If you have an email address, and at least one other person knows it, then you've been on the receiving end of epistles like the one below.
This one does a particularly nice job of mixing in extreme hubris with dolorous calls for prayer while asking the eternal question: Why, why, why does God kill Catholics?
Editor notes are in the text below. Enjoy!
---- Forwarded Message ----
From: [name withheld]
Sent: Friday, October 5, 2007 10:20:18 AM
Subject: SPECIAL PRAYERS REQUESTED
I received some devastating news today regarding one of my colleagues. This very fine and deeply religious man (Catholic) took seriously ill two weeks ago.
[Ed. note: I can't tell if the Catholic designation means that only Catholics are capable of being deeply religious, or he is deeply religious despite being Catholic.]
I have since learned that he has a very aggressive form of exocrinetic cancer that has spread through his liver and pancreas. Jim is a PHd. in finance and management and one of thos [sic] most unselfish, brilliant and dedicated individuals I have ever worked with. His hard work and creativity matched with mine has made us a dynamic duo here at my job.
[Ed. note: Would we even be worried about this guy if his hard work and creativity DIDN'T match the petitioner's?]
Every major, important and exciting assignment has been thrown to us.
[Ed. note: And now he's going to be stuck doing all the work - for a change.]
Now, it's all meaningless as he is in a fight for his life. They have been unable to keep him stable and he is on kidney dialysis. He is gravely ill and in need of chemotherapy but they [sic] hospital is concerned because of his instability. It is almost a no-win situation.
[Ed. note: So what does it take to get to a no-win scenario?]
They are proceeding this morning with the chemo - if it doesn't help (and it is last ditch at best) he'll die of the cancer, but because of his instability the chemo itself could kill him.
[Ed. note: To be clear - this is NOT a no-win situation?]
I have not spoken with him although my manager has -
[Ed. note: Wait! You haven't spoken with the other half of your dynamic duo? What a lousy rotten $%(@&.]
Jim has made his peace with God and has been given the last sacraments. Short of a miracle our expectation is that he only has days. The last thing he said was how his suffering was nothing compared to that of our Lord's on the cross.
[Ed. note: For chrissakes, just die already.]
I ask for your prayers that God's will be done.
[Ed. note: The petitioner seems unaware that God's going to do whatever He damn well pleases, whether you pray or not.]
If Jim is to survive this or leave this life, I pray that he will find peace and ask you to share in this prayer.
[Ed. note: It's an extreme way to get out of that dynamic duo predicament, but Jim is happier already.]
Life is truly short my friends and I encourage you to live it to the fullest,live your dreams, love the person you know you were meant to be with and be purposeful in this world so you have something to account for yourself when your day comes to stand before Jesus. Amen - [name withheld]
[Ed. note: And there it is - the trite send-off.]