Gary Brown: Thanks a million for the millions, but no thanks

Staff reports

On a sad note, all the Third World warlords and deposed members of royal families are apparently dead.

At least their friends, relatives, and political comrades no longer are contacting me about their money.

It used to be I’d get an e-mail about a dead prince or leader almost every day. They all were rich -- they had millions of dollars stashed away -- which not only proves that you can’t take it with you, it also shows that it’s tough to give it away, too.

Each of the e-mails I got seemed desperate to hand over to me a huge chunk of a fortune -- in exchange for my personal bank account information -- if I’d just help them get the money from one bank to another.

I never replied. I can’t balance my own checkbook, so I’d never be able to manage their millions. Besides, I always had a little bit of concern over whether they were trying to balance my checkbook.

New messages

It’s been months since I’ve heard from anybody about wealthy dead guys. I did hear from a lady who was rich and sick.

“I am writing from the hospital bed,” she began. “I was told by the doctor that I was poisoned and had got my liver damaged and can only live for some months.

“I inherited some money ... ”

She went on a bit about how she wanted her money to get to an orphan child.

“I don’t know what will happen to me in the next few hours,” she wrote, wishing for a quick reply. “If I don’t hear from you within two days, I will look for another person.”

Wait, I forgot, I did hear about a wealthy dead guy. He was a British man who owned a “giant Construction Company” until he died in 2003. Now was the executor of his estate -- a guy who signed his name “REV. SMITH JOHN, PARISH PRIEST” -- wanting to pass on to me “the sum of Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars.” It sounds bigger if you write it out and use upper case letters.

“He must have been in contact with you in the past,” explained Smith John, “or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good.”

Well, I wish me good, too. So I just let it go as the thought being what counted and never contacted them about the money.

Business deals

But, suddenly, no more dead rich guys.

Now I’m being e-mailed to death by businessmen.

“I have a well informed business plan that I would love to share with you ...” one said.

“I have a business proposition for you valued at USD60,000,000 (Sixty Million Dollars) in my branch,” said a bank manager from Malaysia.

I must have some great international reputation as a financial genius among people who never have seen my bank statement ... but I think would like to.

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