It is the desire of most men and women to get rich quick. There have always been schemes out there offering wild promises of instant wealth. One of the first schemes was the chain letter. The common chain letter has five names and addresses listed. It instructs the receiver to send each party on the list $5-$20. It further instructs taking the first name off of the list completely and moving the other four up one space each, adding the receiver’s name and address in the fifth position. The next step is to make copies of the letter and distribute it to twenty friends and family members.
The last paragraph of the chain letter always explains that all those responding properly are now millionaires. It goes on to explain that all those not responding have received bloody noses, rat infestations, life sentences in foreign jails and worse. Some poor gullible like Harry Plotter always responds, keeping the chain letter going perpetually. They are told and believe that when 20 people X 20 people X 20 people X 20 people X 20 people all respond properly 67,368,400 people will each receive a copy. Their actions promise to fill mail boxes on the list with checks totaling $13 million.
Of course Harry Plotter and multitudes of others jump at the chance of a promise like that. They are then instructed that their odds can be improved by sending more letters. They are offered 500 fresh mailing name labels for $19.95. Harry took advantage of this offer and after spending about $200 with no income produced, he moved on to another program. He now refers to this experience as, “chain gang mail.”
Since the introduction of computers as household items money making offers have sky rocketed. One computer pop up offer looks for unpublished authors. Harry sent in a copy of a poem that he wrote back in high school along with a check for $195.99 expecting to receive personalized professional writing instructions. The company was very taken with his work. They offered to publish it immediately in an upcoming book. He could purchase a leather bound edition of this book containing his published poem for only $69.95. Harry was thrilled and announced his success to his family. Uncle Jake explained to him that he had become a famous published author in his own mind for only $270. Harry upon receiving his copy had it etched with the subtitle, “Writer’s Ed Blockhead.”
By now Harry should have been leery of offers asking for up front money. This one was only $39.49 and provided everything he needed to make his fortune stuffing envelopes. It came with a money back guarantee. He bit and his package came complete with 7 stamps, 7 copies of the original ad and 7 pre-addressed envelopes. The return address automatically printed in the upper left hand corner of the envelope was the companies. They promised to send half of what they cleared to contributors in the form of quarterly certified checks.
Since he was now a member with his own certificate and wallet card, he could order new kits complete for only $25. Harry was truly disgusted and asked for his money back, after all it was guaranteed. He received a check for $39.49 made out to the company. He was instructed to redeem it for 1000 of their special envelopes which had been pre-addressed to fresh potential purchasers complete of course with the companies return address in the upper left hand corner . He refers to this venture as his, “huff it – puff it and stuff it experience.”
Harry decided that craft assembly would be his last attempt to get rich quick. It was Easter and for $49.99 he ordered 35 bunny assembly kits. He received 35 balloons with 35 sets of eyes, 35 sets of ears, 35 noses and 35 lip stickers. There was also a disc with a slit in it. This disc was designed to hold the inflated balloons while they were being decorated. When Harry was finished and deflated the balloons for packing all of the decorations fell off. Harry surrendered calling this his, “hare today – hot air tomorrow trauma.”
Harry was a hog farmer by trade. He decided to sell 8 of his prize hogs on the internet for $10,000. He received a check for $18,500 from a buyer named Roger Porkbelly. The check was made out to Mr. Porkbelly from SOPM Inc. Mr. Porkbelly gave detailed instructions to Harry to send the hogs and the $8500 change back to him immediately and to deposit the $18,500 check in 14 days. He fully detailed why this was necessary. Fourteen days later Harry’s hogs were gone, his $8500 was gone and Mr. Porkbelly was much richer and gone out of Harry’s life forever. Harry’s mother suggested that SOPM might stand for, “stealing other people’s money.” Harry said this scam gave a whole new meaning to spam. He filed it away under “Hog Lard!”
Getting rich is possible. Millionaires do it. Getting rich quickly is possible, but happens rarely. If anyone out there knows a “got rich quick, self made, internet millionaire” don’t break the chain. Don’t be a blockhead. Huff it, puff it, stuff it and sell it to the hare. There is guaranteed to be some instantaneous cash in it for you somewhere out there. We’ll make a movie.
“No Mom ! This is not Hot Air.” ” Uncle Jake, did you say Hog Lard ?”