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[NOTE: after reading Brian Lageose’s hilarious post Re: Concerning Lottery Jesus Good Winner, I took a quick look at my spam folder to see that , sure enough, the families of fallen dictators haven’t abandoned their efforts to send princely sums my way. Here’s my response from several years ago.]


No hugging, dear. I’m British. We only show affection to dogs and horses. [Image credit: What a Girl Wants, movie 2003, Eileen Atkins as Jocelyn Dashwood]

When we moved to England, I had two worries. How hard would it be to make friends, and how would I handle being an unemployed dog-walker aspiring writer?

I don’t have to worry about either of these again. Although he was in Lebanon last week to Look Very Serious about Hezbollah, refugees, and male pattern baldness, The Rt Hon William Hague MP, First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, took time to send me an email. Turns out, he’s been concerned about my state of poverty. His email starts:

Subject: Official Notice
OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER
TREASURY AND MINISTER FOR THE CIVIL SERVICE,
LONDON,UNITED KINGDOM.
Our ref: BRT/3470/IDR
our ref:..23/02/2013
BRITISH GOVERNMENT POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM.
On Behalf of the British Government,i wish to inform you of your selection as one of the Beneficiary for the on going 2013 phase One(1) of the British Government Poverty Alleviation and Financial Empowerment Program worldwide. All participants/beneficiaries were selected randomly from Worldwide online networks Directories as a beneficiary of £2,000,000.00 (Two Million, Great British Pounds Sterling).
 

Wow! I had no idea he even knew I was here, let alone that I needed two million pounds. What a nice guy. I’m sure we’ll be really good friends, and I want him to know I don’t believe those stories about him and the entire Oxford Football Club. Anymore.

The Rt Hon William goes on to say:

 
So, this letter is to officially inform you that three(3) option of payment have been opened for you.
 
1) Issuance of an ATM MasterCard
2) Issuance Of Bank Check
3) Bank Wire Transfer
 
Please do indicate your PAYMENT OPTION.
 
As this office will mail you a Visa/ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your funds in any ATM MACHINE CENTER or Visa card outlet in the world with a maximum of £5000 GBP daily or our contracted paying bank here in London,United Kingdom will raise a check in your favor or make the transfer to you depending on your OPTION OF PAYMENT you have indicated.Further more,You will be required to re-confirm your Bio-Data as stated below to enable; Rt Hon William Hague MP,Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs,begin
in processing your awarded funds.
 
1) Full names:
2) Address:
3) Country:
4) Nationality:
5) Phone #:
6) Age:
7) Occupation:
8) Zip Code
9) Sex:

This is a surprise. The Rt Hon William knows I need poverty alleviation, but he doesn’t know where I live? Or that my occupation (AussieDog wrangler/writer) doesn’t actually involve a salary? Still, I guess giving out £2 million to deserving poverty-stricken people like me might mean The Rt Hon hasn’t had a lot of time for details like sex. [Answer to #9: Hell, yeah.] Or using good grammar…

I pressed on for the info on how to collect my well-deserved payout.

 
Forward all your details reply to:
——————————————————-
Rt Hon William Hague MP
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
sffc_govt.uk@hotmail.co.uk
Tel:+44 702 409 4640
Fax:+44-700-596-1982
——————————————————-
 
 
Regards,
 
Mrs. Elaine Rooker Smith.
Liaison Officer On Foreign Payment
 
 

I thought it might be best if I explained this personally to Rt Hon. Luckily, since we’re such good friends, he included his mobile phone number at the bottom of the letter. But I’m pretty worried about him because apparently this number is no longer in service. Is the UK government’s program to alleviate my poverty causing them to have difficulties paying their phone bills? And (since the email lists a Hotmail address), are they also having trouble covering their internet fees? With the wolf at Rt Hon’s door, I’m thinking of telling him that he should keep a few thousand pounds out of my £2 million for himself. No, really: I can get by with the remaining £1,998,000.

I hope Rt Hon doesn’t take this the wrong way, but things being what they are, I’m thinking I’d prefer my payment option to include a suitcase of unmarked bills delivered by a neckless guy named Vito. He can leave it in the trunk of my car. And while I’m really happy about getting the £2-mil, I hope The Rt Hon William Hague MP, First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, understands if I leave him off my New Year’s Eve party list. I’m not sure how well some guy who can’t even pay his mobile phone bill will fit in with all the great new friends I’ll have by then.

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