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(smirk, USENET, original)


Hi, I'm Dave Rhodes, and I'm in jail.

Just six months ago, I was in dire financial straits.  My car and house
had been repossessed, my phone was disconnected, my family had left me, I
had creditors hounding me daily, and I was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Then, I hit upon one of the most amazing schemes for making quick money
that I had ever thought of.  I would start a pyramid scheme and make it
sound legal with some details about creating and maintaining mailing lists.
It wasn't necessary to dream up anything too plausible, just enough to
fool a significant portion of the population.  I made up a reasonable
sounding flyer and used a friend's computer to post it to one of the
computer bulletin boards.  I took out five post office boxes in different
cities and made up four other names so that the first five contributions
all went to me.

To say the least, the response was overwhelming.  I was a millionaire
overnight.  You see, the way these things work, if everyone sends the
letter to twenty other people, and those twenty each send the letter to
twenty more, it doesn't take more than a few iterations before the recipient
list includes everyone on the planet.  Only the first ten or fifteen people
ever see any money, and I was all of the first five!

The number of greedy people who use computers and don't understand basic math
exceeded my expectations by several orders of magnitude.  My original note was
posted on many computer bulletin boards, including something called the
internet, and response was overwhelming.  Some of them didn't even have the
sense to put their own name on the list!

As the money poured in, I thought my problems were solved for life.  As
it turns out, they were only beginning.  I found out that the same geometric
progression that made me rich had one major drawback.  Since literally
millions of people would see my message, the chances of someone reporting it
to the police was a virtual certainty.  As word got around via the same
computer bulletin boards that carried my original message, more and more
people complained to the authorities.

Soon, I was arrested and charged with fraud.  My money was confiscated under
the federal racketeering laws, so I could not even afford an attorney.  Many
of the first people to take advantage of my scheme were also arrested.

Still, my original message continued to propagate throughout computer
bulletin boards everywhere.  A substantial number of copies got sent through
regular mail, which caused more and more federal charges to be applied to
me and those early participants.  In my own way, I have become quite
a celebrity.

These days, I no longer have creditors bothering me, I don't have to
worry about housing or basic necessities, I'm entertained, and I have a good
friend Bruno who takes care of me.  I have everything I really need, and
although Bruno hurts me sometimes, I'm mostly satisfied with my life.

During her last visit, my court appointed attorney said that practically every
day someone new was arrested for trying to participate in my scheme, even long
after my own arrest was publicized.  In this way, my original opinion, that
there are enough morons in the world to make yourself fabulously rich, is
confirmed again and again.

So, with this in mind, Bruno and I have started a small enterprise here
in prison that you should know about.  It requires only a minor expenditure
on your part and can make you wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.

Please follow these instructions exac@#~s8


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