December 10th 2020
December 10th 2020
Invitations you really can refuse!
Evalina Parsley Firemaiden* sent me an e-mail the other day…
She was cordially inviting me to join……well, I’ll never know what, because I deleted her as quickly as possible, before she got her beautifully manicured claws into my hard-drive. Which could be really nasty. You never know what these electronic seductresses have lodged under their sticky fingernails.
My mother-in-law’s neighbour once announced to her “I just bought a cow heel. If you come round, we could share it.“ She made an excuse, and fled, possibly fitting another safety bolt as soon as she got home.
I thought at the time that it overtopped Dylan’s “Won’t you please crawl out your window?” as a pretty shabby invite, but neither of them is anything compared to old Evalina and her ilk.
They were bad enough when they arrived in the mail – I once had repeated postal advances from a Doctor Batmangelij who assured me he could cure all my ailments with cold water, though whether I was meant to drink it, sit in it or stick my head in a bucket of it (which is guaranteed to cure absolutely all ailments if you leave it in there long enough) I never stuck around long enough to find out. I certainly wasn’t going to send off for his Essential Book in order to discover his secret.
The ‘mailshot millionaires’ wanting to let us in on their secrets on how to triple your money overnight by posting it all to them in a plain brown envelope, post restante Mr Smith or Jones of the Cayman Islands, or send 50 quid to ten of his mates who will then send 50 more on to several hundred more suckers who will, whilst whistling a happy tune, all send YOU 50 quid apiece back…
Well, they’ve found it’s a whole lot easier bunging out a few emails to millions than lugging sackfulls of dodgy firelighters down the post office every Wednesday.
And so, right now you can be quite harmlessly drinking cocoa, and thinking of nothing more exotic than whether or not you’ve the energy to go get a hot water bottle, or whether the dog joining you on the sofa will do, when PING, Neverlina, Neverfina, and Dustbinlina or another of her digital relations is trying to crawl in under the virtual barbed wire you have wrapped around your bank account, by persuading you dozily to open her invitation to join an exclusive band of mugs who are about to fund the retirement of some bloke in Bogota.
You pick up the phone – and a phishing rod gets rammed down your ‘ear’ole, attempting to remove your brains! Whilst the fellow from whichever city of the world they are patching him through from this week informs you that he wishes to take over your bank/email/broadband/Paypal/Amazon/popcornbyairfreight account instantly, as there has been Suspicious Activity on it recently. By which he means there certainly will be in about three minutes if you give him any of the information he wants.
It’s a minefield down them thar cables. These days, I only speak to people I know, who have sent a handwritten note, in advance, from their mother.