Most people make the mistake of avoiding their email spam folder. I view it as a quick pick-me-up on those days when it seems the world’s against me. It’s a lot like the “Little House on the Prairie” in that nothing bad ever happens there. (Unless you’re a deposed Nigerian ruler who’s been unfairly kicked out of his country and forced to live on the kindness of American strangers.)
Just browsing through the subject lines of each message makes me feel special: “I’ve been looking for you all my life,” or “To my dearest friend I haven’t met,” or “You’ve won a valuable prize!” These are so much better than the emails that normally litter my Inbox like “This is your final warning” or “Three months past due” or “Where’s my lawn mower?”
My spam folder is a magical world where strangers reach out to offer me things that make the “Price is Right” look like a backwater bingo night. I’m suddenly eligible for a big gift card as a “valued customer” when I don’t even remember ordering from Tampax.
Just last week Mr. Sebastian Matveikova, the Audit & Account Manager of the Bank of West Africa, gave me “all due respect” and shared that his “staffs” had uncovered an account belonging to a foreigner killed in a motorcycle accident in 2003. There’s $18.6 million just sitting there because the funds can only be delivered to another foreign national. He’s asking me to act as the deceased’s next of kin to allow the bank to deposit the money into my savings account. (I made sure he knew it had to be my savings account because it’s hard enough to balance my checking without all that Ivory Coast cash rolling around.)
Mr. Matveikova obviously did his homework; I happen to be extremely trustworthy and don’t ride motorcycles. He says we’ll split the cash 50/50, with all incidental expenses covered by us both. I always have trouble splitting a check at the diner, so I’ll probably leave this up to him. He told me to keep this secret until everything clears and I get it; too many freeloaders in my family, too.
He ended with, “May God help you to help me to a restive retirement, Amen.” I don’t know why he had to bring God in as a middle man — I’d rather keep this between us. Also, “restive” means “unable to keep still or silent while becoming increasingly difficult to control,” like that poor bastard’s motorcycle. He’ll need to choose his words more carefully if we’re going to do business together.
Miss Susan Warlord Ibrahim Coulibaly, the 24-year-old daughter of the slain Chief Sgt. Warlord Ibrahim Coulibaly, felt compelled to contact me out of the blue because her stepmother was withholding her inheritance by hiding Susan’s passport and other documents. The local bank manager told her she needed someone to help transfer the money out of the country through back channels until her new identification comes through. She’s only offering me a 40% cut of the $27 million. I tried to email Mr. Matveikova to see if she was legit but haven’t heard back yet.
The point is that there’s money to be made, people. The next time you feel down, skim through that junk mail folder. Just make sure to have an open mind, a generous heart, and your bank account and credit card numbers on hand.