My mother, God bless her, is one of those incurable email forwarders. Heard a funny joke? Type it down and send it to her: she’ll ensure it’s circulated to 70+ of her closest friends. Saw a great video online? She’s happy to disseminate that, too.
It’s almost as if she’s blogging; she just does it via email which guarantees her readers will see it in their InBoxes so she doesn’t have to hope they’ll stop by a blog to read whatever has tickled her fancy that day.
Despite my numerous requests — and frequent replies showing where Snopes debunked the latest scary thing someone sent her — she still sends me forwarded emails to the tune of a half-dozen a day. (This is down from three dozen, so I’m pleased.)
The chain emails are the ones that truly get to me, though. You know what I mean: some poorly formatted thing bloated with cutesy pictures and usually a prayer of some sort that you’re supposed to say to insure that God will answer all of your prayers. (Note: I know these are scams because I still don’t have a flat stomach, a heated indoor swimming pool or a pool boy to tend to either.)
And, of course, there’s always the warning against breaking the chain lest hellfire and damnation rain down on you. That’s the part which gets her, I’m certain of it: at age 73, and having just dealt with colon cancer, she’s a bit preoccupied with avoiding hellfire and damnation at this point in her life.
In fact, I’m pretty certain that most of these forwarded jokes and chain emails come from old people. Sometimes I picture a vast army of senior citizens logging on faithfully to the interwebs every day and blindly clicking “forward” on these things in the hope it’ll offset their karma.
Yesterday’s email chain letter was a hoot, though. In addition to promising that God would answer my prayers instantly (like He doesn’t already, most commonly with the answer “No”?) the email claimed that it had been unbroken since Mother Theresa started it… in 1952.
Dayum. Although I didn’t realize Mother Theresa even had a computer, the fact that she had one in 1952 is proof enough of her sainthood for me.