Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Whatever happened to the good old “Is your refrigerator running” gag?

So I get this forward the other day in my inbox:

Hi, my name is Amy Bruce.

I am 7 years old, and I have severe lung cancer . I also have a large tumor in my brain, from repeated beatings. Doctors say I will die soon if this isn't fixed, and my family can't pay the bills.

The Make A Wish Foundation, has agreed to donate 7 cents for every time this message is sent on. For those of you who send this along, I thank you so much, but for those who don't send it, what goes around comes around. Have a Heart, please send this.

Now first of all I hate forwards. Whatever miniscule humor or joy I might have found in that little joke or incredibly bad poem about friendship, or the power of love and Jesus, is instantly destroyed simply because it’s a forward. I used to open them years ago, now I just delete them but this one was from a family member and the subject was “please respond” so I thought maybe it might be something legitimate.

I think the thing that annoys me the most is when they try to guilt you into sending it on or back to who just sent it to you. For example if it’s a poem about best friends there’s usually some verbiage in there about how if I’m a true friend I’ll send it on to my other friends and I’d better send it back to the person who sent it to me to prove that they’re my friend too. What the hell? Are we in middle school again? Is this the electronic version of “if you like me circle yes and if you don’t circle no and then hand this note back to me.” I think maybe the fact that I haven’t blocked your emails and/or changed my email address without giving you my new address is evidence enough that I like you, even despite the fact that you’ve inundated my mailbox with this shit. And what’s with the “what goes around comes around” in this message? I don’t appreciate being threatened – even if it’s just with bad karma.

Secondly, this thing is crap. Poor little Amy doesn’t have lung cancer. Poor little Amy doesn’t exist and this email has been circulating for 8 years! Nobody can track forwarded emails. How could that possibly work? I know that technology is wondrous but think of the thousands of email services out there. They don’t keep track of what you forward on and then rip off a list to the Make a wish foundation. It’s not possible – I’ve researched it. Nobody can track what you forward from your email and quite frankly I think that’s a good thing.

I also found this on the Make-A-Wish site:

Each day, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and its chapters receive hundreds of inquiries about chain letters claiming to be associated with the Foundation and featuring sick children. However, we do not participate in these kinds of wishes. Some names associated with these wishes are: Jessie Anderson, Shane Bernier, Matt Dawson, Chad Briody , Amy Bruce, Jeff DeLeon, Rhyan Desquetado, Anthony Hebrank, LaNisha Jackson, Nikisha Johnson, Craig Sheldon, Craig Shelford, Craig Shelton, Craig Sheppard, Craig Shergold, Bryan Warner and Kayla Wightman.

So why the scam you ask? There’s a slight chance that they’re hoping to get some money from you. There is an email address that supposedly belongs to Amy that you can reply to and maybe they’re hoping some naïve schmuck will contact them and ask where to send the check. But mostly it’s just a gag. People get a real kick out of putting things like this together and envisioning their creations popping up in inboxes around the world. They would see that blurb on the Make a Wish site and probably cream their pants knowing that they’ve caused hundreds of people to take time out of their busy lives to check up on a useless and false email message that they’ve created. It’s the email equivalent of a fiery bag of dog shit on your front step.

I think I’ll just forward the contents of my junk mail inbox to Amy’s inbox as payback and maybe ask her if she’s the one who knocked over my son’s snowman and placed my front yard holiday reindeers into a mating position last year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is this the email you forwarded on to me?? And I LOVED the reindeer trick and I still do!! It was classic.