May 15, 2008

Unlikeliest Nigerian Scam Email of All Time

Subject: CONSIDER MY URGENT REQUEST

From: John Wyndham
Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire

With Due Respect Dearest Beloved,

My name is Mr.John Wyndham. I work in the credit and accounts department of Union Bank of Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire. I write you in respect of a foreign customer with a Domicilliary account by the name of Engineer Manfred Becker. His late second wife twice-removed was among those who died in a plane crash here in

No, wait - I just can't do this any more. The truth is I'm involved in a Nigerian scammer ring after quitting a technical writing job at a Fortune 100 company because, you know, it was such a straightjacket! Every time I tried to do something creative I was shot down. Like throw in a little poetry in an instruction manual. By "technical writing" I didn't know they meant writing stripped of creativity and humanity and reduced to step-by-step joke-free documentation!

And oh boy do they hate fiction. Try to interrupt a computer training manual with a snippet of the novel you're working on (I hope to self-publish) and it's like I'm Edmund Morris or something, ostracized by the entire technical writing community.

So there is no Engineer Manfred Becker and he was not a dead customer for whom nobody has come forward to claim the $18.5 million in his account...

Sure, writing Nigerian scam emails can't look too good on my resume but I hoped at least it would satisfy my creative outlet. But you wouldn't believe these guys - this stuff is more formulaic than what I had to write as a tech writer at GE! Yet my boss says he'll fire me if I try to write "OUTSIDE THE PLOT" as he puts it. (Did I mention they love CAPS around here?)

So don't tell him I wrote this. And please send money as I eat more than the other guys and am large (that's what she said!).

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