Over the years, I’ve had many brushes with Nigerian scammers. Generally, this has tended to be in the form of an email from someone called Goodluck Jonathan telling me he needs to get some funds out of Lagos but can’t without my financial assistance. If I help, I’ll get a cut of the dough. You know the drill, we’ve all been there. I must admit, I really look forward to receiving these emails and have always made an effort to respond after stumbling upon a website called 419eater.com which hilariously documents the results of so-called “scambaiting” encounters. As the site explains, “Scambaiting is when you enter into a dialogue with scammers, simply to waste their time and resources. Whilst you are doing this, you will be helping to keep the scammers away from real potential victims and screwing around with the minds of deserving thieves”. Personally, I’m not so bothered about keeping scammers away from potential victims – if you’re stupid enough to fall for one of these emails you’ve got no hope anyway. Instead, I am much more concerned with baiting the con artists (who, more often than not, do tend to be Nigerian) into performing amusing tricks for their money. Things like balancing a loaf of bread on your head.

Unfortunately, I’ve not yet managed to convince a trickster to balance a loaf of bread on his head. However, a couple of weeks ago, I received a Facebook friend request from someone called Joy. After a quick check of her (?) profile, I realised she/he was a Nigerian (in Nigeria) and given that I have never been to Nigeria, nor do I know any Nigerians, almost certainly out to con me. Straight away, I realised this was too good an opportunity to turn down and clicked the accept button in an instant. Seconds later, I heard the familiar sound of a new Facebook message. It was almost poetic in its beauty as you’ll soon see. But, before I recount the conversation between Joy and I, I must first clarify some of the terminology used in this exchange:

  1. “Crafty when it pops out” is a phrase attributed to the former Leyton Orient player and manager, John Sitton, who famously went nuts at his team in a half time team talk that featured in a Channel 4 documentary aired in the mid ’90s. Alongside Keegan’s more renowned on air breakdown, this really is compelling viewing for any football fan. It can be found by clicking here.
  2. Melchester Rovers are a fictional football team with whom Roy Race spent most of his illustrious career in the British comic strip Roy of the Rovers, which first appeared in Tiger at its inception in 1954. Information courtesy of Wikipedia
  3. Irthlingborough and Wellingborough are deprived towns in the English county of Northamptonshire. A description of the former and its inhabitants can be found in my earlier blog entitled “Irthlingborough Weirdo Watch”

So here we go. Please note: Joy’s grammatical monstrosities are deliberately reproduced.

Joy: “Hey, thanks for accepting me”

Me: “No problem”

Joy: “My name is Joy and am Nigerian. Please can we be close friendz?”

Me: “As much as I would be overwhelmed by that, we don’t yet know each other, Joy!”

Joy: “Yeah, I can make you know me better”

Me: “How would you do that?”

Joy: “I can tell you more about myself”

Me: “Go on then, what are your talents…”

Joy: “Writing, am very creative and I have good ideas. I love singing, but am still trying to train my voice. I love sports so much too.”

Me: “Tell me about some of your good ideas? I had a good idea once. They really should design a razor with a spirit level in it so that men can avoid uneven and unshapely sideburns. What do you think?”

Joy: “Wow your idea is a good one. But I think razor should have more than four sharp edges covered with plastics, the plastics would be removed when in use.”

Me: “I like the cut of your jib, Miss Cookey. How many sharp edges would your razor have, in ideal circumstances?”

Joy: “Six edges”

Me: “Ah ok. Six is my favourite number”

Joy: “Wow”

Me:  “Yours?”

Joy: “Ok. Seven is my favourite”

Me: “How come?”

Joy: “Because I believe stands for perfection”

Me: “That’s good, I stand for perfection too. My football team, Leicester City, nearly won 7 games in a row this season”

Joy: ”Wow, that’s great”

Me: “It’s stupendous. Crystal Palace beat us though – I blame Waghorn – he wasn’t crafty when it popped out. The lad needs to learn to drift off and fan out”

Joy: “Yeah. Wow you are a footballer? Jeeez am so happy chatting with you”

Me: “Yeah, I play for Melchester Rovers alongside the great Roy Race. Have you ever seen one of Racey’s Rockets? They are absolute net busters!”

Joy: “Wowwww, I wish you can see how happy I am. OoooOoooohh my God. Am so so happy. Am so lucky to chat with you”

Me: “I am happy too. Adarsh, my friend, just walked in with the brightest red shirt I have ever seen. It was dark in the room before, now it has been illuminated like a room powered by its very own sun! The boy has got a nerve though, he rolled in at just gone 11 and demanded I make him tea. Have you ever rolled in at gone 11, thinking you’re bertie big bollocks and demanding tea? I did once but John Sitton told me to bring my dinner”

Joy: “Lol, I never have rolled in at gone 11”

Me: “That’s good to hear. I don’t like those types of people”

Joy: “Yeah, me too”

Me: “Joy, are you crafty when it pops out? I know I mentioned that Waghorn wasn’t and that it annoyed me. I’d hate for you to tell me that you’re not crafty when it pops out. If you are, I see a future together brighter than Adarsh’s shirt. If not, you’ll be kicked into touch faster than you can say Racey’s Rocket!”

Joy: “Yeah, am so crafty especially when it pops out”

Me: “You’ve made my day, Joy!”

Joy: “Wow. Am happy to have made your day”

Me: “Well it’s rare that anyone can make my day. It only happened once before and that was when I discovered a video on YouTube where a team of midgets successfully chased down a camel in a relay race. Have you ever raced a camel?”

Joy: “No, I have never nut I know if am given a chance I would love to do it”

Me: “Do you think you would win?”

Joy: “Yeah, am always positive and I work towards positivity”

Me: “That’s good. There’s a song I like called Positivity by a band called Suede. Suede used to be managed by Ricky Gervais and I listened to some XFM podcasts with Ricky Gervais in today. That’s a weird coincidence isn’t it? See how connected we are already!”

Joy: “Yeah, am glad about that. How do you feel when your team does not win in a competition?”

Me: “Like a squirrel that has spent all its time burying nuts for the coming winter only to find that a bigger squirrel has stolen them all”

Joy: “Ooh. That’s really sad”

Me: “Or maybe even how Van Damme feels in the film ’Legionnaire’ when he is forced to flee to the French foreign legion. No wonder he had a monumental breakdown, poor guy”

Joy: “Yeah, its really frustrating”

Me: “I know. Joy, I have to go for a while now, it’s 12 o’clock and that’s when we have to practice our escape procedure. You see, Irthlingborough is at war with Wellingborough and there could be an attack at any moment. We need to be prepared”

Joy: “Ok Foster, I wish you all the best”

Me: “Thanks Joy, we can talk soon. Keep being crafty when it pops out please!”

Joy: “Okay. Its a pleasure chatting with you, bye”

Me: “You too, bye”