View From the Veranda by Trish Carter


Nigeria Calls

It feels a little like joining a club. I got my very own Letter From Nigeria. Some darlin' doctor over there wants to dump 28.6 million dollars in my bank account. Well, kiss my grits as some would say.

While working with the newspaper, I saw a number of these letters (several were printed), and over time I have noticed some changes. Whoever they are, their spelling and grammar have improved a bit. The text is easier to plow through, and they no longer tell you immediately what it's going to cost you before you get a fabulous amount of money showered on you.

Moments of amusement still appear in The Letter. I surmised that the good doctor who wrote me was a bit miffed at some "account provider" in Morocco. He says, "...the account in Morocco is up to some mischief..." Are they of the belief that I am so cute and adorable and of such sterling character that I wouldn't dream of mischief if they turned me loose with 28.6 mil?

According to The Letter the reason that this glob of money is looking for a temporary home is due to something called "over-invoicing". Now hold it a minute. I've been over-invoiced. You've been over-invoiced. I've never noticed that there was a glob of money floating loose afterwards - except maybe in the pockets of he who invoiced in the first place. It must work differently in Nigeria.

My favorite paragraph reads:

We all agreed that the over-invoiced amount be transferred (for our own use) into a bank account provided by a foreign partner, because we are government workers and the Code of Conduct does not allow us to operate foreign accounts.

I translate this as saying: we can't have a foreign account but we sure as hell can grab this money and get it out of the country "for our own use". Guess the Code of Conduct doesn't cover this action.

Another bit of intrigue surfaces in this paragraph:

So far, much have [sic] been said and due to our sensitive positions we cannot afford a slip in this transation [sic], neither can we give our identity, as regards our respective offices, but where relationship is established and smooth operation commenes [sic], you will be furnished with all you deserve to know.

The random commas are all straight from Nigeria, and maybe I was wrong - maybe their spelling and grammar haven't improved all that much.

All in all, I think I already know what I deserve to know about this operation. And gee, I just couldn't comply with the request to, "Please treat with the strictest confidentiality and utmost urgency."

Hey guys. Get a life.

And now for something completely different...

There was an unsung hero at the Thursday evening, Guatemala Night, session of the Sea and Air Festival. You may have noticed him. After the rain squall - brought back the "old days", didn't it? - and the really neat fireworks dance, there evidently was a lighting problem at the top of that huge scaffolding in front of the stage. While the band played on, a young man scaled the frame and was climbing all over, adjusting and fine tuning the lights. All without a net. I was impressed. It's nice to know that the traditional show-must-go-on spirit is alive. The dancers appearing with all those incendiary, flashy-burny things strapped to their bodies have my admiration also. Hope they're back next year. And I haven't punta-ed in a long time. I think I broke by punta muscles.

Random thought - Is it perhaps time to convert the title "Sea and Air" to something that better reflects the festival's theme? Something along the lines of The Costa Maya or The Mundo Maya or The Tierra del Maya Festival? No matter the name, people will come because it's a good event. And, I'd love to see Toledo District's Maya Tribal Council bring some of the local dancers and those spectacular costumes and share that culture with us. After all, it's a festival featuring the Maya World countries.


Editor's note: At least two other letters from Nigeria were received in San Pedro - one was sent to the Mayor! As Ms. Carter points out, please remember this is a scam!




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