# My friend went to the Philippines and lost all her money and all I got was this lousy email

The following are all actual emails; only the names have been changed.

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@gmail.com> on 9/26/13 5:31 AM:

I really hope you get this fast, I could not inform anyone about my trip, because it was impromptu. I had to be in Manila, Philippines for a program. The program was successful, but my journey has turned sour. I misplaced my wallet and cell phone on my way back to the hotel i lodge in after i went for sight seeing. The wallet contained all the valuables things i have. Now, my passport is in custody of the hotel management pending when i make payment.

I am sorry if i am inconveniencing you, but i have only very few people to run to now i will be indeed very grateful if i can get a loan of 1900  from you. this will enable me sort our hotel bills and get my sorry self back home. I will really appreciate whatever you can afford in assisting me with. I promise to refund it in full as soon as I return. let me know if you can be of any assistance. Please, let me know soonest. Thanks so much.

–

**********************************************

Jane Doe

Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 05:46:12 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

Wow, Jane, that’s terrible! I’m so sorry to hear that. Not only have you lost your wallet and cell phone, but it seems that even your email address has become scrambled, since the reply-to address, “jane_doe@outlook.com,” is different from your gmail usual email address above.

It’s lucky that even though you lost your iPhone, which is the usual way you send email when traveling, you were still able to send this one. Praise Odin!

And you were very thoughtful to conceal the people you sent this to by BCCing everyone. You know how your origami friends all hate each other and wouldn’t want anyone else to know you were writing to us. But that is so you: “Considerate Jane,” we all call you.

Of course, I understand the urgency of this matter, since you’re planning to be in Albuquerque within a matter of days. We need to get you there super-pronto!

So, just let me know what you need. A wire transfer of funds to an anonymous account? A valid credit card number sent via cleartext email? Overnighting an envelope full of cash? You just name it, you got it. We’re all here for you.

I hope you feel much better simply by reading this message.

Best regards,

Mark

P.S. Since you don’t mention your husband David, it seems you and he must have had some sort of falling-out. I never liked him anyhow.

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/26/13 6:07 AM:

Mark,

I’m so glad to hear from you because you have just given me hope. i really need help that’s why i sent the message to everybody, All i need is a quick loan of $1900 but anything you can afford will go a long way. You can wire it to my name Via Western Union outlet around you. I can receive it there within minutes right after you have wired the cash to my name because a western union outlet is just 3blocks away from where i am, The details you need is: Name: Jane Doe Address Midtown Wing Robinson Place Pedro Gil Cor. Adriatico,Manila As soon as it has been done, kindly get back to me with the confirmation number. Let me know if you are heading to the WU office now Thanks…. I would want you to take this as a life saving Moment i will never forget – ********************************************** Jane Doe Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 06:23:24 -0700 Subject: Re: Urgent Trip From: intended_mark@myaddress.com To: jane_doe@outlook.com Hi Jane, I’m so glad you’re still OK! I will go out the WU office immediately, but you know I don’t have much cash since that unfortunate matter with the flight attendants (I will never trust anything that mentions “webcam” again). So I’m going to go sell a few pints of blood to raise the money. It will take a little while — for some reason, they won’t let you donate twice in a row at the same place, so I need to go to several donation centers under assumed names. But I will do that, then head directly to the WU office. Meanwhile, since you DO have email access, tell me about your trip? Where all did you go? Were you able to complete your collection of hand-carved urinals? And of course, do tell me why you gave David the boot, the inconsiderate cad. I may be a little woozy by the time I get your reply from low hemoglobin, but I will look forward to hearing details and to knowing that I have been your angel in your hour of need. With Osiris’s grace, Mark Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/26/13 6:31 AM: Mark, i really appreciate what you are doing for me, it means a lot to me, i cant really explain anything at the moment, i am not in the right state of mind, i will explain everything to you later when am out of this mess, i will look out for your email when you get back from WU Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 09:53:45 -0700 Subject: Re: Urgent Trip From: intended_mark@myaddress.com To: jane_doe@outlook.com Hi jane, Ok I went to give blood but had all sorts of problms. First I thought it would be easier if I just brought it in so I picked out some of the stitches from that little “cry for help” I had last week and filled up a bottle with my blood, but the blood center didn’t want it, even though I had washed out the bottle first. Then they told me I was ineligible anyhow because of something called a “funereal disease” or something like that which is crazy because I havent even been to a funeral. Anyhow by then I was feeling pretty light-headed so I had to wait and think of something else. Then I remembered that my brother in law Brian once said he would pay money for the painkillers I get for my cancer treatments and since I had just filled my prescription I thought I would sell them to him, because you’ll pay me back as soon as you get your cards and stuff back so I can get more, right? So I sold them to him. But I only got$1500, not $1900. I hope that’s ok for you because I don’t know where I’d get any more money. Brian said said he couldn’t use Western Union to send the money but he has a cousin who works at a bank in Manila, so he sent the$1500 to the bank for you. So the money is now at the HSBC Bank at 535 Quintin Paredes Streetbinondo, Metro Manila, under your name, Jane Doe. You can just go in and collect it. If they ask you anything, show them our email to prove that it’s you, I’m sure that will work.

So I’m very glad that I could save you. As Jesus said, “I am the whey and the loaf”, and I have always believed that, even though I’m not sure what it means, but it sounds like bread pudding, and that’s good. I’m feeling a little light headed again and my wrist where I gave blood is leaking a little, and I think this mornings painkillers are starting to wear off, so please hurry to the bank so you can get all your papers replaced and pay me back so I can get my medicines back very soon!

Allahu akbar!

Mark

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/26/13 10:05 AM:

I really appreciate your effort, I promise to pay back as soon as am back, unfortunately, I won’t be able to get the money, I can. Only receive. Money through western union or money gram, pls rectify it and let me know as soon as possible

Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 12:08:14 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

Im sorry that’s the only money I had, I cant send any more. All you have to do is go to the bank and tell them its you.

Just to be sure I asked brian to fax them that picture of you I took on that night we were arrested in Singapore. That way they will be able to see its you. I’m sure theres no other transgender person with pink hair in Manila, it has to be you.

Ow ow. I think my painkiller are wearing off. Please hurry! I won’t be at my computer for a while but when I get back I hope I’ll have a message from you that you succeeded and you are sending the reimbursement back and you are all happy and OK.

Namaste,

Mark

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/26/13 12:10 PM:

Go and collect the money from the bank and send it through western union or money gram, those are the easiest way I can receive money here

Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 19:35:51 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

Hi Jane,

I cant collect it from the bank because the bank is now in Manila and I can’t fly to Manila because I’m on a no-fly watch list because I tried to bring too much hummus through the the carry-on line once and the TSA thinks that’s what terrorists do. And also it would cost a lot of money that I don’t have because I sent all my money to you in your hour of need (now). But you can go pick it up because it’s at the bank in Manila and you are in Manila, that’s what you said and I believe you because we are best friends forever, that’s what we always said to each other, so that’s why I know because you told me. You can go there and they’ll know you from the picture I sent. (Do you still wear the black lipstick? I hope so because you were wearing it in the picture.)

I have to go to bed now because my cancer is really really hurting and I hope it will be better in the morning. I think maybe I shouldnt have sold all my painkillers, but I really really wanted to help you because we’ve shared so much and you are in trouble and Jesus said whosoever among you is in trouble, there will I be also, so I know he is with you but except he doesn’t have any money and you need money, so I sold my medicine so I can help you. I think that makes me better than Jesus, but just this once.

Anyhow, I’m going to go sleep, but you can go to the bank because I think it’s daytime in Manila, so when I wake up I hope you’ll have the money and then you can get your documents and send me back the money or some of it, because it really really hurts right now.

L’chaim,

Mark

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/26/13 7:41 PM:

am sorry i cant get it

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 04:51:58 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

Dear Jane,

I woke up this morning and am so sad I don’t under stand. The money is right there cant you just go pick it up? Why not?

Im sorry I cant write more its really hurt a lot now.

Please tell me whats wrong and then get the money I did this for you.

Mark

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/27/13 7:07 AM:

Mark, i appreciate the fact that you are trying to help me, but if truly you want to help me, get the money from the bank and send it to me through western union or money gram, i cant get the money from the bank from here, if you cant do that, am sorry there is nothing i can do from here

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 08:56:43 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

OK I will ask brian to see if he can get it back I cant get any more money because I don’t have any more meds to sell. I was a little sick yesterday and threw up after taking my meds and wiped it up and I just found the towel that I hadn’t washed yet so I sucked on it to get the medicines out and it was a little nasty but I feel a little better now and so I will try.

You can help me feel better by telling me how your trip is going other than losing all your stuff, I know that was bad, but how was the rest?

Mark

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/27/13 5:18 PM:

I will look out for your email

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 17:38:08 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

Brian says he can get the money back but there was a fee or something because it’s only $1400 now. I wonder if he really sent it because that seems unlikely, I think maybe he was going to keep it, but he says he can get it back. Now it’s smaller than it was though and you said you needed$1900 so is this enough or should I wait until I can find more to get the money you need?

How was your trip other than losing your stuff I really want to know because I didn’t even know you were traveling but it doesn’t surprise me, you really get around. I wish we could travel together like we used to.

I couldn’t suck any more painkiller out of the towel but I soaked it in hot water and drank the water and that helped, I call it hot and sour soup (thats a joke, I dont usually joke but it helps the pain).

Prosit,

Mark

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/27/13 5:56 PM:

He should get the money back and send it through western union , any amount will go a long way and make sure you send me the details that I will need to get the money here, like the confirmation number and the sender’s name

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 18:00:55 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

I haven’t done this before. Is the confirmation number and the sender’s name all you need, nothing else? Do they need to send it to your hotel?

How was the rest of your trip?

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/27/13 6:13 PM:

All I need is the confirmation code and sender’s information ,  I will tell you about my trip once am out of this mess

Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2013 18:23:42 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

Tell me now I am really curious and brian is out, at least that’s what his answering machine is saying, and it’s night here anyhow so nothing till morning. And I’ve run out of towels and meds and reading about your fun adventures would help me feel better.

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/27/13 11:13 PM:

Still waiting to hear From you

Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 04:23:35 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

Hi Jane, I’m sorry, it was overnight so I wasn’t at my computer and brian doesn’t come into his pawnshop until later this morning.

I tried to sleep but couldn’t much, I’m really hurting again, I tried to soak the medicines out of some other unwashed clothing, but it didn’t work, not even with socks, so I think I’m going to have to use some of the money to buy back some of my meds, at least enough to help me till you can reimburse me for the rest that I’m going to send you. I think I need $300, that would leave$1100 to send, is that OK? Is that enough to help you in your hour of need that your in?

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/28/13 6:25 AM:

I already told you whatever you can afford will go a long way,I will appreciate whatever you are able to send

Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 09:03:24 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

OK im sorry im sorry you did tell me that my memory isnt so good when Im off my meds but Im back on and I have the 1100 back now so I can go send it.

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/28/13 11:56 AM:

Ok…I really apprecate your concern, I will look out for your email, once you’ve. Sent it

Thus spake “Mark J. Person” <intended_mark@myaddress.com> on 9/28/13 1:47 PM:

Hi Jane,

Well, now that I”m getting my medicines again I feel much better and I think my head is clearer. Probably selling them wasn’t a good idea, but I got some back. So I went to send the money to you. I went to ask Brian to send it for me, because he’s very good technically, he can get anything on the internet, including pictures that aren’t very nice, but when I asked him to send the money for me he said he wanted even more money to do that for me, and I said that’s the last straw, I really put my foot down, he is a lousy brother in law, he is not like Jesus, who said “whom shall I send and who will go for us?” Jesus was smart because he could use “who” and “whom” correctly, but Brian may be smart but is not nice.

Anyhow, so I started to try to send the money but I realized I didn’t know how to do it or where to go, so do you have any idea how I should send money with Western Union? Of course you must because you know how to get it, Can you give me advice?

I am sorry this is taking so long, but I’m glad you are managing. Where are you staying?

Much happiness to you,

Mark

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2013 15:37:13 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

Hi Jane,

I haven’t heard anything from you since yesterday, so I hope you aren’t mad at me or something. Can you tell me what I need to do to send you the money you asked for? I hope you’re OK.

Cheerios,

Mark

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/30/13 5:14 AM:

send the money through western union

Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2013 06:07:00 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

Yes, but how do I do that?

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/30/13 6:27 AM:

find a nearest location and send it to the information i gave you, if you cant find a location, dont bother helping me again, i am getting tired of this

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/30/13 6:30 AM:

find a nearest location and send it to the information i gave you, if you cant find a location, dont bother helping me again, i am getting tired of this

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/30/13 8:04 AM:

find a nearest location and send it to the information i gave you, if you cant find a location, dont bother helping me again, i am getting tired of this

Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2013 08:51:06 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

OK ok ok your mad at me arent you because youve emailed me three times today, please dont be mad you know it gets me flustered. Im sorry Ive never done this before but I am smart and resourceful and will figure it out, so please just bear with me, Im looking at the google now. Jesus said here am I send me, and I can’t send me but I can send the money, I still have 1100 left to send and that should help.

Mark

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 9/30/13 9:02 AM:

i will look out for the confirmation details once you’ve sent it

Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2013 05:27:25 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

OK, I found a branch with the Google and visited it with my sister Brenda (she’s married to Brian, who I hate now but Brenda is nice and helps me a lot) and a very nice man had me fill out a form (actually Brenda did it for me, she writes better) and took the money and sent it to the address you sent me. He said all I have to give you is this number, which is amazing that just a number has so much power, but numbers can be powerful, at least that’s what my spiritualist says.

So here’s the number: 1536432755. I hope you get the money soon and then please please write me back and tell me how everything is going, I will be praying for you.

Chow,

Mark

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 10/1/13 5:45 AM:

i tried to check the status, there was no match found

send me the details again

the confirmation number:

sender’s name (first and last name) as it is in the form you filled at western union

and the exact amount you sent

Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2013 09:49:40 -0700

Subject: Re: Urgent Trip

To: jane_doe@outlook.com

Hi, the number is 1536432755, the amount is \$1100 (remember, I had more, but I needed to use some of the money back), and the sender is me.

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 10/1/13 10:58 AM:

still nothing, scan the western union receipt to me

Thus spake “Mark J. Person” <intended_mark@myaddress.com> on 10/1/13 5:12 PM:

That’s strange. Maybe it takes a while to arrive? Manila is clear around the other side of the world.

I don’t have a scanner, I pawned it at Brian’s shop and I do not ever ever ever want to see or talk to him again (but Brenda is OK, she’s nice, but she never goes in the shop).

Maybe if you jiggle your computer, sometimes that works for me, or you can go to the store and tell them it’s you?

R

Thus spake “Mark J. Person” <intended_mark@myaddress.com> on 10/2/13 10:23 AM:

Hi Jane,

I didn’t hear anything back from you which makes me SOOOOO happy!! happy!! because that tells me it worked, and you have the money, and you can now pay your hotel and have something to eat and you must be so hungry after all these days that I’ll bet your eating right now and your mouth is full and that’s why you didn’t write right back and thank me. That’s OK, you’re well, and that’s all that matters.

And that’s a good thing you now have money because I’m going to go away from email now Brenda told me about a wonderful homeopathic numerologist who can help me with my cancer (it still hurts and I’ll soon run out of the medicine I bought back from Brian who I hate) so I’m going to start his treatments (the numerologists, not Brians). But he says I have to swear off all technology like computers and iphones and toasters, so I wouldn’t be able to write you any more, but that’s OK because you’ve got money and food and what more does one need? Pencils and socks are nice too I guess.

Jesus said “here am I lord send me” and he said “here am I” backwards like Yoda does, and I think that’s because Jesus is a great Jedi like Yoda, it’s not because he’s a green puppet like Yoda because he isn’t green or it would have said so in the Bible. So when you sent your cry for help I could say “here am I Jane send me” and even though you said “send money instead” I could still do that and make you well.

So I will be thinking of you as I am chanting the digits of pi which is part of the therapy and so even though I won’t have email any more I can’t wait till we can get together again and you can tell me in person of your fabulous travels!

BFFs forever!

Mark

Thus spake “Jane Doe” <jane_doe@outlook.com> on 10/2/13 10:55 AM:

go and collect your money

Thus spake “Mark J. Person” <intended_mark@myaddress.com> on 10/2/13 11:12 AM:

Thank you for your email and I apologize for this automated reply. I have moved to the Shetcher Pi Whole Body Spa for extended therapy. I will respond to your email after I am fully cured and return.

# This doesn’t taste right…

Photo taken by Mary Jane Kettler of my “Morpho Flight” butterfly at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center last year.

I picture the conversation between the two harvestmen as going something like this:

“Billy! We got one! and he’s not even moving!”

“Wait…something’s wrong…What sort of cruel hoax is this?” (*)

(*) Yes, I know it’s a Gary Larson line. It’s just too good not to use.

# So that’s what’s inside!

The traditional Japanese origami crane is such an unusual shape, it makes one wonder why whoever first folded decided on calling it a crane, and also, why they gave it that particular shape.

Well, now we know the answer: it’s shaped that way because that’s its skeleton, as the photo below shows.

This fantastic model arrived in my inbox from 3D modeler extraordinaire Joaquin Baldwin (with a little help from Shapeways). You can see more of this design and more work by Joacquin on the Shapeways website.

There must be a special affinity between origami and 3D printing; there are some other pretty cool 3D things on the Shapeways site that have an origami connection.

# Skin in the game

There’s an anecdote that often makes its way into business/marketing presentations, about the difference between “interest” and “commitment.” The example given pertains to a bacon-and-eggs breakfast. The chicken had an interest; the pig was committed.

This sort of differentiation doesn’t come up in the origami world very often. Most origami aficionados pursue the art as a hobby. It may be fun—it may even be a passion—but it still takes second place to eating, sleeping, taking care of the family, and so forth. (At least some of the time.)

Even for the small number of my compatriots for whom origami is our actual job, while there was a quasi-commitment at some point—the moment where we quit our day job, or decided to pursue this job rather than that one—there’s always a fallback option. We could go back to whatever we were doing before (lasers, in my case), or what our parents were trying to convince us to do, if this crazy origami thing doesn’t work out.

So I have a soft spot in my heart for true commitment when I see it (with the usual qualifications: as long as that true commitment doesn’t hurt anyone else). I’d always considered that I’m pretty committed to origami crease patterns. But now, I can say that my most ardent devotion is nothing compared to this fellow:

That’s an appendage of Sean Grimes, who liked my Origamido Koi so much that he had its crease pattern tattooed on his arm (by tattoo artist Italo Ganni). (it’s a fresh picture. He tells me the pinkness, which is referred to as “agitation” in ink-lingo, will subside soon.)

He asked first, of course. But how could I say no? While I have certainly committed violence to my own body in the name of my art, it’s pretty much always been unintentional (hot-melt-gluing storage boxes together is a particular hazard). This is the first example I can think of where the bodily alteration was intentional.

So Sean, I take my hat off to you. I would take my sleeve off to you if I could.

And someday, many decades hence, at the end of a long and happy life, when you’re wondering what to do with your earthly remains…I suspect there’s one or two origami artists who might have some interesting ideas.

# The Truth that Truthers Deny

Did you know that U.S. Currency predicts (and postdicts) the events of 9/11? It’s true, and you can unlock the secret with a bit of origami! See the whole sordid story elsewhere on this very site.

Despite this being one of the most deeply guarded secrets in history, it appears that several other intrepid souls have stumbled onto it as well. FWSE for “9/11 currency” for some other takes on the topic.