Well, exposure to thousands of examples of online idiocy over the past months has finally taken its toll on Al Likilla, with the erstwhile Home Defence editor forced to check into a ‘relaxation hostel’ where psychiatric nurses have been monitoring his progress around the clock. The medical establishment is hoping Al can eventually forget those people around the world who send unintelligible messages in broken English to individuals they’ve never met before, proposing marriage or worse. Sadly, the present situation is not looking good. Initially Al was making some headway, and after four weeks he had ceased to rock back and forth in his cell for fourteen hours a day. The institution then moved the patient to a room with a calming rustic view, where he could look out upon rose bushes and a field where wild rabbits would frolic. Unfortunately the hospital also allowed Al an internet connection and, like a small child rubbing a sore spot, Likilla was soon logging on, discovering a veritable cornucopia of new propositions, all forwarded by frightened users of so-called ‘social networking’ web sites such as My Space, Facebook or NeedOats.com. Slipping back into the bad old patterns, even as doctors assumed Al was safely in the TV room playing Boggle with the one-off man-mentals, Likilla once more pulled out his blunt pencil to ‘unpack’ a batch of introductory messages (which, needless to say, retain their original wording and grammar), in the hope he could warn others, and maybe even put an end to such idealistic yet unsavoury approaches through the medium of light mockery…
Ugh, ick, oof - that’s better. While it’s nice they give you a warm coat so you can hug yourself and never feel alone, sometimes a man needs to wriggle out and get stuck into more wannabe ‘e-suitors’. First up, a nineteen year old Nigerian called Alex…
hi i love your pcs,it look wounderful, (‘Wounderful’? Like a living thing peppered with bulletholes? And while we’re here, you’re referring to this girl you’ve approached as ‘it’! Back to charm school Alex!) and i' ll like am Alex a student , studing (‘Studing’ for gullible women on the internet perhaps?) microsoft certified system engineer (mcse) (The University of Microsoft. Of course.) and planning to study computer science or computer engineering.need your advice on which course study, (So, you’re asking someone entirely random for advice? In that case, I think you should give up all this computing nonsense and do a degree in textiles.) pls send me your mail address and your phone number (Yep, that sounds like a good idea.) so that i can get in tourch with you.
l love you
‘I love you’ he says. So you’ve fallen in love with a profile on a web site Alex? And there was me thinking this emotion only arose after meeting the person you ‘love’, or at least communicating with them somehow. But apparently the object of a man’s ardour doesn’t even need to acknowledge his existence. Teenagers eh? I hope Alex didn’t get his heart broken, although he’s probably fallen in ‘love’ again a good dozen times since sending that message; with the images on TV, photographs in gentlemen’s magazines and some chick his brother was talking about.
Also forwarded was the following missive, from a 26 year old UK gentleman called Sean:
You look nice in your pictures, wonderful eyes. (Ah, that’s sweet!)
Some eyes are powerful, I feel you should ware sunglasses more often, those eyes, too nice. It would allow us
(Er… ‘us’?) a break from being sucked into those wonderful eyes of yours. (This message has taken a turn for
the odd.) Stare to long at eyes like yours, and you feel like your swimming in them, and the only way out would be to swim down to your heart, (But what if you took a wrong turn? There aren’t any signposts down there. You could end up in the lower intestine.) so I can get pumped up to your mouth (Is he fantasizing about swimming around in someone’s bloodstream here?) and sit on your strawberry lips, until you blow gently and let me land safely back on my pc again.
Eyes are deep to me, always have been. It's fitting you posted a picture of your right eye, I can imagine diving into the eye now.
Needless to say, after receiving the above, the girl in question removed the photograph of her eye from public display and took a long shower. Tragically, she still doesn’t feel clean. But trying to win the affections of a lady by imagining some X-rated version of the Dennis Quaid movie ‘Innerspace’ is nothing compared to the approach of our next e-suitor, a Liverpudlian named Carter:
Saw ur profile and i would love to have a nice chat with you.I must confess i have never seen eyes so beautifull as yours and a face dat looks as if it was touched by God himself.(This is in direct contrast to Carter’s face, which looks as if some deranged creator rearranged the features at random, then ran off laughing.) I saw ur profile and i wished i had you with me everyday. (In a specially dug pit at the bottom of his cellar.) Am carter osagie born in united state but now planning to based in the United Kingdom precisely liverpool .I am an architect and i own and architectural firm , (Yes, that’s right. A successful American architect with no grasp of spelling or basic punctuation.) Am 41yrs of age and was previously married but lost my wife in a car crash (Damn this is a tragic story. Tragic enough to make any girl travel to Carter’s bedsit and take her clothes off I’d wager.) I have dog which is dear to me i named her after my late wife. (That’s so romantic, poor guy. Luckily Carter’s dead wife was called ‘Fido’.) Thats basically all about me.
Yes, that’s definitely enough from ‘Carter’ who, in the movie version of his life, would undoubtedly be played by Richard Gere. What a rich fantasy life some of these correspondents possess! Not least Jessy, a 29 year old African girl who sent me the following message:
How are you doing there hope all is well with you there ? i will like you to know more about me bcos i am a lovergirl.. (That’s a wonderfully enticing, yet somehow meaningless boast.) i am from toronto in canada but now in nigeria to see my mum bcos she is ill and she really need my help here in nigeria .(Hmmm… sounds to me like you need the help of a gullible Western
man young Jessy!) i have only one brother and he is here with my mum . my mum come to nigeria bcos i lost my
dad when i was 10 years old . so when i was 28 she come to nigeria to stay here bcos she is from nigeria my dad
and my mum meet them self in canada that is why they get married in canada ? (Why the question mark? Are you
as unsure of this bullshit as I am?) so that is why my mum come to nigeria and here in nigeria is very bad (No
need to go into specifics, I’ll take your word for it.) i really need so mush help here bcos i am the only one to help
her i really need so mush (Stop calling me ‘mush!’ It’s very disrespectful.) help over here .. i am single girl looking
for a nice man that i will like to get married too ?(And there was me thinking you just wanted a big pile of my
money! Okay, fuck it – let’s get married.) i will like to hear from you soon ... my email address is
Sadly Jessy and myself haven’t yet fixed a date for our big day, so if you like what you’ve seen and want to step in, feel free to drop her a line. I don’t mind, I’ve been cuckolded before. Besides, there are always other e-suitresses, like Elena from Russia…
Hi my name is Elena!
Sorry for disturbance (There’s been a disturbance?) - i was searching the web for the first time with such goal... :) and had found your e-mail address somewhere in google (Of course you did! Except that this email came through My Space. Still, why waste such a plausible story? It’s obviously one you’ve laboured long and hard over.). I don't know if it is basically normal to write someone "from the first search" ;)) but i really would like to meet someone in the Internet. :) (Not sure anyone can exist ‘in’ the internet. Maybe you have to evolve to the next level of being, like Tron.) To tell you the truth, i was dissapointed in Russian men (i'm originaly from Russia), that's why i'm trying my luck in the Internet. (You should hang out with Olga from E-Suitors One, she knows exactly how you feel.)
I search, you know somebody who is... kind and careful, not as any previous boys.. :) i need MAN if you you know what i mean. ;) (Nope, no idea.) In man i appreciate a good sense of humour more then cooking abilities (;)) jokin'). (Now I’m confused. Do you want me to make you laugh or whip up a risotto?) I believe that the main quality of any relationship - is trust! Please don't bother yourself to answer if you are not going to be honest with me!!! (Thanks, I was looking for a get-out clause.) Together with trust I want to create a loving pair, happy family - and i will try only once - i don't want my heart to be broken again... I know, that I shall find the only man who will correspond to these qualities. (There’s only one? He could take a while to find…) I can tell, that I search for the man not for a month and not for some years, but for the whole life!!! Just think about that before answering me. (Well, you’ll be glad to hear I’ve thought long and hard about what you’ve said Elena, and I don’t understand it.)
I hope, that your heart is free for me and my love (or, maybe at least - friendship..)! (Make up your mind, Christ…)
I wait you to answer my letter ... - just write me - i'll write you back, i promise!
Yours faithfully, Elena (Saint-Petersburg, Russia)
P.S: I have some scanned fotos and I can send you some ;))
Terrified, as I was, at discovering exactly what those ‘fotos’ were of, I didn’t respond to Elena’s kind request. Still, I wish her the best of luck ensnaring future idiots.
And now, for some poetry:
First day on MySpace and spotted you so thought I'd pen you a little verse .....
Serenity and pleasure in the perfect tease
Emotions which my heart you’ve ceased
Your face is lit with falic frown (Falic?)
And eyes in which a heart could drown (I’m not a doctor, but that doesn’t sound biologically possible.)
So who achieve and who aspires
Destiny drawn to the eternal fire.
‘Funkey Munkey’, 32 Male, UK.
Well Mr Munkey, I’m not sure about the girl who received your evocative verse, but my initial feedback runs as follows: You have no talent. You need a dictionary. You’re an idiot.
Nuhhh! I can feel another ‘episode’ coming on as my brain reacts against these missives and the anti-psychotics begin to wear off. But there’s still time for a couple more. First up, a 32 year old called Charles who hails from Jamaica:
U profile is very gud and i just love d simple way u are,(First sentence, and you’re already calling this lady a simpleton. Good work.) pls can u tell me d ultimate of ur beauty?(hehehe) (Er…) i guess u alws take gud care of ur self and u eat balance diet (Are you saying you can tell she’s ‘regular’ from her photo?) alws(hehehe) (I fear this man may be schizophrenic.) well am here in
philippiness,am openminded man,honest and sincere and am giving u the assurance dat u will never regret of knowing me.(beauty) (Did you spot another of his multiple personalities interjecting there?) i will be very greatfull if u can let me be ur crown till death do us apart. (Yes, go and sit on his head. Shouldn’t take long for Charles to asphyxiate.)For effective communication u can add my Id [email protected] (Funny how one person’s fantasy is another’s nightmare.) .Hope to read from u beauty,remain Blessssssssssseeeeeeedddddddd
The way he stretched out that final blessing, it was almost as if the men in white coats were dragging Charles away. Just like those I can hear approaching the computer room now. So, before I’m heavily sedated and thrown back into my cell, let’s hear from ‘Willems’, a man of 38 who resides in California:
How are you doing,I was just going through your profile and your picture got blood jumping around in my vein like a ball on a roller coaster... (Now there’s a metaphor.) Complimented with a beautiful profile.You look so sweet and more pretty..I momentarily knew I had to meet you... (Then, a moment later, he forgot.) I m John Williems and i do a lot of things (I’ll bet you do.) and most especially among them is this( I have fun all the time) Lets get talking, you may just earn yourself a friend who'll treat you like a goddamn precious piece from China.... (From China? You mean like a concubine?) I'm waiting.. Lets go Here is my personal email address you might want to halla me or chat me I m mostly online, you can add me to your yahoo messenger so that we can chat one on one (Is this sentence ever going to end? I’m exhausted.) or if you don't have it you can create one to reach me here is
my im identity [email protected] I'm there now you can reach me okay. (It seems that when Willems gets
excitable punctuation goes out the window. I wonder if he’s as breathless all these months later, still waiting for a
Have a nice day...
No Willems, thank you, for providing Home Defence with some entertainment thanks to your ridiculous email. And, as the medical staff unplug the modem and try to grab hold of my limbs, until next time, keep forwarding those messages and pray for my mental well-being. Goodnight.
Outpatient rules permitting, Al Likilla will be touring university campuses this summer with his new lecture: ‘Haphazard Seduction & Global Mating Failures – Electronic Woo In The Cyberage’. Biscuits provided, get there early.