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Published: Monday, 10/10/2011

Of pleas for help and a ‘chronologically gifted’ speeder

BY THOMAS WALTON
BLADE COLUMNIST

A few weeks ago I ridiculed an email chain letter that promised cash in four days if it was forwarded to eight other persons. But I also wrote that my faith could be restored if somebody would just send me a dollar within four days.

Somebody did.

Roger Rummel of Holland sent a dollar bill and this note, which I’ve slightly condensed:

“Dear Tom, Please don’t feel this is a hardship on me. I am working with a man from Nigeria whose father was a high government official and had stolen several billion dollars from the government. He needs help from a fine upstanding person such as myself to get the money into this country. Therefore I shall soon be immensely wealthy and plan to solve the city’s deficit problem. The man tells me there is room for one more investor and if you would send me $100, I can see that you get in on this.”

Roger, while I’m overwhelmed by your generosity and willingness to share your pending fortune, I’m delighted to report it won’t be necessary. You see, I too have been contacted by a former government official in Nigeria with a similar offer.

In my case, it’s an unclaimed inheritance that must find its way to the United States immediately, and only an American citizen can make it happen. In return for my assistance, I will get a sizable share of the multimillion-dollar booty.

Not that I’m gullible or greedy or anything, but this is too good to pass up. In fact, a number of my friends have received similar contacts from Nigeria, so I can only surmise the kind of chaos and corruption that must complicate life over there in greater Abuja and its environs. But I’m determined to cash in.

Roger, between the two of us, I’m certain the city’s fiscal problems will soon be history. Mayor Mike Bell probably will throw a parade in our honor, and we’re not even Chinese.

Imagine, the two of us getting such a fantastic opportunity. What were the odds? The Better Business Bureau says it’s a scam, but you know me. Nigeria needs my help and I can’t just walk away.

So convinced am I of my coming riches I’ve decided to return the dollar bills I also received from two other readers. However, I’ll keep Roger’s. Very soon he won’t need it.

  • Board members of the Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Communities in Columbus were taking note a while back of the reluctance of many Baby Boomers to be referred to as “seniors.”


Toledoan Ted Jenkins, a board member, credits Dan O’Connor, president of the organization, with offering a nice alternative: “chronologically gifted.”

Right. Birthdays. The gift that keeps on giving.

  • We spotted an ad for an estate sale that sounded interesting until we took note of the directions to find the place. Here is how the ad advised we travel to the sale: “Go west on Mermill Road to East Street, then north on East Street to the northwest corner of East Street and South Street.”


I guess we’d better leave early.

  • Saw a fascinating story about a dog in South Carolina that has a vocabulary of more than a thousand words.


Chaser is a border collie whose owner, a retired psychologist, began training her for four to five hours a day while she was still a puppy. He would show her an object and say its name up to 40 times. He would introduce one or two new words every day. He’d hide the items and tell her to fetch.

Now she’s up to 1,022 words, according to a New York Times story.

I was incredulous at first. Unless he included everything from Q-tips to small appliances, how did he find that many things for a dog to go fetch?

But I’ve changed my mind. I’ve decided Chaser is legit. I think I got an email from her last week. Apparently she didn’t like something I wrote. Get in line, girl.

  • Ever wonder what happened to the little old lady from Pasadena that the Beach Boys used to sing about? Apparently, she’s alive and well and living in Gresham, Ore.


Police there pulled over an 86-year-old woman after she was clocked driving 110 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone — twice the speed limit.

She explained that she was late for an appointment and didn’t realize how fast she was going. At least she didn’t claim the accelerator was stuck.

The state of Oregon has a graduated scale of fines for speeders. Her fine came to more than $1,000. There goes the Social Security check.

Thomas Walton is the retired Editor and Vice President of The Blade. His column appears every other Monday.

Contact him at: twalton@theblade.com.



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