Return to the 419 Project
In June 2003, drowning in a sea of spam, I kept a record of the Nigerian scam emails I received, to see how rich I'd be if it were genuine cash money. I kept a running total on these pages, and in the end I was offered some 621m pounds in that one calendar month, or twice the Gross Domestic Product of Djibouti. So, three years later, I ask: How much has inflation hit the industry?
Starting from the first of this month, I've kept every email from former African dictators, dodgy Nigerian oil executives, dispossessed Zimbabwean farmers and - a new one this - US Marines smuggling out their Iraqi war loot and totted up how much I'd get if each and every one of these honest-to-goodness internet entrepreneurs came good on their promises of filthy lucre.
A mere four days into the project, the current total is: 158,188, 455 pounds, so I can safely say, at this stage in the game, that this time next year Rodders, we'll be billionaires.
I've also decided to take on the other growth industry in online scamming - that of the flood of emails doing the rounds informing me that I've won the Dutch national lottery. For just a small administrative fee, I will be able to release my prize amounting to (insert impressive sounding prize fund here). I get about seven of these a day, which usually go straight into the trash bin.
Unfortunately, the net savvy amongst us might find it a bit of a laugh, but as long as they keep sending the emails, the scammers will continue to find victims, like this poor sap from my local rag. I was rather pissed off that the paper took the scammers' excuses at face value, and told them so in an email they might even publish. This being one of the reasons I'm making this Dutch Email Bastard Month.
Dutch Email Bastard Month Total after four days: 18,003,638 pounds from 29 emails.
The bunch of bastards.
Return to the Thursday Vote-o
Yarks! I rise, wraith-like from my sick-bed to write up a bunch of all-new Tales of Mirth and Woe for your collective disgust. Vote, then for:
* Take a Break: "It was when it was far, far too late that Michael Barrymore realised he'd sent the wrong draft of his book to the printers. Still, he was sure that 'Awight: Bummed to Death' would be a huge seller"
* Disney: "And finally," said David Cameron winding up his first conference speech as Tory leader, "May I congratulate my colleague Ann Noreen Widdecombe on her fantastic pair of pendulous norks? Oh, mama!" It was at that exact moment that the Conservatives finally became unelectable.
* Hospital: At last, the pressure off, Tony Blair could now relax in the final months of his premiership. He would, he resolved, attend Prime Minister's Questions this very Wednesday in his gimp mask, and Black Rod could either like it or lump it.
* Fear Them: The Monarchy was doomed. Caught running frantic lustful fingers over your ladybits was one thing. Frantic lustful fingers over your ladybits during Trooping the Colour was quite another. The Blues and Royals would never get the smell of anchovies out.
Vote! Vote me up!