This is my lucky day.
It started off like any normal Friday-had a little breakfast, read the paper, and then checked my email. Imagine my surprise when I saw this:
"You may be surprised to receive this strange letter from me. I am Mrs.Ivon Balder, the wife of Mr. John Balder of Zimbabwe.I got your address from an internet web site. After due consideration from your profile, I became aware and assured of your credibility to help me."
I'm flattered. Zimbabwe? Do you know Theresa Heinz-Kerry? The letter continues:
"My husband was among the rich black farmers in Zimbabwe who were murdered in cold blood by the agent of the ruling government of president Robert Mugabe...my husband took me to Nigeria as if he foresaw the looming danger in Zimbabwe and deposited US$22,400,000.00 (twenty two million, four hundred thousand US dollars) with a security and financial company in Nigeria."
Wow. That must have been some farm, Ivon. What'd you raise there, geese that lay golden eggs?
"...my family has mandated me to seek assistance to transfer this money to a foreign account for investment purposes. Presently, I am residing in Nigeria as an asylum seeker. However, I cannot invest this money here in Nigeria because Zimbabwe and Nigeria are close countries and have almost the same political history. And with the financial laws of Nigeria, as an asylum seeker, I have no right to own or open a bank account in my name here in Nigeria."
I'm sorry, where are you in asylum again?
"...my entire life and family's future depends on this money. I shall be grateful if you can assist me transfer this money out of Nigeria into your company or personal account for investment purposes as my next of kin and my Late husband's business partner."
Hey, hey, wait just a second, what's this "next of kin" thing? Sounds a little funky to me. I'm not looking for a sugar mama, Ivon. Besides, I'm sure there are a few single US Senators who might be interested in you.
"I am prepared to offer you 20% of the total sum. Also, I have decided to use 5% of this money to settle any expenses you may incure during the process of this transfer. The balance I intended to invest in a profitable venture in your country or anywhere you may advice."
Hmm, I might have to rethink this. 25% of 22.4 million is over 5 million dollars. I need a smart investment...what's the number to Halliburton again?
"The major thing I expect from you is absolute assurance that this money will be safe when transferred to your account."
I assure you, Mrs. Ivon Balder, you're money will be safe. As safe as Harvey Fierstein in a red state.
"If this proposal is accepted by you, please reply urgently and get in touch with me so that I will then furnish you with more details. I will appreciate if you maintain the confidentiality of this matter because of the happenings in my country - Zimbabwe.
Points for the proper English way of addressing one as married (Mrs.)
Sadly, I have had to decline Mrs. Ivon Balder's offer, though it is incredibly tempting. 25 million dollars is a lot of money, think of all the things I could buy: 50 pieces of real estate in my town, a 1/20 share of the Cubs, or 250 great sports cars.