My mom sent me one of those Bill Gates forwards. You know the ones, the ones promising that Microsoft will pay you hundreds of dollars for each person you forward it to, through their mystical email tracking system. I'm amazed people are still fooled by these, and depressed that one of them is my mother. So much for not being able to fool mom.
I've replied to her forwards previously with emails telling her that they are stupid hoaxes, and asking her to refrain from sending them to me. Apparently she hadn't gotten the message, which is why this time, I went a step further and sent the following reply to her entire recipient list:From: Osirus
CC: (various people, some of whom I even know)
Subject: Re: Fwd: Fw: PLEEEEEASE READ!!!!!! it was on the news!
If you get a message that begins with the subject line: "Re: Fwd: Fw: FWD: FW: Fwd:", you'd probably be better off deleting it than reading it.
If you do read it, you'd probably be better off realizing that it's junk than keeping it around.
And if for some reason you decide that the various hoaxes that you happen upon are worth saving, don't foist them off on everyone else as well. Bill Gates is not sharing his money with you for emailing, the Nigerian Ambassador will not pay you for helping move his $5.4 million to an American bank account, and the American Cancer Society will not get three cents for each person you email unless they each send a separate check.
Your assessment that it costs nothing to forward such rubbish is incorrect-- Not only does it cost time, your own and those of the unfortunate people to whom you forward it, but the societal cost is to encourage such hoaxes, and thus provide an impetus for more people to prey on the feeble-minded by way of various insidious plans.
The rest of you may be wondering why I've replied to the lot of you instead of simply the sender/offender, and it's because I'm spreading my message of good cheer and hoax-destruction to the world. (Also, I was up until 6:00 last night, and am a bit punchy). Granted, reading this has wasted a modicum of your time, but if you had just deleted it when you saw the subject line of FWD, it wouldn't have. Now, for not deleting obvious forwards which will only contain uselessness, you shall suffer not only the normal ignominity, but continued ranting until you summon the self-control needed to push the delete button.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Family Members, and Random Acquaintences of My Mother's, lend me your eyes. I come not to praise email forwards, but to bury them. To e-mail or not to e-mail, that is the question, whether 'tis nobler online to suffer the countless emails of outrageous (and falsified) fortunes, or to take arms against a sea of hoaxes, and by deleting, end them. Ask not what the Internet can do for you, ask what you can do for the Internet, and then what that can also do for you. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and a picture is worth a thousand words, so a picture of a bird in someone's hand is worth a two thousand word essay about a bird in a bush.
I have a dream, and it's a recurring one about falling. It's about falling down the stairs and hitting my head on each one, stairs made of solidified email forwards promising to pay me a quadrillion dollars for every person I forwarded it to, emails promising that Bill Gates, George W. Bush, or GOD HIMSELF would grant me a fantastic boon, restore my osseous structure, alphabetize my cereal, and fold my laundry if I would only forward this sacred covenant to all my e-friends. Those are the emails that make the stairs that hurt my head.
And maybe you don't have sympathy for my poor concussed cerebellum. Surely, you think, I couldn't be suffering as much as the three-handed boy from Kreplachistan who only eats seven calories a day, the poor boy whose life would be immeasurably improved if a bunch of random people forwarded around an email about him, never mind that forwarding email isn't traceable, never mind that it doesn't give him any money, never mind that he doesn't have a computer, he'll browse the web on his family sheep, and when he falls into the local fisherman's gatherings for the week, he thinks he is surfing the net. He is wrong, and so are you.
Repent, repent, and send no more! If you forward this message to a hundred of your friends, nothing good will happen to you whatsoever. In fact, you may have less friends when you are done. Or perhaps they'll just silently resent you, smiling when they see you but then shuffling off into dark corners to say, "Oh, that's Barbara, she's the one who sent the emails, why don't we replace all her furniture with tofu imitations."
Don't let this happen to you. Do it for the children. Do it for your country. Do it because we must be ever-vigilant against these email hoaxes, because if we forward them, it means that the terrorists have already won.