I was wondering what to write about today when I got an e-mail from a guy who visited my web site. Seems alright, this guy, Chris is his name. He says something about the Nigerian e-mail scams and how he missed out on that whole deal. Well, me too. I like to think I'm not that gullible to send a whole bunch of my hard-earned to some stranger claiming to be a prince or something, but who knows? The whole thing with scammers is that they tap into that secret little greed compartment inside our heads and if they hook you all your sophistication and street-wisdom flies out of your ears. The e-mails make it look like you can reap a windfall by just investing a few thou and bingo, you're ripped off as much by yourself and your little greed compartment as by the phony Nigerian royalty.
Which brings me to an e-mail I got last week from Rotterdam informing me that my e-mail address had been picked at random in some lottery I never entered and that I had won three-hundred thousand Euros. All I have to do to claim my prize is provide them with enough personal information to steal my identity. The thing originated in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and is called Bejijk Trekking Lotterij and the e-mail came from Marian@bejijktrekking39orangehome.co.uk, a mouthful if ever I saw one, and in Dutch no less. So, did I delete the thing and get on with my life? No, I didn't, which is why I have this information handy. Here I am a guy from Brooklyn with street smarts and a jaundiced eye and yet that greed compartment in my own brain was tickled just enough to save this massive missive from across the seas.
I Googled the outfit and got a whole bunch of similar sounding names with all sorts of lotteries originating in Holland. Of course everything is written in Flemish. At least that's what I assume it to be if my grade school teachers gave me the right dope on Holland, and I learned the hard way back then never to question the integrity of angry nuns, it just doesn't pay. So there I am fascinated by all these foreign language sites on the Google page, like any typical Google page announcing there were something like 13,782 different matches to my request. Who knew the Dutch had so much to say and ran so many damned lotteries? Or, to be more precise, lotterij. Needless to say, the fascination wore off quick when I found no matches in the first couple of pages. How much browsing can you do in Flemish, or Dutch, or Hollandspeak, whatever the hell it is. Like they say, it's all Greek to me…
So did I delete the thing then? Surely I wouldn't reply to such an obvious scam! Well, guess again. I e-mailed the contact dude, one Peter Friesenger, VN Kozijn, whatever that means. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. I didn't provide any personal data, just basically asked him "Who are you and what do you want?" I then dared him to steal my identity. You want it, Dutch? Go ahead, take it. When you find out who I really am, you'll be begging me to take it back. Well, it's not gonna be that easy, Woodenshoes. You deal my debt, my lousy credit and my chaotic finances. You come over here and try to figure out where the leaks under my front stairs are coming from. You explain to the lovely wife why it's taking so long to re-do the damned kitchen or why I waited until the last minute to have the car inspected. You argue with my customers who want more for less and wail like banshees when I very slightly raise my bargain rates. These are all your problems now, pal.
And I got news for you too, cheese-breath, your right knee will be in constant pain and your right elbow will be balky as hell and your medical coverage will really suck. This ain't European socialized medicine over here, Lars. You want my identity you've got to take it all. You try to make money playing music in this town where every club owners' dream is having a DJ to spin CD's and calling himself an entertainer or a Karaoke machine where your customers entertain each other with horrible singing at no cost at all to yourself. All those years of training and experience and you're replaced by machines and amateurs. You want that? Careful what you wish for, windmill man. You don't have enough fingers to plug up the all the leaks in the dykes of my life.
Once this guy steals my identity I fiugure I'll chill down in Florida for a while at my brother's house, maybe soak up some sun and watch the near-naked girls on the beaches in Lauderdale. I figure it won't be long before Dutchboy comes crawling to me, begging me to take my life back already. I'll ask him how much is he willing to pay, and I don't want no stinking Euros. Or dollars either, for that matter. Hand me a bunch of gold Krugerrands and I'll take my life back and you can go back to sending dishonest e-mails from the comfort of your favorite internet cafe/hashish bar back in Holland. Truth be told, I'm not so keen on Florida after a few days and I really like my crazy life. I'll tell you what, Dutch. I'll keep my identity and my passionate Louise too and you stay where you are. I've still got stuff to do in this life, like go back to Google and see what other foreign languages I can find. Oh, and finish the damned kitchen already.