following essay was produced as part of my 2013 effort for the
November National Novel Writing Month effort. As such, please
understand that while I did give it a quick review, it has not
gone through the same proofreading and editing I normally try
to give all of the material posted on this site.
always make some mistakes. There are errors to be found throughout
this web site, and many exist despite dozens of attempts to correct
problems. That said, ask that you approach this material in the
spirit intended – a basic thought, slightly worked out and very
informally researched, delivered in the hopes of writing more
than 50,000 words by the end of November.
~ ~ ~
Word for word. (And quotated.)
how are you and every family? I wanna to working you have in
your city. I make cakes and breads in the bakery. please send
me information every work you have usa.... I love honest words
I say thanks for you ???”
mean… really… where do you begin? I suppose we can get some of
the basics out of the way.
I did my research into this. If I planned on making fun of it,
then it meant I should take a look around. And get this… just
from using the e-mail address of the sender and a really basic
internet search, I found a match. (Sort of.) A comment was left
on someone’s blog post. That comment spelled the e-mail address
differently, but was so close that it easily might have been a
simple typo. The bakery was mentioned again though! This time:
“I work in cakes and breads at Bakery.” (I’m not going to source
the quote… I am not looking to start a battle or spread some hideous
links around the net. It’s also not amazingly important to our
story. Just trust me.)
though, when it comes to the electronic age, we can’t afford to
be naïve. E-mails from sources you don’t recognize are not
to be trusted. Never use the links or attachments, or even respond
to them. Let’s just get that stated out in the open… because I’m
going to slightly swim against the flow of responsible, appropriate
thinking for a moment.
seen many articles that point out just that type of approach in
fraudulent and scam-based e-mail contacts. The central idea being:
if a poorly edited, confusing, and somewhat careless unsolicited
e-mail gets a person to respond to it, there’s a really good chance
that person won’t catch on to an elaborate scam and actually report
it. No… they’ll be more likely to fall for it.
so, if we accept the e-mail I received in a simple, naïve
manner, then the results of the search seems to confirm something
quite important in our comments and observations here… English
is a second language.
if approached that way, then I give that a huge nudge in the direction
of forgiveness and understanding. If I tried to communicate in
any of the other languages that might even remotely pass as a
second one for me, chances are I would be asking why there are
two women crying in the bacon… would want to know if I could rent
an apple pie… and likely would be extremely fortunate to find
the nearest bathroom in an emergency.
there is something interesting to grab onto there.
ago, I saw a fast food company create an ad that was so ridiculously
unhealthy and over the top I thought for certain their advertising
department had lost all grasp of reality. Then it hit me… they
weren’t advertising to the masses. Vegetarians and healthy-eating
individuals were not likely to walk through the door. Ever. So
why adjust an advertising campaign to be predictably, socially
correct, when the majority of people that would care about it
being just so weren’t going to come in the door and make a purchase?
Does it really matter what they think if they aren’t going to
shop anyway? Of course not.
if you are scamming people… under the same general concept… why
would you need to perfect your approach for people that would
question it anyway? Lions look for the weak and vulnerable. Duh…
life in the jungle… identify and isolate.
so… the naïve approach -- it’s a person that doesn’t understand
English that well. Then the researched and developed approach
-- it’s a person that really doesn’t care whether I figured out
the worm was on a hook and swam by, there are other lines in the
water and fish to catch.
where things get a bit strange though. The e-mail was sent to
my Local Friend’s address. Go back for a moment, and read it again
while thinking that it was sent to Local
Friends for Local Business. Suddenly have…
strange may not begin to describe it… a job application!
there it is.)
cordial greeting… a desire to find employment in my city… a resume,
or at least a listing of credentials… a request for additional
information… a thank you and goodbye.
of course, Local Friends for Local Business is not an employer.
It’s not a business. It’s an effort to support the community…
the neighborhood… the treasures all around us. Still… for someone
struggling with English… friends for business sounds promising.
there is no actual city associated with me or Local Friends. Although,
a quick look over the history of the program would show that most
of the visits I’ve made have been in the northeast (or along the
enough, I’m probably more confused by this e-mail now than I was
when I received it.
it was headed to the trash. Goodbye. Never to be thought of again.
(And that is probably exactly what it deserves. Just like those
offers for medication and drugs from foreign countries… requests
from girls that claim I exchanged pictures with them and want
to come to the US to meet me… and so on.)
something… maybe nothing more than a pressing need to develop
an essay… caught me in a curious moment. And that something, while
almost certainly misplaced, for a moment at least has me wondering
not just if things are as they appear, but actually, wondering
how it is that they do appear.