Message No. 419
It was just like a scene in an intrigue film
and I’m still not convinced that it wasn’t for real.
This isn’t intended for me, I don’t think.
It’s a missive from the edge of despair, I mean brink
of total desperation. The communication therein
says her hopes for survival are slim,
and she’s writing to the Front, though we’ve yet to meet,
with a confidential matter ‘cause she’s heard I’m discreet.
And the urgency of her request for my aid
is matched by the depth of the trust she displayed.
“Don’t betray me like our oil minister did (staged a coup).
And I’m about to flee Nigeria soon
but I’ll never make it out,” she says, with twenty million
three hundred twenty thousand US dollars that are still in
her possession. She embezzled them, I guess.
Look, I don’t really know her so uh... that’s none of my business.
She’s the LADY MARYAM ABACHA, deposed.
These days, can’t even get her caps-lock key unfroze.
But yo, something about a widow in distress
(with 20 million dollars hidden in a metal chest)
softened up the Frontalot’s heart, no doubt,
so I hit the reply button, tell her I can help her out.
She writes me back: DEAR FRONTALOT, UNITED STATES...
she acts so thankful. A bank full of money awaits!
And I hate delays so I’m quick to turn around
with my full name and the number to my checking account
and the scan of my license to drive an automobile
and my passport number, proving Frontalot’s for real!
Then I’ll meet the money in Stockholm. Ain’t gonna walk home.
Think I’ll retire to the south of Spain and sip gazpacho.
Not so quick, there’s a little problem:
LADY A apparently had difficulty running all them
numbers I give her. But look, the fake ID’s my only one,
and that’s a real passport — I got it off usenet and checked,
I’m not dumb. I’m not some idiot
who’s about to lose your money for you quicker than I’m getting it.
And of course my bank balance is negative; whose isn’t?
That’s why I need your 20% money laundering commission.
And I’m wishing I could talk about this further with you but I can’t.
I just got an email from DR. UBUGU of Chad.
He’s got a hundred and seventy-seven million in a bag.
I feel I got to help him ‘cause his story is so sad.