'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Friday, June 14, 2002 ]

I am easily duped.

Let it just be said now.

Today, I got this email from form Sitel buddy Jack Marino.

I am asking you all, begging you to please, forward this email on to anyone and everyone you know, PLEASE. My 9 year old girl, Penny Brown, is missing. She has been missing for now two weeks. It is still not too late, Please help us.

If anyone anywhere knows anything, sees anything, please contact me at zicozicozico@hotmail.com I am including a picture of her.

All prayers are appreciated!! It only takes 2 seconds to forward this on, if it was your child, you would want all the help you could get. thank you for your kindness, hopefully you can help us.

I left it in my mailbox, but I didn't delete it. What ate at me was my fear that it wasn't a hoax.

But it's always a hoax.

But what if it were my kid?

You don't have a kid, dumbass, and if you did, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I found this logic faulty, so I forwarded the email.


Although I did add the phrase: If this ends up being a hoax, I'm going to kill someone.

Soon--within minutes, actually, I got several emails from friends--some of whom I haven't heard from in a while--filling me in.

From my friend, Seth:
> If this ends up being a hoax, I'm going to kill someone.

Then you're not gonna like this:


Doesn't seem do any harm, though...

I had done it again.

I sent the following out to everyone:
Of COURSE it's a damn hoax.

Of COURSE it is.


I mean I only emailed EVERYONE on my address list.

This includes my buddies from high-school.

This includes my friends at UnrealisticExpectations.com.

This includes some of my ex-co-workers.

This includes my parents.

This even includes Wil Freaking Wheaton.

So, yeah--why wouldn't it be a hoax?

Okay, so maybe I should've done my research before spamming everyone I knew.

Maybe I thought the idea of a missing child was something that was unassailable.

That some sick pervert wouldn't build a hoax out of that.

Who does this?

Who derives pleasure from this?


So, uh, don't bother emailing me. I know now.

How everyone else seemed to know before I did, I'm not sure.

So, uh, feel free to forward THIS message to everyone you know.

Pray I don't find you, you hoaxing bastard.

Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Soon, I got the following:
You shouldn't feel so badly, Rob. How could you, as a normal, decent, human being even consider "that some sick pervert wouldn't build a hoax out of" a missing little girl.

You're a good person, so it wouldn't occur to you that some people will exploit anything.

Maybe, you "thought the idea of a missing child was something that was unassailable." It should be. The idea of a child kidnapped and/or missing is not something anyone should cry wolf about, but they did. With what happened to Elizabeth Smart still on everyone's mind, it's no wonder you took this seriously.

You forwarded the message with the best of intentions. I'm sure everyone else who received this from you doesn't consider it Spam, any more than I do.

I call on those who know you better than I to convince you not to be so hard on yourself.


Fellow Broom Street playwright Brian Wild had this to say:
This brings up an interesting Nonprofit Dot.com opportunity, though. How about a legitimate organization that specializes in sending missing person items out via E-mail so that everyone knows it's legit? The internet would be such a great tool to use this for, and sick people who perpetrate these hoaxes are using this tool irresponsibly.

What a world...:(

Whereas Wil Wheaton merely asked the question on everybody's mind:
>This even includes Wil Freaking Wheaton.

Who's Wil Wheaton?

To which Buck answered:

Wasn't he that guy with the weird hair and the piercings in "Python"?

So in a funny way, this managed to bring us all together, if for no other reason than to laugh at my dumb ass.

And isn't that what it's all about?

posted by Rob on 11:22 AM | link



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