The glorious place known only as: Burkina Faso

Setting: Sitting down @ my computer sometime in the late afternoon, checking my World News, Football Statistics and Hotmail.

Everyone knows about Junk mail, also known to some people as Spam. These random and often enticing emails are often from E-hawkers, people trying to sell or convince you to buy a variety of miscellanous things online. Some examples of these products/services are:

1. Penis enlargement/Sexual enhancement pills.

2. Credit and debt advisors and programs.

3. Work from home employment opportunities.

4. Programs that teach you how to apply for free grants/loans from the government.

5. Dozens of Porn sites.

6. Perhaps the worst spam of all, the ones that are considered phishing scams.

Now phishing scams are constantly changing but usually revolve around some key points of interest. They almost always try to get some sort of private information out of you, whether its a credit card number, your home address, your likes and dislikes or even your social security number.

To get you to divulge this sensitive information, these emails are often sent in friendly tones or with a beauracratic sense of urgency, either attempting to appeal to your personal or business side.

These emails also have a tendency of being repeated, either from the exact same email address or from different names from the same basic sender. This makes most of these phishing scams pretty easy to identify; unless your completely new to email.

Ok, now that we’ve gone through a quick review, let’s begin.

So basically while sitting around at the computer the other day, I decide to go through my email and clean out some outdated and junk emails. After going through the couple dozen surveys, friend requests and occasional important email in my inbox, I proceed to click on the junk portion of my emails, which turned out to be around 400 or so messages.

The usual suspects were in there, some phishing scams, a few continued education emails (yeah, I should really look into one of those :P), a myriad of different merchants and oh yeah…

ABOUT 30 OR MORE EMAILS FROM A STRANGE AND EXCITING PLACE KNOWN ONLY AS:  BURKINA FASO, AFRICA.

I was dumbfounded. How stupid could I be? All that work in high-school working on world geography and learning different languages and I had never heard of a place called Burkina Faso. Zaire? Sure. South Africa? Egypt?

Yup, Ebola, Sharks, Mummies and Pyramids. No problem.

Well according to these different and often confusing messages from a number of different people that supposedly live near or right in Burkina Faso, these are the only conclusions I could come up with:

1. The Bank of Burkina Faso is perhaps the richest or most illicit bank in the entire world.

2. People are constantly scamming people and using Burkina Faso as a stronghold for their ill-gained rewards.

3. Every single mother, every orphan of a nefarious plan to poison their parents, basically everyone who resides in Burkina Faso has access to millions or billions of dollars they are willing to share with me, for no apparent reason.

4. Burkina Faso MUST be a real place. I just haven’t heard about it. Yet.

5. Burkina Faso IS actually located in Africa. Right where Mongolia touches Zimbabwe (:P).

Now I know it’s a little hard to digest, my dear readers. How is it that none of us have ever heard of this country or place and yet so many people in dire need of western assistance are reaching out to us on the world wide web from there?

Why is it that everyone and their mother (literally), has access to some unfound loophole in the Bank of Burkina Faso’s money laundering program?

Either this is absolutely a real place OR hundreds or thousands of people from around the world have teamed up to scam the online email users of the world with this highly complicated scheme.

If the latter were the case, which I find highly unlikely, what would they be attempting to phish for? What information or monetary gains would they receive in return for tricking us into believing that they really do have 7 million dollars that is just waiting for only me?

I mean it’s really not that bad. I think all I have to do is send them my name, my home address, my sex, my age, my soul and possibly my credit card number(only for security reasons of course) and Ahmed Buijaya will contact me within 3-4 business days to transfer a portion of the money directly into my bank account.

FOR FREE!

That sounds reasonable doesn’t it? I mean really, over the years I probably have received at least 1000 emails from people living or working in Burkina Faso. How could every single one of these people/email addresses be wrong?

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe all of these emails have only been directed to my email address because I am the once and future king.

Of Burkina Faso…

Or maybe I’m just tired and have finally succumb to the nefarious evil plot hatched from the scheming minds of an entire city-state somewhere in the middle of the Zebras, Hyenas and Hippos of the vast Masai grasslands.

“Help me.”

-Mikey, Wong_83@hotmail.com

Meerkat Manor: Are you kidding me? This isn’t PG!

Ok, a lot of you know that I watch a ton of random Discovery/Animal Planet production TV shows.
I’ve watched all of the first season of Whale Wars, African Expedition, Extreme & Deadly, Planet Earth, Deadliest Catch, River Monsters, Top 10, and numerous other random shows to count.

So it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to flip on Animal Planet this morning, and low and behold, a few episodes of Meerkat Manor were playing.

I was fully expecting this show to be some PG version of a Zoo-show or animal family-type show…Especially given that the show is on Animal Planet! I mean seriously, this show is pretty much all geared towards children and young adults.

Very few of my older friends and/or their parents have ever watched or even heard of Meerkat Manor. The only time they ever even watch these type of series is, you guessed it, when they come over to my house to hang-out or visit.

So anyways, this show is basically centered on a couple different rival factions of Meerkats, basically small rodent-like animals that live out in the middle of the African plains. They are kinda cute, striped and they make these weird noises that their pack can understand to mean either danger, food or following orders.

As the show progressed, it increasingly became apparent that this wasn’t going to be your average animal show. There are a bunch of reasons why I don’t think really young children to see this but I’ll just list a couple that really were kind of stunning.

1. Cannibalism: WTF. I think it really just speaks for itself. Basically the gist of it was that the Whiskers family of Meerkats has a dominant female. Another female was trying to become the dominant female and had a litter of babies.While she was out feeding the day after giving birth to her litter, the current dominant female decided to sneak home while everyone was away and eat all the babies.

The only thing left of the litter, which the mother found while crying out for help for hours, was a single long shredded baby Meerkat paw.

2.  Rape: Ok, there is a very large amount of rape that occurs in the rest of the animal kingdom. That’s a give-in. However, how many tv shows do you know, especially geared towards children’s curiosity, that show long clips of lone animals trekking the vast plains in order to sneak up and rape female members of another Meerkat family?

Zero.

I mean really. I could see this on HBO one day.

😀

3. Death in general: Death, Death and more death. Animals being killed, animals being eaten, babies dying, babies being eaten, Infection & disease-related death are just a few of the different things I saw, in HD no less, over the course of just 3 episodes.

I know that death is a natural part of the circle of life, I also know that people in general have been desensitized to death as whole in our society.

Either way, I guarantee that some kid that happens upon this show, complete with a cute theme song and catchy name, will be crying to his parents about why Mozart the female Meerkat just had her babies eaten by a member of her own family.

-Mikey, Wong_83@hotmail.com