I received a crazy chain mail message. I was about to delete it, but the name Layla Lufti gave me pause.
I know that name somehow.
Hello. I am Layla Lufti. I am a princess in Al Simhara, Egypt. My father has died, and I am the sole heir to the throne. I am to inherit a large sum of money as a dowry for when I am to be married. I cannot possess what is due me because there is a great chaos in the land. Everyone of my father’s house, except me, has been taken over by some sort of plague. Everyone laughs hysterically day and night, and no one can be serious enough to handle my affairs. Please help me! If they do not come back to their senses by midnight tomorrow, I will not receive my inheritance, and everything will be disbursed among the peasants! You are my only hope. Please catch five fish, tell five jokes, kiss the one you love five times, and forward this email to five friends by midnight tomorrow. I will reward you 1000 simoleons once the plague has lifted. If you do not do help me, this plague will overtake your household, and your family will die of hysteria.
Instead of deleting it, I forwarded it to Gray back home, asking him to check it out.
“Doesn’t check,” his reply said. “I pinged the IP. The email originated from Jes2G@pruettlegacy.wordpress.com. Delete.”
Jes2G? I called up Jessica Brown right away.
“Hey, it’s not from me!” she said. “I’ve no idea what my player is up to, but I can’t imagine her sending this! She’s way too tech-savvy to buy into the whole chain letter thing. You know what Jes2G stands for right? Jes Too-Geek!”
“Then how do we explain the email coming from her IP address?”
“Somebody must have spoofed it!” Jessica said.
So, probably the whole thing was just a fake. I still couldn’t bring myself to delete it.
“Elder? Take a look at this!” I said, pulling it up again later in the day.
He read it over my shoulder.
“Oh! I like it! I’m ready for kisses–but why stop at five?”
“I’m still thinking about that email,” I said after. “I kinda have the urge to tell a few jokes, now. That part can’t hurt, right? But I’m not fishing!”
I couldn’t bear the thought of those vibrant, beautiful fish mounted, kept prisoners in tiny bowls, or, worse yet, grilled. And catch-and-release only leads to injury and infection.
A little later, when JRose was hanging out with us, I brought up the email and its persistence in my thoughts and attention .
“All things have energy,” she said. “Even if it is a hoax, something was put in motion. And that’s probably what you’re responding to–the intention that was put in motion when this email was sent out. That’s why you feel like kissing and telling jokes. And it’s only your environmental ethics that keep you from catching the fish. Who does the email say it’s from?”
“That name is so familiar! Let me google it.”
“Look! I knew it!” she said. “Here’s a blog with her whole story!”
“She’s a legacy spouse!” I said, as I read the blog over Jamie’s shoulder. “Married the founder! And look! It was one of those cursed TS3 legacies that never made it past gen 3!”
I wondered what tragic event happened to abort an entire legacy after only three generations. Stuck forever in an endless World Adventure? A corrupted Save file? Horror at the endless cycle of toddlers, uncontrollably advancing storylines, or too many memories for the simple RAM of an old Toshiba laptop?
“I’m so glad we’re TS4 Sims, El, ” I said to Elder before bed that night. “Just think: If we were TS3, the Wolffs probably would have crashed out with Dia and Coop–if your family would’ve even made it that far.”
I woke early and painted while Elder and the others slept. Painting helps me clear my thoughts. For sure the email is a hoax. And even if it weren’t, the midnight referred to in that email is in an entirely different time-space stream–completely inaccessible from ours.
I’ve tasted the five kisses, cracked the five jokes, refused to catch the five fish. What was left was to forward the message to five Sims.
But that’s an endless loop! I forward it to five, each of them forwards it to five, and on and on, meanwhile midnight in all our time streams continues to spin by and past us.
I’m not superstitious. I go more by experience than belief, which tends to rest on simple hope. In my experience, life is magical. Words have energy and power. Words sent through email launch events into action.
Suppose the whole thing were not a hoax; I wouldn’t mind if her dowry were distributed among the peasants. They could probably make better use of it than she would! And I have no fear that my family would die of hysteria–unless we get too silly. Which we could. But I’m learning to reel it in, and I’ll be sure to teach that to my silly son Free-Jon, too. That threat of hysteria is just the classic hook of fear designed to perpetuate the hoax.
What if… What if I took this energy that’s been seeded in me by this email and put it to a good use?
When Sterling dropped by later in the morning, I told him all about it, including my feelings that there was something to all of this–something that maybe could turn hoax into opportunity. He sat down and looked at the email.
“Funny you’d bring this up,” he said. “I just heard from my editor about this women’s co-op in Egypt that’s looking for funding. I just helped them set up a Fund Me account this morning.”
Zoom! That’s it!
I ran to the computer, got all the information about the co-op, and dashed off an email to Carewren123, Starwing, MsPhy, ARoseInBloom, SummerFalls, and Jes2G. Just for good measure, I added Bilmonaghan, FloorRaisin, AkramA, JordanNicoleJJ, SunnyShay, Dougsbaby12, simlady36, bbqpenguinwingstrish, herblegacy, and ShannonSimsFan. And RachelRosebud. And RobFam, Megan, megglesims, VanityHigh, rarei, agarret, blindxsecrets, and Candace92. Whew! Plus everybody at home. And of course Peyton. I trusted that if I’d forgotten anybody, the Simverse would be sure to get the message to them, and they’d forgive my oversight.
Hey, everybody! I received this unusual email the other day, and with one thing leading to another, I discovered this really neat women’s cooperative thing that’s getting started in Egypt. They need funding. I’ve pledged to sell some paintings to help with the expenses of starting up the farms. And Sterling’s set up a Fund Me page for them. Can you share this info with those you know that might be interested in helping out? It’s a great cause!
Loves and cupcakes to you all!
Using an email chain letter as inspiration to fuel a movement to fund a women’s co-op in Egypt so that women can gain economic and political freedom and move closer to gender equality? Now that’s a chain of kindness I can get behind!