Thursday, July 31, 2008

LAAFR West African/Nigerian Scammer Update!

Hmmmm... Where are we now with our scammer? This place just sounds so good, I can't even believe it! Um, I'm really excited.

So, I wrote Marywelch9@gmail.com back with a few questions:

If you do not live nearby how will this work?
How will we pay rent?
Do you pay the utilities, or will the renter?
What is Hydro?
Are there any additional costs outside of the monthly rent?
Is this a house, or an apartment?
How many square feet is this house/apartment?
Are you looking for a lease, or month to month?
Is the house/apartment furnished, or unfurnished?

I waited for a return email, but did not get one until all of a sudden, MaryWelch9@gmail.com, IM'ed me, as unfortunately, we both use gmail.

Mary Welch: hi
Mary Welch: this is mary

Me: Hello

Mary Welch: how are you doing?

Me: Good, and you? (Phew! I'm glad we took the time for formalities - although you are stealing $6 million dollars a year, at least you have manners!)

Mary Welch: i am fine
Mary Welch: thanks you
Mary Welch: did you get the application for i sent you

Me: I did, thank you - I am just reviewing it with my husband now

Mary Welch: let m eknow if yo are still intrested in the apartment
Mary Welch: because i remove the add because of you
Mary Welch: ok
Mary Welch: get back to me as soon as you fill the application
Mary Welch: thanks

(Well, that explains why I can't find the add! How considerate!)
Me: I still have questions about the place.

Mary Welch: yo can go on

Me: If you are not located in California, how would we get the rent payment to you?

Mary Welch: you wll be amking the apyment to my husband who is the owner of the apartment

Me: Will we send it via regular postal mail?

Mary Welch: You are only paying the first month rent deposit
Mary Welch: so that you can have the keys and documents sent to you via DHL
Mary Welch: as soon as your first month deposit is confirmed by my husband

Me: Okay... and for rent?

Mary Welch: you will only send the first month rent to my husband
Mary Welch: then you will be paying the other month rents to me

Me: Okay... and I'm asking again, do we mail it to you?

Mary Welch: yes
Mary Welch: that is ok
Mary Welch: but you wil have to send the first month rent payment to my husbnad
Mary Welch: through western union or money gram
Mary Welch: ok?


Ok, Marywelch9@gmail.com, I get it. You really, really, really want that deposit. You want that deposit so badly that you don't care about the rent! I'll hurry and get that deposit to you! And fill out the application!

Here is the application:

=========== RENT APPLICATION =============

Also,Pls answer these questions below:


1)Your Full Name__________________________ ____________
2)Present Address(where you reside now) & PhoneNumber________________________ _______
3)How old are you _____________________________
4)Are you married ______________________________ _____
5)How many people will be living in the apartment ___________________________
6)Do you have a pet ______________________________ ___________
7)Do you have a car ______________________________ ____________
8)Occupation ______________________________ ___________________
9)What is your religion ______________________________ ______________
10)How long are you willing to stay ______________________________ ___________
11)1 month Or 2 month deposit needed ______________________________ ________


Looking forward to hear from you with all this details so that i can have it in my file incase of issuing the receipt in your name and contacting you.Await your urgent reply so that we can discuss on how to get the documents and the keys to you,please we are giving you all this based on trust and again i want you to stick to your words,I am putting everything into Gods hand,so please do not let us down in this property of ours and God bless you more as you do this.
Regards.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Los Angeles Apartment for Rent Scammer

So... we are thinking about relocating, and I took a gander at Craigslist in the attempts to find a deal on housing. Since most everyone knows that LA is 98% more expensive to live than anywhere else in the country, I started my search for a good deal there.

One of the first places I found was a little 1 bedroom 1 bath near the beach for $650. The ad simply said:

"Great 1 bedroom apartment for rent. Contact for more details."

Well, you already know what I got myself into, but I was easily deceived by the ad.

I reported the reply as spam and it was therefore deleted from my email history, but basically Paulwelch@gmail.com told me that he was sent to West Africa on a peace keeping mission (which is why they had to leave the house) but that his wife relocated to Maryland and was handling all the details, and to email her for more info at: MaryWelch9@gmail.com

And so it begins.

"Thanks for the email.My husband owns the House, also want you to know that it was due to my husband's transfer that made us to leave the house and also want to give it out for rent and looking for a responsible person that can take good care of the house, we are not after the money for the rent but want it to be clean all the time . You can go ahead and view the house.So for now,I am in Adelphia MD in the United States in our new home and also I am with the keys and documents of the house,we tried to look for an agent that we can give this documents before we left but could not see and we dont want the apartment to be used any how in our absence that is why we took the keys and documents along with us here and as you know that,my husband over in the West Africa for a mission of God,so i hope you will promise us to take very good care of the house.So get back to me on how you could take care of our apartment or perhaps experience you have in renting a home.Hope you are okay with the price per month with hydro,heat laundry facilities,air condition, internet connection and so on.View pics in the attached files.I am looking forward to hearing from you ASAP so that i can forward you an application to fill out and discuss on how to get the house for rent.Thanks"

Please feel free to email her inquiring about her rental properties! If you really want to waste her time and resources, and hopefully lure her away from potential targets play along. Calling them out, or getting upset will only result in no fun for you! Choose your city, I'm sure they have ads posted everywhere, but definitely in Long Beach.

Stay tuned for LAAFRS updates!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Good Samaritan

Anyone that knows me can attest that I am both quite clumsy, and often forgetful. I was walking to the bank (of all places) a few days ago, and I lost my wallet along the way. Between walking two dogs, and crossing multiple streets/overpasses, it's no wonder as it was just stuffed into my pocket. Not the wisest move... I know. But see, if I keep my wallet in my purse I have just as good a chance of leaving my purse somewhere - I know this because I have more times than not left my purse somewhere. I'm not a purse person anyway, I don't like them.

The sad part is I didn't realize that I had lost/misplaced or been been pickpocketed until I reached the bank. Oops. I retraced my steps back home, left the dogs, and retraced my steps back. I leaned over the overpass railing to peer onto the freeway, I searched among the urine stenched bushes on the side of the street, I gave the bums dirty looks that I walked past on my journey.

No luck. I couldn't find it. I cancelled all my cards, but told my husband I had a good feeling about it.

As the days passed I thought if a good samaritan had found it they should mail it back. However, upon further reflected I decided a good samartian would hopefully think otherwise as the address on the drivers license might not be correct! I thought about 20x times over I should check Craigslist Lost and Found - but I never did, don't ask me why.

Today, I got a random message on Facebook. No surprise, creepies everywhere!! I've had my fair share of creepy messages. I'm kinda sick of Facebook and Myspace though. Constant checking to see if new friends have signed up, constant emails about who has done what, and then this new epidemic of people internet snubbing you! I finally decided to cancel all my email subscriptions - no more alerts - I'll check it when I check it! Well, apparently I didn't cancel my Facebook alerts, and like I said, today I got a random message.

Hallelujah!

"My name is Downtown Perks (names changed). I found your wallet on my way to work the other day. It's all in there. I found it on some intersection near 16th and glisan. So if you would like to come pick it up sometime that would be great. my phone number is 505-505-5055."

Thank you!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Skills

When we adopted our first puppy, we were fresh off the bandwagon of Nintendogs and found it quite amusing to teach the little guy all sorts of tricks; even the simple ones like stay, so when the time came to start training the second in command we found ourselves less enticed. This was particularly so when we discovered how easily she copied the first one. "Let him teach her," we pronounced. On the whole, the pack training of two worked well, but there are a few things she hasn't quite mastered. One of those is getting into the plastic spoons. As soon as I throw away the current one she's demolished, she trots over and finds a new one. I should move them, yes.

Today we were working on stay. I was watering the plants out front; she was perched on the front steps where she was told to watch - but stay put! Easy enough, until some hobo walks by and tells her she no longer has to stay. Usually my puppies do what they are told and bark crazily at anyone old, drunk, or unclean. I guess we've now found something else we need to spend time working on.

Once I reach the two of them, and put the puppy back in her place, the hobo says to me, "I can tell they really love you."

"Really? That's nice."

"You know how I can tell?"

"Uh uh."

"It's the look in your eyes..." he follows up with a smile and points to his own eyes fearing that I won't understand.

No, that's just the look of someone who thinks you are a crazy drunk!

Now that he's blathered on about his psychic abilities, he's got a story to tell. "Today, I got a wild squirrel to eat out of my hand for 5 minutes!!"

"That's lucky," I surmised.

"No," he corrected me. "That's 'cuz I got skills."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Verbal Assult

I haven't gone back to the dirty place since the spare jeans incident... Ew. But, I ventured back today. It was fairly early, 6 a.m. even, and I thought I would take the puppies for a bit while my husband worked his swing shift for four hours.

It's the end of July - but it was 40 degrees. Luckily I wore spandex leggings under my shorts, and I had a sweatshirt and blanket which I rolled up into.

"Sorry to wake you up," an old man grumbled as he walked past me. I looked up. "Say what?" I asked. "Sorry to wake you from your bed," he repeated.

Whoa! I jumped up, "Hey, I'm not sleeping! I'm reading a library book; I have a library card; I work AND live down the street; my husband works a swing shift; he's at work right now; I thought it would be fun to bring the dogs to the park; I tried to insert every possible insinuation that I was, in fact, not homeless into this conversation without stating what I was dying to actually scream, loudly: "I'm really not a homeless bum."

But he wasn't the only one. A little later a couple kids came up, "Heeeeeey, wanna come blow up this watermelon with us?" I'm alright just reading, I assured them. "Coooool, but uh do you care if we do? It's going to be awesome!!" Nope, really, I'm ok. When their melon failed to blow up, they hopped the fence plastered with warning signs and jumped around on the old dilapidated bridge cussing and giggling every time loose boards fell beneath their feet into the river below. Then later, while loudly contemplating how awesome it was that they almost died many different times jumping on the bridge, they attempted to climb up the notches in the pillars of the 100ft. overpass.

Unfortunately, at one point I had to give in and face the repugnant restrooms. As I had nowhere to put the dogs, they had to come with me. When we walked out of the bathroom, a city worker was standing nearby in the parking lot. She looked at me, like I looked at the prostitute and cabbie when they walked out in the spare jeans episode.

I felt dirty.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Freak Me Out

"You came out of nowhere,
Man you really freak me out
I'm so afraid of you
and when I lose my cool
I don't know what to do.
I know you don't mean no harm,
you're just doing your thing,
but man you really freak me out."

You know this Weezer song, Freak Me Out?

This is how I feel every time I walk outside. Every corner, every street, every intersection some fool is standing there with a clipboard asking me to sign up for world peace, or the starving children, or lately the Change Monger.

Get it? The Change Monger vs. the War Monger.

"Do you have 5 minutes for Barack Obama?" he petitions...

"I would rather die first," I reply smiling.

I'm smiling because it's true, and because I'm unapologetic for it.

Tomorrow I will ask the petitioner if they agree with Barack Obama that mothers who are too high on crack, or meth, or heroin, too high to be able to make a decision about their child; a decision whether or not to give life saving treatment to a 3 minute old baby they are too high to even know that they just gave birth to a living being, I'm going to ask them if they agree with Barack Obama that that child should lie in the corner starving, suffocating, and likely bleeding to death.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Crosswalk

There I was - walking on the sidewalk, halfway between 22nd and 21st, approaching the intersection. I was quickly approaching a woman ahead of me who was paused at the crosswalk of an intersection, growing dizzy from watching the cars speed past her.

A crosswalk: An original idea to assist pedestrians. A bar of white stripes painted in the street. That thing that the Beatles walked across on that one famous album cover. That thing that you have to stop for if you are a driver and someone wants to walk across the street.

So she's waiting. Finally, heading south, a Scooter man finally stops. He smiles at her, she smiles at him. She looks north - clear, she looks south - cars still speeding past crazily. She smiles at the Scooter man again. She waves him on, shrugging her shoulders and holding up her hands with an upside down frown, as the cars heading north refuse to stop.

Not only is it the law everywhere that you must stop for a person wishing to cross a street with a crosswalk, but where I live, if a person wants to cross the street - whether there is a crosswalk (lines painted in the street) or not, as a driver, you have to stop no matter what. You have to stop at any intersection if someone wants to cross the street. The pedestrian always has the right of way.

Scooter man smiles back at the lady and refuses to continue. He raises his arm and points in a southern direction. A northern headed vehicle stops - almost as if Scooter man made them, like Xavier from X-men!

Just as she takes her second step into the crosswalk I reach the intersection and I follow suit. As she reaches the other side of the street she veered left; away from the stopped car and towards Scooter man, but I veer right; closer to the mentally coerced stopped vehicle. As soon as I step onto the sidewalk, the vehicle slams on the gas and the passenger shoves his head out of the window and screams at me: "You ARE welcome!"

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A horse of course!

I have to break from the norm for this post for several reasons:

#1: Let's face it, my friends, I'm just not that committed to drawing stupid stick drawings to supplement my posts. Were it not for the fact that not only do I have to draw the image, but then scan in said image, I might be more up to the task, but alas - I'm not, and so we come full circle.

#2: No stick drawing could/would suffice that reality of what I'm about to share with you - not even if it were sprinkled with magic dust, it just wouldn't be good enough.

#3: And besides, the only Google images anyone ever finds from my posts are regarding cream and midgets which I'm going to mention in the same sentence once again in the hopes of gaining more readership. I'll take you, whether you are a perve or not!

The same movement by the name of The Artistic Liberation Front that is spray painting "Hobo" all over the city sidewalks and lamp posts with blue spray paint and notified me that our local payphone is tapped, has started a new trend.

Yes, this is a plastic horse tied up with twist ties to the old Horse rings that are still scattered throughout the city sidewalks.

My husband wants to know where the plastic cowboys are, but that's easy - obviously the horses wouldn't need to be tied up if their cowboys were with them! The cowboys are off somewhere taking care of business!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Voicemail

I received this hot little number on my voicemail last night at 9:28 pm - and here it is for your reading pleasure verbatim, all ums, oohs and aahhs included:

Hello, my name is Brad Holtz and I'm, I believe I'm speaking with the right person - to pursue, I left a message there it sounds like the right voice, I think your names Valerie, maybe Vivian, but I'm pretty sure Valerie, anyway... I did some work on the steps here, at the town homes, more than about a couple years ago or so here,... (sigh) I lost your number when my phone got stolen from a work truck that I was, uh, working for a non profit up in Seattle, anyway... (sigh) um, for the first time I came by here and it looks like you never had the mortar work redone... um, so I was wondering if I could still get payment for that thing - on the way home that night, you were right I did need lights,... I ended up getting hit by a car head on, just messed up, really, but uh, anyway, so I'm hoping that you will get back to me on this matter, and, um, yeah... the reason that I'm kinda chalking this up is because I overheard you saying that you were going to have someone come back in and redo the stairs, I remember you told me that, whichever the case, it's still holding together - just like I thought it would - anyway, call, obviously - because I'm a little low on the fundage these days, hope you're well, bye now

Monday, July 7, 2008

Authenticity

I love a good crazy, but obviously I don't like posers. Last night at the park, we encountered a poser.

There we were, calmly conversing with a stranger about our dogs when all of a sudden we heard screaming from behind the hill to our south. The stranger commented, "He's been doing that for a while."

I looked over. There was nothing to be seen, and then ever so subtly a black head of hair slowly began crawling over the top of the mound with a smile brimming from ear to ear. His eyes shot furtively around witnessing who was paying attention. When he discovered he had an audience he shot up, held his arms wide, looked directly at me and shouted: "Who has marijuana?"

And also, "Who has a chimichanga?"

He followed his questions with hysterical giggling and then he fell to the ground and rolled back down the hill to join his friend.

This went on for a while, and we ventured to the other side of the park. When the poser lost his audience he decided to do something drastic.

He resumed his pose at the highest point on the small mound, held his arms wide, looked directly at me and began again, to wail while... tearing his shirt apart starting at the neck. The most he succeeded in doing was both exposing his weakness (it took him 4 tries before he got the shirt fully in two) and his flabby gut. It was sad display mocking a mix of Hulk Hogan and the Incredible Hulk but an attempt at that. His similarity to the brute force of either character made your face scrunch up in that upside down frown and think instead that this is what Ratatouille would look like if he were to brave such a front.

Alternatively, this morning I found a prescript detail for Methadone, so in reflection, maybe it was his and he wasn't a poser after all. I can't decide which I think would be better.

Friday, July 4, 2008

God Bless America

Baking in my kitchen, over the noise of my blender (which at 1:00a I'm sure my neighbors didn't appreciate - sorry (not really!)), and the noise of my fan through the window, and any cars which were driving by, and boiling water on the stove, I heard screams and shouts.

Simultaneously rolling my eyes, and straining my ears to hear the commotion, because surely you don't think my annoyance could possibly supersede my curiosity and the possibility of a good story, I distinctly hear the telltale noise of thundering repetition slowly gaining momentum... louder, louder still, and finally: "U S A! U S A! U S A!"

A gaggle of drunk and disorderly boys stomped by my apartment on their way home from the bar! Finally! Something worth causing a raucous over! After a couple rounds of "USA!!" the boys took turns singing, God Bless America all the way down the street.

I was so proud I didn't even care they were tone deaf! Go bums!!! (for once!)