The Meme Is Spreading

Apparently the Nigerians are starting to franchise their little scam to eastern Europe. This is the first time I’ve seen it from this part of the world.

I need your help.

I am the wife of VLAJKO STOJILJKOVIC, one of the people indicted at the Hague War Crimes Tribunal in Hague. The indictment is politically motivated. It was for the package the western worlkd has provided Yogoslavia.

Oh, well glad you cleared that up. We might have thought that he massacred thousands of Croations, or something…

Slobodan and my husband had kept some funds, to enable them take care of rebel problems.

Good thinking and wise planning. You never know when those pesky rebel problems will crop up.

However, now the country they protected has turned against them. I need
to transfer the money out to safety.

Yeah, it’s such a pain when those ingrate rebels won’t stay bought. I hate when that happens.

The funds are in excess of 100 million (in Swiss Francs and US dollars). They will have to be paid into off shore accounts. They are not in Yugoslav.

Well, if they’re not in “Yugoslav,” then where are they?

Can you help? Are you capable of handling funds?

Hmmm…let’s see… [jingling change in pants pocket], yup, seem to be.

Are you trustworthy?

Sure.

You’ll take my word for it, won’t you?

I can offer you 30%. Will that be ok?

Only thirty percent? No way.

i will be also needing you expert advice on business oppurtunity,emigration and purchasing of housing for family living.

I am grateful.

But not as grateful as you’ll be after I give you my bank account number, I’ll bet.

Glorja.

And Glorja to you, too, with a cheerful Hallelujia.

These folks are really rank amateurs compared to those funny Ibos in Lagos. No mention of how they got my name from a trusted source at the State Department, no entreaties to keep this just between you and me…

I’ll be interested to see if the quality improves in future.

Stuck In The Caribbean

Six months ago today, I’d just gotten back to San Juan from a diving vacation in Bonaire, and was about to get on an American flight back to LA via Dallas. The flight was supposed to leave about 11 AM Atlantic Standard Time (which also happens to be the same time zone as Eastern Daylight Time).

Packed, and waiting for the time to approach at which I was to take a cab to Luis Munoz Marin Airport, I was doing some work on the computer in our apartment in Isla Verde, listening to Fox & Friends on the television. Just as the program was coming to an end at 9 AM, I heard E.D. Donahey announce that they’d just gotten word that a plane had collided with the World Trade Center.

The first thing that crossed my mind was that it must have been a private pilot who lost his way. Was the weather bad? Then I saw the image, and it was clearly a CAVU day (Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited, other than the smoke coming from the fire). Now it was starting to look deliberate–it’s hard to come up with a plausible scenario in which someone flies into one of the world’s tallest buildings, on a clear sunny morning, by accident, short of a heart attack in the cockpit or something.

As the fire burns, Fox brings in a supposed aviation expert, who assures us (despite my own thoughts) that this is just a navigational problem of some kind–it’s very unlikely that it is deliberate. Just as he finishes saying this, I see, in real time, the second plane hit the second tower.

Probably feeling like a fool, the “expert” says something like, “well, now this is starting to look like it’s deliberate.” Award that man a clue!

We’re clearly at war, the only question is with whom.

It’s now just twenty minutes or so before I have to decide whether to take a cab to the airport and get on a plane to the mainland. It seems crazy to even bother, but there’s been no announcement as to the status of other flights. But fortunately, just about the time that I have to make the decision, they announce that all flights have been grounded. Even if that doesn’t include Puerto Rico, I know that no planes are going to depart to Dallas, and if even if it does, I won’t get another flight to LA. So I’m now stuck in San Juan indefinitely.

We get word that the Pentagon is hit. I call a business associate in Old Town Alexandria, who has just gotten in to work, and tell him to look out the window. He sees the smoke and flames on the other side of Crystal City.

Now, as I continue to watch, I start musing idly about how I’d get back to LA if I really had to. I’m thinking, I could catch a non-American flight over to Santo Domingo, and then maybe Air Jamaica or something to Tijuana, and then walk across the border. But then I hear that the borders are closed as well.

So, I ended up spending almost another week in Puerto Rico (not a bad thing at all, as Patricia was there). The following Monday, I was on one of the first flights to leave after the fleet grounding. Security was clearly tighter–I had to put my computer through the machine separately, for the first time. The crew on the flight was somber. I wondered if they had lost friends that day…

More Airline Security Insanity

There’s a storm brewing over the ongoing airline security fiasco, reported by today’s LA Times. More and more people are starting to realize that the cure may be worse than the disease.

Even experts who believe the government is doing as well as can be expected say officials have failed to spell out passengers’ responsibilities and rights. Another gap is a lack of clear protocols for dealing with minor incidents. Without such guidelines, even a sarcastic comment from a frustrated traveler can escalate into a federal felony charge.

Yup. Zero tolerance, and zero intelligence.

Unfortunately, Fox News still doesn’t seem to get it. I heard them talk about a poll they took as to whether people are still “afraid to fly.” Why don’t they take a poll to see if people are too disgusted and irritated to fly?

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!