By Rod Miller, columnist
One of my favorite morning rituals is sipping my coffee while I read my spam emails. Invariably there are two or three tempting offers from folks I don’t know in Burkina Faso or the Ivory Coast who want to make a very rich man of me.
Back in the day, it was the former Nigerian Oil Minister who wanted to enlist me to smuggle millions of petro-dollars out of his country. For my help, I’d get a tasty cut of the loot, and all he needed was my bank info to get the wheels rolling.
That guy either died or found another patsy, because I never hear from him anymore. But he has been ably replaced by scores of other enterprising folks who must have seen him raking in the cash from naive Americans, and are upping his game with creative new schemes.
The emails all begin with an intimate salutation like “Dear One” or “My Precious Friend” and proceed from there with a sob story about a dead husband’s blood money that the grieving widow just wants to give away to a god-fearing person.
Or some other cockamamie yarn like that.
But, they tell me, if I want to fatten my bank account with their plunder, I’ll need to put a little skin in the game. Like giving them all my banking info, social security number and passwords. After all, nothing in this life is free, right?
Some might call this identity theft, I call it opportunity.
This was my coffee-fueled epiphany this morning. Instead of going through all these gyrations to steal my identity, why don’t they just buy it from me?
My imaginary friends must have the dough to buy my identity. After all, they describe pallets of Benjamins stashed in vaults in Lichtenstein or the Caymans that they’re trying to offload.
And this is America, where everything is for sale. Are you with me?
If my identity is so valuable to these folks, I’m sure that we could arrive at an arms-length, willing buyer-willing seller arrangement. Like most of you, I’m not willing to sell myself too cheaply, but I’m sure willing to dicker.
For the amazingly low price of forty or fifty thousand bucks, any desperate person could buy a gently used Wyoming identity. My persona is debt-free, with a clean driving record and no law enforcement history.
My identity would be a welcome asset for anyone experiencing offshore financial difficulties. Or it would make a great accessory for someone with a pesky legal problem that doesn’t respect borders.
Operators are standing by, so call now! Because of this special offer, I will accept cash, bearer bonds or vintage Indian motorcycles as payment.
Wait! There’s more!!
If you act immediately, I’ll include a good dog, half a can of Copenhagen and a PBR tallboy.
What are you waiting for? For a mere fifty-thousand dollars, your peace of mind is assured!
You won’t need to write another spam email, because you are no longer you.
I’m going to compose my own email and blast it out to my imaginary friends, pitching this deal to them. The smart one’s among ‘em will see the obvious wisdom in this capitalistic approach to the tender subject of identity theft.
Wish me luck! I’ll let y’all know how this turns out, but I have a good feeling. The only downside would be that, after I sell my identity, I won’t be able to write as Rod Miller anymore.
So, if you see this column under my new by-line, Nicky Chiffon, then you’ll know that my plan worked.