In what is becoming an era of rampant self-absorption, it is comforting to know there are so many helpful and generous people online willing to offer not only life-altering advice but also to provide easy access to mind-boggling wealth.
Someone once said, “It’s not what you are; it’s what you don’t become that hurts.” Cyber space, and in particular the email pipeline, has become the great enabler to help avert the pain of failing to achieve self-fulfillment.
Every day my inbox bulges with transformative remedies. They include anatomical enhancement breakthroughs, recommendations about cholesterol reduction, laser skin care proposals, quick and easy mole removal strategies, and really hot tips about foods that trim belly fat.
As well, just a mouse click away, it seems vast amounts of wealth, beyond my dreams, are readily available. I recently opened an email advising me that I had won a cool million in an online contest. According to the accompanying blurb, the arrangement “was promoted and sponsored by a conglomerate of some multinational companies as part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the aspect that impacts people’s lifestyle worldwide.” Hey, I’m all for socially responsible, multinational conglomerates, and lifestyle impacts.
I have yet to retrieve my prize, but to do so, my instructions are simply to provide the contest’s “fiduciary agent” with some personal data so he can access my file more quickly.
Another email I received was from an FBI agent. He informed me that two boxes had been “intercepted” at JFK Airport, New York, containing $4.1 million that was part of an overdue payment to me from the Federal Government of Nigeria. What a complete, albeit pleasant, surprise that was, given that I don’t know a soul in Nigeria, nor have I ever been there. In any event, I have been informed that the boxes are missing some important personal documentation, so they cannot be released until I forward that vital information to the proper authorities.
And a few days ago the wife of Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt, requested my advice about investing the family’s $50 million fortune. The only requirement is that I have to supply some basic information, including my full name, address, age, occupation and cell phone number, and I will receive 20 per cent of all profits from the venture.
Sometimes I wonder why people go to work anymore with all these offers of free cash floating around. Despite my obvious enthusiasm, I have to confess that I have become somewhat circumspect about all this easy money after one of my closest confidantes abruptly informed me that only someone with the IQ of a deck chair would ever open dubious email solicitations, let alone provide personal information.