Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stranded in Istanbul

Below is the text of an email that came to me the other day.  The sender appeared to be a woman we will call "Mary Ann".  I know her slightly, my wife knows her casually.  My comments for a possible reply are highlighted...


   I hope you get this on time,I made a trip to Istanbul (Turkey)and i had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects therein. (Gee Mary Ann, I asked my wife and she said you had just gone to Milwaukee.  Must have been quite the detour.  Savvy move bringing the passport though, you can just never tell sometimes.) The embassy has just issued me a temporary passport but i have to pay for a ticket and settle my hotel bills with the Manager. (I am inferring that this Manager is a towering authority figure.  You capitalize His name.  And refer to yourself as "i", lower case.  He must have you really cowed.)
I have made contact with my bank but it would take me 3-5 working days to access funds in my account,the bad news is my flight will be leaving in Few Hours ( can your flight leave in a Few Hours if you do not have money to buy a ticket?) from now but I am having problem settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let me leave until I settle the bills,I need you to help me with LOAN financially($2,450) and I promise to make the refunds once i get back home,you are my last resort and hope,Please let me know if i can count on you and i need you to keep checking your email because it's the only way I can reach you. (Mary Ann, I really feel that I should help you out.  I mean, it looks to me as if you have become so distraught as to forget everything you learned during your long career as an editor.  Punctuation for instance. Have you considered just hanging out in Turkey for a few more days?  It is nice, your bank is going to come through for you shortly, so perhaps something can be salvaged from this situation.  Oh, and while I am offering you, my now close friend, some useful advice might I suggest you cancel your credit cards right away?  Shockingly, appallingly, there are some in the world who try to take advantage of others.)

And as to the last sentence of yours - which by the way ran on for a stunning 105 rambling words - I am flattered to be your friend in a time of great need.  "Last Resort"....that sounds a little familiar:

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