Tuesday, June 11, 2019

“West African” kidder tries to kid The New York Crank. Linguistic chaos ensues.

I assured Mr. Akpukpor that my very fine "product" is free of body parts from
critters like these. But I suspect he was more interested that I was quoting a price
of over a million bucks, and therefore I probably had plenty of dough in the bank.
Remember the old Ghanian widow trick? 

You got an e-mail from someone purporting to be a Ghanian widow.  She told you her husband had died leaving $50 million. She would split it with you 50-50 if only you’d send her $10,000 to pay a lawyer to clear up the estate. 

You don’t see as many of those letter as you used to. I’m guessing that, after many years, that game has finally worn out.

So I am happy to report that people who send me e-mail have taken things to a new level. I know this because one of my alter egos, a certain Mr. Etoain Shrdlu, recently heard from Ghana again.

I should explain that, with the exception of two reversed letters in Etoain’s first name, etoain shrdlu was the first two vertical rows of the Mergenthaler Linotype keyboard. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re probably younger than 50 and never spent time in a print shop. However, you can learn about it here

At any rate, Etoain Shrdlu maintains a mailbox on AOL where he and I receive vast amounts of junk e-mail, and a very occasional foaming-at-the-mouth death threat from an irate wing nut who has seen this blog and then informs me that he knows where I live, where the Shrdlu kids go to school, and where Mrs. Shrdlu works, and that he’s coming to get me.

I should also explain that in real life I am a semi-retired, fairly ancient advertising copywriter, journalist, and general-purpose hack author who has lived alone since The Crank’s Beautiful Girlfriend died over nine years ago. I should also point out that my sole product is words, which come in various arrangements

Anyhow, over the years I’ve probably written many carloads of words. Which brings me to the e-mail I recently received from a Gmail address in Ghana. I reproduce the correspondence here verbatim, with syntax and punctuation unimproved, despite my temptation to fix both:
On Jun 7, 2019, at 10:33 AM, williams Akpukpor wrote:
Dear Friend,
Your information was sourced through a search.I am an  accredited Agent /Publicity  to the procurement/tender board
here in  West Africa . l source suppliers,Manufacturers and distributors  internationally whenever there is a notice to bid for tenders. I am  inquiring on your products  as Agent of the  above committee .
The committee are    interested to buy your products  in a large
quantity up to a  1x20''  TO  1x40''container Load . We therefore need your FOB price per specifications ,minimum order
quantity ,Quality Standards,Packing ,PRODUCTION ability/volume  in a month and finally  your preferred payment method for our expert teamevaluations since the contract Board has Planned 100% Telegraphic WireTransfer  by Bank To Bank .
Kindly reply back to me  for more details and feel free to ask me
question  for any area you needs  clarifications  and reply directly
to this email id; williamsakpukpor@gmail.com
Regards and best wishes.

Mr Williams Akpukpor Rado Gosch  .
Company: TimeRadoGoschGhana Ltd.
Address:No.92 Gulf Park,Achimota ,
P.O.Box  8080 NT, Sakumono, Tema
Telephone: 8100966538./200 999 48
Wait, wait, what’s that? They don’t mention what product I make. They don’t even know my name, which is why they address their letter “Dear Friend.” (Friend? Friend of whom?) And yet they’re going to transfer money into my bank account for a “container Load” of my product? 

Clearly, for some odd reason, they want to buy an entire container full of my words.

Well, let’s be honest here. More likely, I suspect, they want to get their hands on my bank account number so that they can transfer money out of it. 

Naturally, I wrote back to them immediately. I mean, it’s not often that I can find a market for so many of my words at once. I couched my offer in as many pseudo-legal and business terms as I could work into a few sentences, to make it all sound authentic
Dear Mr. Gosch,
Thank you for your inquiry, to which I am delighted to respond.
For a single standard American carload of my product, which happens to be the minimum order I will accept, delivered FOB but not counting any duties, charges, taxes or other fees levied by your government or any other governing body or commercial entity, whether upon or prior to delivery or at a later date, the price is U.S. $1,025,000 (one million and twenty-five thousand United States dollars). I am certain that you and  your Procurement Board will agree that this price is well in line with current International market expectations and standards.
But of course, because I’m an old ad writer, I felt I ought to do a little selling, too, to enhance the marketability of my fine product. What could I possibly say about a carload full of words?
I  offer only Class A product, certified free of rodent, cat, or dog hair, insect body parts, or other tangible impurities, which is shipped “loose" rather than in packaging since until now all of my customers have custom-packaged it for their own distinctive purposes and markets. While my production capacity is proprietary information, if you give me a clear idea of the exact  quantity you wish to purchase, I will be happy to inform you as to whether we can meet your expectations.
But then, I felt I ought to make it clear that I wasn’t going to be sending any bank account numbers. You know, truth in advertising:
However, I am also certain you can understand that I cannot commence delivery until 72 (seventy-two) hours  after your check has cleared my bank and its sum has been credited to my bank account. I am also sorry that, on the advice of my attorneys, I cannot accept wire transfers from overseas business entities with whom I have not previously done business, such as yours.
Here's to a a long and prosperous relationship!
Etoain Shrdlu
Executive Chairman and Sole Prop

I thought that would be the last I’d ever hear from my correspondent, wherever he is. Once he learned I wasn’t sending any bank account numbers, he’d be gone. 

But no! 

Courageously beating his way through dense thickets of the English language, with which he clearly has some difficulty even though English is the official language of Ghana, he crafted the following. (Warning, read slowly, and try not to break your brain struggling with his syntax as much as he clearly did. Ditto punctuation and letter spacing.)
 Dear Etoain Shrdlu
Thanks for your mail and contents well noted and understood.
However and regarding of the delivery and supply duration,it is negotiable between you and the AUCAC being the procurement board.
It is not compulsorily that the goods must ship in one time manner  ,on your inability to this could be negotiated  at your  convenient time the goods could be delivered ,manufactured, produced or shipped .
so note this very well and that should not constitute any problem to you.
Regarding of the quantity needed, we will start with 1x40'' container load with your company as a trial order .
The delivery time can also reach up to 6-8 months  and if unable,it can still re-negotiated hence we accept partial delivery.
insurance  transport etc expenses  will borne  on the buyer  and we can also buy on FOB with your company  finding shipping agent to deliver to us.
And then, he did it. He shot a tranquilizer dart straight to my jugular vein, instantly relieving my distress — which he had clearly detected between the lines — about giving him any bank account numbers.
Regarding disliking of wire bank to bank transfer,there is no risk provided is a confirmed first class bank having a corresponding bank  offshore.
And then he offered to send me a certified check after all:
And we can also set up another form or method of payment to you  LIKE the certified bank cheque or another payment mode that you may wish.
so no fear in that provided your oversea bank will confirm the payment from us and our accreditedpaying  bank before the transfer of your contract payment commences.
This is a pure open business that has to deal with any form of investigation specially on the side of the payment of your contract after reading and signing of contract agreement that will be bidding you and us.
Lastly,the committee is capable is giving you out-payment of any amount  that your contract payment will attract so don't be skeptical.
Who, me skeptical?

But then he twisted my rope a little bit, with a not-so-veiled warning that I’d better hurry up, and ignore my lawyer, or I’d lose this valuable opportunity to sell my words by the container load:
And it is up to you to decide to follow this supply with your full mind before your lawyer's advise because we will not have time to wait any of your mail with content saying  that your  still in-wait of your lawyer's response..
Thanks and stay blessed with keeping responding back on daily basis  at-least twice a day as to help fasten the process and all your replies 
CC: COPY TO williamsakpukpor@gmail.com.
 Mr Williams Akpukpor Rado Gosch.
Mr Williams Akpukpor Rado Gosch  .
Company: TimeRadoGoschGhana Ltd.
Address:No.92 Gulf Park,Achimota ,
P.O.Box  8080 NT, Sakumono, Tema
Telephone: 8100966538./200 999 48
I decided to immediately accept his offer of a certified check, and while I was at it, to do a little more selling of the purity of my product:
Dear Mr. Williams Akpukpor Rado Gosch,
Thank you for your most recent correspondence. While I don't ordinarily work on Sunday, I note your comment that, "we will not have time to wait any of your mail with content saying  that your still in-wait of your lawyer's response.."
I also note your statement that, "And we can also set up another form or method of payment to you  LIKE the certified bank cheque or another payment mode that you may wish."
Fine. I accept. Please immediately remit your certified check for US $1,025,000. Upon receipt of your check, I will deposit it to our account and arrange  for a carload of my product, free of insect parts (now including beetle wings due to the re-emerging plague of Colorado Potato Beetles) to be shipped FOB to any seaport destination that you provide me. Delivery arrangements shall commence 72 hours after the check clears my account. Typically, shipments arrive well before the six-to-eight-months delivery time your letter mentions.
I look forward to your certified check in the post. Incidentally, if you wish to speed up the process, feel free to FedEx your check to me. Use the same address you found during the search you mentioned in your first e-mail.
Once again, I look forward to a long and mutually profitable relationship.
Etoain Shrdlu
Executive Chairman and Sole Prop

Of course, my correspondent, who has suddenly shortened his name to simply “Williams Akpukpor” replied. He seemed incurious about my postal address (Etoain Shrdlu doesn't have one) and he never tried to confirm the nature of my product. 

Instead, he got right down to administrative details. And he got down them in all-capital letters.
Forget that his demands are now teetering on the edge of unintelligibility. Forget that he vacillates between writing in all caps and lower case. Forget his grammar and syntax.

What's important here is, I haven’t posted to my blog in nearly a week. This story needs to come to an end so that I can write about it. 

In a worst-case scenario I can simply cut him off and post. But maybe I can get him to fire me. So I write back:
Dear Mr. Williams Akpukpor,
I am running out of patience. You ask for a Proforma Invoice covering the order "to bear the end buyers details.," but you have not specified the buyer, nor his location, nor his shipping information. Therefore, I am unable to draw up the invoice you demand.
Quite frankly, I am getting a bit annoyed. Are you playing games with me? Either provide all information, in clear grammatical English, or I will be done with this. I am expecting an extremely large order very, very shortly, and if I am bogged down with all this nonsense, I will have to choose between the nonsense and doing business with a genuine customer, with whom I am familiar, and who does not require all this blather and drivel.
How dare you enjoy a joke at my expense! What kind of business do you think I'm in, anyway?
Yours furiously,
Etoain Shrdlu
Executive Chairman and Sole Prop
Nope, he didn't fire me. Instead, the next day I heard back from Mr. Akpukpor, who had for some reason switched over from his Gmail address to a Yahoo address. His attitude was one I might describe as “more offended than thou.” Also, he had again gone to upper and lower case. Maybe his persona had been taken over by a worker on a different shift. At any rate, here’s what my correspondent had to say.

From: williamsakpukpor <williamsakpukpor@yahoo.com>To: etoainshrd <etoainshrd@aol.com>Sent: Tue, Jun 11, 2019 3:30 amSubject: Dear Etoain Shrdlu .
What do you mean by writting Yours furiously, etoain?????????
Whom are you furious with  and for what?
if i mentioned  sending end buyers details and forgotten to include doesn't mean that you should address me in the manner your  speaking it is very wrong . and why should i present a joke and nonsense deal as you may call it?
Can i have your phone number  and can i as well have a  phone call from you?????????????.
i did mention that the end buyer's name is AUCAC,African union contract awarding committee and which other name do you expect me to  call again.
Is like your not reading my message completely  even without  interest  otherwise you shouldn't have mentioned all these  that had been cleared.
Anyway,i apologize if i did not include the details in my previous mail  and ready to resend the details after your response .
i will use  a special subject  message for it .
And what should be the delivery and supply duration  period  by you for the  quantity proposed  of the goods?
Remember also that we must not meet one on one  before business can transact hence internet is concerned so if your expecting to see a customer  or know a customer  first before  attentioning to his business inquiry means that your yet to be a complete business man ,i am sorry if you may take this very word somehow and is not an abuse.

i am 24hours  ready to answer your mail.
Enough was enough. Nearly a week has gone by since I last posted to this blog, and besides, the whole thing was getting tiresome. So I decided not to string out Williams Akpukpor Rando Gosch any longer.
Dear Williams Akpukpor,
I met with my Board of Directors this morning, and there was general agreement that in light of your last correspondence, especially with a very large order pending elsewhere, we should not deal with the vicissitudes of business with you. Therefore, this relationship is now terminated.
Yours very truly,
Etoain Shrdlu
So far, I have not heard back from Mr. Willians Akpukpor, who was previously Williams Akpukpor Rado Gosch.

In any case, for any reader out there contemplating yet another variation of the Ghanaian Widow Scam, let me offer some advice:

Never kid a kidder.

1 comment:

Victor said...

Can someone please help me find my ass?

I laughed it off!