Friday, February 6, 2009

Living proof

When I make sweeping generalizations, I don’t really mean them. For the most part. Australians are fine, I sometimes eat mayonnaise, and I’m sure some of the people who keep birds as pets are perfectly sanitary. My mind really does work to undo those knots of prejudice when it recognizes them. It wants to be open. I just say stupid things because I want to be funny.

But seriously, what the fuck is with Nigerians? In the last six months, Nigerian scams have ambushed me over Gmail, over Craigslist, and just today, over eBay! I felt so violated, making the polite offer to pay shipping for whoever wanted to take an unused iPod off my hands, only to find that the highest bidder once the auction closed wants me to mail the thing to Ile Ife, Nigeria. I attribute to my good nature what first occurred to me: the bidder is an idiot. Come on. The iPod did look exceptionally shiny in the photo I posted online, but that was mostly just glare from the flash. It’s really just a normal iPod, one that can be purchased in first world and third world countries alike.

But guess what? Apparently these scams are rampant! People con you into mailing them stuff at your expense then cancel the money orders they’d sent you as payment! Beware eBay virgins! Oh sure, bidders will tell you they like you for your items, that they respect you as a vendor. But they’ll take your product and your free shipping and leave you battered on the side of the information superhighway.

In my anger, I had awful thoughts about what internet cafes in Nigeria must be like. Somewhere between the place Denzel was running his heroin ring out of in American Gangster and Caligula. And I haven’t even seen Caligula. You don’t want to know the things I’ve imagined about Caligula. Lots of snakes are involved.

But then the guilt of judging all those Nigerians who don’t run internet scandals set in. So to remind you and to remind myself of the yin to the Nigeria’s my-brother-is-a-prince-who-needs-you-to-pose-as-his-next-of-kin’s yang, I give you Fela Kuti.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Hallie,

    A little late to this game, but I'm happy to report that some of us pet bird-keepers are, in fact, quite sanitary. Thank you.

    Yours truly,

    Stu from UCB