Excuse me are you listening? 5-1

Dear Readers,  

     Everyone loves e-mail.  I love e-mail.  There are a lot of great benefits to using e-mail. It affords you the opportunity to get your message to someone without wasting a lot of time on the phone or writing a letter and putting it in an envelope and waiting several days for the person to get your correspondence.
     E-mail expedites the transfer of information to groups of people, such as family members who live far away and want to keep in touch with the lives of others without calling each individual.
    You can apply for employment through the Internet and e-mail has saved gas, paper, envelopes and stamps.
   Then there are the downfalls of emails. Some people use their Internet ability to send e-mails that absolutely irritate me.
  I get tired of the multiple “warnings of impending doom” that I get from many well-meaning but misguided friends, family and co-community members.  
   Personally, I dislike e-mail chain-letters, even ones with that sound like they can be true.
     Imagine how much work time is wasted when you get an e-mail to forward well wishes of any kind on to 10 people.
     The chain mail has started with you.  It would take you about three minutes to read it and send it to 10 friends, that is if you don’t already have an established e-mail list of more than 10.
   So let’s say that you have 20 friends on your list and you send the e-mail to them.  If it took them three minutes to send it to their friends that was an 60 minutes of time wasted.
    Not only that, businesses are impacted by clogged mail servers from all these e-mails.  
    I personally think these types of e-mails shouldn’t be forwarded in a work environment.
    At my old place of employment, there was a woman who was engaged in conversation with a group of people.  When I asked her what they were talking about she said, “My father is a social worker in Detroit and he told me that one of his young clients named her baby Placenta.”
   I didn’t really comment because I didn’t know what to say.  I remember repeating this crazy story to a friend of mine. I decided that based on her description of the events that this was a young, uneducated black woman who lived in the city of Detroit and knew no better.  The look on her face was one a “I feel so sorry for your people” look.
   As a result of all of the crazy things I had been hearing and e-mails that I’ve been receiving, I decided to do some background checking I found a website, www.snopes.com, that verifies the validity of these type of e-mails. If you want to find the specific response to my previous story add: /racial/language/names.htm to the end or just search on the www.snopes.com site.
Scare E-mails

      I received an urgent e-mail the other day, entitled, “This is a true story, forward it to everyone that you know.”
     Then the story unfolds:  A friend tells a story  about a deadly soda can incident in north Texas.  The person explained that her friend went on a boat ride and took canned soft drinks.  The next day  she was taken into Intensive Care Unit and she died a couple of days later.  
     The email said that she died of Leptospirose caused by the can of coke from which she had drunk, not using a glass. A test showed that the can was infected by dried rat urine and hence the disease Leptospirosis.  
    Rat urine contains toxic and deathly substances. It is highly recommended to wash thoroughly the upper part of soda cans before drinking out of them as they have been stocked in warehouses and transported straight to the shops without being cleaned.  
    At the end of the e-mail the person stated that the CDC had receive several e-mails and were currently investigating.  
   It turns out that Leptospirosis can be contracted through exposure to the urine of diseased animals including rats, frogs, rabbits, snakes, pigs and dogs in contaminated water.  I obtained this information from www.snopes.com.
    Anytime I receive scare e-mails, I send a reply e-mail to the senders and 99 percent of the time, I tell them that the e-mail they sent is not true or undetermined and I recommend that the person look it up on the Snopes Web site.   
Shock E-mails

    I have received shock mail: Did designer Tommy Hilfiger state that blacks and Asians shouldn’t wear his clothes? FALSE.
    Did Serena Williams announce she’d ‘stopped dating black guys’ because ‘a white man is the only real choice for a successful black? FALSE

    The U.S. government grants a seven-year tax holiday to certain favored groups of immigrants and provides them with free housing, new cars, and clothing allowances as well.  
Status: FALSE.  

     There are so many others that aren’t true.
    Even the victims of Hurricane Katrina are being pulled into the urban legends fray. There are just too many new urban legends out there to begin to list them here. That’s the reason why the authors of www.snopes.com have gone through great lengths to research these stories to determine whether they’re true, false or undetermined.
   These weird stories take on lives of their own, but we shouldn’t take them to the next level by forwarding them on to others. Unless you have a lot of leisure time and enjoy being paranoid and scared out of your wits every time you pick up a soda can.

Rina N. Risper

P.S.  I have received a few phone calls about the dream I wrote about in the last edition.
   Some told me about their crazy dreams and we had good laughs.
     One woman called and asked me if I was pregnant.  She told me that we you dream about rabbits that you were pregnant.  I almost choked with laughter.  I asked her if she had eaten before she went to bed and woke with that crazy idea.  I told her that I was absolutely not pregnant. 
      A gentleman called and he asked me if I was bored and had nothing else to write about.  I laughed at that comment and told him that I was mixing my conversations up a bit.  I decided to write about the poem because I wanted other people who had crazy dreams to know that they are not the only ones who have them.
    My husband, Frank, said, “Um, honey, um why did you write about that.”
       I smiled and said, “When I originally told you about the dream you thought it was funny and added that I should write about it.”
      He replied, “Well from now on don’t eat any more before you go to sleep.”