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Charity Donation From Mrs. Mabel Ovis
Abidjan Cote D’Ivoire
West Africa.

Attention:

Greetings in the name of the Almighty God/Allah the giver of every good thing. I know this proposal will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take your time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go a long way to determine my future.

I am Mrs. Mabel Ovis an ageing widow of 57 years old suffering from long time illness. I have some funds which I inherited from my late husband, the sum of USD $4,500,000.00 and I needed a very honest and God fearing person who can withdraw this money then use the funds for Charity works. I WISH TO ENTRUST THIS FUND TO YOU FOR CHARITY WORKS.

I found your email address from the internet after honest prayers to the Lord/Allah to bring me HONEST PERSON I CAN CONFIDE ON, and I decided to contact you if you may be willing and interested to handle these trust funds in good faith. I am desperately in keen need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you for this task, you must not fail me and the millions of the poor people in our today’s WORLD.

This is not stolen money and there are no dangers involved. Please if you would be able to use the funds for the Charity works please kindly let me know immediately for more details.

Please kindly respond quickly for further details if you can handle this task.

Regards,

Mrs. Mabel Ovis.

Dear Mrs. Ovis;

I’m sorry that your long time illness is causing you such trouble, and of course we all regret the passing of Mr. Ovis, but I’m not entirely sure how you found my email address — you seem to imply Divine intervention, and I’m going to have to go ahead and say that’s unlikely. I’m not really “hip” to the Almighty God/Allah. He and I don’t talk much. I suppose it is possible that He’s working from an old address book, however, since I did used to be an altar boy; I’ve found the occasional old notebook in a box while I’m cleaning out a closet or a storage locker or something and flipped through the pages, as though I’m going to find something important before I throw it out, and I’ll find an old email address or phone number and wonder whether it’s good. Of course I’ve never bothered to find out, because chances are I’ve got the person in question on Facebook, and if I don’t then I can probably live without talking to them anyway because it’s been however long that old notebook has been sitting in the drawer.

This is sort of the long way round of telling you that the Lord/Allah may have gotten His wires crossed, is all. While I’m flattered that He (and clearly, by extension, you) seem to think I’m an HONEST PERSON you can CONFIDE ON, I’m going to have to stop you right there. I’m an honest person, yes, but if you give me USD$4,500,000.00 I’m probably going to rip you off.

I mean, there’s not a lot of oversight on this project already. Sure, if I was the sort of “honest and God-fearing person” that you need, then maybe having the Almighty looking over my shoulder might be a bit of a disincentive to taking a hike with millions of dollars that you’ve inherited from your late husband. On the other hand, look at all those TV preachers who’re under investigation for embezzlement and fraud and so on — clearly the fear of the Lord/Allah hasn’t prevented them from lining their nests. And since I’m not really on Team Monotheism it’s unlikely that I’m going to exercise even that much restraint. (If you’d mentioned Athena or Thor or Someone like that, I might — might — think twice before I start studying up on the old fraud legislation, but even then it’s iffy.)

I do appreciate your reassurances that “this is not stolen money and there are no dangers involved”, but the point that I’m driving at here is that this isn’t stolen money yet. With four-point-five million United States dollars in my hot little hands I’m going to be on my way to any Caribbean country which lacks an extradition treaty with Cote d’Ivoire and has good rum, and I won’t be flying coach.

And let’s face it — four-point-five mil is a drop in the bucket, really. I mean, you said it yourself, Mrs. Ovis: There are “millions of poor people in our today’s WORLD.” Millions. Even if we round it out to an even million poor people, we’re talking about maybe one Trenta cup apiece after taxes. Less, if there’s shipping involved. It’s the cold, hard reality of CHARITY WORKS, Mrs. Ovis. I’m not into Ayn Rand or anything, but I just don’t see that kind of handout producing any sort of result: If we spread that cash around, it’s just going to disappear.

But if I keep that cash, then I’m the one who’s disappearing. Fair warning, Mrs. Ovis: I’m not proud of it, but there it is. I hesitate to use phrases like this to a 57-year-old lady, particularly one suffering from long time illness, but this is the point in the conversation where we mention the words “hookers and blow.” I’m a good man, Mrs. Ovis, but I’m not a saint. I’m surprised the Almighty God/Allah didn’t mention that to you when He gave my address out.

Upon contemplation, and with the greatest respect, I think I’m going to have to take a pass on this one. I know that it disappoints you, Mrs. Ovis, because you’re in such keen need of assistance and had to summon up courage to contact me for this task, but I really do suggest that you go back to the Almighty and/or the Internet and get a second opinion. I’m an honest person, true… and I’m honest enough to admit that I’m probably not the best person to be in control of that much no-strings-attached money.

It’d be a hell of a temptation, Mabel, and I’ve never been all that good at resisting temptation.

Good luck, my dear Mrs. Ovis: I hope you find your paladin. But I’m afraid it won’t be me.

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