JournalismPakistan.com May 5, 2014
A friend of mine tells me his dad lost several thousands in one of those internet scam letters or was it an SMS on his mobile and he actually invested in it.
His dad is a rich and successful businessman. What part of us thinks that a random call or a message that is semi-literate would mean you have actually won a million dollars?
I understand the desire in all of us to be instantly rich and stop worrying about the bills but can we really be that naïve.
I have received them all. The offer to remove some color from piles of notes that only need magic ink to make them legal tender. Widows in Africa who, through their copious tears, have found my shoulder to cry on and are begging me for my bank account number so they can fondly dispatch $75 million with no strings attached. I get phone company messages every week telling me my number has won the bumper prize. It is never a teeny weeny garden variety prize, it is always a bumper prize.
I have once fallen for a gimmick that asked to send $5 note to the person on the top of the list and put my name at the bottom and what do you know, life would be dotted with a flurry of bills and every morning I’d be deluged. Ha. Who has my $5 bill I want to know?
But the one that really astounds me is the stranded in Paris, lost my passport, money and other sundry valuables and can you please send me some money. And the person who is writing this (not really) is someone you know very well. The first time I got one of these I got worried because it was a good friend and you don’t leave good friends stranded on the Seine. Then I had an incandescent moment and thought I’d call and comfort her.
So I said, hey sorry about your loss.
You passport and money, where are you now?
At home, are you well?
Of course, I am well, how much dosh do you need?
To get back home, did they take your ticket, too?
What are you blathering about?
Aren’t you stranded in Paris?
Paris, not really, not unless Karma has changed recently.
Finally we unsnarled that ball of wool.
But honestly, losing thousands, oh come on, you can’t be serious.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
The Nation, September 4, 2018
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