Parting Glances: BMW: And away we go!

Charles Alexander
By | 2018-01-16T04:44:40-04:00 December 1st, 2005|Opinions|

FRIDAY: It’s mid-60s warm; 6:30 p.m. — inky dark outside — more like midnight than dusk. The air is electric with ions of ozone (invigorating!). I’m buffeted by a gentle breeze.
Suddenly I feel mentally time-traveled into my forgotten past (a balmy day in New York, circa 1970s) — so tangible, I get an intense sense of “how wonderful to be alive and young.” [At least I’m alive.] This unseasonable weather can’t last.
WEDNESDAY: It doesn’t. The day has been hours-long drab, fustian grey and bone-creaking cold. Though I have lots of things to do, I want to just hibernate, caressing pillows and coziness. [Pity the poor souls who sleep in this weather blanketed on the nearby Woodward Avenue Congregationalist Church front porch — at least four or five at a night. Possible headline: Homeless freeze to death!]
I spend the day tinkering: a little writing, artwork, bill paying, chatting with friends by phone, e-mails. Oh, hey! what’s this? An e-mail from BMW: CHRISTMAS BONANZA INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM. “This is to inform you of the results of the draws of held on the 14th of November 2005 in the United Kingdom. We are please to notify you on your emergence as a Winner in this program and have been awarded with a cash prize of Six Million, Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds.”
My garters snap.
I read on, “and a brand new BMW6 Series Car to be Shipped to you.” And the tantalizing details: “BRAND: Fifth Edition; MODEL: 2005; COLOUR: Metallic Grey; ENGINE TYPE:1973cc 4-cylinder; POWER 145bhp; TRANSMISSIONS: Adaptive Automatic: FUEL: 29.1mpg.” [Question: Where will I park same?]
The e-mail comes with SLIDESHOW. Well; what the heck. It won’t hurt to see how this “windfall” plays out. I click on, and one by one seven balls, each with a colored number appear on my darkened Apple G-4 laptop screen. [Winning and reference numbers omitted here, just in case there’s a snowball’s chance in Hell Michigan this e-mail is legit.]
I’ll say this: I’ve seen hundreds of e-mail come-ons with we’ll-deposit-money-into-our-bank-account, etc., for go-between services rendered. But this BMW is so “authentic,” so above board in its format honesty, that fraud seems remote. My pulse races.
The BMW e-mail carries a caveat: “IMPORTANT NOTICE: Winners are advised to keep their winning details from the public [sorry! readers] to avoid fraudulent claim pending the transfer/claim by Winner. All Staffs of BMW Group are not to partake in this Promotional Program. Accept our hearty congratulations!”
WED. DINNER: I brave the windy cold and walk four blocks to enjoy a hearty meal, and cogitate whether there’s a scintilla of veracity to my winning status. Over Cajun-fried catfish, salad, and peppermint tea, I mentally go over the details item by item by item. Daydream spending MY money. Sailing on the Princess Nirvana.
Back home, I reread: “You are to contact the Claims Agency immediately with your Draw Code and Reference Numbers. To facilitate the smooth release of your Award, you are also advised to send to the Claims Agency [name, address, etc. — but no account numbers]. I e-mail answers.
THURSDAY: I manage somehow to get a good night’s sleep. A second e-mail arrives: “You should take note that to effect the successful transfer and remittance of your prize award, it would be necessary that you activate an operational account with our corresponding bank, which would effect the transfer of your cash prize to your nominated account.” I see. (I really do.)
Drat! Six months more of winter blahs.

About the Author:

Charles Alexander