Today I received an email reply from someone that I had previously had correspondance with (he sent an enquiry to me, I replied). However, this particular email from him was less than kind about me, so I felt obliged to respond in my own way. It’s number 6 in my collection of pointless letters…
Thank you for your reply - your kind comments are more than I deserve. And thank you for your fabulous range of natty images - I found myself smiling and chuckling at them for seconds on end. Just to confirm - in the photo below your name, are you the human or the cat? I’ve never received an email from a cat before, so I’m understandably excited. :)
I have to completely agree with you - I am officially the most stupid person in the world and I have a certificate to prove it (I made it myself using the back of a cornflakes packet and some felt… the only problem was that I had an accident with the glue and now it’s stuck to the kitchen floor). With regards to my education, I like to think that I proved my teachers wrong when they said that my brain was smaller than the salad section in a Scottish supermarket. I left college with two GCSE certificates - in mouthwash gargling and plug-hole hair removal - before spending 15 years at university, eventually graduating with a degree in wok polishing.
For years I’ve yearned to be a Grounds Keeper, but sadly the only job they would give me was answering enquiries from cats such as yourself. This job and the part time job counting toe nail clippings for the local chiropodist (he likes to collect them for his world record attempt) earn me just enough to fund my heating bills, keep my cupboards stocked with spam and baked beans and feed the pet zebra that I keep in my bathroom (toilet trips are a safari all of their own).
Coming back to your enquiry, you gave me a simple question and I gave you three simple answers. Here is another one - we have a collection of 250,000 medical abbreviations and you can search either by individual abbreviation (EG: “BID” - Twice Daily) or by definition (“twice daily”, in this case). As you are aware, there is more than one abbreviation for frequency of medication and we do not have a page containing a set defined list. If we did, we would probably call it “Abbreviations For Medication Frequency” and include some animated images such as a cat wagging its tail and a weird blinking Star Trek Klingon with a hand that looks like a man’s bottom.
I hope this clears things up for you. I’m going to close this email now as it’s becoming longer than Rapunzel’s pubic hair.
Have a wonderful day - don’t get too high on catnip.
Robert P.S: If you would like to come around and look at my certificate at any point, you’d be most welcome. Also, if you have a wok that needs polishing, I’m your man…
This morning I received an email from Sage that tugged at my heart strings and begged to be replied to. However, me being me meant that my reply had to be one of my, now infamous, pointless letters.
Here’s the conversation thread, with her email appearing first…
Subject: Hello, stallion! Stop killing your time surfing the Web and come to me!
My name is Sage. In three words about myself – pretty, mad and free. I get so lonely from time to time these days. Why a well-hung fellow like you shouldn’t call a lustful queen like me to spend the most splendid time together? Do you prefer to play hard or is it more enjoyable for you to make it slowly dwelling on each moment? I can realize every fantasy you have. Look at my profile right now and let us fly away together! (link)
Subject: Your stallion is here, my love…
In three words about myself - old, bald and flatulent.
Thank you for your delightful email. I have to say that I feel flattered and as soon as I read your email I knew you were the one for me. It’s lovely of you to say that I’m well-hung - that’s the first time anyone has uttered those words to me. Normally, I receive comments expressing shock, disappointment and disbelief… the nickname ‘pee wee’ has been uttered on more than one occasion.
For several years I’ve yearned for a lustful queen to spend splendid time with. So your timing couldn’t be more opportune… if also several years late. I won’t hold that against you though. I mean, they say that you happen upon love just when you least expect it. Well, imagine my surprise for it to arrive via an email this very morning. Lucky for you, I have recently become single following a split with my girlfriend. She was a nice girl… someone once said that if she had two more legs she could have starred in a Western. I’m not quite sure what they meant by that…
I would love to have a look at your profile before I decide to fly away with you. It’s a sensible suggestion because I don’t know what you look like (not that that matters, as we are certain to spend splendid time together). I should, however, like to check whether you’re a 6ft tall blonde with the features of a supermodel or a bald, 4ft dwarf with a big nose. It makes sense, you see - if it’s the latter then I can book you a child seat on the plane…
How lovely of you to enquire about my preferences. I have to say that I like to play hard, particularly when challenging my cat Geoffrey to a game of tiddlywinks. He’s a bad ass, you see, and he takes no prisoners. I initially gave him a home after finding him on the street at night, bullying beggars out of their hard earned change. I’m hoping that with time he will recover from his addiction to prostitutes, gambling and glue sniffing.
I must admit that I really love the thought that you can realise every fantasy I have. Indeed, if you have the connections to order me a unicorn, and get it to stand in a bath of custard whilst I eat my dinner off its back then that would truly make my day. Oh, and Geoffrey has requested a blonde call-girl, carrying a vat of UHU (he’s cutting down to a less-addictive form of glue).
Love and hugs always.
Onion P.S: Let’s make stuffing together.
I receive a lot of emails from offshore web design companies asking if we would like to outsource our work to them. Normally I send the emails straight to the virtual grey, round filing cabinet without reading them. However, for some reason I read this guy’s first email and it irked me a little (always a bad thing). And he then followed it up with two more emails, which irked me a bit more. So I decided to hit him with one of my Pointless Letters. Here’s the thread, with his emails appearing first…
His First Email...
Dear Sir/Madam, I am Peter, Business Development Manager, We are an INDIA based Web Services Company with primary focus on Website Designing & Development.
We have our competency in CMS (Joomla, Modx, Mambo and other quality Content Management System) and e-commerce website. As many as 90% websites do not bring business to their potential because they do not appeal to the target audience. And the reason most visitors leave a website is because of a complex design and navigation. So is your website really customer-ready? Not really, if we go by the analysis of our experts. With an experience of developing more than 2500 websites successfully, we can help you earn more business from your website if you are ready to redesign your website. Most of our clients have benefited from our expertise. Most firms from UK, USA, Canada and Australia overseas have achieved a significant amount of savings by outsourcing either complete or part of their work to us in India. We wish you the best of luck and looking forward to a long and healthy business relationship with you. Getting started is easy. Just mail us and we will definitely help you to achieve your business goals and objectives. I look forward to your reply.
Peter Business Development Manager Disclaimer: The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) establishes requirements for those, who send commercial email, spells out penalties for spammers, and companies whose products are advertised in spam if they violate the guidelines, and gives consumers the right to ask emailers to control it.
His Second Email...
Hope you are doing well. Haven't heard back from you, just wondering if you are interested in our services. Let me know if you are interested and we can discuss this further. I look forward to your response.
His Third Email...
I am Waiting for your response yet…… Kindly let us know if you are interested in our services, so that we can discuss it further. We will be happy to assist you and looking for your positive response. I look forward to your response.
I hope you don’t mind me calling you Pete. Actually, I’ve changed my mind. Can I call you Greg? Thanks Greg.
Having read your response regarding my non-response to your response to your original email, I feel duty bound to respond. I am the Response Manager and my responsibility lies with responding to responses questioning lack of response. I do hope that makes sense.
Anyway, I reviewed your initial email and you’re absolutely right. Award yourself a big gold star and stick it to your handsome forehead, Crazy Chops. Our website is not ‘customer ready’. However, I’m sure that when I make you aware of our very niche target market, you’ll sink to your knees in amazement and realise the genius behind our work. We are actually the leading website in the world for meerkats with drink problems. That’s right - LEADING!
Now Betty, I know what you’re thinking (I hope you don’t mind the name change. I hate the name Greg - every Greg I’ve ever met in my life has been a crazy, deluded psychopath!). You’re wondering how you might be able to help us become EVEN BETTER. Well, let me lay it out for you big boy…
I believe that we could utilise your skills in Wordpress, Joomia, Modx, Jamiroquai, Scrabble and Deal Or No Deal to help us reach out to other possible target audiences. For example, elephants with halitosis or chipmunks with a gambling addiction. I’m sure you’ll appreciate that these are big markets with the potential to earn us millions of jelly babies every month.
As you can imagine, I look forward to seeing what proposals you might have for us. Not marriage ones though - we’re not in to that, unless you’re prepared line our hands with gold (or our stomachs with Gummy Berry Juice)
Anyway, I await your email with bated breath. However, with that said, I won’t be holding my breath for a response.
Yours truly, forever and ever, ‘til death do us part.
Disclaimer: The Can Of Spam Act of 2003 requires me to recommend to you a pre-cooked meat product after every email. I would like to assure you that spam can be delicious, especially when served in between two slices of pre-toasted bread, perhaps with the addition of an optional slice of cheese (note that cheese is not automatically included). If you wish to opt out of eating said pork product, you can do so by choosing not to open your mouth.
With the Internet businesses I run, I receive a lot of feedback emails. The majority are really pleasant and useful, and I reply in-kind. But, just occasionally, I receive one that gets my goat. I mean, it’s not difficult to be pleasant, is it? So, today, because I was in a funny mood, I decided to reply with one of my pointless letters. His email was about the search engine on one of my websites.
Here is the email I received…
I entered the sought after abbreviation with a few leading and trailing spaces. Your search engine failed to find any expansion. This is a very poor show on your part. It's the programmers' duty to remove leading and trailing spaces, Not the users'. Please let me know when this has been fixed.
Thank you for your email. Your suggestion to remove spaces is one of the best we have received this week, second only to the idea of strapping flapjacks to pigs, which we are currently looking into (you should see the prototype, it really is something to behold).
Far from being a company who simply jump in and adopt every suggestion that comes our way, we like to take time to assess the positives and negatives of every suggestion. Yours is no exception. I’m excited to be able to tell you that we only found one negative, and it is this. As I’m sure you’re aware, several spaces in a row can make an abbreviation in itself. It is commonly used for giving a person time to think and breathe. Without these spaces, people may be forced to not take pauses between words or sentences, whichwouldbeterribleandmakeitverydifficulttounderstandwhattheyaresaying.
Despite coming up with that particular negative, we can see no others. So, I’m delighted to be able to tell you that we have taken your feedback onboard and have updated our search system to include this fantastic new feature. Now, although I’d like to take the development of our search engine a step further in assisting you and make it prepare you a mug of Bovril, massage your feet at the end of a long day and wipe your bottom for you, i regret that I won’t be able to do that. Still, don’t let that stop you from doing those things yourself, eh?
Please don’t let what I’ve said detract from the fact that your suggestion was a very good one. I have no doubt that it will improve the lives of tens of people throughout the world, all of whom might have been unable to fathom the idea of removing a space from before or after their search term before carrying out their search. May they be eternally grateful and send you Christmas cards year after year… assuming they can lick their own stamp for the envelope…
I visited London today to meet up with a friend of mine, Marcus Oakey (Marcus - you owe me a tea for the shameless plug!).
On the train journey home, I was checking my work emails and, as usual, sifting my way through the spam that had somehow fooled my spam filter (possibly with some kind of cloaking device or tomfoolery) and made it to my Inbox. For some reason, one particular email tickled my funny bone and I felt obliged to respond in the most stupid way I could think of. Here is the email, together with the message that I sent back in response…
Spam email (from ‘Wooden sticks for ice cream’):
Wooden sticks for ice cream, medical sticks and sticks for coffee.. (Birch, alder) Origin- Ukraine
94x10x2, 114x10x2, 150x16x2
Dear Mr Wooden Sticks For Ice Cream,
Thank you for your email informing me that you sell wooden sticks for ice cream, coffee and medicinal purposes (presumably for jabbing into people’s mouths, ears and up people’s bottoms - although, one hopes, not at the same time). I’m delighted to tell you that your email couldn’t be better timed. I have an urgent requirement for a wooden stick for soup - do you do those? Do you? I hope you do. Do tell me you do do do do do those?
No, seriously, do you?
Before you respond, please allow me to explain a little more about my enquiry. I am, very shortly, due to undertake a world record attempt for charity that involves swimming in a gigantic bowl of soup and I will be needing a robust, unyielding stick to stir said (tomato and basil) soup. The stick will need to be approximately 20 feet long and strong enough to take my weight as I lower myself in (I will be dressed as a crouton for added flamboyance).
The aim of my world record attempt is to raise money and awareness for the WWF (it’s an animal charity, I believe… I can’t say I’ve ever heard of it… I’m only really doing the challenge because I love soup). With that in mind, I am therefore wondering whether it would be possible for you to make the stick fatter at one end and sculpt the end of it for me? I know what you’re thinking - this could all too easily end up becoming a spoon - but ‘stick’ with me on this! Anyway, I was thinking about making the end of the stick resemble the shape of an extinct animal - a Dodo, Tyrannosaurus Rex or Goldfish would be perfect! Is it possible to construct, carve and fudge together such an amazing masterpiece?
Moving on to available budget, I have worked hard to put together as much money as I can for this
spoonstick. I’ve emptied every savings account (including those of my elderly neighbours), sold my mother-in-law and scavenged the backs of every sofa in every Costa coffee shop south of Birmingham. I hope you’ll therefore appreciate it when I tell you that I have raised… and I think this deserves a drum roll… £1.42. Yes, THAT MUCH!! :-)
Please give time to think over my proposal. I look forward to hearing your response, oh kind and honourable stick man.
Having read the Timewaster Letters, by Robin Cooper (a brilliant book - do buy a copy), I have been inspired to write and send a few humorous letters of my own. These letters will form the Pointless Letters section of my website.
Before Christmas, I sent this letter to the Executive Director of WAZA - the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums - to ask for some help with an event that I was planning. As yet, no correspondance has been received from them (why not, for goodness sake?).