21st Challenge No. 28 Results

Forward, march! Join the dance of the eternally circulating e-mail.


Charlie VaronJim Rosenau
November 20, 1999 10:00PM (UTC)

Sometimes an e-mail cries out to be forwarded. Perhaps you won't read it, but you know someone else who ought to -- so you hit Forward, then Send. Perhaps you chuckled; Forward, Send. Or even guffawed: Send, Send, Send.

Thus the tentacles of these seemingly self-forwarding e-mails spread like bindweed. In this Challenge, we asked you to produce your own germ of a self-perpetuating Forward. Any day now, our selections could show up in your in-box.

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THE WINNER

Fwd: ASCII and You Shall Receive

Mike, a gifted ASCII artist, is dying. His dream of completing a text version of the Sistine Chapel ceiling is threatened by a shortage of ">" symbols. Forward this message to 50 friends, and back to Mike (buonarroti@museivaticani.org), so he can complete his masterpiece using >'s from a caring world.

-- Bill Banning

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Fwd: Do Not Read This Message

Researchers at Retrieval Laboratories in Golden, Colo., report that individuals who actually read e-mail messages forwarded from uncertain sources tend to develop an inability to distinguish likely from unlikely scenarios. "But don't take my word for it," says lead researcher Dr. Elmo "Tree" Barkley III -- "it says so right here."

-- Russell A. Willis III

Fwd: Forward this or Bad Things Will Happen

Consider those who foolishly deleted it:

One man LOST the lottery!

Another lady was part of a HISTORICALLY PERSECUTED ETHNIC GROUP!

A boy incapable of reading this e-mail DIED!

An academic made an unfortunately long-winded statement but SHE HAD TENURE ANYWAY!

A bankrupt wife-beater was SERVED A RESTRAINING ORDER!

-- Matthew Stoller

Fwd: Delete and be Damned!

I usually ignore these letters but this time I thought, "What the heck?"

Webmaster GOD#1 promises anyone who forwards this e-mail to 10 friends within the next 24 hours a lifetime membership in heaven. If you break the chain, you will burn in hell for all eternity. It's that simple!

-- Brooke Somerville

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Fwd: Eating an Onion can Save Boy's life

There is a young boy who needs your help, he has cancer and if you eat onions for 10 days and forward this e-mail to 20 who also eat them, you can save his life. Wouldn't you do anything to help a dying child??

-- Amelia Harmer

Fwd: NEVER RECEIVE E-MAIL AGAIN!!!!!! GUARANTEEED!!!!!!!

Forward this e-mail to your all your friends to let them understand what
truly miserable wretches they are, and they'll take you off their buddy
lists tout suite! Tell them that their halitosis/flatulence/dandruff is
curable, if they'd only give it a try, and see how fast they stop
returning your e-mail. You'll never feel such freedom again!!!!!!!

So...

Send it to one friend: you'll lose that friend.

Send it to five friends: they'll hate you forever.

Send it to 25 friends: they'll tar and feather you out of town!

-- Megan Holbrook

Fwd: NOT a HOAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do not open an e-mail titled "NOT a HOAX"!

Uh-oh -- too late.

This e-mail will now drain all your cash from your wallet, suck out your spleen and take your kitty hostage, UNLESS you forward it to EVERYONE YOU HAVE EVER MET within TEN SECONDS. 9... 8 ... 7 ...

-- Shifra Raffel

Fwd: DO NOT IGNORE! VITAL!

There is an e-mail circulating that could destroy important information.
It is titled "Do Not Ignore! Vital!", and, when opened, will quickly destroy all your brain cells. If you get this e-mail DO NOT OPEN IT!

Send this message to everyone you know right away so all can be warned.
-- Suzze Tiernan

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Fwd: WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN!

YES! You can WIN and be a WINNER and not a LOSER!

FREE MONEY!!!

Send $2 CASH to the address below, and we will send you the pamphlet "HOW
TYPING IN ALL CAPS CAN MAKE YOU A MILLIONAIRE!"

-- Kelly Reed

Fwd: fwd: Re: Fwd: Important!!! Read now!!

>>>> > >Add your name to this petition to protect DYING children from
DANGEROUS

>>>> > >GAY-BASHING computer VIRUSES that will slash PBS funding. If you
don't,

>>>> > >you'll get BAD LUCK and an INTERNET TAX. To sign, just open this

>>>> > >suspicious-looking yet WAY COOL attachment ...

-- Jen Muehlbauer

Fwd: A message to end all SPAM!!!

Get this!!! New government regulations make it possible to "opt-out" of
SPAM and mass-mailings! All you have to do is forward this message to your
friends. At the end of the chain, we will collect the e-mail threads and
add everyone to the federal blocking list. PLEASE FORWARD!!!

-- Josh McCormick

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Fwd: A Worthy Cause

To all the people on my mailing list, and to all the people on my mailing list's mailing lists (ad infinitum) please forward this message to: salon21st@salon.com so that I may actually get my name mentioned in their e-zine, and perhaps even win a copy of some book. Thank you.

-- Mary Waggoner

Fwd: Big $$$ FAST!!

Sell your computer.

-- Jason

Thanks for taking the 21st Challenge. Check back in two weeks for another contest.

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Charlie Varon

Charlie Varon is a humorist and playwright. His works include "Ralph Nader Is Missing" and "Rush Limbaugh in Night School."

MORE FROM Charlie Varon

Jim Rosenau

Jim Rosenau is a writer, editor and software designer in Berkeley, Calif. Jim and Charlie are also co-founders of the citizens group Californians for Earthquake Prevention and partners in Mockingbird Media, which offers a full line of comic services.

MORE FROM Jim Rosenau



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