Paul Harvey and CNN both report it: Gullible isn’t in the dictionary!

My name is Tom, and I'm an Internet snob.  (Hello, Tom)

My secret nightmare is that I die and stand before my Maker for judgment.  He leafs through my file, sees that I've lived a good life, been nice to people (no matter how much I hate them), and not kicked puppies or anything.  Then He gets to the last page, and He turns purple with rage.  "You son of a BITCH! You think you can sneak in here just because you lived a good life and didn't kick puppies? Guess again, Sparky.  You'll be needing asbestos BVD's, because you DELETED THE E-MAIL TELLING PEOPLE HOW WONDERFUL I AM! All you had to do was forward that e-mail with the ethereal images, misspelled New Agey platitudes and dreadful MIDI music to ten of your friends, and I'd let you in.  But you didn't think it was worth the Me-damned effort."

I think I'm safe.  I like to think God is busy doing more important things than charting my e-mail forwarding habits.

I hope so, because I'm an e-mail snob.  For some reason–and I accept that it's a character flaw on my part–I lose a little bit of respect for people who forward me things that are so obviously fraudulent, and easily debunkable.  Any time I receive an e-mail with a brilliant essay by Andy Rooney or George Carlin, or anything that was "even mentioned on Jay Leno," my faith in humanity wanes.  The worst offender is Paul Harvey. 

No, let me rephrase that.  Paul Harvey is pretty much blameless, but more crackpot screeds are attributed to Paul Harvey than anyone else.  Poor guy. 

There are some interesting real things sailing around the Internet. 

This is not one of them:

The first time I saw this picture, I agreed that it would scare me if I were in this situation.  I suspected, somehow, that it was not real.  A quick visit to informed me that it was a PhotoShop project. 

This hasn't stopped people from sending it to me on numerous occasions.  I just shake my head and hit "delete." It does no good to reply with the truth.  People just think I'm being a jerk.

Most of the time, too, it's Net innocents who send it along: people like my aunt or an old friend, someone who doesn't spend ridiculous amounts of time online like I do. 

But my aggravation reached a new level not two hours ago.

I really like Jennifer Love Hewitt.  I think she's cute in a strange way, and she seems like a genuinely nice person.  She's also adorable when she's a guest on Craig Ferguson's show.  He cracks her up, and she giggles like a schoolgirl.  My stomach twisted a little when she relayed this incredible story one of her fans e-mailed her.  See, these tourists were scuba-diving in Australia, when their son went to take a picture…


I just hope that if I'm ever on a nationally televised talk show, that I don't share the sad tale of the tourist who had his photo snapped from the World Trade Center, with a jet plane hurtling toward him in the background.  Or little kids being bitten by poisonous snakes (or killed by dirty hypodermics) hiding in the McDonald's Playland ball pit. 

Ignorant people tear just a tiny piece of my soul away every time.  Before long, I might have no soul left. 

I guess I'd better start forwarding the Jesus chain e-mails.  You know.  Just to be safe.

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6 Responses to “Paul Harvey and CNN both report it: Gullible isn’t in the dictionary!”

  1. I also hate those "You are one of 10 PHENOMENAL PEOPLE! Send this on to 10 of your PHENOMENAL FRIENDS!"
    I've also started getting text message forwards. I want to smack whoever thought of that. Texts aren't free, people!

  2. I know, right? And the text forwards I always get are always obscene, but that's more a function of my friend Jane's perversion than the medium. Still, very few of them are worth 15 cents. "And if you get this back, that means somebody thinks you're a phenomenal person, too."BLAARGH.

  3. Brilliant!!!

  4. I took the easy way out…I just put Jesus on my blocked sender list. That guy and his spam.

  5. email forwards drive me insane. and of course every time a newbie gets on the computer (i'm looking at you, MOM) i start getting a whole new group of them.i am constantly explaining to my mother that it's not true/real and that she can't believe everything she sees on the web. sheesh.

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