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That Nigerian prince wants to send me money again

Burt's Eye View

I’ll say this about pandemic life — a strange new pestilence of ads and scams have pelted my email inbox.

I’ve been smacked with so many offers for face masks resembling the hankies that the bandits wore in the old Westerns that you’d think I was planning to hold up the stage coach at noon.

Act now and with your set of socially conscious face gear, we’ll throw in a six-pack of hand sanitizer.

The times, they are a-changin’ and they’re weird.

The only people more persistent than the masked men and women are the temperature takers.

“Check anyone’s body temperature for fever instantly with this sanitary, no-touch thermometer suitable for infants, children and adults,” the emails proclaim.

This is why I need the bandannas. When I catch the coach, I’m going to yell, “Throw down your toilet paper or I’ll take your temperature right between the eyes with my touchless thermometer!”

Weird times.

Other email offers range from safe senior living communities to online, socially distanced dog obedience training. (How I make the dog sit to watch the training, I don’t know. I’m certainly not plunking myself in front of the screen that long.)

All these coronavirus-inspired emails concerned me. What, I wondered, would become of the old tried-and-true standbys, all those Nigerian princes who’ve asked me to help smuggle their millions out of the country ahead of the coup? Has the pandemic pushed them and their sacks of gold to the sidelines?

Don’t be silly. They’ve adapted.

Someone identifying himself as Ahmed Kyari, international accounts officer to the chief of staff of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sent me this email:

“Presently my client Abba Kyari is on medical treatment as a result of COVID-19 and other health issue. I would like to establish a business proposal with you as directed my client.”

His email doesn’t spell out terms of the proposal — which is why he’s being elbowed aside by a new breed of pandemic pandering.

“My name is Kevin Taylor, I am an American doctor and I work at Medecins Sans Frontieres China,” another email begins. “A Chinese businessman / politician contacted the virus, while he was under my custody receiving treatment, he told about a business venture he had with an oil company that bought chemical from him because he doesn’t know if he will survive the sickness.

“When the sickness worsened, he called my attention and asked me to get someone who can receive the money he made from the sales then share 40 percent the money to orphanage home while I (Kevin Taylor) take 40 percent of the amount and the person (you) will take the remaining 20 percent … The reason for the immediate transfer of the money is to avoid the oil company sitting on the money since he is dead.”

Well, Dr. Kevin, you should have paid a tad more attention in English class, but the part about the orphanage was a nice touch. So hey, I’m in. I could use the cash to take advantage of a great deal I’ve been sent on welders’ masks. Each order comes with a free side of eggs and tissues.

Weird times, indeed.

• Make an offer at burtseyeview@triboday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.

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