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Wednesday, December 3 12:01 AM EST

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


Sometimes I just can't believe that people believe this stuff....

Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 9:21 AM
Subject: Brainco Software

Hi Brian,

I am a research student at the University of Limerick and I am looking at the area of monitoring and knowledge workers. I would be very grateful if you could send me some information on Webspionage and the Brainco software.

I wonder why she wasn't interested in the Evil software?

Some discussion boards have smart people on them....


Maybe I should add a bolder warning to the Nigerian millionaire article...

From: Stan
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2003 7:45 AM
Subject: Money

Dear Mr. Briggs,

I read the article about Esenam Ayele from Nigeria having trouble giving away money. I wonder if I qualify for any of that money. Week before last I got to work four days. I tended block for two block layers by my self one day and had a helper the other three days. I have to take this kind of work to try to pay my bills. Last week I did not get even a days work.

The thing is, I have two Engineering degrees, I am 61 years old and still have to do this sort of manual labor which does not even pay all my living expenses.

I am a recovering Alcoholic. On December 10, I will be sober eleven years. I lived on the streets of Columbus, Ohio for the last five years of my active alcoholism. For the last year of that time I was on SSI because of the alcohol and the mental effects of alcohol. Since I have been sober I went back to school and received two degrees and got off SSI. I did not just get by in college. I received an Associates Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Marion Technical College. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.71 GPA. I received a B.S. from Franklin University in a Personalized Major combining Mechanical Engineering and Business with a 3.81 GPA. Now I am doing labor that twenty year olds will not do. I know my body will not be able to do this much longer.

I need a decent job or some kind of help. I get ads in my E-mail talking about free grants. But if you answer the ad all you do is pay someone to give you a couple of names or addresses that are free if you know where to look. What they give you doesn't help. I have a student loan and some credit card bills.

I have fought back from alcoholism and being homeless. Now I am in danger of losing my home.

Somewhere along the line something has to give. The thing is I am probably what is going to give out. As I said above, I don’t know how long my sixty-one year old body can last doing physical labor.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

<address snipped>


It really shows you how people get scammed. Promise free money and you get lots of takers.

The April Fool's Mailbag gets another one eight months later...

From: Leo
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 9:27 AM
Subject: Peter Jackson's interest in including Jar-Jaromir on LOTR:ROTK

I'm new to BBSpot, and I found all your articles
outrageously funny. I have been thinking, given the fact that you have fun when people believe the bogus stories you post in your
website, don't you think someone might be pulling your
leg with the Peter Jackson email (the one posted on
this mailbag. I mean, anyone could fake an email...

However, if it turns out to be true, I'd love to see him on the LOTR:ROTK DVD.

Anybody can fake a Mailbag too :-)


The Trailer Review for Timeline elicited a lot of e-mails. Here's a sampling...

Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 2:14 PM
Subject: Timeline

In reference to your comments on the "Timeline" trailer: the review is just as hilarious as the trailer itself. As a Frenchman I'm a bit upset by your" At least they’ll only wipe out France", but as the movie is pitifully trying to add some exotic color to the plot with its "at a remote archeological site in the French countryside", that's ok. Notice also how they framed an actual (beautiful) castle, before showing a stack of ugly cardboard bricks figuring ruins.

I have a more general question regarding English-speaking trailers: there seems to be only one guy in the world voicing all the trailers. Is this true? Or is there a dedicated school where you learn to shape your voice in a male, grinding fashion? As you can imagine, this is (for me) a sociological issue of the uttermost importance!

I believe there are actually two guys that do voiceovers for trailers, and I think they're brothers.

From: Brendan
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 12:50 PM
Subject: timeline trailer

I actually (to my dismay) read the book. While reading it I realized
that it was a book that was designed to be made into a movie. It had
every stupid cliché that you could expect to be put into a movie, for
example at the beginning of the book you find out that that one of the
young, hip archeologists knows how to sword fight.. oooh I wonder if
that will come in handy later? Don't watch the trailer, don't see the
movie and don't read the book.

John Grisham also writes movies in convenient book form.

Sent: Friday, November 21, 2003 3:45 AM
Subject: movies with red digital readouts

Media studies question:

Red digital readouts in movies of the 80s and since are the successors to the guy with the Eastern European accent in Bond movies speaking over the P.A. at the arch-villain's base who intones things like "8 meenuts and cownteeng...". Discuss, with reference to all the crappy Film O.S. style computer interfaces you've ever seen in movies. Bonus points if you can also compare and contrast Sesame Street's The Count (hint: Eastern European accent, says things like "4 vunderful beachballs, ugh, ugh, ugh!"). Take care not to wander off into Buffy, as the only counting she does is vampires dispatched and minutes until the world ends (again).

I'm sure this class is already being offered at some university in Ohio.


A nice reader Paul sent in a sabered version of me...

Jedi Brian

Strange Questions

Sometimes I get some strange questions in my Inbox....

Sent: Monday, November 10, 2003 4:29 PM
To: ''
Subject: Odd question about the doors behind the man...

I was looking at the picture of the shirt and notice the doors behind you. The reason that they caught my eye is that we were replacing two conventional doors on our closed with the double bi-fold doors (almost the same ones). I was wondering what you thought about them.

I am trying to get some opinions on them before actually purchasing them. If they aren't bi-fold doors then I must say you have the oddest walls wherever the picture was taken.

What am I, Bob Vila now? That's a scary thought. As injury-prone as I am just typing on the computer, I can't imagine I'd last one season of This Old House.

Neo the Virus

I get so many letters for the Mailbag that begin "I don't want to add to this argument, but..." or "I don't usually do this, but..." And this week was no exception...

From: Michael
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 9:42 AM
Subject: end the neo = virus debate quickly

though I am extremely loathe to get involved in yet another "weekly my *blank* is better than yours"-type war in the Mailbag, I think this one is too good to resist, and it won't take me 37 paragraphs to do so like most people.

Matrix Trilogy = Virus. You go see these movies, and now you can't stop talking about them and telling other similar things to BRIGGSB, INCREASE PENIS SIZE BY SEEING THIS MOVIE NOW!!!!!". You went and saw "Revolutions" even though:

a) Critics warned you not to and
b) You already were fooled by "Reloaded" - which you HATED but kept talking about anyway.
c) sweet Jesus, you went and saw "Revolutions" AGAIN despite the above!

Now you've had real close to a billion dollars stolen from you two brothers who sat alone in their basement masturbating over pale women in latex as they wrote the script, and you've spent weeks complaining about it.

There ya go. 3 paragraphs.

Geez Michael, tell us how you really feel.

That's all for this week!

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