Posts Tagged ‘ boredom ’

I’ve hit pay dirt… again

Sometimes I receive messages in the spiced ham folder of my email that get me so excited I feel like I want to climb onto the tallest building in the suburb and shout my exhilaration to the world. I’m always reluctant to do that because I also feel like I could spontaneously combust at any moment and the tallest building in the suburb happens to be a school, and I wouldn’t want to scare the kiddies, or spatter them with charred human meat.

I think the closest I’ve ever come to climbing the bell tower at St Mary’s with post-email elation was after reading this little doozy. But today I received a piece of electronic correspondence that blew Jean Fafona’s effort out of the water. Some of that water happily sprayed onto me, putting out the fire that had started on both of my arms.

Here it is:

Dear partner,

I am James Francis from Florida USA I was the personal account officer of  late Libyan Leader Omar Muammar al Gaddafi for 25year, before his dead last year 2011 he ask me to transfer a very huge amount of money about $20m (Twenty Million US Dollars) to a Commercial Bank in Malaysia (Chase Bank) for a twenty five story’s building he wanted to buy in SARAWAK MALAYSIA without a beneficiary name  because of the nature of his country, Since after his death  no one has come for the claim of the money due to the fact that there was no beneficiary to the fund.

Now the Bank (Chase Bank) is asking me to present the beneficiary of the money that they need to transfer the money back to the owner since the account is dormant for a long time now.  After going through your profile and that of your company I believe you are the right person for this job since your company’s business correlates with a kind of business I would like to invest my own share of the money when is finally transferred.

But right now my healthy condition and security in my country I can’t transfer this fund to my personal account rather I want you to assist me to receive this fund” If you would assist me with this I will compensate you with 30% of the total sum and at the same time invest my own money in your company’s business. More details will be sending to you when I receive your interest response.

You are free to call me for more information.

Thanks & Best Regard
James Francis,
H/P: +1-732-659-5513
Email: jamesfrancis219@rocketmail.com

Here’s what I sent back when my arms stopped smouldering:

Dear partner (indeed!),

First, congratulations on getting to the silver anniversary under the Colonel. Fair effort, that.

Now, let’s get down to tin tacks: I like the sound of this deal for three reasons:

  1. It’s straightforward and makes perfect sense.
  2. You’ve obviously done your research.
  3. It dovetails nicely with a similar transaction I’ve been looking for a partner to help me complete.

When you say you’ve been through my profile, I presume you mean you’ve read my blog. (You and half the rest of the world!) Before I go on, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Now, be honest – is it the best thing you’ve ever read? A few people have told me it is, but I get the feeling they’re only saying it because they want something from me. It would be great to get the opinion of someone who has no ulterior motive.

In any case, I really believe that investing in my business is a financial decision you won’t regret. At the moment I make an annual profit of A$0. Your generous cash injection will ensure I can maintain the operation’s stability and I am extremely confident that I can continue to post similar profits into the foreseeable future.

Now to the money. US$20 million is certainly a very huge sum. But not as big as the sum I’ve been looking to transfer from an account in ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA for the last decade or so.

You see, my story sounds remarkably similar to yours.

I am, as you well know, Jonathan Rivett from Melbourne Australia. I was the financial adviser to the late Idi Amin. (We might have even bumped into each other at one of those Swiss alpine retreats Idi and the Colonel went on together, now I come to think of it. Do you have thick red hair and a small scar on your left cheek?) Before he died in 2003, the big fella asked me to mortgage Uganda and transfer the proceeds into a commercial bank in northern Asia. I said to Idi, I said, “Idi, you silly fat fuck, you can’t mortgage an entire country. Get serious, please.” (By the way, when I told that to Forest Whitaker while he was doing research for The Last King of Scotland, he laughed so hard he fell off the chair he was sitting on and thought he’d dislocated his shoulder, but it turned out to only be a minor subluxation and he was fine.) So Idi returned to the realms of possibility, did some  stock standard embezzling and told me to transfer the resulting US$97 million into a commercial bank in Mongolia (Khan Bank) for the purchase of a mountain.

Because of the nature of the toiletries industry at the time, he made the transfer into the account of his invisible friend, JimJam Jones, a gigantic talking prune with predilection for stamp collecting and brightly coloured bow ties. Now, JimJam Jones owned a concrete business operating out of Libya (you may even have purchased some concrete on behalf of the Colonel from him) and was away on business at the time of the transfer – Idi demanded that I make the transaction without informing JimJam. When JimJam discovered the money in his account (now holidaying in Cancun) he made the assumption that he had won the lottery, despite never having bought a ticket. He became reckless, decided to go waterskiing for the first time in his life, even though he was an invisible prune and didn’t have opposable digits, and was killed in a spectacular explosion involving an offshore oil rig (JimJam was smoking two cuban cigars as he skied). While this was all happening, Idi’s kidney’s were playing up; he died in Saudi Arabia not long after the last of JimJan’s delicious remains washed up on the beaches of Montego Bay, Jamaica. This meant that nobody was left to claim the money now lying dormant in a dead figment’s Mongolian account. Of course there was me, but everyone knows foreign banks only let you transfer large sums of money if you have a complete stranger into whose bank account you can make the transfer and, until today, I didn’t know any complete strangers. But now I do. His name is James Francis, and I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. (By the way, I’m referring to you, not another James Francis.)

OK, so here’s the deal. I will give you 42.87 percent of the US97 million and will invest 12.43 percent  into your Miami pineapple growing business. All you need to do is send me a statement of your interest, followed by your bank account details, followed by your left hand.

You are free to email me for more information:

haughtfeelings@gmail.com

With a jiggly wiggly sense of anticipation and a yearning to trade despot stories, I remain faithfully yours,

Jonathan

PS: I once bench pressed a fully grown cow.

PPS: Who do you think will play Gaddafi if they make a movie about him? I think probably Fassbender.

Wouldn’t it be good if he replied?

Haught fact of the day:

Until recently, I thought Mongolia was like Siam and Abyssinia and Ceylon and was now called North China or South Russia. What a bogan, eh?

What’s happened to the Grape Men?

A lot of people have been enquiring as to the whereabouts of the Grape Men. I’ll write a full post about it later, but in short grape season is over for another year and their allotment of land no longer resonates with the word “putana” or the gentle stop and start and stop and start and stop and start of engines.

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Lavatory humour with a serious edge

My alter ego wrote a short story and is trying to flog it on Amazon.

It contains the lavatory references you’ve come to love from Haught Feelings, but it’s all wrapped up in a serious story about workplace boredom and that whole “an idle mind is the devil’s playground” thing.

It’s called ‘Waiting‘ and it takes the form of a Kindle Single, which is a short piece of writing that you can download straight to your Kindle, or to any device that you can get the Kindle app on.

Here’s an excerpt:

I waited.

Waiting was becoming a bad habit for me. I’d discussed it with Penny Trentham from Social Media and she’d assured me I was “waiting for inspiration.” She was wrong for a change,  although only by six letters – I was waiting for motivation.

“What’s my motivation here, David?” If only I were an actor and could reasonably ask such a question of my ‘director’.

How I wished I could put an end to these hours of inaction by standing up, striding to my manager’s office, entering without knocking, and simply rejecting the ‘role’:

“David, I’m just not feeling it. This isn’t working for me at all.”

Sometimes it was these preposterous little fantasies that got me through the day.

It wasn’t that I was lazy. Certainly not if you compared me to some of the pulses and legumes in Finance (Penny’s splendid description, not mine). One of them, whose name I think was Gregory, might well have been the most indolent person I’d ever met.

Truth be told, I had never formally met him, but I bumped into him so often that I was beginning to think of him as a sort of quasi-acquaintance. One who irritated me more and more with every absurdly frequent meeting.

I had never spoken a word to him and yet I felt I knew so much about him. He was a non-work addict, but most people on Level 3 knew that. So often was he observed wandering or loitering in places nowhere near his desk that he was beginning to gain a whispered reputation. When colleagues gossiped about “that fellow who’s always getting a cup of tea” and “the one from Finance who looks at the notice board a lot”, you knew they were talking about Gregory.

He was also a nervous man, a flincher. But, that was just another trait that anybody who’d glanced at him once or twice could easily discern.

Something about him I suspect few colleagues knew was that he had an appalling habit, while in the men’s lavatory, of breaking wind with a trumpeting ferocity that belied his thin-haired, hunch-shouldered feebleness. It annoyed me not only because it was viscerally offensive, but because he did it so shamelessly. I knew fairly certainly that this man spent much of his life avoiding even mildly difficult challenges and weaselling out of all but the most essential face-to-face interaction. But as soon as he got into the gents’ he suddenly found the audacity to force gas out his backside with the inhibition of some inebriated oaf at a motorsport event.

Perhaps he considered the Level 3 toilet to be some sort of sanctuary from the rest of the world, a place where he could relax emotionally and physically. He certainly seemed to spend a great deal of time there. (Either that or, by some implausible coincidence, every time I had to use the bathroom, he too was answering the call of nature.)

The toilet-as-haven concept incensed me perhaps more than anything else about him. Here was a man who got paid handsomely to work in the relaxed environment of a public service institution, and who spent large portions of his day hiding – and sometimes indiscriminately emitting flatus – in the restrooms.

Could he not, at the very least, have feigned industry like his straight-backed, stiff-faced colleagues in Finance?

Could he not have sat at his desk and stared at the screen? Like me.

I waited.

I looked at the screen without seeing anything. I asked my eyes to focus, but they would not. Perhaps, after all, I was not waiting for motivation, so much as intervention. I needed the fire alarm to go off, or an email from Penny, or my manager to come into our cluster and ask me how the task was coming along.

I waited, but nobody stepped into my barren world.

Toilet-as-haven. Perhaps there was something in that. Perhaps Gregory From Finance had the makings of a decent idea there. Not that I would ever retreat to the lavatories and cower there like some sort of wounded animal. But what I desperately needed was a strategy for breaking these drawn-out periods of wasted time, and a quick visit to the men’s toilet was an idea worth considering. I’d go in, splash water on my face and look at myself in the mirror like they did in the movies. Maybe, if nobody was around, I’d make a pithy, witty comment about getting a hold of myself. It wouldn’t be toilet-as-haven so much as toilet-as-film-noir-fantasy.

I stopped waiting.

He was there. Of course.

Buy it here.

“I’ve hit pay dirt, baby”

Late last year a man sent me an email that I thought had changed by life.

It went like this:

Good morning,

I hope you are fine today?

I don’t know if you might be interested in a business proposal which am about to reveal to you considering that we haven’t met in person.

It’s all about US$ 10,000,000 dormant fund in our bank coded account here(SGBCI).

I am the only person with the knowledge of the funds and its deposit, and will solicit for your partnership for us to have it. My position in the bank will guarantee easy and risk-free handling of the transaction as i have every details of it.

I will give your more details as soon as I hear from you, including the sharing ratio.

Please ignore the proposition, if you don’t seem to be interested. contact me at mrjeanfafona@yahoo.co.uk

Please keep confidential!!

Thanks,

Mr Jean Fafona

Once the pressure build-up in my underpantal region had subsided, I responded, thus:

Good morning, Jean,

This sounds like a wonderful offer and I feel so privileged that, of the world’s seven million people, you chose me to share in the US$10 million.

First, I should apologise for being so late with my response. Please do not take this to mean that I am anything less than in a muck lather of enthusiasm over your proposal. For some incomprehensible reason your email was snared by my ‘Spam’ box and I only discovered it this morning.

Second, I don’t want to sound like a wet blanket (which I presume would make a gentle squishing noise), but won’t the Société Générale de Banques en Côte d’Ivoire be angry if they find out you’re offering easy and risk-free handling of money. Perhaps things are different where you are, but here in Australia, banks tend to avoid providing ease of transfer to customers and, when it comes to risk, tend to leave that to (or should I say with?) the federal government.Third, I foolishly didn’t read to the end of your email before acting on it. So, before I got to your express request to keep the information confidential, I became excited to an almost absurd degree and began ringing friends and saying silly things like “I’m rich! I’m rich!” and “I’ve hit pay dirt, baby!” I admit, I went over the top, not just with my prideful and presumptuous pronouncements, but with the sheer number of people I rang. I literally contacted every single person I have ever had even the shortest conversation with, some of whom work for government departments such as the Australian Federal Police, Australian Customs and Border Protection, as well as ASIO (which is like our MI6, but heaps better). Do you think my unrestrained exuberance could in any way have compromised our imminent transaction?Fourth, if the answer to the question above is no, will I need to pay tax on my portion of the ten mill, either in Australia or in the Ivory Coast? I want to do this by the book – as I’m sure you do.Fifth, if I may be so bold (considering we haven’t met in person, to borrow a phrase from a close friend and confidant), I would like to make a suggestion: the subject of your email was “Good morning,”. While pleasant enough and unquestionably polite, if I’m honest, it didn’t speak to me. Of course, it’s easy to just sit in the “cheap seats” and holler criticism, so permit me to offer an example of a subject line that has recently grabbed me. While perusing my Spam box this morning (again, I’m perplexed as to how such an email ended up in the veritable naughty-boy’s corner of emails), I stopped when I came across the words “Best Maximum Penis” (in that order). Now, it would take years of practice and probably a degree from Oxford or Stanford to be able to consistently come up with brilliant subject lines like that, but I think that could be an aspiration for you, if not an immediate goal.Sixth, and finally, how do you pronounce your name? I presume that it’s the French way, but I know that some men by the name of Jean – Americans mostly, who find the idea of a soft J offensive – pronounce it ‘Gene’ and don’t want to embarrass myself or, for that matter, you, when we inevitably converse via the phone.

I am extremely keen to hear more details and wonder whether you would mind if I, as a show of good will, sent through my bank and credit card details, my tax file number, my car registration number and my home address in my next email. That seems only fair.

Again, thank you very much for choosing me to share in your (or whomever’s) money. I look forward to one day lying on a bed with you and throwing it (the money, and maybe the aforementioned Best Maximum Penis medication) in the air so it rains down on us in the classical Hollywood way.

With much affection and gratitude and, to be honest, a little bit of desire,

Jonathan

Still haven’t heard a reply, but it’s only been four and a half months, so my fingers (and I hope now yours) are still well and truly crossed.

Haught fact of the day:

The ‘underpantal region’ was a widely-accepted medical term in parts of Europe until the 1980s. In Germany it was known as  ‘die zonenuntergarment’ and in France as ‘le districte de controlle merde’.

Grape Men quote of the day:

Grape Man 1: “So what happened about that fucking rotunda?”

Grape Man 2:  “Oh that. Fuck. Fucking council…”

Grape Man 1:  “What happened?”

Grape Man 2: “They put the car wash on it.”

Grape Man 1:  “What? A fucking car wash? In your back yard? What the fuck?”

Grape Man 2:  “No. Car wash. You know. They put the… they no let me do.”

Grape Man 1:  “What the fuck has that got to do with a car wash?”

Grape Man 2:  “No. A carwosh. Carwosh. You know. They put – ”

Grape Man 3:  “He means kybosh.”

[laughter]

Grape Man 1: “WHAT? Oh fuck. Cretino. Just shut up and pack the fucking crates. Fuck.”

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Who are the Grape Men?

Find out here.
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