As long as the Internet is in existence, we're going to be forwarded emails that have no veracity and others that are meant to be moving or funny, by the well-meaning people in our lives. I have an aunt who's started including me in some of her email distributions. Although I barely have time to keep up with my real emails these days, I always try to take a peek. I mean, she's my aunt and I mostly don't hear from her - maybe she's sending me something I need to know, right?
It occurred to me recently that my responses to some of the emails might do more damage to family harmony than my not reading them in the first place. A couple of them, political in nature and blatantly untrue - disturbed me so much that I had to respond. I figure we've got enough to concern ourselves with when we try to choose a political candidate when we're dealing with the facts, without adding the myths to the pot, right? And it's alarming that people might take these emails at face value. "I read it on the Internet; it must be true." So I've responded, in hopes that she'll send corrections to the others on her list. (I made the mistake of replying to everyone on a couple of lists, years back, and the ensuing drama hassle is frankly not something I'm interested in risking again.)
My very basic rule of thumb is: No Matter How Plausible It Sounds, Check It Out Before Sending It On. Snopes.com is a fabulous resource. Others abound. (For fun, here's a great example of one that WAS true, and I got even more gross, juicy details when I did a little research! Re: "Juicy" - Poor word choice warning.)
Until now, I never received any acknowledgement from my aunt about my email responses. Which made me slightly uncomfortable, but I'd let it go.
So this week she sent me another forwarded email. Only this one had an actual personal note inserted at the beginning. Excellent! 'Cause although she's right, I'd seen it before, (thanks Dad!!!) it's worth reading again. Plus? I now know for sure that my sense of humor and my aunt's are at least sometimes on par with each other. Sighs of relief all around.
hi melody,,, I just had to send this to you,,, I think you will chuckle of it,, although you might have seen it before,,, I appreciate your response to my crazy political e-mail...
Just want to thank all of you for your educational emails over the past year.
Thanks to you, I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel.
I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.
I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.
I can't enjoy lemon slices in my tea or on my seafood anymore because lemon peels have been found to contain all kinds of nasty germs including feces.
I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pass-time while driving alone is picking your nose (Although cell phone usage may be taking the number one spot)
Eating a Little Debbie sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of transfats I have consumed over the years.
I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom. Yuck!
I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.
Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.
I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.
I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.
I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.
I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.
I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.
Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.
Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.
I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.
I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.
I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.
And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face...disfiguring me for life.
I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.
I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.
I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.
I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.
I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda, Singapore and Uzbekistan .
I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.
Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.
And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.< /FONT>
I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!
If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician...
Have a wonderful day...
Oh, by the way.....
A German scientist from Argentina, after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse.
Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late
PS: I'd love to credit the originator of this "forward," but I haven't been able to easily find out who it is. So I'll just say "Thanks!" here...