The intrepid Brian at Terrible Swift Word actually decided to respond to the inquiry, and a fascinating email interaction has begun as a result.
The saga began (as it always does), with the request for information:
If this proposal interest you of which I hope it would, please forward to me immediately the followings by e-mail address above.However, there is one proviso, of course.
1. Full company's Name and Address
2. Private telephone and fax numbers
3. Your full bank name and address
4. Bank account number, account name, telephone and fax numbers
You must maintain the topmost confidentiality of this transaction because we are top civil servants who would not joke with our reputation.Certainly not.
Brian (as "Clayton V.") responds, saying:
I am certainly very interested in exploring the opportunity you have presented. Once again, however, I must apologize. I do have a few questions before we proceed. I'm sure you and your colleagues are quite anxious to consummate this deal, and I certainly don't want to lose out on the opportunity by being too careful. At the same time, I didn't become the "Applesauce King of the Ohio Valley" by entering into deals uninformed.He asks the Nigerian ("Dr. Amudo") for a face-to-face meeting, though he will need to find an alternate pilot for his time-share private jet, since his "regular pilot, Armand, refuses to fly to Nigeria (something about an old soccer grudge - he's very passionate about his sports)."
Quivering with excitement and moving in for the kill (having no idea what he's in for), Dr. Amudo informs Brian that a meeting can be arranged in Amsterdam in a few weeks. But rather than wasting time just waiting, he encourages Brian to take some prelimenary steps towards finalizing the transaction:
I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO RECEIVING YOUR PRIVATE/CONFIDENTIAL TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS BY TOMORROW BEFORE THE OFFICER LEAVES NIGERIA SO THAT HE COULD GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU AND KNOW WHEN YOU WILL JOIN HIM THERE FOR THE MEETING. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF IT WILL NOT BE FEASIBLE FOR YOU TO MAKE THE TRIP TO AMSTERDAM, I SUGGET YOU FORWARD THE DATA AS STATED ABOVE TO ENABLE ME PROCEED WITH THE TRANSACTION. DO NOT HAVE ANY DOUBT OR FEAR AS YOU ARE FULLY PROTECTED.At this point, we begin to see Dr. Amudo's syntax beginning to rub off on Brian. It is rather infectious, I must admit. Says Brian/"Clayton":
My apologies. I'm not sure where we got our wires melted. I did not receive your emails of last week. Yesterday's (Wednesday) e-mail was the first contat I've received from you in the last couple of weeks.A tentative meeting is scheduled in Amsterdam, provided, of course, that Dr. Amudo's associate isn't actually in Amsterdam to "score opium."
Many thanks for the discrete and metallic manner in which you addressed my concerns. Also I thank you for updating me on your culture and the role of a civil servant like yourself. Until you enlightened me, I was totally endarkened in regards to such things.
The opium implication (which Brian makes several times) grievously wounds Dr. Amudo, who notes that it was "uncivilized and very abusive." His patience is waning:
I CONFIRM RECEIPT OF YOUR MAIL AND THE CONTENTS ARE WELL NOTED. I QUITE FELT THAT IT IS HIGH TIME WE STOPPED THIS LONG STORIES AND PERSONAL TROMPET BLOWING....Noting that the window of opportunity is closing for the face to face meeting in Amsterdam, Dr. Amudo says that if
....NOTE WE DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH DRUG OF ANY KIND. IF YOU COULD BELIEVE ME, PERSONALLY I HAVE NOT EVEN SEEN OPIUM FOR THE FIRST TIME BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE ANY THING TO DO WITH IT. PLEASE LETS BE CAUTIOUS WITH OUR PARLANCE WHEN COREESPONDING. I DO HAVE MUCH CONFIDENCE IN YOU AND THAT IS THE MAJOR REASON WHY I CONTACTED YOU FOR THIS TRANSACTION IN THE FIRST PLACE.
...IT WILL NOT BE CONVENIENT AND HENCE POSSIBLE FOR YOU, THEN YOU SHOULD FORGET ABOUT THE MEETING AND LETS MOVE FORWARD WITH THE TRANSACTION. I HAVE ASSURED YOU THAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH GENTLE AND RESPONSIBLE MEN. SO YOU HAVE NO CAUSE TO BE AFRIAD.To cool things down, Brian has wisely enlisted his "attorney," Thomas S. Hamblin, who defends Brian's long stories and "personal trompet blowing" by saying that he advised Brian "to throw in some business anecdotes simply to calm any fears you might have about partnering up with him."
The ball is now in Dr. Amudo's court.
I don't know that I've ever enjoyed reading anything more on a blog. This ought to be a book. I'm tempted to send my own bank account just to keep the correspondence going.