedly clinging to the worm remnants, this freshwater minature lobster was free to go, and was making no effort to. The dogged spirit demonstrated by the 'dad suggested it had something of a legal bent to its education (possession is nine-tenths of the law), if not a more practical grasp of the situation (a few ounces and two claws vs 6'2" and 235 lbs = to the victor goes the spoils).

When I reached and grabbed it from behind, it immediately assumed the pose depicted above. A natural defensive pose, I thought.


As I looked it over, while Ma resisted pointing and laughing at me -- barely -- the 'dad slowly lower its claws to a more passive pose. Then it suddenly raised them again. And lowered them again.


It was auditioning.

Somehow -- or so I surmised -- this freshwater crustacean had discovered my International Crustacean Obedience Training Institute web site*, and was auditioning.

So standing there, holding a wet crustacean in front of me while Ma sat there trying to convince others she didn't know me, I put the crustacean through an audition:

Me: "Stick 'em up!"
It: *raised it's claws like it was being held up*
Me: "At ease!"
It: *lowered it's claws*
Me: "Touchdown!"
It: *raised it's claws to signify same*
Me: "Penalty flag!"
It: *lowered it's claws to what passes for it's hips, and glared at me*
Me: "After review, the call on the field stands!"
It: *raises it's claws in jubilation*
Me: "Your fly is open!"
It: *lowered it's claws, looked down, and then gave me a " funny" look*
Me: "Weight of the world on your shoulders!"
It: *raised it's claws like Atlas holding up the world*
Me: "You've got CRAB LEGS..."
It: *lowered one claw, then extended the other and shook it in my face*
Me: "Asking to become bait for a tiger muskie in the next lake down the road here!"
It: *shrugged with a "just kidding" look*

Convinced I was dealing with a beyond-ordinary crustacean, I decided that this one had earned the right to live to see another audition, as well as a reference letter recommendation if it ever contacted the web site for a job. After all, Budweiser should be working on their Superbowl ads by now.

So I released my one and only catch of the day. Along with my website address for follow-up.

As it gratefully or grudgingly wandered back into the depths -- crawdads are generally pretty inscrutable -- it turned back toward me one last time, and gave me that one claw *act of defiance* gesture in parting.

Much as I wanted to respond in kind, I desisted. Besides, the folks on both sides of us had already begun to move further away.

I didn't want to incite a stampede.

* web site was disabled in '07, to the satisfaction of the Vaduz, Liechtenstein CoC...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Words Are Mean Things

*A short one from the '06 archives, and proof, though none is needed, that most scammers don't have a sense of humor when it comes to their verbal faux pas*
Especially when one doesn't know how they're using them. A particularly perilous practice when emailing yours truly.

My latest email scam letter was a not merely a *TOING*er.

Read closely the following brief and very off-the-point scam with lowlighted passage:


My Dear.

I am makr Kurubos from Ivory Coast. I lost my Father Mr. Kurubos kono a couple of months ago. My Father was a serving director of the Cocoa exporting abroad until his death . He was assassinated last january 09/01/2004 by the rebels following the political uprising. In result my sister and I find what comfort we can inside each other (scammer's words, my italicizing them).

Before his death my Father had a box deposited in a Security Company here in Cote d' Ivoire up to the tune of ($9.5M) is in the box, which was for the importation of cocoa processing machine. I want you to do me a favour to receive this box to a safe place in your country or any safer place as the beneficiary .MOREOVER I AM WILLING TO OFFER YOU 10% OF THE TOTAL SUM AS COMPENSATION WHEN THE BOX IS SUCCESSFUL DELIVERED TO YOUR COUNTRY. I have plans to do investment in your country, like real estate and industrial productions.This is my reason for writing to you.Please if you are willing to assist me indicate your interest in replying me soonest (!!!),

best regards

Mark & Sister

"In result my sister and I find what comfort we can inside each other"...*MONDO TOING*

My reply was all that you'd expect of my mean-spirited, conservative self:

Mark and Sister??? I have carefully read everything you said and the content is well understood, even if it gives me the heebie-jeebies. You "find what comfort we can inside each other"??? HELLO!?

That might fly in places like Arkansas, Berchtesgaden or in movies starring Billy Bob Bittydink, but here in Liechtenstein, you'd be spray-painted blaze pink, mounted backward on an emu, and marched forthwith into France, you sick, incestuous DOPPELBREEDER!


But thanks ever so, for writing, and feel free to write again.

I think I embarrassed Mark & Sister; no reply, denial or explanation. I think they need a better "spin"witch doctor.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What's My Line II

*Sometimes, they unexpectedly write back. Like this one. Enjoy the unplanned WML Part II, from Dec '06*

Santa's been rebuffed?

Shore 'nuff.

Mariam Abacha the XXIVth..or perhaps the XXVth...or whatever...didn't much care for the letter she got from Santa.

Not that she had much to say in reply; but it did cause ol' Claus to blow a loogie of 'nog out his nose and all over his 'puter when he read it:



Rebuffed by a non-believer. Must be on the board of her local ACLU. You note (or at least I'm taking her typo as such) that she even referenced A Christmas Carol's Tiny Tim, insisting "stop wasting Tim".

*Note to Head Elf: add another spell check program/box of HUA-cleaning Handi-wipes for the Nigeria run*

Despite Santa's exceptionally rigorous schedule at this time, Santa will not shirk his responsibilities in reply:

Madam Mariam Abotchedya XXV or whatever you are:

Dadgum it, woman, this reply is, I am sure, the result of you trying to wedge a size 2 petite thong on a size 40 'beyond full figured' bum. I've seed it afore at home, but I digress.

Sorry that, despite my usually efficient list compiling system, I can't say with certainty just which Mariam Abotchedya you are; I've heard from so many of you claiming to be Mariam Abotchedya. If you are not the XXV, kindly insert the proper numeric substitute, and stick it where it belongs, if there's any room left in the thong.

Madam, I am fauxhurt that you seem to denigrate my position and responsibilities this time of year. But you are no different than a segment of the population that spends this time of year in denial, or Svengali, Toogaloo, Timbucktoo or even desolate portions of New Mexico and North Dakota. While those who do know and believe see my work as encompassing one 31 hour timeframe, my job is really a 9 month preparation H, condensed.

Few are allowed to know what I am about to convey to you, Madam: this is, of course, proprietary information and highly confidential information (which I know you understand the concept of, having stressed the need for same in your initial email). I must ask that you not share what I'm about to tell you with one of my most unsavory competitors, Hugo Chavez, who runs Turds R Us.

This is Santa's calendar year to illustrate for you how unfunny I am being:

December 26-31: doing a post-Christmas supply inventory and facility clean-up/shut down

January 1-March 15: Santa's time off (and do I ever need it); elf and reindeer furlough (the elves hang out in either Munchkinland or working part-time at Keebler, if they're in hock to their eyeballs, and the reindeer...probably hang out and cross-breed with the caribou around the oil pipelines in Alaska)

March 16-31: begin planning for Christmas of that year (screw the Easter Bunny; I got loads of sh** to get done well after the Bunny's a runny Cadbury)

April 1-15: compile and submit budgets, trends and projections to the North Pole Comptroller (aka, the Missus)

April 16-30: Elf/reindeer draft; revising budgets, trends and projections after overnight deriding by comptroller (aka, the Missus)

May 1-15: Elf/reindeer mini-camp

May 16-31: Order supplies (based on amended budgets, trends and projections)

June 1-15: Elf/reindeer pre-season training

June 16-30: Production facilities start up, retooling and preparation

July 1-10: Pre-production "bye week"

July 10-31: Pre-production meeting with elves: toy trends, what's hot, what's not, and production targets

August 1: begin limited production (facility at 5 days/8 hours per status); initial meeting with Domestic Intelligence branch of US Homeland Security Department (hell, THEY'RE doin' so much listenin' and peekin' these days, why not let THEM do the work on who's been naughty or nice!).

September 1: Expand production based on aforementioned meeting (16 hours/7 days per week)

October 1: Reindeer pre-flight training (refreshers/updates)

October 31: Production to full status (24/7)

November 30: completion of reindeer flight certification (first through third teams)

December 1-20: Gift wrapping

File flight plans (in at least 180 languages, only one of which I'm fluent in; I can start a fight in a bar in Tijuana with my second language)
Final update with DHS on naughty/nice list
Global Meteorological updates
Detail sleigh

December 23: final prep (all phases)

December 24: shut down production by 0100 CUT*
final packing of sleigh (along with spares)
programming of travel coordinates in Rudolph's GPS

December 24: final 'nog toast with staff; launch by no later than 0400 CUT*

December 25: completion of gift delivery by 1100 CUT*

December 26-31: begin repeat of cycle

So you see, Ms "Undersized Thong In A Nasty Wedgie", I bust my ass for 9 and 1/2 months a year, to do what it is that I do. So tell me what is "Tim wasting" with this, hmmm? What do you find "funny" about this, hmmm?

There's still time for an apology and gift upgrade, though you're gonna get the spell check program regardless, you grammatically-challenged trollope; it's obvious you need it.


St. S. Claus Kringle, pHd

As you might have guessed, Mariam Abacha XXVth (or whatever) did not follow up; perhaps she decided she needs the spell check program and Handi-wipes, after all.

* Coordinated Universal Time

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's My Line?

*Yeah, I ain't remotely Christmas time. But this archival fav is worthy of a reprise now, especially since work's tryin' to kill me at enjoy this 'un from '06*

Will the "real" Mariam Abacha please stand up?

Prolly not.

Over the years of my receiving these email scams, I have heard from "Mariam Abacha" perhaps 25 times. Always a different one, I reckon. On one rather amusing occasion, I heard from two competeing "Mariam Abachas" at the same time, and had quite an email catfight going for about a week, as I sought to have "the real Mariam Abacha please authenticate". Both ultimately got mad, picked up their marbles, and went a scamming elsewhere.

So what should be new that I hear from yet another Mariam Abacha this week?

What's new is, Mariam gets to hear from Santa Claus. Well, at least my version of 'em:


It has come to my attention that you have sent to me, by way of Wish-', a wish for fiscal succor this upcoming Christmas season. Or at the very least, for your finding a fiscal sucker this upcoming holiday.

Well, I am many things, including grotesquely overweight and quite annoyed with the 24/365 playing of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" in the workshop, but this is the time of year I live for, and letters like your are what I thrive upon. Along with pooploads of chocolate brownies, that is. After all, I listen to all good wishes of all good boys and girls around the globe, and do all that is in my infinitely-finite power to deliver upon those wishes to good boys and girls, non-believers and anti-air defenses aside.

But after a time, that gets a tad repetitive and boring. So getting wish letters from those who've been checked twice or thrice, and wound up on a secondary list of those with "good tendencies absent or atrophied", injects a bit of challenge into my otherwise normal routine that leads up to my annual "journey of dispensery".

The "great moment" I allude to is spending 31 hours in a climate-vulnerable open sleigh, flying in all kinds of weather with eight pissed-off reindeer, who have no qualms about pelting me with their discharges, while I defy all sorts of basic laws of science and Nature as regards time, distance, space and credibility. All the time also having to adhere to a myriad of flight restrictions and hazards, just to make all those "good" boys and girls happy, and to annoy those who bridle at the notion of differences between "good" and "bad", among other things they find offensive.

As I read your email, I recognize that yours is a "special" request, indicative of the need for "special" handling and processing. Therefore, I have put your wish before my "Special Circumstances Committee" for peculiar and expedient attention. Bear in mind that despite their expedience, none of these kind, compassionate folks EVER carry a wallet to pick. I just wanted to mention that.

Ho-ho-ho (get the pun?)!

If you have anything to add on your behalf that will aid them in their decision-making process, please feel free to advise me in a follow-up email, and I will see to it that you get prompt and expedient attention worthy of your request. Rudolph in particular has become quite adept at pin-point delivery of discharges on specific targets, and I am sensing that he has added you to his very tight little list of pin-point deliveries with his especially gnarly discharges.

In short, if you weren't full of it aforehand, you soon will be.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Incarceration!

St. S. Claus Kringle, pHd
Wishologist and Global Delivery Services, UnInc.

Whichever Mariam Abacha version this one is, she seems as awe-struck to hear from "the" Santa Claus, as her contemporaries have thus far.

Maybe she's just securing her chimney access; Rudolph might prove as accurate as he says.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


From the website anchovies...archives:

In the movie Jurassic Park III, one of the characters -- having survived an episode on a boat, in the river, and atop an abandoned crane, all the while assailed by a prehistoric monster he'd referred to as a triciploplotz -- is musing about having once sunk the family boat trailer, truck, and the tow truck that tried to rescue the first two. He ends the reminisce with a wistful "I missing fishing".

For those of you who've fished without the incursions of special effects, I'm sure you can recall a fishing anecdote or two that were cause for great mirth and laughter after the fact, especially when there were no fatalities. I've related, for your amusement at my expense, an epic or two of my own, with fishing as a subtheme. I'm sure the stories told by the fish that witnessed those epics are now feeding hole lore in a few picked streams in Colorado and Wyoming.

Chatting with friends the other night -- one of whom has shared some of those same misadventures -- I was regaled with an astonishing fish story they'd had with another acquaintance. One that, even 20 years later, still makes 'em laugh to recall it. It made me laugh to hear of it.

This other acquaintance -- a perky lil' blonde, all of about 5' 1" and 105 lbs if that -- had never been successful at fishing, in so far as actually catching a fish. Eager to give her an experience she'd remember, two of my friends took her to a trout farm in the mountains west of Denver. If any of you have been to a "trout farm", you know the drill: a pond or two full of trout willing to bite on almost anything, and what is caught is paid for by the inch.

Soon after their arrival, my friends had settled in and quickly caught a couple fish each. Their trainee was not faring so well, though she was getting plenty of 'hits'. For her phone number, from the trout farm staff.

Finally, one friend sat down with her, and patiently for the fifteenth or so time explained to her the basic mechanics of fish-catching. The bottomline of which was: "when you feel a fish bite -- a tug on your line and pole -- you need to set the hook quickly". He left her repeating to herself, "set the hook...set the, you can't have my number...set the hook..".

Finally, a fish came along that took her bait with apparent vigor, sufficiently so that no one present doubted that she could fail this time. With a squeal of excitement, she apparently recalled my friend's advice, and set to applying it.


She bent forward, almost like a samurai bowing to an opponent before a match, and then with a tremendous YANK, jerked back the pole over her head, using every last ounce of fiber from her very existence to set the hook. The fish -- a rainbow trout, perhaps 11" long or so -- came out of the pond with the velocity of a Patriot missile, seeking an in-bound Scud. Over her head it shot, scattering guests and admirers like a bowling ball through pins, as it zeroed in on a chain link fence about 20 feet behind her. According to witnesses, no one present had ever before seen a rainbow trout fly.

Let alone, having heard one scream.

With a metallic, reverberating BWANG, it hit and ricocheted off the fence, landing limp and quite dead on the ground, as only a non-flying fish with no parachute and practical knowledge of the practice, could.

My friends -- already on the ground for the in-bound -- were still there, now convulsed.

As one of her facility admirers was cleaning her fish -- now elongated to a length of perhaps 14" -- he slit the stomach and, as he started to gut it, the head flopped backward, hanging there by only a broken piece of spine. He exclaimed aloud to all within earshot: "She broke it's neck!!!"

More than just my two friends were on the ground convulsed in laughter this time.

If Steven Spielberg decides to do another sequel of Jurassic Park, I suggest he cast Captainette Hook in a starring role. Not only might she still have the looks for the movies, but with a fishing pole in her hands, that triciploplotz will be the one that's running. In the other direction.
Besides, it'll never get her phone number.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Boy Named Christa?

If you've been reading this blog long, I'm already knew that the "Santa" that makes holiday season visitations here is a incorrect.

But have you wondered what this particular Santa might be like, in July?

Well, in the case of this particular Santa...he gets worse:

He knows when you are sleeping
He knows when you're awake,
He knows if you're a boy named Sue
or Christa, for bullsh**'s sake...

While most of my scammers are from Africa and the UK, I do get some Russian bride scammers from Russia. But straight-forward scammers from the Russian Republics are a bit on the rare side for me. So when I got this one from -- allegedly -- the Ukraine, I decided to take a different tact with it. Especially when the writer spelled his country "the Ukruine". He never identifies himself by name; he only goes by "CEO Petroch".

My pet rock, Seymour, got a kick out of that.

Once again (this is apparently the fad "scam of the moment", repeatedly refraining like a bad re-run on cable) he is "remembering my name in the file as the next of kin" and "I am remebering to send you this becuase of my vow in regards this transaction even though your help with the fund transfer fail somehow".

I could have told the crotch cricket that it failed because I ain't the dupe he tried to use the first time. But I digress.

He adds that I must contact his secretary, one Christa Koku (at an email address that didn't work long). The secretary Petroch referred to thrice as "he", will then send me my $950,000 prior services fee. Once, that is, I stupidly fall for their fourth-rate scam from a Third World country.

First I note that "Christa Koku" hardly sounds Ukurinian or whatever it's supposed to be. But then I come back to the more obvious: a boy named Christa? I shoulda just remembered Gender Sensitivity 101 and let it go. Paid it no mind. Like a fart on the wind, just ignore it or blame that idiot White House press secretary.

But nooooooooooooooooo....I just couldn't let it go at that. So I decided to use the 'hot line' I have to the North Pole (named thus, since everything is melting up there this time of year), and see if Santa -- the one I use on this blog -- was in. I mean, how busy can he be this time of year?

Sadly for him, the Missus went and fetched him to the phone. After filling a suddenly very sullen Santa in on the details, he muttered something usually only the reindeer might hear if the wind is as right as their aim during an Xmas Eve journey across a night sky devoid of rest stops. But after hearing the name of the scammer, Santa's ornery streak perked right up, and this is the email that went out to Petroch's man secretary, Christa:

Ho ho ho! Merrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry....Christa! That's..I say that's a joke son, but I digress.

Mr. CEO Petroch, you really had MY NAME -- Santa Claus -- in your file as next of kin? Ho ho hooha! And you are THE CEO of Petroch? Really? I have a pet rock; his name is Seymour! Seymour will be so impressed to know that I have heard from the CEO of a company named for him!

But and again, I digress.

Now, to the business you wish to give me, and to your inspiringly-named secretary, Christa ca-ca-poo: gents or whatever fits, I with exceptional and insincere regret must inform you that this is my vacation season, and I simply cannot make the time necessary for you to give me the business. Had you come along with this offer between January and March, it wouldn't have mattered; with the elves on furlough and the reindeer playing "Who's Your Bucky?" and "Boink The Pillsbury DoeGals" in Alaska, I woulda had some time for you to try to play me like a marlin off the Bahamas.

Granted, I look more like a manatee, but that's just another digression slipping in hyar.

I nonetheless thank you for thinking of me at this, supposed-to-be-my-down-time that I use to prepare mentally for the coming festive season that so many good boys and girls look eagerly to. But perhaps it'll prove an early gift-giving time for you and your gender-confused secretary Christa (Christa, that's a girl's name, son; whatever were your parents thinking in an age of readily-accessible contraception devices? Oh well...guess you're just a Christa what had one of them addadicktoyou operations, eh?).

Rest assured that, a few months from now, as I'm winging my way around the globe covered in reindeer dung* and pee-pee on the eve of Christmas (not to be confused with your self-gratifying secretary), I won't forget you: I have for you a spell checking program, since I don't think the Ukraine appreciates being considered the biggest urinal west of the Urals. I mean, they haven't renamed the mountain range the Urinals on any new maps I've received in the gift catalogs. And for you, CEO Petroch, I will include a case of Handi-wipes, useful to wipe your face off during those rare moments you pull your head out of your ass. As for your Boy Christa, perhaps I'll provide you with a case of Vaseline, so you can put your head up CEO's ass when there's a vacancy. The term in the West is, I believe, "brown-nosing", which is sometime career enhancing. In your case, probably so. The Vaseline will help with the passage of your ears during insertion, and it beats what you probably were using heretofore: the lube already situated up there.

I reckon it smells better, too.

I just want you two to know one other thing: all of us hear at North took and vote and decided you two are really perverted.

Ho ho ho (and that probably does suggest something of yo' mamas),

St. S. Claus Kringle

I wonder how Johnny Cash woulda handled this 'un? Worse....what can I expect from Santa six months from now?

Don't answer that...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Poker: Myth & Fact II

I knew there was something I liked about this game...
At any rate, elements of Eurasian-born poker first found its way to America via New Orleans between 1803-1805, thus becoming the birthplace of American poker, along with the birthplace of people dressing and acting really weird during Mardi Gras.
As immigrants, tourists, sailors and passing-through crustaceans navigated the New Orleans of the new century, they picked up this strange new game, and it began its spread into the former Colonies. With the natural American ability to slaughter any foreign language as a preliminary step to incorporating bits and pieces of it into their lexicon, As Nas/Poque began being referred to as "poker" in 1820, and it formally became known thus by 1834.
Around 1835, poker's popularity was increasing through a land of the free, home of the brave, and lands as yet acquired thereinto. With popularity came ways to increase the number of players who could participate: a 32 card deck replaced the 20 card one, introducing four new suits (hearts, spades, picks, shovels) with eight cards per suit, from ace down to 7. Following this in 1840, poker saw a mating with the British card game known as 'commerce' or 'bragg', which used a 52 card deck (four suits of hearts, spades, diamonds, clubs, and 13 cards per suit, 2 through ace); poker adopted the British style deck, and that remains the basic design today.
As technology advanced, so did poker: in the 1850s, a 'draw' feature appeared for the first time in the game. It remains so today, though the other 'draw' it elicited in those days -- involving belt utilities that made loud noises and were used to, among other things, abruptly settle disputes -- is discouraged nowadays. The 'draw' feature added to the game allowed players to discard and re-draw up to three cards to a hand, before showdown. This led to larger pots and an increased interest in the game, though when the other 'draw' feature came into play -- usually as a result of a disagreement with the result of a hand -- it did shorten life expectancy.
Further additions during the Civil War included the poker game "five card stud" -- each player gets five cards, and makes the best hand possible therefrom -- and winning hands called "straight" (five sequential cards of differing suits), a flush (five cards of the same suit, not necessarily in order), and a "bull run" (aka, a totally routed hand, occasionally played out by whole brigades during a less-than-auspicious battle).
In the 1870s, a joker was added to the deck, giving birth to the 'wild card' option, and "jacks or better to open" was introduced (a player needed a pair of jacks or better to start the betting).
Game variations continued to sprout up well into the 20th Century, with the most popular of them being "7 card stud": a player was dealt seven cards (some face up, some face down), and had to make the best 5 card hand possible therefrom. 7 card stud took on world-wide appeal during World War II, almost rivalling survival in popularity.
Today, there are at least 70 game variations of poker that are recognized and played in casinos around the world. Among the more popular games in the US are five card draw, five card stud, seven card stud, Texas Hold 'em (a 7 card variation), High-Low (a variation of five draw), seven card no-peek, joker stud, Pineapple Hold 'em, Anaconda, 52 card pickup (when I try card tricks), Go Fish, Tae Kwon Duck (the Asian version of 52 pickup), Shotgun stud and strip poker (it used to be my personal fav).
Okay, so I'm kidding on the strip poker.
In the most popular of poker games, winning hands rank as follows:
-an arrest warrant (if the game's illegal, it trumps all)
-royal flush (A-10, suited)
-straight flush (five suited cards in sequence)
-four of a kind
-full house (three of a kind plus a pair)
-flush (five suited, not sequenced)
-three of a kind
-two pair
-one pair
-high card (usually in a Boulder CO pot/meth emporium)
For a few non-standard games, additional winning hands can include five of a kind (with the wild joker option), a round-the-corner straight (such as a Q-K-A-2-3), or a royal fizzbin (you'll have to ask William Shatner about that one; be prepared to take notes that are totally worthless).
There is also an "arrrrgh", which one might think is popular among the pirates of the Caribbean and Somalia, but is actually when you think you have a winner and 'bet the farm', only to lose at showdown to a better hand you were sure wouldn't surface.
There originally was a Part III to this series, as I wrapped up by describing an evening of my sitting in on a casino game of Texas Hold 'Em; but I don't need a whole entry to describe the action (the cards are dealt, my wallet is passed around the table, I fold, the cards are shuffled, repeat).
I stick to Go Fish and 52 card pickup these days. Unless I'm sitting at a table of 20-30 something babes, a look in the mirror usually quells my love of strip poker ;-)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Poker: Myth and Fact -- I

Poker. Do you know the game?
Life's a gamble, so we all should.
But do you know the historical facts and myth of poker? Neither do I, but I did a little fact checking, research, and embellishment. And I'll reckon you don't care which is which, unless you're a poker purist, and want my head on your trophy mantle, if you are actually good enough to have one. After all, a little bit of research, coupled with having watched the movie Maverick, makes me an expert, according to the current standards the government is using. So, widdat established:
The game of poker tends to conjure up images of the 19th Century American West, paddle-wheeled river boats, and smoke-filled rooms of card-playing, gun-toting card sharks, victims and cheats. However, my research suggests that poker had a much more ancient beginning, from which over 70 game variations have grown to date, with more being created. Poker is known and played all over the world, virtually anywhere that gambling, dating, international politics or fireplaces exist.
According to incomplete, oft-times no longer extant Greek and Roman texts, the earliest known forerunner of poker first appeared in Macedon, around 355BC. The game was originated amongst the soldiers of King Philip II of Macedon, but it had nothing to do with cards: it was a game of skill, chance, risk and bluff, involving two soldiers taking turns lofting pikes (spears) at one anothers' feet. The game was, at this inception, meant to enhance eye-hand coordination, and introduced the element of bluff, so integral to later evolutions of poker. The first competitor to 'flinch' at a near-miss (or impalement) would concede by crying out "Poker!" (in, of course, the Macedonian equivalent, which I couldn't find in the fragmentary texts).
Due to higher than anticipated casualties after a night of drinking and poker play, Philip put a kabosh to this inaugural version, at least during conquest season.
Poker resurfaced in the armies of Philip II's successor, his son Alexander the Great, in 331BC. But the game was vastly different: it introduced the playing card, of which there were only four to a deck, one each of four suits (a fig, a spearhead, a horse, and a snake). This version's originator, whose name is lost to the ages, also introduced the idea of playing this version for money. He would select a player , bade them to put down a wager, which he'd match; then he'd lay down the four cards, face-down, and invite them to pick up any pair. Without fail, the other player would pick two cards, the scheming entrepreneur would pick up the two wagers, and declare himself the winner.
This lucrative practice -- and game variant -- came to a halt in 324BC, when he tried it with Alexander himself. Not finding losing to his liking, Alexander was also quicker with a dagger.
The game once again disappeared from the known world scene until about 56BC, when Roman Consul Julius Caesar encountered it during his campaigns against the Gallic and Celtic tribes in current-day France and England. Between pillagings and burnings, Caesar made note in his Commentaries of a strange card game with Macedonian origins, from Gallic prisoners which they referred to as "poquat". The game now consisted of 10 cards, with values of 2 through 11. Four players would draw two cards each and make the best hand they could, wagering gold tourques (the gold bracelets worn and coveted by the Gallic tribes). The high hand total won.
While Caesar found passing fascination with the game, his legionnaires found more interest in booty, and focused on gleaning all the gold tourques they could scavenge. Caesar made no further mention of the game in his famous seven book Commentaries, and again poker faded from official accounts, and into the muck of history.
But poker proved a very resilient game, with elements of the Macedonian origin turning up in Persia, France, Germany, and gradually throughout Eurasia. The Persian variation was called As Nas; the French version became Poque, while the German variation was called Pochen.
As Nas -- often referred to as the great-great-great-infidel grandmother of American poker -- was played with a 20 card deck for four players, or 25 card deck for five players. Playing card designs incorporated the equivalent of today's ace, king, queen, jack and ten, in five suits (formal, casual, desert contemporary, leisure and armored). The game rules were simple: five cards, face down, were dealt to each player; after checking their cards, each player either placed a wager, or passed. Players then either raised their initial wager or folded. The best hand remaining won, and was determined as follows: four of a kind, full house (three of a kind plus a pair), three of a kind, two pair, and one pair. As Nas also made full use of the art of bluffing -- to convince other players that your hand was unbeatable, and have them fold.
The ability to bluff was well-enhanced when the player was also the baddest cat at the table with
a scimitar.
Next up: Part II -- Coming To America