Thursday, November 16, 2006

To My Darling Young Family Members…

Listen. Y’all know I love you. But I need you to do something for me.

I want to stop getting things from y'all about…how some guy used debris as a ‘hang glider’ to get down from 147th floor of the collapsing World Trade Center. Or that aspartame causes brain tumors. Or that sucking a penny “defeats” the breathalizer test. Or that Liz Claiborne is {a Satanist, a black-hater, doesn’t think Asians should wear her clothes, tears the livers out of living puppies and spreads them on rye toast for breakfast}.

Just when I think one of these old dogs has finally laid down and breathed his last, oooooooh no. Here it is again. Some breathless, naïve (but charming, and you just can’t get really mad at her) niece is forwarding to me again. “OH MY GAWD, AUNT TAMA! I had no idea Republicans actually killed human babies in their rituals!! And it’s totally true, because the guy in the email says he actually saw it happening!” {insert about six dozen smiley things and a few more gushing declarations, and probably a link to an e-petition to protest the slaughter of human babies for law-making purposes which leads to a site with a bunch of banner advertising and hence by going to the site I’ve just bumped their revenue potential model by adding yet one more page view to their stat counter so they can tell advertisers they get X+1 per day, DARN IT ALL TO HECK!!!!}

And since said niece also copied every other member of our 200+ strong family group…I’m going to be getting this dumb thing again and again and again for months.


OK, granted. I’m rather extra grumpy today. The Tylenol is not working well today, and Auntie is on the cranky side. But children…please. Can we stop now? Can we grow a little cynicism about these things?

Can we stop filling Auntie’s inbox with OMG OMG OMG messages about puppy-eating designers and !!FURIOUS OUTBURSTS!! denouncing the evil ways of the {Democrats, Republicans, insurance companies, whiffle-bat makers} complete with eyewitness accounts of their baby-murdering, theft, moral debauchery and so forth, which ‘some guy’ listed below insists he either saw or heard about first (second, third) hand.

Snopes it. Like Googling, only put in You can do this. I know you can. Heck, you can figure out how to program the clock on my VCR, you are already light years ahead of your old Auntie on the technology front.

If you can’t or won’t, don’t send it to me. Because it irks me. It irks the living devil out of me. I am incapable of not researching things which trip my “whaaaaaaaaat? oh, come on, what’s the probability of that?!”-O-Meter, and every single time I research it I find you’re falling for a damned lie and it upsets me.

Because you’re cute, O My Nieces and Nephews. And innocent. And dewy-eyed and so damned eager to Do the Right Thing™. They’re playing your emotions and getting you all fired up about lies, damned lies, and statistics. They send you off on these wild goose chases and honestly? They make you look like fools. Which you are not. I have precisely no stupid relatives. Well. There is that one uncle of yours, but let’s not be unkind. Just click here to sign an e-petition on his behalf…

If you’ve simply got to send me OMG messages, how about we make it, “OMG OMG OMG, you’ll never believe this, but I got a new boyfriend and he’s utterly awesome and he treats me wonderfully and respects me as an equal and bought me chocolate and stuff!!! He’s sooooooo cute! We met at the Straight A Smartie Club, only he was late because of football practice. {smiley smiley smiley smiley} And also I just got elected President of Everything in high school and made the Varsity team while simultaneously accepting an invitation to the Super Brainiac Think Tank and the President accepted my proposal for World Peace and by the way are you coming to the big Christmas party because you still owe me $50 for my straight A report card…”

Toss in a few animated dancing bunnies (or better yet, a picture of your smiling face) and a couple dozen smileys and we’re golden, kid.


Yer Auntie


Stephanie said...

It's even worse when it is, say, your *father* who has just discovered the internet and the wonders of email.

My SIL (hi Alycia if you're reading this!) sends me these things *knowing* that I am going to snopes it and send a reply right back. I think she does it just so I waste the time researching so she doesn't have to.

Very Herodotus said...

My dad does this too. I usually reply to all with a link to snopes about the story in question. I got an email from him this morning about something going on, and his comment was that "Snopes says this is true."

So there you go - old dogs can learn new tricks.