No good.
This month's must read.

Eccentrics and health care.

Remember a while back when we talked about all the great literature coming out of Canada, and how I mentioned that someone had opined that was due to their socialized health care and the idea that writers in Canada could actually afford to be starving artists for a while without fearing that one small health problem could send them rapidly and irreversibly into debt?

Peril Well, I found another example today of the beautiful eccentricities that can come out of socialzed health care. This one's name is Bob Servant, and he's a sixty-two-year old British man with a history of working odd jobs, and whose friend convinced him to publish a book called Delete This at Your Peril: One Man's Hilarious Exchanges with Internet Spammers. You know all those annoying emails you get from royalty in Nigeria, who need all of YOUR banking particulars so they can send you all their money, and they can retrieve it later and give you a percentage for your trouble? Well, Bob Servant actually answers those emails. Quite hilariously:

"TO: BOB SERVANT. From his royal highnest, Jack Thompson. Dear sir,

Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business. I am Jack Thompson, the only son of late King Arawi of tribal land. My father was a very wealthy traditional ruler, poisoned to death by his rivals...Before his death he told me of a trunk box containing $75m kept in a security company. I now seek a foreign partner where I will transfer you proceeds for investment as you may advise. I am willing to offer you 20% of the sum as a compensation...


Good morning, your Majesty, I want 30% and not a penny less,

Bob Servant."

Bob Servant does this a lot, with financial scammers of all kinds, as well as "Russian brides" offering themselves for money, and any number of other spam campaigns. I was completely amused for the majority of the book, and Mr. CR read the whole thing and actually giggled at many parts of it. (Mr. CR is definitely of the stoic school, so getting an outright giggle is nearly unheard of, although very enjoyable when spotted in the wild.)

So yeah, it's fun. Do read it. And, to get back to the earlier point: who has time to work odd jobs, cultivate their weird sense of humor, and actually write back to email spammers, which is a task I think has a definite value to society? People from socialized medicine countries, that's who. Something like this could only come out of America if written by someone who inherited big-time family money. And, frankly, have you ever met someone who both a) inherited family money, and b) had a sense of humor? I thought not.