Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Desperate Call for Help ...

Well, the lads from Lagos are getting more and more literary as time goes by. It used to be their missives were short, sharp and to the point: the latest one to turn up in my inbox could almost be a chapter from a Mills & Boon epic, and it really touched my heart, such was the poor guy's predicament.

I'd cite it verbatim, so wonderful it is, but a) that's a really cheap way to get column-inches, to which I would never stoop and b) I'm not sure that morally I have that right, given that it's a personal email and all. So changing names where required, to protect the innocent, here's a brief précis*. Go get a stock of tissues first, I think you'll find it as moving as I did.

The poor chap was adopted by an unmarried American Indian fellow and there seems to have been a lot of love in their relationship, for he honestly seems to have felt great grief at his passing from kidney disease some years ago. There's a very heartfelt aside here, on the cruelty of life in taking the best people from this world and leaving their loved ones to mourn but we'll skip that, because the punctuation is rather confusing, although the sentiments are lofty and would repay closer examination.

He was married: very unhappily if I'm any judge. Emotionally tortured by his wife Rose (a nice touch that) who played around and finally, to really rub it in, absconded with his father's money, from a contract in EAST London. (The bit about east seems important, as it's capitalised.)

Things get a bit tricky here because his boyfriend also seems to have absconded with an undisclosed sum of US dollars, but whatever the sordid details you can understand that this caused problems with his father, who blamed him.

Then the all too-familiar story, I'm afraid: the brave chap, still looking for love, meets an African woman via an online dating site but her promises of love are just an excuse to fleece him out of the five million dollars she convinced him to bring with him to invest in African sculpture. His disillusion is evident, but surprisingly enough there's no bitterness there, which I personally find very generous, and proof of a noble spirit.

And now there he is, more or less trapped in Nigeria, despondent and suicidal with his money stashed away in a suitcase, but still hoping to find friendship and humanity out there, as evidenced by the fact that he's taken the risk of writing to me.

Despite his problems he seems to have his head screwed on right, because only he knows the secret security code to open the suitcase: it's touching that he's willing to send me the code if only I will accept delivery of the suitcase, and like that I can open it and use some of the cash to buy his ticket out of hell.

I hope this story ends happily, I really do.

The end of daylight saving is always welcome, if only because it means that we get to laze in bed for that one extra hour; what's a little less amusing is that daylight disappears an hour earlier. Yes, it's slightly less murky when we get up, but right now the sun's setting around 18:00. We have another four months of this to look forward to, you just don't know what you're missing.

This coming Sunday we're apparently convoked to our mad friend Karen's place at Mumblefuck, for lunch and moral support. Yes, not only will mother Sylvia be there (You know her. The one that never drinks. Provided you remember to hide all the bottles first.) but also sister Liz, proudly pregnant and doubtless wondering in the back of her mind if there could possibly be anything more annoying than a histrionic vegan drama queen expecting with THE most brilliant baby evah, who will be a complete genius and for all I know develop a cure for cancer at the age of five and bring peace to the world before he/she/it is out of adolescence. Because if there were, she'd work on it.

I will get out of this alive, provided I don't open my mouth too much and stay polite and sober enough to remember not to make smartarse remarks, for Sylvia thinks that I am god's gift to women - good-looking, and I cook - and quite frankly I think that Liz could stand on the deck of the Titanic and not notice this frikkin iceberg closing in, so long as everyone was looking at her.

Whatever, there will be wine because Sylvia has found all the hiding places by now, and Karen cooks not too badly all things considered, so provided Liz does not declare on arriving that there's no way she could possibly even sit at the table were there anything other than milk-washed raw rhubarb stems and organic arugula on it we should eat well enough. It will at least guarantee entertainment, even if in a rather ghastly way.

So, in a vile picking-at-scabs-in-disgusted-fascination fashion, I'm kind of looking forward to it. I'll let you know what happens.

In unrelated news - and just remember, I look for this sort of stuff so that you don't have to learn how to wipe your browser history - a Canadian politician has apparently insisted that his country was founded on "the relentless pursuit of beaver". Personally I do not know that many Canadians, so I can neither confirm nor deny that they are a nation of sexual monomaniacs like everyone else: still, you might want to check out the article, courtesy of El Reg as usual, here.

Anyway, it's the 1st of November and, as I've remarked before, in this relentlessly secular country Toussaint is a public holiday. It is just so unfair: there are heaps of things I could be doing, and were it pissing down with rain right now I swear that I would in fact be doing them, or at least thinking quite seriously about doing so, but quite frankly I just cannot bring myself to waste a day like this. The light is golden, it's warm and the sun is streaming down, leaves are lazily falling and you expect me to do a bit of work?

Even the prospect of getting the salt rub ready for the next bit of bacon smacks a bit too much of purposeful activity: it's as much as I can do to grab a glass of wine and a cigar and head down to the garden to get my boots attacked by the cat, who seems to feel that now is a good time to practice sneaky incoming runs from the far side and then diving off to safety in a pretty good approximation of an Immelman roll. (Insofar as a small homicidal furball with the brains of a cockroach can do that.) Could I actually be arsed getting the hammock out and stringing it up, I would.

In fact the idea of a barbecue is starting to get quite attractive, but that might be too much work as well., involving as it does going off and finding some wood and dusting the thing off ... maybe it's better to just go with the flow, lie back, and let the sun wash over me. It won't be for too much longer I know, so I'm making a determined effort to enjoy it whilst I can.

But as I have at least six hours until it's time to start getting dinner ready, I suppose I should pass at least some of them thinking about what I'm going to cook. Margo found some more flammenkuche bases at the local Lidl and there is sour cream and fromage frais and lardons in the fridge, and I even managed to pick up some beautifully ripe figs today, so in fact my main problem is deciding whether or not I've enough figs that I can split them between the tarte flambée and tomorrow night's duck breast. Still, if I chill my brain enough it should think sufficiently slowly that the exercise will take me a couple of hours. Bring on the LOX, Igor!

Technology, I fear, is getting too far ahead for me. We bought a new soldering iron for the office the other day - news which doubtless fails to bring a spark of interest to your drab lives - but the odd thing about it (apart from Radiospares getting the delivery wrong the first time around, and sending us a three-pin plug ready to be cabled instead of a Weller WD-2A soldering post, which at 390€ makes for a bloody expensive plug considering that you're expected to wire it up yourself) is that the thing came complete with an installation CD and a USB port and cable. I mean, WTF?

(Turns out that there is, in fact, a LabView plugin or something on the CD, so that terminally anal-compulsive types can monitor - in realtime, yet - the temperature of the iron tip. Some people must lead even less interesting lives than I, difficult as that is to imagine.)

Catastrophe strikes the Bimler family: Jeremy has expressed his desire to move back in with us. He's decided that the food at the internat is just too disgusting for a three-times-a-day regime (to be fair, their budget is something like 2€ per mouth per meal, and when you're preparing meals for X hundred adolescents that means that it's virtually impossible to make them interesting meals), and he'd infinitely prefer to take the bus in and out every day, even if it does mean getting up at six in the mornings. I'm not sure that I'm entirely ready for this: we'd actually got rather used to not having him around during the week. Quite pleasant it is, in fact.

And I'm pretty sure we won't save any money on the deal: true, we won't have to pay the boarding fees, but the weekly grocery bill for cereal, biscuits and milk is going to go through the ceiling.

(And don't get me started on the butter. Did you realise that he can get through 120gm of the stuff a day? About a kilo a week, just for him? Oh dear.)

Right, we seem to have a problem: it's 22:00 on November 3rd, and outside the temperature is still about 18°. (Inside it's somewhat lower, but that's a question of entropy or something. Things are more ordered inside - vague choking noises as red wine spurts from nostrils, and that hurts by the way - and thus colder. Due to the raspy points on the atoms having been rubbed off, consequently less friction, whatever. Go ask a physicist if you want a proper explanation.) Something is seriously wrong here, but quite honestly I have no wish to find out just what, on the grounds that if I do then whatever it is will stop happening. And I'd rather that it carried on, thanks very much.

I really do not know what to make of this. It could be the graduation ceremony  for a hairdressing school I suppose, or perhaps a group of mad scientists, having demonstrated their ability to genetically engineer turkeys into edible, non-flying headgear, are receiving their Nobel prizes. Although in this latter case I cannot see the point of all those trombones, unless they're actually cunningly concealed weapons, or portable tokamaks. On the other hand, and rather more prosaically, it could be a squad from the Italian Army: the famous Lavender Prancers perhaps (motto - "Effugio!").

*Oh what the hell, read the original. I stand in awe of this prose.

I would like to share with you my problems. i was married for 2 years but now divorced without kids. I have had a lot of bad experience in my previous relationships, and i do not want to fall into the same problem anymore, because i have been used and suffered lots of emotional torture from my ex and i will not want to be used or played games with again in my life.

I've been divorced for 2 years now, I was adopted by my father and at that time he had no woman staying with him. I loved him so much that he gave me a good life. The sad part of it is that he passed away about 3 years ago after a kidney problem. Im the only Son, the only kid of my family. We used to live in a big house. My dad is a native American. Its so sad when ever i think and come to conclusion that the world is a cruel one, taking the good ones away, leaving the bad ones behind to live on which makes the world goes more cruel and hard on people, this has dawn on me as i have experienced lots of cruel things i never thought of sometimes i feel like the world should crash on me, looking back and thoughts about my status as an orphan i need someone to fill my heart with love, someone to make me feel glad, taking me out of my worries, giving me love, someone to stand by me like a father and mother, someone so loving and caring to get me out of my worries so i don't feel neglect

My Wife, Rose played games on me lots and treated me so bad in our marriage. She absconded with my dad's money which was kept with me after a completion of a contract in EAST London, UK. When my boy friend got absconded with the undisclosed sum of US dollars, this brought the first broke up between me and my dad, because he thought we had the deal together, but not knowing that Im innocent about this.

So my dad has been harsh and tough on me about this. After all these happened to me and caused by my Ex Wife, I met an African Lady online there who promised heaven and earth that she wants to marry me and make me happy in life; "I never knew I was going to have my greatest night mare. She made use of the advantage knowing that i am lonely and i needed to someone so close to make me happy in life as my dad the only one i had is dead. The African lady told me of investment opportunities in Africa and she convinced me to come along with lots of money while coming down, which I did. On getting here, all her intention was to take away the money from me, play me and leave me alone.

I came from the states with all the money i realized from my Dad's business and contracts remuneration of five million USD, because the African lady told me of an idea to investment in African Sculptures which i feel its a good investment. When i got here, she tried all possible means to get the money from me and get away with my money. When i noticed this, i took the money and my traveling boxes and deposited it with a Security/Insurance Company here in Africa in order to save myself and my assets. Thereafter i left the lady's apartment to a hotel where i stay at the moment and communicating with you now.

I am right here in Nigeria, Africa fed up of life and even thinking of committing suicide but i guess i should hold on till I find someone that will help me. I understand that this internet stuff is hard to believe because of what people do with it nowadays as i fell into this mess, thats why I am in the condition I am in today.I, will appreciate your help. I really want to get out of here and come back to the states. I really need your trust and help to get me out of this trouble i am into and i promise i will not get you disappointed.

I will really appreciate your help towards this. Once i get there, i will really appreciate it, and i want to believe that you will not let me down. As Ive discussed what brought me here from the states. While i was coming here, the African Lady told me to come with enough money for investment and i even went to the extent to sell my inherited house just because i want to leave the states and make my self happy thinking i had finally found the Woman i have been waiting for all my life.

Thereafter, i left the lady's apartment to a hotel where i am in right now and from which i am writing to you now. Now, Im in need of your help, have gotten the enough money to run myself when i get to the states, i don't want to live here anymore, you know Im a foreigner here and it is absolute danger for me here, so that is why i need your kind assistance.

How i want you to help me? I have the money hidden from the Lady here in West Africa and I've left her apartment, because i might get setup if i did not act fast, so for me to be more safe and secure, i put this money in a trunk box and got it locked up with a security code known to me only, and i deposited the box with some of my traveling luggages with a Security and Insurance Company who render private diplomatic delivery service and i told them that the box is my traveling luggage, which i want to send forth to the states because Im returning home, then i paid them up their custody and security fee, but i did not tell them that the box contains money in order to make everything secure and safe. I want the box sent to you while i catch up with you as soon as it is been delivered to you then i come over to meet you.

Every arrangement for the delivery is kind perfect, I have obtained customs papers for private freight and there are seals on the box showing that it is a private delivery and check performed, it is free from customs checks, it will be delivered at your door step by the diplomats of the security company, you do not need to burn out to receive it.

The box has security lock code known to me only, only me can open the box, except if i tell anyone the Code, so the box cannot be opened on the way for delivery to you. Therefore, i want you to contact me as soon as possible, so that i can give you all my deposit details and information for you to make the Clearance from the Security Company as my friend who is to receive my box for me there so they can be rest assured that the box is safe for delivery since my Friend would be receiving them for me .And once the box gets to you, I will let you know the lock codes to open the box and the instructions, then you can open the box in order to have some money sent to me for my flight to the states.

Once i get there, we shall invest the money together, provided you will not disappoint or neither take advantage of me. I hereby promise 15% of the total fund for you to meet any personal needs and i can get something done with the balance. I am counting on you with trust and i will appreciate your trust towards this and hoping to hear from you and to meet you in person. Let me hear from you as soon as possible, so that i can give you the deposit details and the contact of the security company to arrange the shipment ASAP.

Promise to help me on this so that i can come back to the state as soon as you help me get my money to you...

Hope to read from you with you helping hand...

Mr. Wilford Phillip


  1. Awwwww, such a sad(ly unbelieveable) story! I've had Nigerian e-mails before but never one like that!!

    In other news, lamb-&-mint sossidges from Nosh are wonderful on the BBQ. I love our BBQ. Have I mentioned this before?

  2. You know, I used to be able to buy handmade lamb & mint sossies back in PN 25 years ago from the famous Harkonnen (sorry, Verthongen to be absolutely accurate) butchers and they were absolutely marvellous. As were the chicken cheese & curry ones, and all the others. Sadly, they went titsup shortly after moving into the PDC building on the Square. They also sold camembert, in little tin boxes to keep the germs in.

    Yes, I know you love your BBQ. It probably feels the same way about you. No more for us before May, unless we do a Christmas one for the sake of tradition.