A millionaire with the click of a mouse!

November 13, 2006|By Kevin Cowherd | Kevin Cowherd,Sun Columnist

I am in receipt of a very nice e-mail from a Miss Vivian Williams, who writes from Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

"Hello, dear," she begins. " ... I have a proposal for you - this however, is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honour against your will."

Breezy. Informal. No pressure.

I like that.

Right away, I can see we're going to hit it off.

Miss Williams goes on to say that she's 21, the only daughter of Chief Alex Williams, a highly reputable diamond, gold and cocoa merchant who operated in Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast.

"It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad," she continues.


Hey, I almost died the other night myself, waiting for a table at Carrabas.

Miss Williams says her old man had the sum of "Fifteen million United States dollars" in a safe deposit box in Abidjan when he croaked.

And she says the old codger signed documents mandating an unnamed foreigner as his beneficiary. (Sure, doesn't everybody do that?)

Therefore, she says, it would be easy "to join hands together with a foreign person and push the box out of the country for future investment."

"I am in sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards," she continues. " ... what should I offer you from the total amount in question that will be good for you after the money is in your account?"


To be honest, I was just floored by her generosity.

And the offer couldn't have come at a better time.

With car payments, a mortgage, college tuition payments, I'll admit things are tight.

Who couldn't use an extra 10 or 12 mil - you don't want to be greedy - especially with the holidays coming up?

So I quickly typed this reply with my fat little fingers:

Dear Miss Williams,

First off, thank you for your very kind offer. And you've definitely come to the right person!

I was sorry to hear your dad kicked the bucket. But with the old coot out of the way, you and I have a chance to make some serious cash here.

You haven't told me much about yourself, except that you're a "university undergraduate and really don't know what to do" in this situation.

Don't worry, we'll take care of that. But first, let me tell you a little about myself.

I have a college degree, too, and work for a newspaper here in Baltimore, Maryland, US-of-A.

Do you get HBO in Ivory Coast? Do you ever watch The Wire? That's pretty much what life is like here.

So if I were to help you and you, in your kindness, were to write a check of $10 million or so to express your thanks, I would probably use the money to move to a better neighborhood.

As to the particulars of how we'll resolve your situation, how does this sound?

Send me any documents that need to be signed. I will, of course, be happy and honored to serve as your "unnamed foreigner" beneficiary.

(By the way, this is all legal, isn't it? No offense, you just can't be too sure these days.)

Once we get the 15 mil out of your country, we can stash it in my bank on York Road. It's really a nice place, in a little shopping plaza right near the Crown gas station.

They give away lollipops. I don't think they'll ask a lot of questions.

To be honest, I don't usually have too much money in my checking account.

But if anyone from the bank calls and asks "Hey, Mr. Cowherd, how come you suddenly have $15 million in your account?" I'll just say I got a raise.

The newspaper industry in this country is really thriving, so that shouldn't raise any eyebrows.

OK, that about covers it, Miss Williams. It was great to hear from you, and I look forward to - uh-oh, was that gunfire I just heard?

I really need to get out of this place.

Please write back soon, so we can get the ball rolling.

Very truly yours,

Kevin Cowherd


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