Worldwide pen pals

I’ve found a new hobby that involves corresponding with individuals that send me letters that unknowingly end up in my spam folder. I’ll let my correspondence speak for itself:


From Vivian John Paul:

My Dearest,
  It is with profound respect and humble submission, I beg to state the following few lines for your kind consideration. I hope you will spare some of your valuable minutes to read the following appeal with sympathetic mind. I must confess that it is with great hope, joy and enthusiasm to write you this mail and I believe by the faith that it must surely find you in good condition of health. My name is Vivian John Paul Oulu 24 years old female from the Republic of Kenya, the daughter of Late Mr. John Paul Oulu. My late father was a Kenyan lawyer and human rights activist who was the Chief Executive Officer and Communications and Advocacy Officer of the Oscar Foundation Free Legal Aid Clinic Kenya (OFFLACK). My Father was brutally shot dead on Thursday 5Th March 2009 after a government spokesman accused their group of aiding a criminal gang. What led to the cold blood killing is still unclear but I know that my father life was the target. You can read more about my father in the BBC link below. africa/7927873.stm

After the death of my beloved father my wicked step mother along with my uncles team together and sold everything that my late father had and share the money within themselves, I lost my mother long time ago, and since then, my father loved me so dearly at my tender age may he rest in peace and may the great God give him a safe entry in Paradise Amen. Before the death of my father, he told me that he made a fixed deposit of the sum of Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($8.500.000.00) in one of the Banks here in Burkina Faso, with my name as his next of kin, which I confirmed his statement positively from the bank. But on my arrival to the Bank to withdraw the fund, the Bank foreign Operation Department Director whom I meet in person told me that my father instruction to their bank is that the fund would only be release to me when I am married or present a trustee/partner who will help me and invest the fund overseas after the transfer, and the bank ask me to go and look for a foreign partner.
Therefore my dear, I am soliciting your help for transferring of my inheritance fund into your bank account and investment assistance in your Country as my legal appointed trustee as the bank mentioned and it will be my intention to compensate you with 40% of the total fund for your services and help then the balance shall be my capital in your establishment which you are going to establish there in your country or position as my trustee and manger. I have suffered lots of set back as a result of my parents death. I left Kenya, because of incessant family funds. Presently, I am currently residing in Christ De King Refugee camp here in Ouagadougou Capital city of Burkina Faso. Hence, I want to settle in your country to further my education and spend the rest of my life. Please consider my request as my life is being hugely affected.

Thanking you a lot in anticipation of your quick response. I will give you details in my next mail after receiving your acceptance mail to help me.


Yours Sincerely Vivian John Paul.


From: Me.

Dearest Vivian,

It’s so rarely that someone – much less a total stranger – will sit down and pen a letter to a virtual stranger with “humble submission”…so eloquently stated, yet with a subject line of “help me out” to let me know that you’re down-to-earth and completely familiar with street jargon, you jive turkey.

In short, you had me at “Your Dearest,” and I would be more than happy to help you out with your multi-national problem. Yesterday I was forced to step over a panhandler – a former classmate of mine – as I happily skipped to my place of employment, which was awkward, but I’m much more willing to help someone with a unisex name writing from a foreign land than that prick, Darrel. That guy never took the time to pen out an e-mail from a foreign land purposefully avoiding using my name, so why should I help him?

We’re not so different, actually, you and I. Like you, my father was also a Kenyan lawyer, but not with OFFLACK. My father worked from The Bert Q. Sneezleweiner Society of Legal Aid and Panini Sandwich Advocacy Group of Rural Kenya (TBQSSOLAAPSAGORK), which is much easier to say the acronym out loud than type out…a gutteral acronym that sounds like an orangutan challenging an unwelcome visitor.

My father was also killed…although not by government accomplices, but an orangutan. My father mistakened the orangutan’s gutteral noise as the animal being familiar with his organization and foolishly approached the animal, only to be torn apart. That orangutan later went on to hold office in the Kenyan government, however, so it’s entirely possible our two tragic stories are more intertwined than we may have earlier expected.

The part about your wicked step mother especially got to me and left me with so many questions. What made her wicked? Did she and your late father reside in a part of Kenya inhabited by a Disney movie? Why didn’t she hold a position in OFFLACK…I imagine with your father being both CEO and holding a communications and advocacy role, she could have held a dual, oddly vast position in the business (Chief Operating Officer as well as Workplace Hazards Officer).

Your father was smart to hold that $8.5 million until you found a “foreign partner”…I assume that bank is also located in the same area inhabited by that Disney movie. It’s taking on a very “Blank Check” or “Brewster’s Millions” vibe here, so I’m half-hoping that there are more loopholes associated with this cash award. Perhaps when this is nearing completion, we’ll find out that there’s a twist where we can have the money, but have to raise a below-average-intelligence elephant as if it’s our own son until it turns 18. I assume we’ll learn an important lesson about ourselves during this process, however I’m getting ahead of myself.

Of course I’d be more than willing to help out a stranger contacting me out of the blue and offering to give me money…what kind of monster would I be to say no? I primarily deal in a barter system here in rural Iowa, however I’m certain that I could have some kind of account set up with the local “money shack” here in town and work up some kind of arrangement. I understand that you are writing with urgency, and I apologize for taking several days to get back to you…I was preoccupied with panini advocacy matters and scheming against my wicked step-uncle.

Most sincerely, and with profound respect and humble submission,


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