We live on a continually shrinking planet and no, that’s not due to soil erosion, oil consumption, or some other terrifying effect of global warming. I’m rapping at ya metaphorically ma homies. Yes, we’re talking about the internet. About cheap flights to foreign lands, and the phenomenon of globalisation. Nowadays, if a butterfly flaps its wings in Asia, that moment will be captured on YouTube, watched by thousands around the globe, then deconstructed on message boards, and eventually lead to increased excitement in an entomologist from Deptford, meaning he forgets to turn off the iron and accidentally starts a house fire, killing seven. Similarly, those seeking romance need no longer limit themselves to the immediate village and neighbouring hamlets. Thanks to online dating, young people can now spend months tapping away, getting to know someone on the other side of the world, thinking nothing of upping sticks to La Rochelle or Brisbane, finding love in the most unexpected of locations. Or, if not love, then at least the realisation the two of you are utterly incompatible, having travelled thousands of miles to enter a relationship with someone who only exists in your head.
Yes, all one needs nowadays to hunt out the perfect partner is access to a prefabricated internet café or shebeen, a high tolerance for rejection, and a rudimentary grasp of the language spoken by that person you’re pursuing. Very rudimentary. And so, as part of Home Defence’s unofficial remit, a remit which involves keeping you up to date on major anthropological trends and laughing at silly
people, I recently asked readers to forward me examples of approaches they’ve received from complete strangers across the interweb. These messages derive from the recent phenomenon of ‘social networking’ sites such as My Space, Friendster, and Bone-Buddy™. As well as providing a means to chat with like-minded souls, share the latest updates on self-confessed wife-beater David Hasselhoff, and get pestered by hundreds of terrible bands, these sites can also help lonely men and women of all nationalities court their way into the lives of people they quite like the look of, as the following messages illustrate. These emails were received apropos of nothing by single men and women in the UK or US after their online profiles were viewed by the senders who, where known, have been named, with their age and country of origin listed. I’ve retained the original spelling and grammar of the messages for reasons that will soon become apparent, and can reassure you no responses were ever sent back. That would only encourage them. Where possible, I have also included the author’s email address, so feel free to write them a note of your own should their unique grasp of the English language intrigue you. I’m sure they’d be grateful to hear from anyone who can offer that winning combination of extreme gullibility and a Green Card.
First up we have a missive from ‘Olga’, a 29 year old Russian:
“Hello!!! My name is Olga!!! (Hmm... two sentences, five words, six exclamation marks. First impressions aren’t
great, but maybe she’ll pick up.)
I liked so liked you and I have decided to write to you the letter for get acquainted with you.(Okay, maybe not.)
Some information about me: I am alone women, (Presumably this is a similar boast to Chaka Khan’s ‘I’m Every
I am 29, I have light brown hair and brown eyes. My birthday is September, the 27, 1976. I work in a beauty
salon as masseur. (Oh yes? With special emphasis on ‘massaging’ the loins of vodka-confused Soviets, no
I have small family: I and my mummy. we live in small flat together. She works in school as teacher of Russian language. If you ask me , why I have decided to find foreign soulmate through the Internet, I will answer you that I am tire from Russian men. He only likes to drink alchohol and want from me only sex.(So Olga thinks a British guy is going to make a refreshing change? I hate to break this to her…)
I was marrie for 1 year and then my x-husband begin drink and then he lose work and never help me for pay bills. Now I am divorced and have no any children, but I so want to have children.(At which point, forgive me for stating the obvious here, but you’re coming on a little strong Olga. We’re halfway through our first email – or ‘letter’ as you call it – and already you’re talking about kids. Let’s exchange a few incoherent messages first, at least.)
I hope you will answer me and we will correspondence.(Yes, I hope that too. I could teach you the difference between a noun and a verb.)
I hope you will like my photos at site that I gave to you. Oh, sorry I forget tell to you that I live in Sernur. IT's near from Kirov, anout 230 kilometres. (Yup, that fits my definition of ‘near’.)
I hope you will answer me as soon as you get it letter, I wait your letter with impatience. (Sad to say Olg, I think you’ve blown it. Impatience isn’t what I’m looking for in a wife. Sorry.)
also I will be happy if you send me some photos. (Then again, at least she’s easily pleased. I think I’ll send her some photos of Whitby Leisure Centre.)
and I promise that I will answer you and I will send you more of my photos. Yours new girlfriend Olga. My new girlfriend huh? And there was me thinking I was single, when all along, and through no actual action on my part, I was completely attached. Sorry ladies, apparently I’m spoken for. My mother will be so pleased. And, as I try to work out if I can afford to have Olga quit the massage business and get her sent over to London in a crate, next up we have ‘Chilla’, a 29 year old man from Algeria who recently approached a female acquaintance as follows:
“hello , how are u ??? i think A friend is like a flower, a rose to be exact, (Why exactly a rose Chilla? Is it because they appear alluring and lovely, but underneath there’s a great big prick?)
Or maybe like a brand new gate that never comes unlatched. (This has to be the simile of the day. I’ve never thought of friendship in these terms before but he’s right: A friend can lock you out, or let you in. In fact, I’d go one step further. A friend is like a big fence, with searchlights, barbed wire, and the occasional gun turret.)
A friend is like an owl, both beautiful and wise. (And, if you’re lucky, their head can rotate 360 degrees.)
Or perhaps a friend is like a ghost,(Spooky, frightening, never leaves you alone…) whose spirit never dies.(Oh, okay.)
A friend is like a heart that goes strong until the end. (At which point it attacks you.)
Where would we be in this world if we didn't have a friend , its right ?????????????? honest i am very intrested to
know u and to make this serious friendship if u believe it ok ? what do u think ????????????”
Well, Chilla, I can’t speak for the girl you sent the message to, but personally I think using more than ten question marks at the end of a sentence is scientific proof that you’re a psychopath. Sorry.
Next up we have Tod, a 32 year old from Fresno, California, who should provide a refreshing change, since English appears to be his first language. Let’s see:
you got eyes i thought i will see like them onley in haven. goad pless you”
For those who aren’t familiar with Haven, they’re a company offering affordable and luxurious holiday homes within the British Isles. As Tod so rightly observes, in recent years Haven have gained a solid reputation for employing staff (and attracting guests) who possess the most lambent, alluring eyes you’ll ever see. More Who’s this? Why, it’s Felix Weah! A 28 year old from Istanbul in Turkey, who kindly included his full name and email address in the message replicated below. This was sent to my associate Clarice, frontwoman for up and coming avant-skronk band, The Aprons: “hello how are you doin sweety, i saw ya profile i got impressed wit and i felt so much interested in gettin to know ya as a good friend if ur hapy wit my coment then you can hit me back GOB BLESS .if u care to chat my msn is [email protected] thxx hope to hear from you soon. Bye.”
Now, you see, Felix, you were doing okay up until the ‘GOB BLESS’ bit. But that kind of undermined the whole romantic vibe you’d worked so hard to create. Perhaps Felix would be better off approaching old-school punk chicks, the kind of girls who are more likely to appreciate his phlegm-drenched imagery.
Let’s end on a homegrown missive. This one came from Adam, a 23 year old guy who lives in Leicester:
“hello am 23
sech for wife”
Admirably blunt and to the point, I think you’ll agree? Who knows, if Adam forwards this message on to twenty
million single women across the globe, he may even be successful in that ‘sech for wife’!
Until next time, this is Al Likilla, hoping you get lucky with that arbitrary wooing!
Do YOU receive emails similar to the above, at the aforementioned ‘social networking’ sites that are sweeping the internet? If so, why not overcome the annoyance of receiving propositions from randoms by forwarding them to Home Defence? Let’s put the swaining style of named individuals (along with their email addresses) up here for the world to see! Contact me at: [email protected] or visit www.myspace.com/alandevey. And if you’ve actually met your husband through the exchange of incomprehensible messages over the web, please tell Richard and Judy. I’m sure they’d be interested.