2007.11.07 Hey, Scotty! Why not beam me down that $2,800,000?
By RICH FOLEY
Now I know what it’s like to be a reader of this column. For the past 10 days or so, I’ve been suffering from bursitis. It’s resulted in a great deal of discomfort in my right arm, shoulder and neck. For once, it’s probably causing me as much pain to write this little communiqué as it does you to read it.
Since I’ve never had anything remotely like this condition before, wild thoughts ran through my head when one morning I woke up with unexplained pain over much of my right side. What in the heck is wrong with me? Will it go away on its own? What if it was a small stroke? Should I see a doctor? Is there a handgun in the house?
I remembered the story of one of my heroes, the late singer-songwriter Warren Zevon. Not having seen a physician in over 20 years, Warren finally went to a specialist when what he thought was shortness of breath wouldn’t go away. He went home with a diagnosis of cancer and three months to live. “One of those phobias that didn’t pay off,” he called it later. I phoned a friend known for her expertise as a chauffeur and made my way to the doctor.
Finding out what I really had was a bit of a relief, and learning from a professional that my blood pressure was very good was a big bonus. At least it’s one less thing to worry about.
Hearing the news made my much-older sister’s week. Her husband Gary answered the phone and had some compassion for me, but I could hear Sandy laughing all the way to the phone. “That’s what you get for making fun of me!” were her first words. And it didn’t get much better from there. “Even I’ve never had bursitis,” she added, making me feel older than...her, at least. Old person’s revenge, there’s nothing like it. I wonder if she can get me the geezer family discount on an AARP membership?
But the week wasn’t all bad. There was that $2.8 million dollars I inherited. At least the internet message sure sounded convincing. Instead of falling into my lap, this money seems to have dropped out of orbit into my e-mail.
If I am to believe “Barrister Kenneth Curtis, Esq.,” I am a beneficiary to the will of James Doohan, the beloved “Scotty” of “Star Trek” fame. That seemed rather far-fetched until I read on.
Barrister Curtis tells me that Mr. Doohan had loved to be involved in humanitarian projects and had won numerous awards for his philanthropy. He adds that Doohan “must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were recommended to him by one of his friends abroad who wished you good.” Instead of wishing me “well,” Mr. Curtis? Grammar aside, that must be the answer. Since I never met James Doohan, it must have been Mr. Spock who told him of me. Or maybe Captain Kirk himself!
The next paragraph seemed to fill in the blanks as Mr. Curtis added that Mr. Doohan intends the money to support my “humanitarian activities.” That kind of explains it all. Obviously, animal lover William Shatner was somehow aware of my Fayette Ranch for Homeless Snuggle Bears (current population: seven) and passed the word along to Doohan, something of a big bear himself. Just like that, I’m in the will.
But I haven’t spent the money yet. I got a kick out of the fact that a famous person has supposedly mentioned me in his will instead of a run-of-the-mill money laundering scheme that most of these cyberscams take the form of.
It’s a nice touch to use a common name and English address instead of the Nigerian home and unpronounceable names involved in most scams. But I’m bright enough to recognize that ‘Barrister Curtis’s” e-mail address isn’t from the UK, but rather “HK.” Hong Kong, perhaps?
Plus, I’m puzzled why a letter supposedly from London is filled with so many grammatical mistakes and misuses of words. You’d think one of these scammers would hire a proofreader to make the letter seem like it came from a lawyer in command of his own language.
As tempting as it sounds, I think I’m going to have to let this opportunity pass. As long as the bursitis is hanging on, one pain in the neck is enough.
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