Retrograde Mercury (Rising?)

Now that it’s a cliché and all, maybe the computer audience out there will finally “get” this. They sure as hell didn’t in 2005, I can surely tell ya, citizen. Now, they makes jokes on TV about letters from Nigerian princes.

From a previous blog incarnation (as opposed to ‘another wifetime,’ as in, “I remember that in another wifetime, I had a really good toaster and a kickass red Mazda RX-2“):

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


That’s it. I’m shutting down the blog. I’m packing it in, giving up the ghost, throwing in the towel, starting to sound like Jim Murray.

Because I’ve won the Australian lottery.

I really don’t know how I won it, since I never even entered it, don’t buy lottery tickets and generally despise gambling as the Stoopid Tax. Alas, I took math when I was a kid, and I know a little something about probabilities.

So, while it is utterly improbable that I’ve won the Australian lottery, it is not impossible, and, mirabile dictu, I am in that joyous state once described by our former County Commissioner, ex-hoedad Jerry Rust: “Inside of every Democrat is a Republican waiting to hit the lottery.”

Well, kiddies, I hit it.

I opened my email this morning, and this is what I read:


South Australia Lotteries,
23 Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia.
(South Australia Lottories is an affiliate of Overseas Subscriber Agents). Arena Complex 14 Donegall Square West, United Kingdom.

From: Ellen Bleeker
e-mail :
(Lottery Coordinator)

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the South Australia Lotteries Winners International programs held on the 7th November, 2005.

Your e-mail address attached to ticket #: 00903228100 with prize #778009/2 drew ?1,000,000.00 which was first in the 2nd class of the draws. you are to receive EU1,000,000.00 (One Million Euros)[...]

The remainder must remain, for obvious reasons, confidential.

And suddenly I understand the mindset of a whole (upper) class of people that I’d never been able to figure anymore.

It’s MY money! It’s MINE! It’s not the government’s! I created it as an entrepreneur (although I don’t recall when it was that I entered), and I don’t want to pay ANY taxes.

Those poor people in New Orleans? Well, it’s their problem that they didn’t have jobs. Old people and people on fixed incomes who can’t afford heating oil this winter? It’s their problem for not having saved when they were young.

(I didn’t save, either, but it doesn’t matter. I hit the lottery. Wow. Can you believe it? I have no more money worries.)

I was going to comment on the Republican response to the CIA gulag story. I was going to explain that last week, it was reported in the WASHINGTON POST that we are operating ten or twelve secret prisons, many in former Eastern Bloc countries. I was going to remember that I’d pointed out a couple of days ago that the administration made this WEIRD response: we’re not going to confirm of deny the reports but if such prisons existed — and we’re not saying that they do — but, for argument’s sake, if there were such places, prisoners held are being treated humanely.

If there were such places, we mean. Did we tell you about the latest on the bird flu?

Yesterday, if memory serves, Dubya spent a great deal of his rhetorical linguistifying energy in explaining that we do NOT torture prisoners, there is no torture, there are no prisoners, there are no prisoners which are tortured because torture does not exist or else prisoners do not exist, and even both may not exist, so, therefore there can’t be any torture, since you would need a prisoner to torture in the first place.

Well, that was more Rumsfeldian, but you get the idea.

And I was going to tell you about this morning, when the GOP congressional leaders went after the leaker, loudly screaming that it was a matter of national security (I think they were talking about the fundamental secretness of the secret prisons that we aren’t supposed to know about harms national security, but it was confusing to follow). But then Trent Lott said that it had come from a GOP senator and the snarling continued, albeit in a confused and merely reflexive manner.

I was going to tell you that these people are acting like rats trapped in a flooding compartment, but I won the lottery and have other concerns.

I was going to note that congressional Democrats have sent a formal request to the White House asking Bush to PLEDGE not to pardon Scooter Libby. I was going to tell you that it made me happy, but my priorities have changed, now.

I wanna be rich like John & Cindy McCain!

I was going to note how the collective rage of Americans was beginning to focus on this brain-dead administration, these crooked congressmen, cronies and would-be Croesuses. (Croesii?)

But my social station has changed, and I’m up for a membership in the club.

I was going to note that reader feedback to a previous blog entry was EXACTLY split between women’s shaving habits, and the hatred of beets. All letters were passionate; all responses were deeply felt — and so I must have struck a nerve.

And I was going to tell you the little magic trick in the column last week about the Supreme Court nominee: in over four thousand words, I never mentioned his name, once. Nor did I need to.

I was going to do that, but I have to arrange to collect my winnings now. And that means shutting down, saying “sayonara,” tripping the light periphrastic, and otherwise babbling like old Jim Murray used to do in his sports column in the Los Angeles Times. Time to hejira from the hacienda.

So, I’m shutting down the blog tonight. I’ve appreciated your support, and, to quote the late Douglas Adams (and echo, ironically, the death rattle of AVA OREGON! about a year ago), “So long and thanks for all the fish!”

Roscoe, my invisible Martian valet, is nudging me in the ribs, and pointing to a URL. Hold on.

[Some time elapses]

Boy, is my face red. This is what Roscoe found:



Category LOTTO: Sweepstakes

From “South Australia lotteries”

Date 26/Sep/05

Keywords , kin, 000,000, 000.000, bank, bank, south, bank, credit, lottery, sweeps, sweepstake, won, winning, coordinat, prize, national, congratulations, bank, credit, winner, mix up

Analysis Scores 419:3, PHISH:4, LOTTO:13, AUCT:1

Email Content Type TXT : TXT


Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 00:12:30 -0700
Reply-To: “South Australia lotteries”
From: “South Australia lotteries”
User-Agent: Opera7.0/Win32 M2 build 2637
MIME-Version: 1.0
Cc: <>
Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Status: RO
X-UID: 1407

South Australia Lotteries,
23 Rundle Mall, Adelaide,
South Australia.

(South Australia Lotteries is an affiliate of Overseas Subscriber
Arena Complex 14 Donegall Square West, United Kingdom.

From: Ellen Bleeker
e-mail :
(Lottery Coordinator)


[sic, else they believe "me" -- the recipient -- to be a knight named "Adam."]


We are pleased to inform you of the result of the South Australia Lotteries Winners International programs held on the 24th, September, 2005.

Your e-mail address attached to ticket #: 00903228100 with prize # 778009/2 drew EU1,000,000.00 which was first in the 2nd class of the draws….

I guess I’ve been scammed.

Sorry about the class-baiting stuff. I’m one of you again, grubby and unfed, cold and jobless, watching my nation collapse.

I sure as hell hope I hit the lottery.

But you know, this is only temporary. I have a business proposition that I’ve been toying with, and this disappointment has led me to a momentous conclusion. I will say “yes.”

Dear Friend,

As you read this, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday. My name is Mr Abu Al-Abbas a Crude Oil merchant in Iran,i have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer . It has defied all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts.

I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone(not even myself)but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just! wanting to have or make all the money in the world.

I believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it. Now that God has called me, I have willed and given most of my property and assets to my immediate and extended family members as well as a few close friends.

I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul so, I have decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in Austra, cameroun, liberia,Algeria and Malaysia. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore. I once asked members of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I have there to charity organization in Bulgaria and Pakistan, they refused and kept the money to themselves. Hence! , I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contended with what I have left for them.

The last of my money which no one knows of is a huge cash deposit of Fifteen million dollars $15,000,000,00 that I have with a Financial institution in Europe. I will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatched it to charity organizations.

I have set aside 10% for you and for your time.

God be with you.

Mr Abu Al-Abbas



Back to 2010:

I’m STILL waiting for my check, gosh darn it. Abu Al-Abbas PROMISED it would arrive before New Year’s Day.


I guess I’m going to have to revise my opinion of the lower classes upwards again.

For awhile.

Just until the check arrives in the mail.


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6 responses to “Retrograde Mercury (Rising?)

  1. jim

    Hey Hart,

    You put the problem with us so-called human beings hilariously! It’s all mine I tell ya. Those chickins tho will still kill your friends and reletives! The only thing to feaR IS FEAR ITSELF. tHAT IS NOT REPUlCAN. STILL FIGURING THIS STUFF . HEY HART! JIM

  2. LOL, Hart.

    And you had me for a second. The text that pops up on mouseover at my RSS feed page read simply, “That’s it. I’m shutting down the blog.”

    I’d’ve missed ya, man.

  3. How will you spend your new-found wealth, Hart? While I’ve never been one to obsess over money, my personal long-range plan is to take advantage of a few of those Nigerian offers (financed with my numerous Australian lottery winnings), then bet the proceeds in a high-stakes poker game. How can I lose?