Fwd This!

Alright, I like a funny forward as much as the next guy. I got this one this morning and loved it. However, what I cannot understand is how, after a decade of being online in some way, people can still be forwarding fucking chain letters. I should apologize to some of my friends, I am not known for sending nice replies to people who send these to me – but honestly, I feel I am doing them a service. Tough love, tough education. I have two great mysteries in life … 1) why you need a license to fish, but not one to raise children and 2) how people can use computers without the slightest understanding of the thing’s fundamentals.

I got one of those “Intel/Microsoft will send $250 to everyone you forward this to. They are testing new hardware and need to clear out the old e-mails from the(ir) Internet” FWDs today from an otherwise good friend of mine. Now, I took my first steps on the Internet with this guy back in high school. He’s no niubi when it comes to these things… so why oh why did I need to send him the following response to edumacate him?

Hey XXXX, you are fortunate – I’ve grown patient in my age. You happen to be the 5th or 6th person I’ve explained the following to – and though scathing, trust that this is one of the kinder replies to this type of e-mail that I’ve sent.


Honestly, forwarding these to me is very nearly the same as taking a shit on my face and rubbing it up my nose with a q-tip. These e-mails are absolute stupidity and as I in no way think you are stupid, I scratch my head and wonder why good friends like yourself still insist on forcing me A) to explain this to them and B) waste my time in even having to look at it.

I would think that most people, after being on the Internet now for the better part of a decade, would have seen these things and seen them for what they are, complete bunk and a way to make otherwise good people have the mentality of a gnat.

So, to recap – no one will EVER, EVER, EVER send you ANY money for forwarding e-mails like this. Not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t. Despite having a horrible stranglehold on the software and hardware industries – Intel and Microsoft have NO WAY of recording what e-mails you sent or didn’t send, nor to whom you sent them. I know the e-mail’s very legitimate sounding legalese stating that THIS TIME it’s really, really, really, really true sounds convincing, and hey, we all need a few bucks, but I’m sorry man, they lied to you. It’s really, really, really, really bullshit.

Incidentally, you will also never get any luck from magic leprechauns or mysterious fates by sending on crappy personal affirmation e-mails that make you feel good and claim will bring you fame and fortune if you can only click SEND and your friends’ names fast enough. I don’t care how much the kid is dying of cancer and has one last message to give to the world, or how upon re-examining his childhood the author sees now that he should take things slow and appreciate life – none of it need clutter my inbox with its self-righteous nonsense.

And further, 98% of all Virus Warnings that you’ll have forwarded to you are complete bunk as well. There is no clear and present danger. If you open files sent to you from strangers you deserve what you get – this is Darwinism of the 21st Century.

Now this may all sound familiar, as all of this was reported in the New York Times, Newsweek and Washington Post. Their articles explained all this, and also claimed that if this valuable information is shared with your contact list, they will (as a sign of goodwill for the Christmas season) send each person you forward it to a cheque for $9.95. It’s not much, but hey it’s FREE MONEY…

Additionally, they’ve special tracking software embedded in the text here to know how fast you send it and to how many people. If you forward it within three minutes to:

2 people – they will send you an extra $1.
5 people – they will send you a pony.
10 people – they will give you the keys to the planet.
25 people – a hand will reach through your computer screen and slap you. I didn’t believe it either, but it really happened to me!

Good luck.

Oh, and if you ever get an e-mail that you think might be true, but you want to check before you press FWD and ruin your e-mail rep… go here –> Snopes.com: Urban Legends Reference. It’s also useful for when people send you e-mails about mice in coke bottles, missing children, a crapload of false viruses, scams and various other nefarious chain-mail push tactics.

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