An open letter to Mrs. Rose James

>> Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Mrs Rose James

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From: Mrs Rose James (
Sent: Mon 10/31/11 2:14 PM

Greetings in the name of God,Pls let this not sound strange to you. I
am Mrs. Rose James from Netherlands,I am 64 years old,i am deaf and
suffering from a long time cancer of the breast which also affected my
brain,according to my doctors they have advised me that i may not live for
the next two months,this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a
very bad stage. I was brought up from a motherless babies home was
married to my late husband for twenty years without a child ,died in a fatal
motor accident.I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the
sum of $6million dollars with a Bank.Presentl, I'm
with my laptop in a hospital where my doctors have told me that I have
only a few months to live.It is my last wish to see that this money is
invested to any organisation of your choice and distributed each year
among the charity organization,the poor and the motherless babies home
where i come from.I want you use this money to fund churches, orphanages
and widows,I took this decision, before i rest in peace because my time
will soon be up.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the
Bank. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I
stated herein. Hoping to hearing from you soon.
Yours in Christ
Mrs Rose James

Dear Mrs. James,

I was sorry, of course, to learn of your demise in a fatal motor accident. I presume you meant in the European sense of "automobile" and not that you were killed by a lawnmotor engine or the electrical motor of a ceiling fan or somesuch; that would, naturally, be just as sad and tragic but (I confess) it might also be sort of funny depending on the circumstances. There are many classic comedy schticks, as I'm sure you know, where some comedic bumbler gets an article of clothing (e.g. a necktie) caught up in the moving parts of some machine and has difficulty extricating himself. In these kinds of comic setpieces, of course, the comic hero gets himself out after some amusing shenanigans, but I imagine that if such things ever happen in real life, the results are either anticlimactic or repulsive: the tie gets severed or the motor jams in the former scenarios, or the victim is throttled to death or brutally (perhaps fatally) mauled in the latter situations.

All of which is probably of no comfort to you, I realize. Especially if it was an automobile accident that killed you, as these can be exceedingly gruesome (as countless Driver's Ed films abundantly exhibited as warning to us kids aspiring to get our learner's permits). I hope that your death was as sudden as if you were completely impaled on a steering wheel column, and not as painful and slow as if you were wedged into your seat and slowly burned alive by gasoline seeping from a perforated fuel line. Did you know that humans aren't, contrary to what you might have seen in horror movies, particularly flammable and it requires intense, sustained heat before body fat starts breaking down sufficiently to contribute fuel to the combustion? I'm sorry--I guess it's possible you are excruciatingly aware of that tidbit, and I really didn't mean to be insensitive.

We should talk about something happier. Like your cancer, for instance. I know, it seems implausible that dying of cancer should be a silver lining, but consider your circumstances: generally speaking, you can only die once. Of course, as I type that, it occurs to me that you may have died and been resuscitated, in which case I am very sorry at your particular run of bad luck, but also must pedantically insist that you stop describing your motor accident as "fatal"; while technically, strictly true, I suppose, it's still misleading to say that you died in a fatal accident when you died in non-fatal circumstances.

Still, I think you must tell your doctors they're wrong, that if you're already dead from some sort of vehicular mishap (or unfortunate incident with a home appliance, whatever), they can't expect you to die again just because they think you have cancer. Yes, you might have cancer, but it's clearly not going to kill you if technology already has.

Unless--it also occurs to me (I tend to be a bit imaginative and think through things as I write them, you may have noticed) that the cancer and "motor accident" may in fact have been related: it is possible that you were killed during the operation of some medical diagnostic device which malfunctioned, crushing you or grinding you to a fine mincemeat before the dismayed oncologists could hit any big red buttons that would have disengaged the machine (or perhaps they hit a big red button, and the big red button malfunctioned--do you think that ever happens? probably more than anybody lets on, is my guess). There you are in the guts of an MRI scanner, let's say, and all of a sudden there's a reek of burning gears and a hideous squeal as the machine manages to fold up with you inside it; no, wait, that seems implausible with the way they're built: is it possible it caught fire and you were horrifically burned to death, or that you were somehow caught between two bits that ground you apart? Or electrocuted!

Such a horrific fate.

I apologize if I seem a little gleeful. I'm afraid I tend to think of these terrible things and then I try to write them down and later I unsuccessfully ask people to give me money for them; well: I succeed in asking for the money, it's not so much that, it's that people have mostly not given me any money, which is distressing (though not as distressing as being horribly and ironically maimed by the people who were charged with treating you for what was indubitably a small and benign tumor that would have easily been removed had you survived the diagnostic procedures, I'll admit). But to be fair, it seems to me that your death (and posthumous e-mail campaign) is of a piece with your freakish existence to start with: I couldn't help noticing that you were a "motherless baby", which I can only construe as meaning you were grown in a vat or emerged from some sort of seed-pod, or possibly extruded yourself from your father's body like Athena bursting from the head of Zeus, only I imagine your creation was quite a lot more horrific than that as Zeus was a god and recovered pretty quickly from Athena's birth (also, that Zeus had at least that much coming to him after all the raping he was infamous for).

In fact, as I think about all of this, it's pretty clear to me what has happened: you were no doubt grown from a clutch of cancer cells by some terrible mad scientist who you knew as "father". He raised you, and even (after his fashion) loved you and educated you and tried to make a human of you despite the fact you were a horrific lump of barely-differentiated, oozing cells capable of making only crude noises that could almost be interpreted as words and sloughing around leaving behind a repulsive trail of shed cells and mucous. The worst thing "father" ever did for you, ironically and tragically, was teach you the idea of "love", and you found yourself imagining that you were human and some handsome figure would sweep you off your pseudopods and take you away to any place that wasn't a dank cellar filled with dangerous lab equipment and vats of protoplasm.

Well, then you found your human wretch and fell in love with him, but of course he couldn't love a monstrosity such as you. No doubt he was horribly disfigured trying to escape your slimy clutches, and perhaps injured, crippled or paralyzed in the futile attempt. You dragged him home and kept him alive in your dank prison home, and you were good to him in your way, living as "husband and wife" (though you were incapable of reproduction) while deep down he continued to loathe you (mixed, perhaps, with moments where he almost began to love you, for humans are an emotionally complicated lot, and love and hate and fear can be a messy, tangled ball that denies reason). Until one day, he saw his chance, and managed to get you caught in between the moving parts of one of your creator's machines: your loosely cohesive cells weren't so much shredded as you were sprayed all over the place until the machine shorted out, while your creator and co-conspirator (he helped keep your "husband" locked away with you out of his own love for you) tried futilely to get to the big red button that would disable the machine. And now your "father" has set up what little remains of your protoplasm in a jar next to a laptop from which you send your e-mails, imagining that anybody could care what a disgusting affront to the laws of man and nature like yourself thinks about widows and orphans.

Yes, I'm sure of it. That's exactly what this is all about. Thanks, but no thanks.

R. Eric VanNewkirk
Standing On The Shoulders Of Giant Midgets


Nathan Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 9:02:00 AM EDT  


I'm loathe, yet strangely undeterred from pointing out that you have missed a key bit of information in Mrs. Rose James' letter. Or even three key bits of information. doctors they have advised me that i may not live for
the next two months...

(I'm not sure if there should be any ellipses included in my quote but I'm carrying on in the spirit of creative punctuation,)

1. Regardless of Mrs. Rose James' previous fatal incidents, the prognosis, while dire, includes the ray of hope that she shall be restored to "life" (as it were), at the end of a fortmonth. (I know that the word "fortmonth" doesn't exist and wouldn't flow from fortnight's etymology in any event, but I feel like "two months" is deserving of its own single word which doesn't even save you any syllables.)

2. She identifies herself as Mrs. Rose James. Since it is conventional to use the husband's surname in this more formal usage, this may be a clue to the fatality/not a fatality question. Possibly, she was married to herself and since she's lacking in some of the fundamentals of actual human-ness, she has decided her husband died, yet she still lives? Or possibly, her husband's name was James and the family name is Rose. Maybe she was placing them in a last-name-first order and couldn't be clear about it as she had already used all of the available commas.

3. I can't remember what the third thing was. But going back to the top and changing it (and everything else that might refer to "a few" instead of "a couple" of things) would be more effort than just adding this last little bit of informationless information.

I think you need to go back and study the entire missive more carefully. It's possible there are more clues in there that you've missed. I wish you'd think these things through more carefully before expounding upon them. Your correspondent has gone to a great deal of trouble to give you this opportunity. At the very least, you should try to understand the offer.

Jeri Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 1:20:00 PM EDT  

Oh, for Christ's sake. Quit coddling the whiny wench and tell her to distribute her own damn money before she dies for the 3rd or 4th time.

Yours in God, Jeri.

timb111 Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 2:26:00 PM EDT  


I think your decision not too get involved is correct for three reasons (and unlike Eric I can concentrate long enough to list all three reasons):

1.) Using the Bank of Canada Currency Converter we can see that at today's value the 6 million Netherlands Antilles Florins are only worth US$3,368,895.86. And not worth your trouble.

2.) Yes, I know. You're going to say, "She said Dollars on Florins", this is simply part of the inconsistency we see in her con. And really, what more can you expect from someone with that sort of past?

3.) Her name is obviously a fraud. If she were really from the Netherlands and named after a flower her name would to "Tulip" not "Rose". The Dutchers are infatuated with Tulips.

timb111 Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 8:16:00 PM EDT  

Er, that should have been "unlike Nathan I can concentrate". I just get a little bit confused about people, and, HEY! GET OFF MY LAWN!

Nathan Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10:12:00 PM EDT  

unlike Nathan I can concentrate.

Sure you can.

timb111 Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10:23:00 PM EDT  

Yes, ironic isn't it? I realized what I had done just as I walked out the door for a meeting. Should I come back and delete my comment, making me late for a meeting potentially worth thousands of dollars to me, or leave it and allow myself to be subjected to the inevitable ridicule? Then I saw something shiny on the ground and forgot all about it.

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