Monday, December 04, 2006

Gee Mom...Guess What? I Am Going To Be Famous!

Recently over at the good ole Gin water-hole, the honorable, glorious, revered, incredibly sexy and brilliant Miss Snark presented us with a post entitled: "Crock of Shit alert". In this wondrous piece of literature Her Most Wondrous Holiness, presented us with a possible scam created just to separate authors from their money.

As readers of Cobwebs Of The Mind may know by now, I pay close attention to the great emails that come in to my system from poetry.com and its various other business names. I have a special affinity for the folks over at poetry.com and all their affiliates. (see: When Is Being Published NOT Being Published? and There Is A Sucker Born Every Minute.)

I have learned to get a kick out of the way they present themselves and legitimize a perfectly and totally sordid business of pure bullshit. It scares me, because the emails are getting ever-more-sophisticated and I am 100% sure there are hundreds if not thousands out there that are parted from their money without ever thinking they are being scammed.

So before you ask me first go here and read this: Getting the Scoop on Poetry Contest Scams. Try Wikipedia's entry on "Poetry.com". Or just type the words: poetry.com scam into Google, Yahoo or MSN. That should make you think twice before you leap.

So in the tradition of Miss Snark's Crock of Shit alert I present you with my newest email from Mr. Steven J. Michaels, (whose email address happens to be, SMichaels@poetrylink.com, just in case you wish to send him a love postcard.)

And before I forget the following email gets the Official Cobwebs Of The Mind - Miss Snark Fire Extinguisher Rating (saved for those especially dumb scammers and trollers.)
Miss Snark Fire Extinguisher Rating

Now in order for you, dear reader, to follow my answer to these wonderful people, I have bolded and numbered my comments! Thus you can follow along as easily as following the bouncing ball!
Dear Ted,

It's something we don't often do, [1] but after reading and discussing your poetry , the [2] Editorial Advisory Board of the International Library of Poetry has nominated you for membership in the most exciting poetry organization in the world-- [3] the International Society of Poets!

The Editorial Advisory Board wholeheartedly agrees that your poetic writings warrant nomination into the International Society of Poets-- [4] a poetry organization that is world-renowned and dedicated to recognizing poetic talent such as yours. As [5] Chairman, I want to personally inform you about all the new benefits of Membership, and I did not want you to miss out on this opportunity. Ted, I know that after hearing what we are about, you will join us as a member of our society--the International Society of Poets!

You'll receive many tangible benefits when you become a member. There are two levels of membership, and I am positive one of them will fit your poetic needs. Whatever membership category you choose, we look forward to your participation in our organization for many years to come. Click here to see the full list of these very important membership items. But perhaps more importantly, you'll be joining fellow poets from more than 60 different nations in the largest poetry organization in the world--an organization dedicated to recognizing, awarding, and promoting the poetic talent of our members and . . .

Renew now and receive a FREE NATIONAL ENTERTAINMENT® BOOK!

If you renew your membership now, we will send you a free Entertainment® 2007 National Edition Discount Book. Entertainment® is the book we all love for savings on shopping, dining, travel, and more. This addition includes hundreds of exclusive offers that will save you thousands of dollars on many of the things you love to do and buy.

An organization you can be proud of!

[6] Noted for our charitable contributions and our accomplishments in furthering poetic endeavors, the International Society of Poets maintains a reputation for bringing poetry to more people and to more nations than any other organization in the world.

Whether you write poetry for the satisfaction it gives you, or as a personal way to record your innermost feelings, or as a hobby, through your membership you and your poetry will be recognized by thousands of people from all over the world. And Ted, it's a great feeling to know they're interested in you, and that your poetry is being read and enjoyed by others. [7] In fact, by enrolling in the International Society of Poets membership program, you and your artistry will receive international recognition.

You'll even have the opportunity to meet and share your poetry with other members. As a member, I will extend a personal invitation to our yearly convention, which is world-renowned for bringing together poets of all ages and nationalities who share a common love of poetry. These motivating educational events are full of camaraderie and mutual admiration for our poetic endeavors.

The poetic event of the year!

[8] This year, our conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, drew nearly 3,000 poets from 64 nations around the world! We believe this to be one of the largest single gatherings of poets in history. [9] At our conventions, our members have had the opportunity to meet and discuss poetry with former Chancellor of Academy of American Poets, David Wagoner; Poet Laureate, Fleda Brown; Mellon Poetry Prize Winner, Herbert Woodward Martin; and Pulitzer Prize Winner, W.D. Snodgrass. [10] We've been entertained by such acts as Johnny Cash, John Denver, the Smothers Brothers, and Tony Orlando just to name a few . . . [11] not to mention cash and gift prizes totaling over $100,000 awarded to amateur poets.

[12] Over the last ten years, our organization has awarded over $1 million dollars to poets just like you. As a member, you will have a chance to win your share of these prizes. Whether you write structured poetry or free verse, you'll find these contests to be exciting and rewarding events. You'll be invited to participate in exclusive contests for members only and winners are published in the internationally distributed magazine, Poetry Today.

[13] Poetry Today . . . A new award-winning magazine!

And what a magazine it is! Our award-winning magazine, with its new design and format, is included with each membership. Our magazine covers a lot of what's going on in poetry in the United States and around the world. In each magazine, there is a special emphasis on you and other members. There are contest announcements and results, members' poetry prominently displayed in our publication, coverage of what's happening in the lives of our members, the craft of writing poetry, and many other special features. Poetry Today is also your key to finding out about our members-only contests, what types of poems judges look for, and how to improve your craft of writing and chances of winning.

Join the International Society of Poets now, Ted, and you'll become one of the recognized leaders of your craft. [14] Your friends, family, and colleagues will look to you as an example of experience, vision, and accomplishment in the poetic world. Your society will look to you for your unique perspective as expressed through your poetry. I'm sure we'll soon be seeing you and your poetry featured in Poetry Today.

Click here or go to
[yeah right] us today.

Sincerely,

Steven J. Michaels
Chairman, Board of Trustees
International Society of Poets

[15] P.S. Ted, we accept only a limited number of members each year and by accepting your invitation now, your benefits will begin immediately and you will promptly receive your membership items through the mail along with your Free Entertainment® 2007 National Edition Discount Book. Most importantly, we will welcome you as a member of the largest poetry organization in the world--the International Society of Poets.


Dear Mr. Michaels:

OMG! I am gushing with JOY! To be nominated to your society. This is something only dreams are made of. It is the stuff of the Yellow Brick Road and clicking my heels together (okay I don't really wear high heels, but as a poet I do have a literary license, don't I?)

Mr. Michaels, let me assure you that this is one of the greatest honors ever to have been offered me. Why just last week, the Assistant Finance Minister of Nigeria sent me an email telling me that he really needs my help to free up a will with over $10 Million dollars in it. All he needed from me was a lousy $25 grand to get the ball rolling! I mean, hahahaha, even I can do that math. $25 grand investment for $10 cool million dollars! What a deal! This must be my lucky month!

I do have a few questions though, Mr. Michaels. So just in order for clarification, because you see my children think that this has to be some sort of suckers deal. Let me assure you, I know you are serious. But in order to convince my cynical, suspicious children please just answer a few small itty-bitty and innocent questions.

[1] "but after reading and discussing your poetry" - don't for a moment think I am not honored here. Even more so honored, because I have never published or submitted a word of poetry to you in my life! That is amazing though. I even went to the poetry.com web site, and did a search for my name, and could not come up with anything. So please, again just for the sake of the kids, so I don't look too senile, can you tell me what poetry you are talking about? (And send back the text to. I have to read it, just in case the kids test me on it!)

[2] "Editorial Advisory Board of the International Library of Poetry" - Okay now I am a bit stumped. I did not want to seem stupid in the face of such an august body. So I just dumped that search term into Google. Mr. Michaels! This must be some great CIA secret. Because not one search engine can return any meaningful result for your Editorial Advisory Board of the International Library of Poetry. Please, I am just so excited by your offer, if you could be good enough to send me specific names and emails of those on your board, and of course their illustrious credentials. Again, as you can understand, blame it on the kids!

[3] "the International Society of Poets!" - Hmm! There must be some mistake! Sue Google! Sue Yahoo! Mr. Michaels, this is dastardly. I plugged in the term "International Society of Poets" to Google and do you know what returned? OMG. Mr. Michaels. Such lies. Every single link was about some other International Society of Poets which was a scam!!!!!! Mr. Michaels I think you should change the name of the Society. Otherwise people are going to think you are the scam. We can't have that can we?

[4] "a poetry organization that is world-renowned" - Now I know you are joshing me. You must have worked very hard to keep this organization a secret. Cause there is not a hint of it on the Internet. Now, Mr. Michaels. I respect the need for your secrecy. After all there must be a million poets after you for favors. BUT, please, just a little more information on your world-renowned organization would really help me out.

As [5] "Chairman" - Hey, Mr. Michaels. I am beginning not to like this. If you are chairman then why can't I even find your name in Google? Something is beginning to smell funny here.

[6] "Noted for our charitable contributions and our accomplishments in furthering poetic endeavors, the International Society of Poets maintains a reputation for bringing poetry to more people and to more nations than any other organization in the world." - Our family really respects charitable contributions. Since you are a society and you are a business, would you mind sending us a list of amounts and to whom you make your donations to. This would really get a lot of brownie points with my ungrateful and cynical children who are insisting that you are nothing but a scam artist who should be jailed. (Don't listen to them Mr. Michaels. I still love you!)

[7] "In fact, by enrolling in the International Society of Poets membership program, you and your artistry will receive international recognition." - OMG! Now I know you are joking! International recognition? Really? Who? Where? What? Am I going to be like nominated for a prize? Will I meet the Queen of England? The President of the US? Will I at least meet Ahmadinejad? (I am sure you can arrange that meeting...I mean one scammer to another and all that?)

[8] "This year, our conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, drew nearly 3,000 poets from 64 nations around the world!" - You just cannot beat that for inspiration. Poetry and the slots. My oh My! What a way to go!

[9] "At our conventions, our members have had the opportunity to meet and discuss poetry with former Chancellor of Academy of American Poets, David Wagoner; Poet Laureate, Fleda Brown; Mellon Poetry Prize Winner, Herbert Woodward Martin; and Pulitzer Prize Winner, W.D. Snodgrass." - Such names! Such a setting. Such a venue. Now the kids are insistent here. And now Mom is getting into the act, calling me a "gullible boob!" Can you believe it Mr. Michaels? Me? A gullible boob for believing your letter? So I need to see pictures, and need to see somewhere on the Internet or in a newspaper that these people were really at your conference. It is not that I do not believe you - it is the rest of my family!

[10]
"We've been entertained by such acts as Johnny Cash, John Denver, the Smothers Brothers, and Tony Orlando just to name a few" - Okay, now at least you are talking Turkey!

[11] "not to mention cash and gift prizes totaling over $100,000 awarded to amateur poets." - and here I MUST insist. Before I accept your magnanimous offer, I will need the email address of these people, to verify this to the kids. (Mom said if I believe you, she and the kids will sell me the Brooklyn Bridge! They think I was born yesterday. Silly family!)

[12] "Over the last ten years, our organization has awarded over $1 million dollars to poets just like you." - As above, I must insist on the email addresses, records and testimonials of these people. (Not just a picture with a first name!)

[13] "Poetry Today . . . A new award-winning magazine!" - I did find your magazine on line. But try as I might, no awards are mentioned. I know this is once again a dastardly mistake and evil plan by the trinity cabal of Google, Yahoo and MSN. So can you tell me what awards you did receive, and who exactly awarded them, and when they were awarded, and why your magazine got them?

[14] "Your friends, family, and colleagues will look to you as an example of experience, vision, and accomplishment in the poetic world." - The kids say the ONLY people who will read my poems, which I never write anyway, (but who's telling?) will be them! Tell me this is not true. Tell me you distribute all over the world to poets and publishers and editors everywhere. Tell me how good you are. I WANT TO GIVE YOU MY MONEY!

[15] "P.S. Ted, we accept only a limited number of members each year and by accepting your invitation now, your benefits will begin immediately and you will promptly receive your membership items through the mail along with your Free Entertainment® 2007 National Edition Discount Book. Most importantly, we will welcome you as a member of the largest poetry organization in the world--the International Society of Poets." - Will I also get a merit badge? I mean Mom would love one of those!

Mr. Michaels, I breathlessly await your answers. Until then, I will scream it from the rooftops:

Gee Mom...Guess What? I Am Going To Be Famous!

Posted On: Cobwebs Of The Mind

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4 comments:

Kristen King said...

Ted, I'm rolling here. I probably just missed this, but please tell me you actually sent this message. :]

Did you ever know that you're my heeeee-rohhhhhhhh...

Kristen

Ted W. Gross said...

Darling Kristen:

I figure if they can send me such great promises and offers in my email, they can visit my blog when they discover I did not take them up on their great offer! :) After all isn't that what customer relations are all about????

Tune in .. just wait till you see what I have planned for tomorrow!

Paula said...

There is that fine blend of humor and sarcasm. Two of my favorite emotions when someone is getting screwed by a scam.

They got my daughter back in August. Had her convinced she was an amazing poet and only a handful of the poems get recognized. Hers stood out. Imagine. And she was automatically entered to win
$10,000.00 scholarship.

Can we sell you a lovely leather bound book of our finest poets? See your name among some of our best. Need a plaque in which to display your work to show all of your friend? They will sell you one of those too.

Of course I was the evil mom when I told her it was a come on until the thread at AW showed up and there was proof I was not just saying that.

Love your letter Ted.

Paula

Ted W. Gross said...

moi? sarcastic? cynical?

NEVAH!