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Wednesday, March 5 12:00 AM ET

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.


Esenam Ayele continues to gather BBelievers at his MySpace page. He gets about ten times more messages than I actually post in the Mailbag, because most are just pathetic pleas for help. People just can't figure it out that he doesn't have any money to give. This one guy has an invention that he wants Esenam to fund, that's a new one at least...

I tell you that I live in (South America). I am 41 year old. I am married and have a litle eight months baby girl called <snip>. I am an employee and earn a salary of 800 pesos per month (about 250 dollars). I spend my free time researching on electricity and electronic with a friend of mine. We have invented a device that makes electricity does not shock. So if you instal this device in your home or a factory you can touch any nude cable and nothing happen. You will not receive any shock. You will feel nothing. This device does not modify the voltage nor the ampere. It only eliminates the danger of electricity for humans. We think this device will be a benefit for all humankind.

We have researching the patent laws in all countries and the estimate cost for patenting it worldwide is about 500,000 dollars. The problem is that we have zero money. And the economic situation in this country is bad. We have not even money for manufacturing it. So we feel frustrated. We can not do anything.

That is why we ask for your help. You are our unique hope.
Can you help us with some money?

Thank you very much.

Maybe I should start up the Esenam Ayele Venture Fund for investing in these people asking for money. OK, maybe not.

dear mr. ayele

God... i hear a lot of what you've done, it's really takes a lot of a man guts to do it, not just some kind of "talk only" but you do it for real.... i wonder when you would do it again this year, because when you do it again, it will be a blessing for me if i could be one of your taker, i can do alot of things for the educations of some unfortunate children. Pls let me know when a lighning thunder struck you.

Yes, Esenam does it "for real." I'm not sure what the thunder and lightning thing is about, I can't tell if he's hoping Esenam gets struck by lightning, or if there's some newly created backstory I've missed.

This next one isn't an Esenam BBeliever, but a scammer email that someone sent in to me. I don't usually post these things, but I found this one particularly humorous...

Date: Mon, Feb 4, 2008 at 9:52 AM
Subject: 419 Scam

Good morning Brian...

I enjoyed your "Which scammer are you?" Page ....

Here's a new letter I've been getting form those idiots .. Thought you'd like to add this one to your library & warn people about ...


My name is Wilson Agogo, a secret Agent with the Federal Bureau Investigation FBI Ghana. During an investigation, in October 2007, I and my team intercepted the entire scanned document stored in Archive from 2006 to 2007, and in that
process we saw some documents covering sum Hugh amount of money, written in your name. And considering the now a day?s news about 419 scams we decided to
trace the ISP of the sender with the intension of arresting who ever we catch the scam artist.

To our greatest surprise the ISP was traced to an existing bank, which during our investigation we found out that the money, was truly Approved to you as the beneficiary. Now my question goes like this

We have looked through your profile, there in the states and there is No Evidence of you being a contractor, so I will like you to tell me Where and how you got your self involved in such a business, because at First we taught it was just an ordinary scam of which our intension is to trace the ISP
and arrest the people involved.

If I get satisfied with your story, I will give you the exact contact of the particular bank holding your money. Meanwhile, I need you to reconfirm the following information,

(I) Your Full Name (ii) private telephone number # (iii) The Exact Amount you are expecting (IV) you?re Banking Particulars.

We are requesting for this information?s, because we are aware that There are a lot scams going on in the internet, we have been officially mandated to wipe out these unscrupulous elements before December 2008. So that our internet will be once again secure and business free.

Wilson Agogo,
Secret Agent.FBI Ghana.

You'd have to be really stupid to fall for this one. Isn't the whole point of being a "secret agent" the "secret" part? I don't think many secret agents put "secret agent" as their title. I could be wrong. I also love that he wants to make the Internet "business free." He's right about that, he would love to take everyone's money, so they can't do business on the Internet.

.I used to have a MySpace profile for the Sony Music Executive that snagged some BBelievers until some band complained about it and got it removed. Now these guys in the band are complaining about Google finding the email I posted about them in the Mailbag...

Date: Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 11:36 PM

My name is xxxxx of xxxxxxx Everytime I Google my band,(xxxxxxx) you site is there "bad mouthing" us. I don't know you, nor do i know who sent you the letter. But i would like that archive removed. You're compmay is casting us in a bad light to anyone "googling" xxxxxxx. I 'd like it removed please, who gave you that info is unknown.

Um, since the email he's referencing came from the band's MySpace page, it's a dubious claim that he doesn't know who sent it. I'm not out to ruin the band's unlikely dreams though so I removed their name from the page. Seriously though, if a Mailbag page is coming up as the third entry on Google for your band then you really need to do a better job of marketing.

Speaking of the Sony Music Exec story, a BBspotter wrote in with a sighting of the story in the wild on none other than Bruce Schneier's Web site...

From: Kyle
Date: Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 5:49 PM
Subject: Sony Exec reference
To: Brian Briggs

Just thought I'd let you know of what appears to be another instance of a BBspot story passing into "common knowledge":


Join us next time, for another installment of Brian Briggs' "How to Invent Internet Myths and Urban Legends for Fun and Profit!"

It's almost better than seeing your kid take her first steps.

You may remember the last Mailbag where Naomi promised to report me to the CRP if I didn't tell the truth about the giant germ-covered meteor heading towards Earth...

From: Drew
Date: Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 12:22 PM
Subject: Giant Meteor BBeliever
To: ""

Hey BBrian,

Please note that the only Google result for "Computer Respect Policy" is the link to your mailbag. You may sleep better at night knowing that a "severe fine" isn't going to be heading your way.

I think she should be reported to the CRP for making up the CRP.

Phew. I think this is an excellent opportunity for someone to set up a CRP Web site, and write up a Computer Respect Policy. I think it would do wonders for raising the level of discourse on the Internet.

Babylon 5

Of course, mentioning B5 in the Mailbag is sure to generate some responses, I wasn't expecting this though ...

From: xxxxxxxx
Date: Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 9:44 PM
Subject: BBspot - B5, and the ess ee ex
To: "" <>

G'Kar IS the hottest, right?

I'm surely not alone in that - your male and married states notwithstanding, don't tell me you wouldn't still like some part-time, hot & horny red-eyed speckled luvvin', from the King of G'Kool....

And is it me or is Delenn WAYYYY hotter BEFORE her Human shiftover, with a cutie face and everything?

Once the hair kicks in, she just looks like a dull store clerk with a silly hairband, and an immigration visa in the post (and I'm British, so not an anti-non-Americans blah comment!).

I just got back into B5 over the Xmas hols, series 3 & 4, then catching up on the rest. Why are the aliens who do the pink-bits probes not looking like G'Kar, or at least the Drazi? And what does a gal have to do to get abducted by Ivanova - oh momma...

Anyway love the bblog, good stuff!!

Yours most faithfully, Miss R xxxxx

Oh my.

Weekly Limerick

The winner of the 2003 and 2006 Geek Limerick contest has volunteered to write a weekly limerick for BBspot. Seth also has a new book coming out that you should take a look at..

From: Seth

Yesterday was announced a disaster:
We have lost the world's first Dungeon Master.
 Sometimes life isn't funny,
 So raise your d20,
And drink pints in the pub 'til you're plastered.

Story Options:

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