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The little fish who didn't nibble

Detroit Lakes Newspapers columnist Lynn Hummel recently published his fourth book, "The Last Word," a collection of some of his favorite columns from the past 40 years.

I was honored last week as a person selected to do charity work on behalf of the Lorenzo Russo Estate. The invitation came to me by email in the following form:

"Re: Charity Work

"Dear Brethren:

Greetings to you and sorry if this message came to you as a surprise.

My name is Mrs. Sophia Russo, a widow. I found your email address through my husband's internet data, late Mr. Lorenzo Russo.

I am presently admitted at the hospital suffering from a blood cancer and Parkinson's disease. I have some funds at bank inherited from my late husband's account the amount of Eleven Million U.S. Dollars.

I wish to know if I can trust you to use the funds for charity project and 15% will go to you as compensation.

Kindly get back to me so that I will give you more details.

Remain Bless:

Mrs. Sophia Russo

Give an e-mail no.

And reply to (her e-mail number)"

Being sincerely interested in doing charity work, I did an immediate calculation: 15 percent of $11 million is $1.65 million. Then I thought about all the work it would be and wondered if it would be worth it.

Before I could decide what to do, I got three more proposals in the same week.

1. An email notifying me that William Ryan, Esq. had a client with the same last name as me (last name not stated) who has died and unless someone comes forward to claim the assets, the bank will turn them over to the government. (OH NO! I thought). Send information.

2. An email from Gonzalo Ayala notifying me that there is a fund naming me as beneficiary that has finally been released by the Treasurer Department for processing and payment to me. Get back to Gonzala and "have a blessed day."

3. An email from Arthur about how to make up to $3,550 a day working at home for as little as 10 minutes a day managing a "Crypto Wealth" system. Get details.

Opportunities were coming at me from all directions. Wow. Somebody must have recommended me for the email Dummy List. I put my greed on hold for a minute and considered the words of one of the great con men of all times, P.T. Barnum, who said "there's a sucker born every minute."

Then I remembered a few more gems from some of the great suckers of all times who said "If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably a fraud; A fool and his money are soon parted; There is no fool like an old fool; It is the fool who thinks he can't be fooled; and, man is seldom blessed with good fortune and good sense at the same time."

Yes, there you have it — four good fortunes passed up in the same week. I feel like the little fish who looked at the bait, didn't nibble, didn't bite and didn't get caught — just swam away.