A Typical Fake Email – Annotated
At least three versions of the following letter have found their way to my email inbox. It keeps getting forwarded to me by people who find it amusing and yes, true in at least one sense: that it expresses something that they can agree with.
So many bogus emails have sustained popularity because they touch a nerve. To believe that they are actual true-to-life documents or events only adds to their appeal, but even when they are exposed as works of fiction, the core appeal often remains.
Here is the letter I mentioned. I’ll repeat the American version in its entirety, adding Canadian and British variations in brackets.
An actual letter to the [Canadian] passport office…
Dear Sir [Mr. Minister]:
I’m in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this. How is it that Radio Shack [Sky Television] has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a t.v. cable [bleeding satellite dish] from them back in 1997 , and yet, the Federal Government is still asking me where I was [bloody] born and on what date.
For Christ sakes, do you guys do this by hand? My birth date you have on my social security card [social insurance card; pension book], and it is on all the income tax forms I’ve filed for the past 30 years. It is on my health insurance card [National Health card], my driver’s license, [my car insurance,] on the last eight [god]damn passports I’ve had, on all those stupid customs declaration I’ve had to fill out before being allowed off the planes over the last 30 years , and all those insufferable census forms that are done at election times.
Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother’s name is Maryanne, my father’s name is Robert and I’d be absolutely [abso-f#cking-lutely] astounded if that will ever change between now and when I die!!!!!!
I apologize, I’m really @## [pissed] off this morning. Between you and me, I’ve had enough of this @## [bullsh#t]! You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my [f#cking] address. What @## is going on?
You have a gang of Neanderthal @## [a$$holes; arseholes] workin’ there! Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don’t want to dig up Yasser Arafat, for @## [sh#t] sakes. I just want to go and park my ass [arse] on a sandy beach.
And would someone please tell me, why would you give a @## whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat, believe you me, I’d sure as hell not want to tell anyone [you'd be the last f#cking people I'd want to tell]!
Well, I have to go now, ’cause I have to go to the other end of the [poxy] city and get another [f#cking] copy of my birth certificate, to the tune of $60 [£30]. Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day??
Nooooo, that’d be too damn easy and maybe makes sense. You’d rather have us running all over the [f#cking] place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some @## [a$$hole; arsehole] to confirm that it’s really me on the [god]damn picture — you know, the one where we’re not allowed to smile?! ([f#ckin'; beurocratic f#ckin'] morons) Hey, you know why we can’t smile [couldn't smile if we wanted to]? We’re totally @## [pissed] off!
Signed – An Irate [f#cking Canadian] Citizen.
Remember what I said above about the picture and getting someone to confirm that it’s me? Well, my family has been in this country since 1776 [when one of my forefathers took up arms against the Americans]. I have served in the military for something over 30 years and have had security clearances up the yingyang [over 25 of those years enabling me to undertake highly secretive missions all over the world]. [I was aide de camp to the lieutenant governor of our province for ten years and I have been doing volunteer work for the RCMP for about five years.]
However, I have to get someone ‘important’ to verify who I am — you know, someone like my doctor WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN [F#CKING PAKISTAN] COMMUNIST [F#CKING] CHINA!
You Sure In The @## [Hell] Should Know Who.
I suspect the American version is the original since it cites 1776, which is repeated in the other versions for no logical reason. Also, the Canadian and British version seem to merely add profanity to the original text, as well as add a bit of Canadian and British flavor.
I read one person claiming to have read “the original” version of this letter in French (Canadian). That reminds me of Chancellor Gorkon’s claim in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” that “You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon.”
The original is no doubt a work of fiction, as the procedures mentioned do not match up with any set of actual passport renewal procedures in any of these countries. It’s just a joke. A forwarded office email. If we don’t take it seriously, it’s really quite amusing, I think. But please: stop sending it to me!
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