Normally, I delete the spam that gets past the filter into my mailbox as quickly as anyone. Tempting though it might be to realize my innermost fantasies of losing weight and getting a degree in any field I choose while having my breasts augmented and my penis enlarged, it never quite seems like the right moment to go for it.
But I do have a sneaking fondness for those occasional carefully crafted letters that tell a complete and compelling story. Some of these are almost works of literature, little Chekovian gems in their own way. If Alice Munro fell on hard times and had to support herself writing spam, these are the stories she would tell to get her hands on our banking information.
I recently received one from a certain Lady Martha. She plunges directly into her story:
“Here writes Lady Martha Stirling, suffering from cancerous ailment. I am married to Engineer Dennis Stirling an Englishman who is dead.” You can read her whole story here.
Lady Martha is a woman I feel an instant bond with. Burdened though she is with her own woes – she has had a stroke, her doctor has told her she has “limited days to live due to the cancerous problems”, and of course there is the unfortunate circumstance of the husband who is an Englishman who is dead – she nevertheless has made the time to do something very special for me.
I think what I like about Lady Martha is that she is interested in the good in me, not the bad. Whereas most spam is designed to prey on my weaknesses – my greedy desire to make a quick killing on the stock market, my insecurities about my penis, breasts, weight, and lack of education – Lady Martha has singled me out because she knows I am a good person. She has chosen me because she knows she can trust me to use the “10 Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling” she is prepared to deposit in my bank account not for my own selfish purposes, but “to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans, destitute, the down-trodden, physically challenged children, barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially.”
I almost think that it’s this blog that has finally made people far and wide realize what a kind and trustworthy soul I am. How else to explain the fact that five days after Lady Martha’s letter arrived, I received, out of the blue, a very similar letter from one Lady Karen, who is also “married to an English man who is dead”. Her story is if anything even more tragic: her husband “died in a train bomb blast in Spain when he was going for his medical check up”, and sadly she too is suffering from “cancerous problems”. You can read her whole story here.
Lady Karen will be depositing 6 million Great British Pounds in my bank account. She says that her goal is “to put a smile on the face of the less privileged.”
And you know, she is doing just that.