Miss Information

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It’s been more than two years since I started writing Miss Information for, and I’m still overwhelmed by the number of people who write each week seeking my advice. So desperate are some that they send what almost seems like the exact same email — over and over and over. Their problems are as heartfelt as they are universal. This week I’d like to share a few missives from these “Frequent Writers,” as well as my responses.
This first email is from a gentleman named Abu Muhasha. The subject line is marked “URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL.”

Dear Miss Information,
You may be surprised to receive this letter from me since you do not know me personally. I am Prince Muhasha, son and heir to the throne of Mawa Muhasha, the recently deceased King of Nigeria.

Before the death of my father, he deposited with a security company the sum of 18 million dollars US funds. My wife and I are seeking a partner that will join us in a profitable business venture. We have decided to give you 25% of the total funds, with an additional 5% for any costs incurred during transaction.

If you choose to accept, please contact me immediately for more comprehensive details. Abu Muhasha


Dear Abu,
Wow. This sounds like an exciting opportunity. People usually ask me about sex and relationships, not international business affairs. It’s flattering you see my expertise as going beyond MySpace etiquette, cheating boyfriends and appropriate anal-sex lubricants. But I’m afraid I’m going to have to decline your offer, Abu, and here’s why: a person must think carefully before entering into any new financial arrangement, especially if they’re involving a third party.
Money is one of the biggest issues couples fight over, and I hate to see you and Mrs. Muhasha torn apart in your quest to bequeath me vast wealth and riches. Maybe you could find another way to get at your father’s funds? Try painting your penis blue and attaching a bunch of googley eyes to a soccer ball. In my country this is called “art” and should be good for at least a few hundred thou — more if your parents know a senator or you went to an Ivy League school.
I would tell you to ask our government, Muhasha, but we need all our money for a war. This is so we can maintain the American way of life — outlawing gay marriage while cheating on our spouses and railing against obesity while driving our SUVs two blocks to buy organic German chocolate cake at Whole Foods.
Sorry I couldn’t be of any more help. Good luck in this and all your future endeavors.
P.S. Do you know a guy named Nagobee Sahlingo? I got an email from him the other day, and it sounds like he’s in a situation very similar to yours. Perhaps you two could meet up.

This next letter is from a Miss Info reader called “eBay Administrator.” It was sent at 4:07 a.m. and the subject line reads “Insecurity.”

Dear Erin,
Our support service has found an error in your account data. We apologize for any inconvenience but your billing information must be in a safe place.
Verify your account by entering your credit card number in the form below. Please take this issue seriously. This is for safe storage of your account data. eBay Administrator

Dear eBay Administrator,
I see you are having trouble sleeping. Your email was sent at four o’clock in the morning. Insomnia is often a symbol of an unhappy emotional state. Anything can be a trigger — a fight with a close friend, friction with a family member, trouble at work.
Perhaps you’re regretting a bad decision. I know I’ve made several on your site. Right now I’m thinking about the two vintage Metallica t-shirts I purchased at $40 each, one of which arrived smelling like kerosene and the other with a stain I can’t quite place but I’m pretty sure is either Dippity Doo hair gel or Thousand Island salad dressing.
Your email raises a larger point, Mr. Administrator. It is important to get to know (or — as you say — “verify”) the people you date. This will prevent a situation whereby a person — say, a sex-advice columnist — starts dating a twenty-five-year-old paramedic whom she believes to be caring and emotionally available. Five months later she discovers he’s got deep-seated issues with control and cannot slow down during sex even though he’s been informed by his girlfriend that he’s hammering in and out of her like a jackrabbit cross-bred with a meth-addicted oil rigger who just got out of jail.
Feel free to call me or the folks at Fox News should any more online Internet cyberterror threats arise.
This final email is from a woman named Heidi Sands in Silver Springs, Maryland. The subject line reads, “Dinner date!!!!!!”

Dear Miss Information,
You are invited to receive a $500 gift card from Red Lobster. Please visit our website to claim your prize.

Thank you and ENJOY! Heidi Sands, Customer Service Rep.

Dear Heidi,
Taking your date out to dinner is a gesture that reeks of class. If that class comes with cheddar-garlic biscuits — even better. But $500 seems like an awful lot to be spending on one meal, Heidi. I’m wondering if you have a habit of trying to buy your way into people’s affections?
I know it gets lonely working as a customer-service rep. In college, I worked the night shift in the dead of winter at an ice-cream store. You haven’t known sorrow until you’ve huffed nitrous in the back cooler while listening to the evening’s fourth rotation of Little Earthquakes on CD.
Anyway, I’m pleased you want to take me out to dinner. I admit, I haven’t done the girl-on-girl thing in a while. The last time I was used by my friend as a prop to turn on a grody frat boy. You wouldn’t do that to me, Heidi, would you? No, you wouldn’t. You give away expensive gift cards to people you don’t know. You’re much more real. Let me know when you get a break and we’ll set something up ASAP. My lobster bib is laundered and ready. So is my vagina. Drawn to you like butter, Miss Info
There’s still time to celebrate National Pork Week! You, your best friend, or a favorite bartender could be a Featured Single on Miss Information’s MySpace blog. Click here for all the details.


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