Archive for the ‘Letters (old fashioned and email)’ Category
While I‘ve enjoyed your ever-carefree presence on my desk since January 2006, sadly, it has come time to end our yearlong tryst. I know I should first apologize for leaving on vacation and forgetting to call a sitter, but now that you have shriveled and turned yellow I find my appeal for you dwindling. I tried nursing you back to health with a hearty does of H2O, hoping you’d don those green smiles yet again. But, you’ve chosen to be difficult, and I am really not in the mood to placate to you dogmatic nature. I’m not saying I did it on purpose, but maybe if you had not been so cold and straight with me – if you’d curled you vines and made a little effort – we wouldn’t be in this situation right now.
I know it is difficult and you want to point fingers, but let’s not forget that entire month you leaked muddy water onto my data reports. Or the time you moved to Melissa’s desk for a “cleaning day” and came back brighter and greener than ever, like you had actually enjoyed it. You thought I didn’t notice, but I did. And, let me tell you, jealousy is an ugly companion. Not that I want to sit here and play the blame game. Rather let’s part with the happy memories we shared: the air conditioner battles, the endless staring contests, the late night vodka binges. We were two of a kind, Bamboo. True bosom buddies. And, as a true friend, I’m not gonna lie – this is going to be a hard transition for both of us. Don’t let the miniature Ficus that appeared on the filing cabinet this morning fool you, no one can really take your place. It’s just something pretty to fill the void. Pretty and full of life…but I digress. After all, love isn’t everything. I guess now we really do know how Ike and Tina felt after they disbanded.
I will always think of you fondly, blocking away the harsh and cruel times we struggled through. I hope you will be able to do the same. There is no need for tears or “Thank Yous,” though in retrospect it might have been nice to hear your soft voice flattering me once in a while. I guess the carbon dioxide my lungs provided was enough to keep you going and it never struck that I have needs too. Alas, just like all my past relationships, I’m blinded to the warning signs when they are given. It’s a little disappointing to realize so late in the game, but I’ll be okay. I’ve made peace with our past. Bygones be bygones, right?
So, Bamboo old pal, enjoy your trip to the outdoors. I am sure it will not take long to make new friends and find a spot to rest peacefully with the other kindling branches. If you feel like it, drop me a line from time to time – just nothing too soon as wounds remain fresh. Let’s both make a conscious effort to heal and lead full lives knowing that the time we’ve spent together will be cherished (yes, even the three weeks I had to be treated for the rash you gave me after soaking in that organic plant food Melissa passed on to you). Those were good times, huh? It might be silly, but I can’t help imagining that years from now we’ll be laughing over these very moments, drinking coffee and sharing a morning muffin like no time has passed at all. Until then, live long and love.
Your endearing, yet poorly appreciated caretaker,
This is outright ridiculous. Yes, we’re being childish engaging this type of folk, but seriously? Leave lil’ ol’ unoffending us alone, you big meanies!
Subject Line: Say What?
(We would never give their address away, but we will say it had “Marcel Proust” in it)
You’re not looking for submissions. You’re looking for contributions. Charity. Freebees. For quality work from professional writers which work you don’t have to pay for. I mean, let’s at least get the vocabulary correct and what you’re really seeking accurate when you post such an ad on the paying gigs/jobs section of craigslist. I mean, don’t insult our intelligence totally!
Our (final) Retort:
Dear Marcel Proust,
Call it what you want, but bottom line, we’re trying to promote writing in the world. We figure the more, the better. We’re sorry you feel the need to attack such an innocuous website whose sole purpose is to support art. Have a great day!
Their Retort to Our Retort:
Don’t make excuses and quit whining and acting like a victim. Just do the right thing. That’s called morality. Morality precedes anyone’s notion of charity and art for art’s stake. Just change the word to contributor/contribution, etc. And don’t be misleading and callow about it. Then lots and lots of professional writers will have a great day!
Dear Aaron Drake,
Hello and Good Day Dear Friend, Beloved in Christ, Prospective Employee
Longest time. How are you today?
Calvary greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope all is well together with your family, if so glory be to God almighty. I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition.
We have never meet before – neither in person nor by correspondence, but I believe that it takes just one day to meet or know someone either physically or through correspondence. I have not considered this medium to be the best manner to have approached you on this issue being that the internet has been greatly abused over the recent years and is very unsecured for informations of vital importance. I have decided to take the chance seeing that no other means could have been faster and more efficient than the E-mail.
The temptation to ignore it as frivolous could come into your mind; but please consider it a divine wish and accept it with a deep sense of humility. I have to say that I have no intentions of causing you any pains so I decided to contact you through this medium. I sincerely ask for forgiveness for I know this may seem like a complete intrusion to your privacy but right about now this is my best option of communication.
For security reasons I can’t disclose my full identity to you until I am sure of your cooperation.
You might be wondering why am I communicating with you. Believe it or not it is simply because you and my late client have the same surname. I got your contact through my personal search and though this is coincidental, I strongly believe you could help me in the task which is the distribution of my late clients funds. You were revealed as being quite astute in private entrepreneurship, and one has no doubt in your ability to handle a financial business transaction and I want to accept as true that you will be very honest, unswerving and capable of assisting in this business venture. It gave me the greatest joy, that you are the one I have been looking for.
I am using this opportunity to thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transfer of fund to your house address due to one reason or the other best known to you. Be informed that I was later successfull in transferring the fund out though your assistance and cooperations of a new partner from Japan and from Paraguay. Presently i’m in Paraguay for investment projects with my own share of total sum. Meanwhile, I didn’t forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring this funds despite that it failed us some how. Understand that the fault is not from me. I had no choice than to do what is lawful and just in the sight of God for eternal life and in the sight of man for witness of God & His Mercies and glory upon my life. It is by the grace of God that I received Christ, having known the truth.
I would like you to read this email with understanding and get back to me if you are interested to work with me which you will be paid for.
We might have the answer.
We are currently looking for representatives who can help us establish a medium of getting to our customers in Europe and America/Canada as well as making payments through you as our payment officer.
There is a company out here known as Exchange Mobile Tele Co (EXMT). This one as you can see is climbing, but by just looking at it I can tell it’s gonna explode. I am contacting you for guidelines for investment in your country, this however is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honour against your will.
We had a huge sum of $11.000.000USD (Eleven Million United States Dollars) which we intend to invest in your country as your Country being as economic conducive for investment and the people as transparent and trust-worthy to engage in business. But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund to my bank account. Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed at the course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $400,000.00 United State Of America Dollars.
As you read this, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday.
Let me start by introducing myself to you. My name is SALAM JAFER, a merchant in Dubai, in the U.A.E. I have previously held the post of Chief Finacier Officer of the STANDARD CHARTERED BANK, a 23 year’s old female, director of foreign operations of my Bank, the daughter of Late Sherrif Kindimbu from Weste Africa Nigeria, legal practitioner with Ben Koh & Associates in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Executive Director and General Manager of the Hang Seng Bank Ltd., 34 years old, Attorney Gen. THE TRUST BANK GHANA LIMITED, GHANA ACCRA BRANCH (TTB), an halfcast, married to Late John Williams from England, a transfer supervisor operations in investment section in Bank of China Ltd., and the Secretariat of the BOCHK Charitable Foundation 13/F. Bank of China Tower, 1 Garden Road, Hong Kong and most recently, the daughter of Mr. Kazim Doe a highly reputable business man (A Major Cocoa Exporter) who passed away last year July 1, 2006 in Paris during one of his business trips, though his death was linked or rather suspected to have been master minded by an uncle of ours who travelled with him at that time. But only God knows the truth!
My mother died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days when I was only 3 years old after giving birth to my younger brother (Sizwe).
Before her death I got born-again and dedicated to Christ. Since her death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is strongly against. I am now a new christian convert, suffering from long time cancer problem.
I have been diagnosed with prostate and esophageal Cancer that was discovered very late due to my laxity in caring for my health. It has defiled all form of medicine and right now, I have only about a few WEEKS to live according to medical experts. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone not even myself but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focus on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world. I believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it.
I am a dying woman who have decided to donate what I have to you. I am 59 years old and I was diagnosed for cancer about 2 years ago, immediately after the death of my husband, who had left me everything he worked for.
Before the death of my husband,he told me on his sick bed that he deposited some money with the United Bank for Africa plc(UBA) in Nigeria, the sum of Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars (Usd$15.5M). Actually he was a close ally to the late brutal military president that looted the government treasury to his fill. This is the reason why I have chosen to do it and want you to be my partner to realize my aim.
He told me that Nigerian Government will not allow me to make this claim since I am a citizen of Nigeria My husband told me that I can only get the fund claimed through the help of a foreigner like you, and that was exactly what happened. I made up my mind to travel abroad to leave the rest of my life and continue to do the work of God as a missionary. I called my late husband lawyer to find out if the fund is still in contact in that bank, to enable me raise some money to continue my mission, to my greatest surprise it was still in contact.
And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. So, Thirty million ($30,000,000.00) United State Dollars is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it.
My bank now expects a next-of-kin to claim the funds as the beneficiary. Efforts have been made by to get in touch with the Late Wellstone Paul David family or relative but to no avail.
All you have to do is to act as the nextofkin of the dead man and we can claim it(19mUSDollars).
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to General Mohammed Jassim AlI so that you will be able to receive his funds. I want you to know that I have had everything planned out so that we shall come out successful. Another option is to arrange for someone else, a foreigner to act as the next of kin of the late man so that he will claim the money.
I am writing this from my laptop computer in my hospital bed where I wait for my time to come. I pray that God uses you to support and assist me with good heart. From all indications, my condition is serious and according to my late husband doctor it is quite obvious that I may not survive the sickness. As a christian, I beleived God and I know that I will not die, I will leave to declare the glory of God.
I have been touched by God to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to the you for the good work of God, rather than allow my relatives to use my husband hard earned funds ungodly. Please pray, that the good Lord forgive me my sins. I have asked God to forgive me and I believe he has because He is a merciful God. I will be going in for an operation tomorrow morning.
I have Paid the fee for your Cheque Draft but the manager of Eko Bank Benin told me that before the check will get to you that it will expire.
I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few weeks to live. It is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations anywhere in the World. Because relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them. Please, Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me Stand-In as the benefIcIary and collect the Funds from the Bank. I want a person that is God-fearing who will use this money to fund churches, orphanages and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained.
At the moment I cannot take any telephone calls right now due to the fact that my relatives are around me and my health status. I have adjusted my WILL and my lawyer is aware I have changed my will you and he will arrange the transfer of the funds from my account to you.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is my comforter.
I decided to WILL/donate the sum of $5,500,000 (five million five hundred thousand dollars) to you for the good work of the Lord, and also to help the motherless and less privilege and also for the assistance of the widows according to (JAMES 1:27).
I have notify Mr.Sammie Alexander where I deposited my money to issue you international certified bank draft cashable at your bank.
This would mean that the proceeds of the said funds would be released to you. Once the funds have been transferred to your nominated bank account we shall then share in the ratio of 70% for me, 30% for you. After the release of the funds to you,we shall then share it mutual,which will be 70% to me and 30% to you. You will keep 85% for him and 15% for your self for helping. It has been agreed that you will be compensated with 30% of the remitted funds, while I keep 60% as my share and 10% is bee n set aside for both local and international expenses that might be incurred in actualizing this transaction.
Presently, all the Documents concerning the FUND are with me, now that my sickness has gone to this stage, I am scared and I want the fund to be used for the work of God all over the world. I have prayed and told God to direct me to an honest christian who will receive this fund and utilise it together with me and for things that will glorify the name of God. After my prayers, I decided to contacted you alone my beloved in Christ.
I wish you all the best and may the good Lord bless you abundantly, and please use the funds well and always extend the good work to others. Contact my lawyer Bill Graham with this specified email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and tell him that I have WILLED ($5,500,000.00) to you and I have also notified him that I am WILLING that amount to you for a specific and good work. I know I don t know you but I have been directed to do this. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.
However, if this business proposition offends your moral ethics, do accept my sincere apology.If on the contrary you wish to achieve this goal with me, kindly get back to me with your interest immediately for further details.
My dear friend I will like you to contact the Mr.Sammie Alexander for the collection of this international certified bank draft. So I told him to cash $850,000.00 all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $850,000.00 in cash was made with GLOBAL MAX COURIER COMPANY.
Thanks and God bless.
I want you to know that I have had everything planned out so that we shall come out successful. I have an attorney that will prepare the necessary document that will back you up as the next of kin to Col. Hosam Hassan, all that is required from you at this stage is for you to provide me with your Full Names, Contact phone and fax numbers and Address so that the attorney can commence his job. After you have been made the next of kin, the attorney will also fill in for claims on your behalf and secure the necessary approval and of probate in your favour for the move of the funds to an account that will be provided by you.
There is no risk involved at all in this matter, as we are going to adopt a legalized method and the attorney will prepare all the necessary documents. Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue.
I will use my position and influence to effect legal approvals and onward transfer into your account. Indicate your interest by sending by my email email@example.com
I have contacted an attorney who will prepare the legal documents that will back you up as the next of kin to General Mohammed Jassim Ali, all what is required from you at this stage is for you to provide me with your Full Names, private phone number and Address so that the attorney can commence his job. After you have been made the next of kin, the attorney will also fill in for claims on your behalf and secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your favor for the transfer of the funds to an account that will be provided by you with my guidance.There is no risk involved at all in the matter as we are going adopt a legalized method and the attorney will prepare all the necessary documents.
So that he will submit it to the courier company where I directed him for the check to be sent to your designated address without any delay. Please do let me know immediately if you receive it so that we can share the joy after all the sufferness at that time ok.
In the moment, Am very busy here because of the investment projects which I and the new partner are having at hand, finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to the secretary on your behalf to instruct the courier company to send the check to you as soon as you send your details information without delay, so feel free to get in touch with Mr SMIT MOOR he will inform courier to send the check immediately to you without any delay as I instructed him to do.
But my question is:
1- Since we have not met in person, can we completely trust you?
2- Can you honestly help us as your own children?
3- What lucrative business in your country do you suggest we invest on?
Please you are advice to furnish me with your personal information.
3. Marital Status:
8. Country Of Residence:
9. Telephone Number (Country Code) – (Area Code) – Phone Number):
10. Office Number (Country Code) – (Area Code) – Phone Number):
11. Cell Number: (Country Code) – (Cell Phone Number):
12. Fax Number:
14. A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE
And finally after that I shall provide you with more details of this operation.
Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion and confidentiality in this matter until the task is accomplished as I don t want anything that will Jeopardize my last wish.
And also I will be contacting with you by email as I don t want my relation or anybody to know because they are always around me.
PLEASE REPLY ME TO MY PRIVATE EMAIL
Awaiting your urgent reply via my email address:
Thank you immensely for your considerations and hope to hear from you soon. Your earliest response will be highly appreciated as that would enable us to start something immediately.
Respectfully Submitted, God be with you. Kind and Best Regards, Yours Faithfully, Thank you and may God Bless you and your family. With God all things are possible.
Your Sister in Christ,
MR. SALAM JAFER
Taken from email messages collected between April 2007 and September 2009. Sections culled represent common themes and formal structures found in a majority of the messages.
We never thought we’d live to see the day where an innocuous literary magazine gets a piece of hate mail, but today we have been proved wrong. (We may be being a tad hyperbolic using the word “hate,” but it sounds better than “rudely inquisitive.”)
With all due respect, why would a writer write for no pay? Would you work free to get “experience”? Good luck with your project. Maybe you’ll find a good writer who does pro bono work.
-Xavier P. Timberwood*
You just wrote that for free.
While getting paid to write is delightful, we feel that there is more to it than money. The point of our site is to encourage storytelling and promote general goodness at a time when things seem bleak.
With all due respect, if you have no interest in participating in our project we’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t take time out of your day to email us your groundless negativity.
Have a great weekend.
Not groundless negtivity [sic], just curiosity.
It took only about 30 seconds out of my day.
But despite your counter-attack attitude, I really do wish you luck. The more journalism the better.
Have a good weekend,
-Xavier P. Timberwood
We are somewhat regretful in engaging in such jejune behavior, but couldn’t help ourselves. We even felt bad after his (disingenuous after-thought of an) email back to us. But really? A literary magazine?
*Names have been changed
If you’re reading this it means I’m dead. Kidding! I hope you still have your sense of humor, Future Self, because I’m going to level with you — right now that’s kind of all you have going. I really hope this is my five to ten year Future Self, and not my one year, because I’m confident that my five to ten version will be able to laugh. Not so sure about my one year.
Things are bad now, man. You took some chances and they didn’t pan out. That’s Present Me for you, though – a risk taker! In an effort to “show them” you quit your job with nothing lined up. I bet in retrospect getting reprimanded for coming in two hours late and parking in the CEO’s spot seems reasonable. You weren’t there, though. Larry’s tone was condescending, and it was a big deal at the time.
Speaking of big deals, what were you thinking ending it with Chase? Now that I think of it, he was pretty fantastic. I look to you for answers, F.S., because you’re older, wiser, more mature. I’m just a silly old kid, and to me, wanting to spend time with your sick grandma seems boring, and I hate to say it, but kind of cliche.
You’re cracking up right now, aren’t you? I bet you’re sitting in your mansion, doubled over, trying to wrap your head around the notion of “bad times.” Good for you. You deserve a good laugh. With all the hard work you do, plus your daily five am yoga classes, you could use it.
And hey, I’m sorry about that scar on your forehead. That was just plain idiotic. But ’til the day I die, I will stand by the fact that if Mindy didn’t force-feed me that eighth cup of mulled wine I never would have leap-frogged Charlie. At least not handcuffed. Although I guess I could have just been acting out because I was getting arrested. Whatevs. The point is, I can admit when I’m wrong. There’s probably, like, really high-tech machinery to laser scars out now though, right? What, do you just go into a booth and zap, come out scar-free, Jetsons-style? I bet it’s something like that. Probably kind of pricey, though. But with your paychecks, that’s just a drop in the ol’ bucket! (Assuming modeling/acting/singing still pays well.) I wonder if you’ve become an aristocrat? Do you have a butler? Do you use cloth napkins? Hey – whatever you do, don’t forget the little people, sister.
All these shenanigans – or should I say lessons – made you/me stronger, didn’t it? I bet it helped define who you are. Thanks to Present Me’s devil-may-care ways, you’ve learned so much through trial and error. That’s why you’re so different now. Do you still like soy cherry chocolate ice cream from Trader Joe’s? Do they even make that in the future? (Note to Current Self – stock up.) I know you still like Led Zeppelin. That’s probably the only thing you and I have in common right now.
Anyway, back to the present. Well, the past for you. Charlie finally got WWE SmackDown vs. Raw for Wii, so Mindy and I are going to head over there to do some damage. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a great story out of it! Show me a really fancy dinner party you won’t kill at now, girlfriend! You’re welcome.
This piece was originally rejected from McSweeney’s.