Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Nigerian Scams And Ben Stein

After turning my buddy, Carson, on to Google Reader and RSS feeds, I slowly filled his personal email inbox with different feeds to which he should subscribe. One day I went through my feeds and sent him another large batch of suggestions. The following is the email conversation that ensued while we were at work. You'll probably be bored 3 emails in, but it made my day. Pay attention to the timestamps too.

Wednesday Afternoon

4:41pm Blake: Your Yahoo inbox is going to be pretty full when you get home.

4:55pm Carson: (In a sincere tone) As long as you have something to do with it, I'm o.k. with that.

5:03pm Blake: Well, I do have a little something to do with it. I gave your email address to the world's top 50 spammers. 14 of them are in Denmark. 9 are in Liechtenstein (the 6th smallest country in the world), 7 are from Germany, and 3 are from the landlocked African country, Djibouti. It is believed that all others are located on private islands and independent countries of no governance.

You’ll be glad Yahoo went to unlimited inbox storage…

Good luck.

The following morning I got his response.

9:07am Carson: Well, whatever you sent me, it's great. I won the lottery in 8 different countries with total winnings of over $37 billion. All I have to do is deposit this check they're gonna send me and then I wire back the funds. Once they get the money, then I'll collect my winnings. I had no idea I had a great uncle in Nigeria. But who cares, I'm a billionaire, la la la.

-C $

9:08am Blake: (Thinking that would be the end of the email exchange) Congratulations!

9:11am Carson: Thank you, and since you had a part in this, you will get .01 % of the winnings…

Hey, that’s still over $3.5 million.

9:13am Blake: Thanks…I guess you got my emails for real though. I didn't send specific articles for you to read, but I just sent the links so you could easily subscribe. Happy reading!

9:14am Carson: Yeah, good stuff, a couple of them you'd already told me about, but there were new ones too. I love Ben Stein's stuff. I wish he posted more often.

9:15am Blake: Your wish is my command. This'll keep you busy for a while. http://www.benstein.com/writing.html

9:17am Carson: (Tone unknown) You are amazing

9:21am Blake: Yeah…I love Stein too. I actually was walking with some friends in Georgetown, right outside of DC, a few years ago and I heard a familiar and distinctive voice behind me. Walking 5 paces behind me was Ben Stein and one of his buddies. My friends and I passed our planned destination and just continued to listen in as Stein got closer. I can't remember the topic Stein was discussing, but I remember that it was interesting. I slowed down on the crowded street, as he got closer and closer, eventually slowing to a tortoise pace. Ben lost his train of thought while talking and ended up running into me. I walked even slower and he said, "Hurry up kid.” I said, "Shut up BUELLER”, then offered a wily chuckle. 3 paces later, he, or it could have been his friend, pushed me from behind. A guy I was with, one of Ashley’s friends from Carolina, who had had a little too much to drink for the Bachelor party, hauled off and punched Stein’s buddy in the face…causing a big stir on the crowded streets. We kept walking while some of the crowd huddled around and some dispersed. I don’t really know what else happened with it, but that was one of the funniest nights of my life.

9:25am Carson: Shut your mouth, you expect me to believe that?

9:26am Blake: The only part of the story that is true is that I saw Ben Stein in Georgetown and he was talking with a friend and I listened to him. However, I did not even open my mouth when I wrote it so it does not require shutting.

9:28am Carson: Ok, then keep your mouth shut :)
(I think he included the smiley face as to not hurt my feelings. Such a gentle lad)

9:29am Blake: Did I have you for even one second? Please don't tell me all my work was completely in vain.

9:33am Carson: You had me until the punch in the face. Good work up until then.

9:34:21am Blake: YES!!!! That means I got you with the "BUELLER" line. I will smile the rest of the day.

9:34:21am Carson: I got suspicious at the "Shut-up BUELLER" line.

9:34:57am Blake: I am laughing out loud

9:36am Carson: Well, here's where a “Blake” story always keeps the listener suspiciously interested: Blake's sudden spontaneity vs. Blake's stone-faced fibbing.

I'm glad I made you smile. Have a great day bro.

9:38am Blake: Very well put. I especially like your use of alliteration…twice. While it probably does get the point across better,”sudden spontaneity” is a little redundant and it's like you are saying the same thing twice.

9:39am Carson: ;)
(Acknowledging Blake’s joke)

9:40am Blake: I think I am going to make this whole email conversation a blog post.


  1. That was a fun conversation, no doubt.