My email signature is: “If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forward anything that promises ‘something bad will happen if you don’t,’ then something bad will happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley.”
That’s because I’m tired of all the forwarded chain mails that I keep on getting from friends and colleagues who aren’t even considerate enough to put my address in the BCC field of their email client to prevent spammers from getting hold of my address.
Here, let me share you something that we should recite everyday. It’s a compilation of anti-chain mails and stupid forwards that I gathered from email and the Web:
If Yahoo or Hotmail really wanted to know whether I use my account, they would never gather that information by having asking me to forward their message to other Yahoo or Hotmail users. It would make more sense for them to simply instruct me to reply to their message!
If my CC list is regularly longer than the actual content of my message, I’m probably going to Hell if I don’t start using BCC or Blind Carbon Copy.
Ericsson is not giving away free phones or laptops. The chain mail you have received is a fraud and there is no person with the name of Anna Swelund working at Ericsson.
I will not get bad luck, lose my friends, or lose my mailing lists if don’t forward an e-mail. I will not hear any music, see a taco dog, or see a cool pop up screen if I forward an e-mail.
I will never see a pop up window if I forward an emailÂ — never! There will be no cool dancing, singing, waving, colorful flower, character, or program I will receive immediately after I forward an email. People are just trying to talk me into doing it to make me look like a fool.
Bill Gates is not going to send me money, Victoria’s Secret doesn’t know anything about a gift certificate they’re supposed to send me and Ford will not give me a 50% discount even if I have forwarded my email to more than 50 people. I will never receive gift certificates, coupons, or freebies from Coke Cola, Cracker Barrel, Old Navy, or anyone else if I send an email to 10 people who don’t know who I am anyway. Big companies don’t do business via chain letter.
Neiman Marcus doesn’t really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if they do, we all have it.
If I’m using Outlook, I.E., or Netscape to write email, I should turn off the HTML encoding. Those on Unix shells can’t read it, and don’t care enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web browser, since I’m probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe anyway.
My phone will not mysteriously ring after I forward an email. There is no such thing as an e-mail tracking program, and I am not stupid enough to think that someone will send me $100 for forwarding an e-mail to 10 or more people.
There is no kid with cancer through the Make a Wish program in England collecting anything. He did when he was 7 yrs old. He is now cancer free and 35 years old and doesn’t want any more post cards, calling cards, or get well cards!
The (US) government does not have a bill in congress called 901B (or whatever they named it this week) that if passed will enable them to charge us 5 cents for every sent e-mail.
The American Red Cross will not donate 50 cents to a certain individual dying of some never heard of before disease for every email address I send this to. The American Red Cross receives donations, they don’t donate!
There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened to their cousin. That’s “none” as in “zero”–nadaah! Not even my friend’s cousin. Besides, I you were to wake up in ice, I would die of Hypothermia!!!
We all know all 500 ways to drive your roommates crazy, irritate coworkers, gross out bathroom stall neighbors and creep out people on an elevator. We also know exactly how many engineers, college students, Usenet posters and people from each and every world ethnicity it takes to change a light bulb.
If I still absolutely must forward that to a friend, I should at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing everyone else who’s received it over the last six months. It sure wouldn’t hurt to get rid of all the >> that begin each line. Besides, if it has gone around that many times, you’ve probably already seen it.
There is no “Good Times” virus. In fact, I should never, ever, ever forward any email containing any virus warning unless I first confirm it at an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses, like Norton.com. I cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or email, I have to download….ya know, like a file or an attachment!
And finally, I will not let others guilt me into sending things on to my friends for fear they will think I am not their friend or by telling me I have no conscience or don’t believe in Jesus Christ!
If God wants to send me a message, I believe the bushes in my yard will burn before He picks up a PC to pass it along… but even if it does come by email, He will send me one at which point I’m sure I will know it will be from Him. And if He does, I’m sure He will care enough to delete all those annoying forwards inside it!
The bottom line is: composing email or posting something on the Net is as easy as writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don’t automatically believe unless it’s proven true… assume it’s false, unless there is proof that it’s true.
Now, repeat this four times to yourself until you’ve memorized it and then send it along to at least five of your friends before the next full moon or you will surely be constipated for the next three months and all of your hair will fall out!