Wednesday, February 6, 2013


This offer got straight to the point:

Private business deal. $47.1 million USD. Reply to my private address.

Alberto V. Martinez

A Spanish guy with a Chinese address. Sounds like big business to me!

Dear Senor Martinez,

I called you Senor because your name looks Spanish so I wanted to be polite. Or should I say polite-o? See, I speak Spanish! So I am very interested indeed with your business deal. I tried to open a business, it was chicken de-boning for people afraid to choke on bones. It didn't work out well, I guess people like choking on chicken bones.
So I am interested in your $47.1 million business deal. Please give me information as soon as you can so I can come up with another business not like de-boning chickens.

 These big business guys have partners. That's the only reason why the reply came under a different name. Right?

Dear Friend,

All information about the business proposal and LOC Form are attached along side with this email. Please kindly go through the attachment and respond to me accordingly.

Chan Norman

It was tempting to open the attachments, but I didn't want my computer to come down with a particularly bad Asian virus. But I didn't want to be sound like an ugly American.

Say, what's going on here? First I hear from Senor Martinez, now you're calling yourself Chan Norman. I'm confused! Not that I don't want a $47.1 million deal. I looked up your name and you sound very important. A Chinese banker. Does that mean a half hour after you make a withdrawal, you want to do it again? HAHA! Just kidding, please don't take offense. I like to joke.

I couldn't open your attachments. Can you just write them in an email? My computer is is very old. Your picture on the internet looks honest, so I trust you to do the right thing. And if you have a good recipe for fried rice, please send that, too. 

Not having heard from him the next day as I usually do with these guys, I figured that was the end of it. But the day after -- success!

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your mail and interest in this transaction. If you refer to my previous emails, I had told you what you are required to send before we commence this transaction. Well if I may remind you again, you are required to send a copy of your Driver's License or your International Passport and sign the LOC form and send it back to me, the most important issue is that I want to be sure I am transacting with the correct person, my curiosity can be justified considering the money in question, besides, it is this copy of your Driver's License or International Passport that will be be used by the Attorney have all the necessary documentations perfected.

If you really intend to execute this transaction with me it would be necessary to have these sent to me immediately via email attachment or to my fax +85282657456. I earnestly await your response with the required details.

These fellows sure enjoy run-on sentences. The second sentence alone runs 87 words.
Syntax aside, I understand his need for proper ID -- but would he understand mine as well?

Ah ha! Now I get it. I thoroughly understand why you'd want my passport -- I could be anybody other than who I am! Your curiosity is justified by a mile, maybe two! I have no problem giving a copy of my passport to a total stranger, especially when 47.1 million buckaroos are involved. (That's how we talk here in Oklahoma USA!)

But who are you? How can I be sure I'm dealing with the same Chan Norman I've seen on Googleville? If I'm not being too out of line, would you send me a copy of your driver's license or passport, just to satisfy my curiosity? Like we say here in Oklahoma USA, it's only fair, cowboy! Not that you're a cowboy, it's just the phrase. (Although if you are a cowboy, that would definitely be a plus!) Once I see you are who you are (and who else would you be other than you, I hope?) I will be happy to send you a copy of my passport, complete with photo, ID number and eagle in the background. If I could include the little computer chip, I'd do that, too.

I look forward to perfected documentations.
PS: What happened to Senor Martinez?

Gentleman that he is, Mr. Norman came through.

Dear Partner,

Thank you for your reply. My passport is contained in the attachment. I shall look forward to have the LOC FORM and your identification for the immediate commencement of the legal operation of this transaction.

Nothing phony about that. I was grateful for his effort, however, and responded in kind:

Howdy Partner!

I'm proud that one as esteemed as you calls me partner, That's a big compliment here in Oklahoma, where the wind comes blowing down the plains. You know, I have to admit that at first I thought this was some kind of scam you were pulling on me. I mean, you're the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and a graduate from Hong Kong U. Me? I scrape dog feces from our sidewalks. That's no fun, especially in the winter when it it's cold and hard and freezes so I have to use a crowbar to get it off the street. And in the summer, it's soft as ice cream and stinks like anything. If I was part of a 47.1 million USD deal, I'd hire people to do it for me.

I attached my passport down here somewhere. So let's get to work, partner, so I can stop scraping dog feces off the street.

PS: What does USD mean?

Something must have given away my ruse -- was it my name (Happy Traveler)? Did he recognize the photo as long-gone actor Bert Wheeler? Whatever it was, Chan Norman has apparently washed his hands of me. I was really looking forward to that fried rice recipe, too.



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