So just before Xmas I get, out of the blue, an email from a friend of mine, someone that I've known for years (I used to work for her mother, some 25 years ago), with a surprising bit of quite alarming news:
Sorry I did not inform you about my sudden trip out of the country to Belgium. Am here to see my ill cousin, she is suffering Kidney disease and must undergo Kidney transplant to save her life. Kidney transplant is very expensive here so i want to transfer her back home to have the surgery implemented.
I really need to take care of this now but my credit card can't work here. I traveled with little money due to the short time I had to prepare for this trip and never expected things to be the way it is right now. I need a loan of $1,500 from you to take care of things here and I promise to reimburse you at my return. Kindly get back to me asap if you can assist so I'll advise on how to transfer funds.
[errors in the original]
Wow, what a shocker. Naturally you can imagine my distress. I didn't even know she had a cousin in Belgium, nor did I know that medical care was SOOO expensive in Europe (take that Mister Barack Socialized Medicine Obama!). So I lost no time in responding to her:
Thanks for thinking of me in your time of need. Sad news about your cousin, but fortunately for everyone, this comes at a time when, due to my well-known volunteer work with the Chernobyl cleanup, I happen to have an extra Kidney. Since I don't need three of them, and the third one is inconveniently living outside my body in an extruding sac that, if the truth were known, is turning into quite an eyesore, not to mention a hassle when I try to put on my pants, I will gladly donate it to your cousin.
I'd love to send money as well, but as you know, I've had to spend most of my savings on a new wardrobe to accommodate my extra Kidney -- ironic in that if I donate the Kidney, I will have to spend an equal amount of money to have my wardrobe altered to fit me once again. Oh, well...
So, that being said, I am willing to get on a plane and fly to Belgium tomorrow, if needs be, to give your dear cousin my extraneous body part. Please reserve me a room at the Stilton, and inform room service that I would like some Belgian waffles, some Belgian ale, and some of that incredible Belgian tiger stake-and-Kidney pie (from the Belgian Congo, of course) garnished with Belgian endive waiting for me. Yum I can hardly wait...
BUT...the only problem I have is with the money: I don't have enough to actually buy the ticket, so I have taken the liverty to forward your Kidney email to our mutual friend Bob Giblette.
I'm kind of surprised, actually, that you didn't contact him yourself, since as you know he recently came into that substantial "inheritance" from his dearly-beloved "aunt" in Nigeria, so much money in fact that he is actually contemplating retiring from the FBI and becoming a gentleman of leisure/private detective.
I'm sure that Bob, while he is still employed at the Omaha Field Office of the FBI, will be more than happy to work with you.
Expect a contact from him soon.
[misspellings etc., e.g., "liverty", are intentional]