Last night, I received the following email:
Hello my name is Nathan Burbian. I am 8 years old. I want you to help me write a book. It is for my mommy. She has died a few weeks ago. She loved books. I want to write a book and mail it to heaven so she can read it and be happy and be proud of me. It’s going to be about a baby that learns how to read minds and fly and then it uses powers to win at blackjack. Please help me. I don’t have much moneys but I will let you keep copies of the book for you to give to your mommy if you want.
“Wow,” I thought. “Either I am dealing with the saddest/most hilarious kid ever or somebody with waaay too much time on his or her hands.”
From the beginning, I was /pretty/ sure it was a hoax. While there is certainly dramatic potential for a story involving a baby who wins at blackjack, something just didn’t add up.
It’s subtle, but undeniable.
People who are eight and capable of writing emails probably know that “moneys” isn’t correct in that context. The run-on sentences were a nice touch, but there aren’t any spelling errors to back them up. More than anything else, it was the proper use of contractions that gave it away.
The vast majority of adults don’t even understand the difference between its (possessive) and it’s (contraction), why would an eight-year-old?
Geeks (or nerds?) on the other hand…. Because their most meaningful relationships are conducted on message boards and in chat rooms, they develop excellent writing skills from a very young age. Also, they enjoy fucking with people who they think are less smart than they are.
I know this from first-hand experience. Where else would I have developed my acerbic wit and excellent writing skills?
So I turned to my trusty friend Google. It’s amazing how quickly Google indexes pages these days, no?
By searching the text of the email, I found this message board and discovered that young “Nathan” (his handle is Kereal Ciller) spends his days emailing businesses in the interest of spreading absurdity and causing WTF?! moments right and left. Goals I can appreciate.
I also confirmed what I had suspected all along: an original imagination and a keen sense of humor, coupled with the aforementioned writing skills, and waaay too much time on his hands.
Dude needs to put his mind to good use. And next time, to not punctuate so well.