A Mass E-mail: Shouts & Murmurs

Courtesy: The New Yorker by Amy Ozols

Dear All:

Before I begin, I’d like to apologize for sending a mass e-mail.

I’m writing because I’ve lost my cell phone, and I’d really appreciate it if each of you could reply to this message with your phone number, home address, and any other pertinent information I might need to get in touch with you. I kept all that information in the cell phone that I lost. I never wrote it down on a piece of paper or in a book, or backed it up on a computer, because cell phones are historically quite dependable, and not prone to getting lost or stolen—at least, not where I come from, a place where there is neither crime nor personal failure. I come from Iceland.

I’d also appreciate it if you could send me your e-mail address. I already have your e-mail address, which I’m using to send the e-mail you’re currently reading, but I plan to delete it from my memory after I’ve finished typing, because I really prefer to keep this sort of thing in my cell phone. I find that it frees up my “brain space” for other important things, like meditation and prayer and comparing and contrasting the prices and features of various cell phones.

If it’s not too much trouble, I’d also like to know your birthday, preferably with the year included. This is so I can send you one of those electronic birthday cards. I’ll send it to your e-mail address, which I plan to enter into my future cell phone before subsequently losing it in a public rest room. So, actually, what would be really helpful is if you could let me know your birthday, then wait three weeks, then send me your e-mail address, so that I can store it in my two-phones-in-the-future phone for use on your next birthday. This probably seems like a lot of work, but I want to assure you that it will be well worth it, because your electronic birthday card will feature music, and dancing cartoon animals, and a not insignificant amount of whimsy. It won’t be one of those tacky electronic birthday cards, where there’s a half-naked person holding a cupcake or an elderly person farting on Father Time.

I assume that it goes without saying that I’ll also need your bank-account numbers, and any PIN or routing numbers associated with those accounts. Of course, I will also need your Social Security number. You have correctly guessed that this is for the purpose of large-scale identity theft.

Finally, please send me your pets. Not pictures of your pets. Your actual pets.

In closing, I’d like to reiterate how sorry I am for sending a mass e-mail. I wish I could have contacted each of you in person—it’s been waaaay too long since most of us have hung out! But, as I may have already mentioned, I plan to lose my new cell phone almost immediately after I buy it, so I really look forward to contacting each of you individually when that happens. Even though I have never met any of you.

Very sincerely yours,

The author of this e-mail

*Sent from my iPhone.

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