My Inbox is a source of never-ending wonder and delight. I get dozens of emails every day, offering meall sorts of weird and wonderful nostrums guaranteed to cure any disease I might fall foul of; massively advantageous financial deals involving no effort on my part other than clicking on a link, and mentioning figures with lots of noughts and commas; tax refunds from an uncharacteristically generous HMRC. (plus one yesterday from the Australian Tax Office, which is odd – as far as I know I’ve never paid any tax in Oz, or had reason to) ; urgent security warnings from banks I don’t have an account with; plaintive begging letters from most of the population of Africa, half of them yukkingly obsequious, and the other half trying to lay a guilt trip on me, Godwise; means and methods of increasing the length and girth of my membrum virile( If I partook of all of them and they worked like they say they do, it would grow enough to stretch from here to Wolverhampton, although why it should want to escapes me;) etcetera, etcetera and so on.
I rarely bother to read the entire missives– the headers alone can keep me amused all day. Although why some of these folks should assume that I’m fluent in both Hebrew and Japanese is another mystery. I can’t help wondering what I’m missing, due to my shameful lack of language skills.
I did once receive a stray email, offering me a chance to win laser surgery on my eye. This I did read, because it interested me - I find I’m never wearing the right glasses for whatever I’m trying to do (or if I’m wearing the right specs I’m probably doing the wrong thing.) This communication arrived some time ago, and I’ve been waiting ever since for another so as to cover the other eye as well, but thus far, in vain. So it looks like I’m either going to have to pass, and carry on with the spectacles, or wear a monocle. Life can be a tiresome, sometimes.
And then there’s some I simply just don’t understand. For instance, I received one this morning, intriguingly entitled ”Ramp Up Your Mojo – Now!!!!”. But I have no idea what a Mojo is; I can only suppose that it’s some kind of motor vehicle – a sort of four wheeled moped, perhaps, and for some reason unspecified they want me to drive it up onto a ramp, presumably to inspect the underneath. This does present a few logistic and engineering challenges, in that (a) I ‘m not as yet the proud owner of one of the conveyances aforesaid, and thus might fail them in the Now!!! department, (b) I don’t have a ramp – I’d have to take the damned thing down to the garage and wait for bloody hours until they had one free, and (c) in any case I don’t have the slightest idea of what it is I’m supposed to be looking for.
Regardless, their solution to whatever problem arises appears to be the purchase ( at considerable expense, I might add) of some of their special pills. But they don’t tell me what I’m
supposed to do with these – should I add one to the petrol tank, perhaps, every time I fill up, like that stuff – what was it called? – Redex, that’s it – that my father used to put in the Bentley’s tank with the petrol. He said it prolonged engine life. Although why he bothered, I’ll never know – the average Bentley engine, even sans benefit of Redex, would have outlasted him, me, my children and grandchildren, and yea, even unto the next generation or three. But I digress. Maybe they want me to bung one of their pills into the radiator occasionally, like antifreeze. It’s about the same colour – a fetching shade of blue.
(………..later) I’ve Googled and Froogled, Yahooed and Yelled, tried every search engine, business directory and vehicle listing service I can think of, but I can’t find a Mojo dealership anywhere. I can’t even find a secondhand example - even those folks with the annoying advert boasting that They Buy Any Car don’t have a Mojo in stock. I’m sorry, folks, I’ve tried my best for you, but I’m afraid that in this instance, on me you shouldn’t rely.
Another new arrival – headed “are you the victim of an accident? “ Bloody cheek! While it’s really none of their business, I feel like pointing out that my mother was a Nice Girl, and in those far distant days Nice Girls didn’t have ‘accidents’. I was both planned and born in wedlock, if you please. (I love that phrase. Wedlock always sounds to me like it ought to be a small market town in Shropshire, or maybe Derbyshire.)
Just lately, I’ve been getting some interesting stuff, mainly from Russia and China, offering me all kinds of heavy industrial products and processes. I had one this morning, trying to flog me naval vessels and tugboats (the design, construction and project management thereof.) Why they think these should interest a dealer in secondhand books I have no idea. “I’d like to order two destroyers, a frigate, a small nuclear sub, and an aircraft carrier, if you please. If you could throw in a couple of tugboats and a copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover (the unexpurgated Paris edition, naturlich) as a trade discount, we can do a deal” I suppose at a pinch I could list them on Amazon or E-bay, but I’d have thought that the postage costs from China would be prohibitive. And Amazon only allow their sellers £2.80 for postage, which I doubt would cover delivery to the customer if I sold them. Besides, they’d be buggers to wrap. I doubt Jiffy do a big enough bag, for starters.
And so it goes on. Today’s batch so far contains an offer for me to join a “Futures Trading Seminar”, a catalogue of wooden houses, an “Administrative Job Offer in Australia” (hence, presumably, the email from the Oz Tax Office), a Chinese one headed “Printing of the Secret Weapon Here” ( being mightier than the sword, perhaps) and one trying to sell fake diplomas and degrees “that you don’t have to work four” (sic). I get plenty of these, but this one stood out, somehow. Firstly because whoever wrote it had probably heard of English Spelling and Grammar, but had obviously never seen it used in practice, but more specifically for the name of the sender, (and I promise I’m not making this up ) a Mr Terrence Ponce”