I got this weird email today, and it was a priority “!” so I thought I’d better read it right away. It was from my dear friend, Abidemi, the Nigerian Prince. I didn’t really remember having a friend named Abidemi (somewhat of a distinctive name, I think), but he said we were dear friends, so who am I to argue (and honestly, I have doubts about my memory, especially after that trip to Famous Town to visit my childhood home a few weeks ago). I could feel Prince Abidemi's stress oozing through my computer screen.
“Dear my Dear Friend MOV,
I am of course apologizing for the inconveniencing of this correspondence. I am sincerely hope that this email letter find you Well and Healthy. I would not ask of you to this personal favor, except that we are enjoying the Good Friendship.
I need you to go to your Banking Institution IMMEDIATELY and transferring of the $3000 out of your account and being wired to the Western Union. It is needed also the reference of your Security Social Number and your account of banking number too as well. Also for required is your maternal mother’s name without marriage. This is a formality of necessity.
My inheritance (I am prince) was delayed, and therefore I have encountered this Financial Situation of being temporarily without funds. Once the funds have been deposited, I am very happily repaying you the full amount plus interest in the sum of $4000. In addition, my wife is worker of the Air Namibia, and I can be arranging the pleasure of your family and yourself traveling First Class for a Vacation all paid expenses.
Please press the key of ‘REPLY’ and give the information of relevance without further delay.
On behalf of myself and my seven childrens, thank You,
Prince Abidemi of Nigeria”
I panicked: this email had been sent two days ago. I had ignored my email at the detriment of my dear friend Abidemi! Was he forced to sleep out in a tent without water and food? Were tigers lurking in his backyard or was he the victim of a monsoon and/or jungle invasion? How could I live with myself knowing that I had contributed to his unhappy Financial Situation by delaying the $3000 he so desperately needed?
I did what anyone with a bank account balance of $4 would do: lie. I just emailed him back this afternoon:
I was so upset to learn of your financial crisis! You poor thing! Of course you can turn to me for help, I am more than happy to help someone I enjoy Good Friendship with.
I will mail you $3000 right away. I don’t know where a Western Union office is located, so I think it would be much easier to just send a cashier’s check. Please let me know your street address (or tree? or jungle?).
As soon as I hear back from you, the check will be in the mail. Be watching for it!
Very Warmest Regards,
PS—do we need any special shots before my family and I fly over to Africa first class?”
I am hoping that my tactic might stall him a couple weeks until I can afford to send him more, say $11 or so. If he thinks I have $3000, well, he’s just beyond gullible.
("My Overseas Vulture")