Best of SOTSOGM: An open letter to Mr Mark Borris

>> Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This was me trying to write a shaggy dog story.

The best spam letters to work with are the ones where there's some brilliant, minor spelling error that might be easily missed.  E.g. a spam letter that calls someone a "liar and imposer" instead of "liar and imposter".  So you start thinking about what on Earth that could mean--a liar and imposer, you say?  Really?  And how does he impose, eh?

This was also an excuse to do a little parodying of the "raised-by-beasts" archetype you run into in Kipling and Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Their characters always end up being noble savage types, uncorrupted by civilization, when you and I know perfectly well they'd just end up learning how to scratch themselves with their feet or would consider picking lice out of a date's hair to be Second Base.

This originally appeared August 31st, 2010.



Call Mr Mark Borris, If You Are Still Alive : +234-8024954272‏

From: MR MARK BORRIS (signsandstripes@bellnet.ca)
Sent: Sun 8/29/10 10:20 PM
To:

FROM THE DESK OF MR MARK BORRIS
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AGENCY
INTERNATIONAL OPERATION DEPT
GARIKI KAMOSO
ABUJA-NIGERIA.
Phone: +234-8024954272
markborris@administrativos.com

Hello Dear,

This is to inform you of your long overdue Payment outstanding with our Banking records. This is to inform you that your name came first from our Central Computer among the list of unpaid Inheritance claims individuals and have to update your information through this email contact for immediate confirmation. Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a part-payment of US$2,500,000 million (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) and it has been approved already for payment months ago.

However, we received an email from one Mr. Morris Lint, who told us That you are dead and he is your next of kin and that you died in a car Accident four months back. To our findings we discover that this Morris Lint is a liar and imposer that is why we contact you before any release of funds can be paid to him. He has also submitted his Account information to the Accounting office department of our Bank for Immediate transfer of the fund to him as your inheritor.

Regarding our investigation from the Bank & the Nigerian Police Force (N.P.F) in conjunction with the Economic Financial Crime Commission (E.F.C.C) we are now verifying by contacting your email address as we have in our Bank records before we can Make the transfer into his account and for us to conclude with confirmation if you are dead or not.

Please, confirm response immediately through the e-mail as below with Proof, before our action release of the outstanding payment against your name listed out. Upon this, i request you send your full personal information as soon as possible to enable this department finalize The transfer of the fund release to your nominated foreign Bank Account.

This department needs the following information From you urgently to enable us verify with the Information we have in the Central computer of the Bank.

1. Full Names
2. Telephone
3. Contact Address.
4. Age..........
5. Occupation..........
6. Sex..........

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This E-Mail is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from Disclosure under applicable law.

Once again, I apologize to you on behalf of International Monetary fund Agency towards this contact and proper confirmation required urgently from you if alive.

Make sure you reply back

Mr Mark Borris
International Monetary Fund Agency
Phone: +234-8024954272


My Darling,

I hope this greeting isn't too intimate. I feel I hardly know you, but since you addressed me as "Dear" I didn't really want to leave you feeling snubbed. So I shall call you "Darling" and you may continue to call me "Dear" or "Snookie-Wookums" or whatever is the fashion on Earth these days. I've heard from late arrivals that things are much more vulgar and immodest now, but I don't feel it's my place to criticize, so if this is how you folks do it, so be it.

I fear, Darling, that you are too hard on dear old Morris. First, as to the fact he is an imposer, I am afraid that this is only the result of being raised by gorillas in the Tanganyika Territory back when it was still owned by the Jerries. His father, you see, was the noted aeronaut Sir Thomas Lint, and you may recall that Sir Thomas always insisted on bringing his entire family along on his madcap adventures, including that final ill-fated attempt to cross the Dark Continent by dirigible; when the dirigible crashed, poor Morris' entire family was killed along with the servants, and the infant Morris himself surely would have been eaten by jackals had he not been found and immediately adopted by a gaggle of fierce-yet-noble gorillas who then raised Morris as one of their own until he turned eighteen. Anyway, Darling, while the gorillas did a surprisingly good job raising Morris and Morris did a lovely job of educating himself in most of the ways of Man once he found his father's traveling library amidst the airship's wreckage and Morris eventually attended Oxford and graduated top-honors, the one thing Morris never was able to understand was the idea of personal space. He offended many a hostess by jumping up on the table in the middle of a Bridge game and trying to remove (imaginary, I assure you) fleas from her coiffure, but it was never his intent in doing so to be an "imposer," it was merely good manners "back home" as it were.

As for Morris' honesty, I assure you it is impeccable and you surely have no cause for calling him a "liar." I think I know, however, how you came to this hasty and insulting conclusion. Morris has always had difficulty with the passage of time due to a head injury suffered in the air-crash that killed his family--he once showed up to a tennis game seven months late (needless to say, it had already been recorded as a forfeit). Further, I would imagine that he must be well over one hundred years old, Darling, and might be a touch senile. Hence, what surely must be an honest mistake in claiming that the automobile crash which tragically claimed my life was a mere four months ago, when it in fact happened in 1927. As for "next of kin" status: after The War, we frequently called each other "brother" and I did leave him the contents of my wine cellar along with a selection of books and the stuffed carcass of an ape I shot in Borneo that Morris always said reminded him of his uncle. At his age, at any rate, I can see it all blurring together a bit; also, I must state again, he did bump his head rather severely during his family's 2,833-foot plummet.

All of this brings us to the point of your missive, Darling, and a point of difficulty in your proposal. As noted in the previous paragraph, I am, in fact, quite dead and have been for eighty-three years. Now, as it happens, God has a bit of a poor opinion of people who shoot apes in Borneo (something I insist was not made clear in the Anglican Church I was raised in). Also, it seems God is not keen on a man who sleeps with his business partner's wife (when I objected to this, it was pointed out to me that there are, indeed, some Biblical passages which technically might be read as frowning on this) and dies drunkenly smashing his automobile into the side of a poorly-located orphanage while attempting to whisk said partner's wife home before his own wife returns from vacationing in the country and her husband returns from celebrating his mother's birthday at the London Zoo (I asked where any of this could be found in the Bible, and was not particularly satisfied with the passages that were pointed out to me, none of which seemed especially specific or on-point).

I did, however, contribute a fair amount to the Church Of England while I was alive, and in consideration of that generosity, God has agreed to let me muck around in Purgatory a bit rather than send me to Hell. (I was frankly surprised the place existed, but there you are.) It hasn't been made clear to me just how long I'll have to while away here, but I suppose anything is better than being set on fire and prodded by demons or whatever it is they do down there in that other place.

If being dead isn't actually an obstacle to receiving these funds, Darling, what I would ask you to do is donate the full sum to the Church in my name. I'm not certain it will give me any credit here, but I imagine it can't hurt any, and I'm awfully bored stuck where I am now. It's almost as grey as Limbo, which I hear is completely and absolutely totally grey. Or, perhaps, you could take the money and go about doing good deeds in my name--I'd ask you to shout out, as you're performing the act of kindness, that it is being done on my behalf and I would be there to do it myself if I wasn't dead. But with humility, please: I don't want it to seem self-aggrandizing. Perhaps you could shout, "Because he's very sorry!" in a generally God-ward direction or something like that.

If that's possible. If it isn't, I understand, and I would ask you to consider giving the money to Morris Lint after all, in the alternative. Because Morris really is like a brother to me, and he really does deserve any kindness that can be brought his way.

On that note, Darling, please also tell Morris when you contact him that Celeste didn't feel anything at all in the wreck. Unless he's still mad about the whole thing after all these decades, in which case she says you can tell him she suffered horribly. (I think that's very decent of her, all things considered, don't you?)


Sincerely,
R. Eric VanNewkirk
Standing On The Shoulders Of Giant Midgets




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