Visit Snopes.com, the myth-busting web site and you will discover something new every time. And in most cases, what you’ll discover is that a lot of things you always thought were true were in fact LIES!
For example, just last week I discovered to my great relief that swallowing a watermelon seed will NOT cause a watermelon to grow inside you – this according to Snopes.com – unless, of course, you also accidentally consume Ortho plant fertilizer mixed with large doses of Miracle Gro potting soil, drink two gallons of water per day, and sit under a sun lamp with your mouth wide open for 30 minutes a day for two months. But even then, the chances are slim. And it probably won’t be edible.
Every day, people send me well-intentioned emails, passing along what they naively believe to be an informative news alert or a warning about some health or safety risk – most of which turn out to be utterly false. Oh sure, to be fair, every now and then the warning turns out to be helpful information I can actually use in my daily life – like the warning against wearing sweat pants made of bacon while snuggling in the wild with a bear cub within 100 feet of its mama. Just no way that’s gonna have a good outcome. Thank God I received that email just in time, right before my vacation to Yellowstone. Could have turned out badly.
Welcome back to the thrilling conclusion of my true, unedited story about my fleeting friendship with an Internet Scammer named Mr. Chris. If you missed the last week’s Part I, you can get caught up here. If you were with us last week, you know that it all started when I received the following unusual email in my SPAM mail folder.
From: kelvin chris
To: (this field was left blank)
Subject: Order Urgent
Hello. Am Mr. Kelvin Chris and will like to place an order regarding some bleachers from your company to Latvia. What is their price ranges, also your terms of payment as well. hope you answer to my request ASAP. Thank you very much and waiting for your prompt responds. God Bless You.
I would now like to let you in on a little secret – come in close…. closer… Psst: I don’t actually sell bleachers. It’s a humor blog. View from the Bleachers is a metaphor.
But Mr. Chris wanted to engage me in a bit of Internet commerce with terms most favorable to him. So I could not help but have a little fun by playing along. I never thought he would actually respond back to me after my ridiculously satirical reply. But he did. Oh yes.
Recently, I made a new friend across Cyberspace: a very nice man named Mr. Chris. Well, at least I thought he was a friend. For a week, it looked like we were going to become best buddies. But sadly this story of fleeting friendship has a heart-breaking ending.
You see, Mr. Chris is a documented Internet Scammer – listed on web sites for trying to con people out of their money by offering to overpay with a bad check or stolen credit card, and asking the victim to send back a check in return for the overpayment. Your classic Internet scam.
What made me suspicious, you might ask? Well, I think it was his first email which I stumbled onto in my SPAM mail folder which lacked any name in the “to” field. His email asked about pricing for BLEACHERS.