Shootin' the Breeze

by "Bummer"

Join ABATE of Ohio,Inc.


July 2007

    I have a very kind and considerate friend who insists on forwarding me [and apparently everyone else she knows] every Email joke or heart rendering message she receives from others. Sometimes when I check my mail she has sent me over a dozen of ‘em and my mailbox is full, but since it’s from a friend I appreciate the thought and accept it as a form of greeting card [something else most of us guys just don’t seem to understand the importance of]. Sort of a “Hello, how ya doin’? I was just thinkin’ ‘bout ya.”. Unfortunately, many of these forwarded Emails insist that I not break the chain and that I forward them on to a bunch of other people or something terrible will happen like my penis will fall off or something. Of course I never do, so I end up fearfully waiting for the inevitable to happen.

    What really gets me is when I read one that insists how much she cares for me and cherishes our “one of a kind” friendship, only to see that she’s sent that very same Email to dozens of other people. It just makes me feel cheap, lied to, used and abused.

    When she first started sending all this stuff to me I considered mailing her back and asking her not to [especially since I only have the one penis and multiple threats would simply be overkill]. But then it occurred to me that she might get hurt, so I just deleted ‘em. After time it continued and I started getting scared of “the Email curse”, but I thought that she might get pissed off if I complained, and anyone who was so powerful that she could send curses by Email would surely be able to successfully find other ways to accomplish her dastardly practice of the black arts..

    One day I thought she did me a tremendous favor when she sent me, and dozens of others, an Email that informed us that Bill Gates was giving his fortune away. That one was even certified by a lawyer [and who wouldn’t trust a lawyer? The mere mention of the word “lawyer” inspires trust LOL] and went on to say that if I sent it to a gazillion people good old Mr. Gates would send me lotsa money. Or maybe it was a brand new super computer, I forget which. Perhaps I made a mistake by not paying heed to it, but I don’t recall hearing anything about her or any of the others she sent it to getting rich overnight.

    Once her 20+ year old DAUGHTER even forwarded something to me that had a “cute” beginning with a cartoon about frogs and butterflies a few years ago. I don’t think she realized that it went on to beg donations for Mad Mothers [MADD] because when I angrily replied that MADD has cost me, and idiots like me, mucho bucks in the past [I stopped drinking and driving long ago] she apologized and said she’d pay more attention to what she sent in the future.

    This morning I checked my mail and got one from her [the mother] that said that if I didn’t forward this latest one to someone I’d have 9 years bad luck. I sent it right back to her with the note that it was to be considered a “forward” [to cover the 9 years bad luck thing] and begged her to stop. Like I said, in the past I’ve valued her friendship so much I’d just delete things, but 9 years bad luck is just too much.

    Now, I’m sure this woman likes me. I’ve known her for years and she’s never hinted that she didn’t. I even consider her a friend. What I can’t understand though is why she’s never realized that sending “chain” Emails to her friends is real close to terrorism. If nothing else I’m sure it fits the definition of extortion [do what I say or something bad will happen to you, like your penis will fall off].

    On top of everything else, I recently read that the biggest way viruses are passed around is the forward thing. Also, it’s one way that spammers get the addresses of so many people. What’s really scary is when you open an Email and it’s full of nonsense….meaningless phrases. It looks like some kind of secret code for spies or something.

    I do get some forwards from people that are worth looking at. I’ve gotten many a laugh and have been entertained by incredible pictures sent to me by responsible people. People who have no wish to curse me for not forwarding things on to others.

    In short, if you consider sending something that threatens disaster if it isn’t forwarded, maybe you shouldn’t be cowardly by sending it on. Just absorb the curse and bitch at the person who sent it to you like I did.

    So, I hereby make the following rules for forwarding Emails:

    1. Forward only what is worth forwarding! Personal mail [like tatoos] really oughta mean something personal!

    2. Goofy teddy bears, frogs and butterflies are NOT cute. Neither are puppies. Well, OK…. PUPPIES are!

    3. You should never tell EVERYONE that you love them [unless you really do and THAT’s reason to check yerself into a rehab or a mental hospital.

    4. Chain Emails are NEVER welcomed by ANYONE. Period.

    5. There is NO good reason to send money to anyone who says they’re from an unpronounceable country in Africa and if you send ‘em bucks consider yourself an idiot. I’m sure if you forward something like this to others, THEY will consider you something far worse than that.

    6. Nobody is gonna send YOU anything ‘cept junk mail no matter how many times you forward things. If they say something miraculous will happen, like your CD drawer will suddenly become a cup holder, or if it’s to see a funny little cartoon, it’s just not worth it.

    7. Whenever it’s stated that you’ll get something huge for completing a questionnaire realize A. Ya won’t get anything ya really want no matter what they SAY they’ll give ya . B. They WILL get your information when ya get to the very last page after a zillion questions and they ask for your credit card number to confirm who you are.

    8. And finally, something my dear old Dad told me when I was a little boy, “Bum, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”

           See ya next month,

PS…Show this column to ten people or you’ll get 9 year’s bad luck!

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