Babylon, P.Q.: The year’s foreign correspondence

The year’s foreign correspondence

Welcome to the last Babylon, P.Q. of the decade that easy characterization forgot: no more 00s, no more noughts, no more turn-of-the-century tomfoolery. We are very nearly in our teens. God help us. And stuff.

Traditionally, this is the column I devote to the correspondence (both email and snail) Hour has received over the previous 51 weeks. Some of it relates to coverage in the paper, some of it is topical in a general sense, and much of it just has to do with whatever is sparking the plug of the sender at that particular moment. We love everything and everyone equally and unconditionally. Because, like your parents, we have to. Let’s get it on…

Floats like a butterfly, stings like a… Crown Prince of Hell? Or perhaps My computer had the right idea when it refused to play it

"American Trash Top Secret & Confidential is a ‘free movie’ to everyone who is interested in boxing! What’s Top Secret & Confidential? For over 40 years, every journalist has known that Muhammad Ali was given a spiritual mission by his master Elijah Muhammad and he successfully accomplished it yet it has never been revealed. Why? What was that mission and what does it mean to the West? Damnation to all of North America, Canada included, was this assignment! This 10 min excerpt will tell you what was achieved in the name of Allah and Islam! It’s the most imperative movie on boxing that’s ever been produced. Muhammad Ali as an anti-Christ will clarify just who he is spiritually. Sincerely, Milford XXXX"

John! I think I know why you’re single!

"I read the article about Racean Walsh and her wedding planning business. The real story, in my opinion, is not necessarily her wedding planning business, but the fact that Racean Walsh is astonishingly beautiful. Really, this girl is stunningly attractive. She has that young healthy beauty that makes one sit up and take notice. Please print this, along with her picture. The world should know that such beauty exists. It makes me feel good just to look at her face. I know that beauty is skin deep and it’s the inner person that really matters, so it kind of bugs me that I’m being so drawn to her appearance. But, I can’t help it. Maybe beauty really is important, after all, simply because it makes people feel good. That’s as legitimate a reason as any to assign importance to something – John"

Clearly too much "press this press that" to actually include an email with the email

Subject: Hello, is Martin Siberok there? I tried calling but there were too many Press This, Press That number, thanks!

[No he's not, and you're welcome.]

Not your average missive from an "African financial expert"

"Attention: I am Mr. John XXXX, General manager to the Finance, security & Sec. Services. this note was taken in my office where i was serving verification documents to the White men Mr Peter Brown and Mr john Ojiso who stormed my office in the company of Mr. Mark and Dan (in white African attire). The black man claimed to be your representative and the supervisory Engineer that supervised and Lasco security, company & Sec. Services (OUR COMPANY) because of their inability to have paid it at the agreed time. They said that you were dead and before your death, you appointed them as the next of kin. Please study the attached photograph and respond to me urgently for your comments which will be highly appreciated. Contact me on this Email: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx@live.fr. Regards, Mr. John XXXX"

And finally this one kind of touched me, "touched" being the operative word, but touching nonetheless…

"HELLO TO THE MONTREAL NEWSPAPERS OF MONTREAL QUEBEC CANADA NORTH AMERICA. I WANT TO SEND MY COMMENTS VIA THE EMAIL MESSAGE TECHNOLOGY BECAUSE THERE REALLY ISN’T ANY OTHER WAYS TO SEND THEM… SO I’M A MALE PERSON, A MAN, AGE: 34, OF POLAND EAST EUROPE RESIDING/LIVING IN CANADA IN WESTERN CANADA IN: EDMONTON ALBERTA CANADA. WORK PROFESSION: SEMI TRUCK DRIVER… I JUST WANTED TO INFORM THE OTHER PARTS OF CANADA ON HOW THINGS ARE IN EDMONTON, I WAS GOING TO SAY IN ALBERTA BUT MAYBE CALGARY IS DOING BETTER, IN EDMONTON ALBERTA CANADA WE CURRENTLY HAVE A LOT OF HOMELESS PEOPLE LIVING HERE, THINGS ARE EXPENSIVE AS RENT, CAR GASOILINE, GROCERIES, CAR INSURANCE, ESPECIALLY THE RENT… SOMEHOW THE MONEY MADE DOESN’T GO FAR AND DOESN’T JUST JUST STAY, I’M UNABLE TO SAVE ANY MONEY FOR A DECENT VACATION OR A CAR, A USED CAR EVEN… I BEEN SENDING OUT ABOUT 15 TO 20 WORK RESUMES FOR SEMI TRUCK DRIVER AND IF I GET A SINGLE CALL FROM THE SEND OUTS THEN I’M DOING OKAY… I DON’T KNOW WHAT ELSE I SHOULD DO TO BE A BETTER PERSON, I DON’T HURT ANYBODY EVER, I’M A NICE ABIDING PERSON… I STILL ENJOY WHAT I HAVE AND HOW I HAVE IT, AT LEAST I’M SAFE IN THE WORRIES DEPT., NO WORRIES FROM ME, I DON’T RUN ANYTHING SO I CAN’T HELP ANYBODY, BUT THINGS IN EDMONTON SUCK… I THOUGHT THE VANCOUVER 2010 WINTER OLYMPICS WERE ALRIGHT TO A CERTAIN DEGREE, MEN’S ICE HOCKEY SUCKED AND IT WAS GARBAGE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME."

On behalf of Montreal Quebec Canada, merry Christmas Mr. Semi-Truck Driver. Keep on being a better person and, may I suggest, watch the hockey World Juniors this holiday season – it’s the only real hockey on TV and it will put a smile on your face when Edmonton can’t. And to all of you who take the time to read Babylon, P.Q. – and Hour as a whole – as always, my heartfelt thanks. Let’s meet again in the New Decade, shall we? And please, keep those letters coming, except for that John guy… Okay, even him.

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