My Olympic Torch Burneth

olympic torch

This morning began like most mornings.  Somewhere around 2:00 AM, the cat jumped on my head because she felt it was time to be fed.  As usual, I made too much noise shooing the cat and the dog woke up.  At that point he thought, “what the hell, since we’re all up, let’s eat”.  And, as is normally the case, Mrs. Lawrence remained asleep, breathing um…..noisily.

At this point I’d like to describe how I got out of bed and padded quietly into the kitchen for my coffee. But, I’m 6’5″ and every bit of 245 lbs. I don’t “pad” anywhere, I lumber.

And now, armed with my coffee, I sat in my recliner (currently #4 on the top 10 list of greatest inventions known to mankind), popped open the laptop and went straight to email. I like to take a few minutes, first thing in the morning, to clear my inbox of all the very important stuff I receive from businesses that I once ordered something from 10 years ago, and from mailing lists I’ve unsubscribed from well over 100 times.

But alas! What’s this? Could it be, finally?  An email from a customer with a subject line that reads…Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd.Fwd. URGENT!

Feeling like a kid on Christmas morning, I quickly forget about all the spam messages, open the email, scroll through several thousand email headers, and find this:

I received this email today from one of our neighbors. Just wanted to pass it along to everyone.




This is Not a joke
My friend’s brother is a very advanced programmer who does computer work for a living and has a high up status with Microsoft.  He doesn’t send these if they aren’t real. If He says this is for real, it for sure is. Be aware.





Checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this virus!
I checked Snopes , and it is for real. Get this E-mail message sent around to your contacts ASAP.




You should be alert during the next few days. Do not open any message with an attachment entitled POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK , regardless of who sent it to you




It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which ‘burns’ the whole hard disc C of your computer.




This virus will be received from someone who has your e -mail address in his/her contact list.

This is the reason you need to send this e -mail to all your contacts.
It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.




If you receive an email entitled “POSTCARD,” even though it was sent to you by a friend, do not open it! Shut down your computer immediately.
This is the worst virus announced by CNN.




It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever.




This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of Virus.

This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept.










And I was crushed.  Here we are, just 2 days away from the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the jackwads circulating this crap couldn’t even use the “Olympic Torch” version of this urban legend/myth?  Do they not know that, every 4 years, I anxiously await the first such email to arrive in my inbox?  Who is responsible for this?  I want names.  And, as luck would have it, I’ve got hundreds, right there in the headers and attached forwards.

As I work backwards though this mess, I find that a “property manager” was so intent on keeping her clients safe on-line, that she forwarded the message to all 134 of her tenants.  Then one of those tenants forwarded to all his friends with the attached message of (yes all in caps) “WHEN {name redacted} SENDS OUT AN ALERT, WE SHOULD ALL BE WORRIED”!!!!!

But, at times like this, disappointment must take a backseat to reality.

That hoax email, and many variations thereof, is almost as old as the internet.  It’s way beyond my comprehension how, in this day and age, people are quick to verify what so-and-so wore on the red carpet last night, or who was busted in Florida for DUI, but can’t check the validity of an email before sending it off to circle the globe…..again. I mean, if you think something is important enough to forward to every friend, relative, client & acquaintance, wouldn’t you want to be certain?  Isn’t this why man invented the %$&*@%# SEARCH ENGINE?  Type the first five words of that email into Google and you’ll get results for numerous sites who have 1 job: debunking the crap that spreads on the internet.

Allow me to help here:

Now, I know what you’re thinking. This very urgent email message explicitly states “I checked Snopes, and it’s for real…..”.  Yeah, they lied.  Notice they also name dropped Microsoft, Norton, McAfee, CNN, and someone’s friend’s brother with a high up status. They lied about that too.

Here’s the truth about this myth. Yes, years ago there was a very minor virus associated with e-cards transmitted via email.   That’s it.  The rest is garbage.   It was never mentioned by Microsoft, Norton, McAfee or CNN.   Nor has there ever been a virus that could “burn the whole hard disk”, or “destroy the Zero sector of the Hard Drive”.

But we may be onto something here. I’d like to make the following  proposal to all computer manufacturers, software developers and internet service providers:

Please fix it so that when people forward this junk, their zero sector burns up.


Please and thank you.



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