Replying to E-mail Charity Appeals

This Week: Case 1

Black text: Original Message
Blue text: How to Reply!

(I'm not a bad person; people should just know better than to forward this prattle!)

>Hello, please take a moment out of your day to listen to this story. You see, there is an unfortunate little boy in Oxsnotovania right now, who is dying of cancer, and who has only been given two months to live unless he can obtain medical care. However, his parents are too poor to afford the operation. All they have to eat is porridge made from goat vomit and ground-up AOL disks.

Please, out of the goodness of your heart, try to avoid seeing the following problems in this scenario: a. There is no such country as Oxsnotovania! b. In what kind of Eastern European country are peasant families unable to afford basic emergency medical care, but they have full internet access to tell the rest of the world about it?

>However, an undisclosed American millionaire has heard about the little boy and has pledged, out of his great kindness and a wish for undisclosed tax writeoffs, to pay for the operation. What he is asking all of us to do, is to forward this message to everyone you know. If one million forwards are made, he will take care of the little boy himself.

Again, please, out of the goodness of your heart, overlook the following conclusions: a. There is no publicly-accessible means of tracking or verifying the number of forwards of this or any e-mail message, or where they go. b. If this millionaire is such a bloody altruist, doesn't he realize that, for all the lost work productivity and wasted electricity spent on reading, processing, and forwarding this message, it would have cost less to build the damn kid his own hospital? c. Screw the kid! Who is this gullible millionaire who gives away his money to strangers without verifying their story, and how do we contact him? Cough-- hack-- wheeze-- Why, I think I'm coming down with a life-threatening disease myself.

>So please, forward this message to everyone you know, and save this little boy's life. It only takes a moment, and it will really make a difference. Here is what you can expect:

>0-5 forwards: You will spent the rest of your torture-wracked, miserable existence in eternal torment. This is predicated, of course, on the assumption that our Lord, who created man in His own image and runs the universe, makes long-term decisions about you based on how many copies of an e-mail you send, and ignores all other aspects of your life's conduct.

>5-10 forwards: A special treat will pop up on your screen. Please avoid realizing the fact that: a. This is a text message which contains no code which could possibly do such a thing. b. No mail reader, except a late version of IE with full Java settings, would be able to launch anything on to your screen anyway. c. There's cheese in your head if you're going to do all this work and irritate your friends, all for the chance to see a stupid dancing bear or ASCII smiley-face. Do you not own a television?

10-20 forwards: You will receive a stern warning from your server about sending chain mail. This may ultimately lead to you losing access to next week's important news story about a poor, unfortunate young man who woke up in a bathtub in Mexico without his kidneys, who desperately needs your help, as well as the important words of Nostradamus, who predicted Stalin, September 11, the cheese danish you had for lunch Tuesday, and the end of the world.