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Why I hate email forwards (forward this to 10 people)

I hate email forwards. They rank high on my list of pet peeves. This is for a variety of reasons, most notably:

  1. They’re stupid.

Email forwards are stupid.

Five years ago, I would now go into a rant about how Little Suzy doesn’t have cancer, Bill Gates will not give you money for forwarding emails to ten people, and how that new computer virus you’re hearing so much about stopped going around 10 years ago. Ironically, most of these rants don’t make sense anymore because those forwards aren’t very popular nowadays. Besides, we all know that the real viruses of today are Facebook applications.

Forwards are very similar to viruses, though, because they evolve and you can’t stop them.

Just because I don’t get those ridiculous email forwards doesn’t mean I have stopped receiving ridiculous email forwards. One type of forward that will never die is the joke forward. It started with the fax machine, I suspect, and became rampant when paper waste was no longer a concern. People today haphazardly forward “hilarious” jokes to friends, relatives, anyone they’ve ever met, etc. Example:

The Goldfish Burial

Little Timmy was in the garden filling in a hole when his neighbor peered over the fence. Interested in what the rosy-cheeked youngster was up to, he politely asked, “What are you up to there, Timmy?”

“My goldfish died,” replied Timmy tearfully, without looking up, “and I’ve just buried him.”

The neighbor was concerned, “That’s an awfully big hole for a goldfish, isn’t it?”

Timmy patted down the last heap of earth, and then replied, “That’s because he’s inside your freakin’ cat!”

If you found that funny, feel free to stop reading now.

Okay, so I’ve established that email forwards are stupid. But why? It’s a combination of irritations, really. Mostly, I hate wasting time. Reading email forwards is a waste of time because, as illustrated above, they’re usually not funny. How about a different punchline for Timmy’s response—”You really think this hole is big? How small are your toilets?”

Humor is like a batch of dangerous chemicals.

Not everyone knows how to handle a batch. I’m even willing to bet that not everyone knows what a batch is. When I was in pre-school, I used to take puzzle pieces home so the other kids couldn’t complete the puzzles. I though it was hilarious, the other kids didn’t know what the hell was going on, and it cost the school hundreds. Life was good.

While it was my pre-school classmates who taught me that not everyone has sense of humor, it’s the joke email forward that constantly reminds me of that fact. I recently received an email forward entitled:

YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2008 when…

The first rule of the email forward is poor grammar, irrational font usage, and erratic CAPITALIZATION. And of course, ludicrous colors. The forward contained a list of “15” indicators that you are living in 2008 just in case you don’t have a calendar. I’ll list each indicator with my thoughts written directly below.

1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave..

What must the person writing this have thought? “Let’s kick-start this forward with something that never happens. To anyone. That’ll really get people in the 2008 spirit. And we’ll put two periods at the end of that sentence to show everyone we mean business.” It’s at this point that I’d typically stop reading the forward.

2. You havent played solitaire with real cards in years.

I haven’t played solitaire with any cards in years. Period. Period.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

I just so happen to have a family of 3. Each family member has 1 cell phone, and we have 1 home phone. That’s 4 phones. Oh wait, cancel that. TOTALLY forgot about Uncle “11-Cell-Phones” Larry.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

I think this belongs in the “YOU KNOW YOU LIVE IN 1998 when…” In fact, many of these things aren’t characteristic of the year 2008, instead they’re characteristic of the fact that we now interact with technology in our everyday lives. Where are all the iPhone and black President references?

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses.

Wrong. I don’t stay in touch with those friends and family because I don’t want to. I hope they never get an email address. They’d probably send me forwards.

6. You’d rather look all over the house for the remote instead of just pushing the button on the TV.

There’s a button on the TV that can locate the remote for me? I wish I would have known about this. Just think of all the hours of searching I would have saved.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

I’ve never seen this.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

60 years? People who are 60 don’t know how to use real cell phones. They make Jitterbugs just for this reason:

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

Lists like these are created with the intent to make people read each item and say things like, “That’s so true!” And the items are supposed to be ironic or funny. Not potentially realistic facts. Why not say, “You know you’re living in 2008 when often times you don’t have an alarm clock and you just use your cell phone instead.” That’s just a fact of life. And it’s not really ironic. How about a real ironic fact, like, “You know you’re living in 2008 when janitors have Bluetooth headsets.” I’ve seen it.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

When I did a Google Image search for “sideways smile,” this was the result:

Sideways smile?

Conclusion? No one does whatever it is that person is doing, nor does anyone turn their head sideways to smile. That’s like saying, “You know you’re living in 2008 when you say “Caps Lock” before you start yelling.” Actually, I think that’s a great idea.

12. You’re reading this and nodding and laughing.

This is the most annoying aspect of forwards. They tell you what you’re doing and they’re always wrong. I’m not laughing. In fact, I’m frustrated and angered by just having read that. Let me turn my face sideways to frown.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

Well, that’s correct. No one.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

You got me! And it’s all due to the technological stresses of 2008! Had someone forwarded me a stone tablet 3000 years ago, I would have definitely caught it. I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that I could give a crap.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn’t a #9 on this list.

Crap.

~~~~~~~~~~~AND FINALLY NOW U R LAUGHING at yourself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Email forwards top my list of pet peeves because I’m can’t imaging who’s typing them. If I’m making fun of forwards, what type of person would make forwards? Someone who’s the opposite of me? These people? Without a doubt, someone I would hate. Probably someone named Rosemary.