JournalismPakistan.com October 20, 2017
I don’t know if this happens to you but every now and then I receive a letter from a lieutenant of a former despot who has $250 million with him which he needs to park and he is willing to give me half. This is usually on messenger and once in a way on email and somehow passes the safety net of the junk mail docket.
Usually, the kickstart is that I have been referred to by a common friend. And I wonder sometimes who this buddy is who thinks I am the perfect conduit for funneling funds of such proportion.
I am the sort of guy who spends most of his time begging his two ends to talk to each other, please, pretty please, at least say hello and shake hands, the type whom the deputy bank manager does not see as a valued customer and you will not see my photograph on Facebook sitting in an airport business class lounge with bubbly in his hand, not because I am shy but because I am travelling economy on a low budget carrier.
And if it is not some Latin American or African warlord whose fiscal agony overfloweth, so to speak, it is the widow of one of these blokes whose husband has unreasonably kicked the bucket and left her sadly saddled with $630 million and woe is her and could I be so kind as to rush to her rescue and distil it in my account and I am thinking I have Rs32,654 in my savings account and this tiny little leap in funds might just get noticed by the authorities and as any writer will confirm it is quite unlikely I can explain it away as remuneration for contributions to the media and so this little lonely soul will have to locate some other harbor.
Off and on I also get e-messages from Linda, Yvonne, Priscilla, Yolanda (there is always a Yolanda) Deane and Ivana asking me if I am lonely and expressing their unbridled desire to be my friend. Invariably there is a photograph of a sultry woman giving me the come hither and I haven’t the heart to tell them that I am now in that phase of life where not being invited out is a blessing and relief.
But the ones I love for are those “you have a million dollars, send us Rs10,000 for expenses so you can collect your prize” people. I haven’t yet fallen for it but I did once send a $5 note stolen from my kids thereby putting my name on a list because the impressive maths suggested that dozens of dollar bills would come back to me. Been three years, nary a one.
(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)
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