_Wash-wash_ : a part of the Nigerian Letter game

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jan 31 05:09:27 UTC 2010

"John," a Nigerian and former member of a gang working the (in)famous
Nigerian Letter game:

"We would tell the victim that we had a trunk full of money. Millions
of dollars. One victim[, in response to such a Nigerian Letter,] met
some of my associates in a hotel in Amsterdam, where he was shown a
box full of "black paper. He was told that the money had been dyed
black to get it through customs and that it could be cleaned with a
special chemical that was very expensive. My associates showed him how
this worked with a "couple of $100 bills from the top of the box,
which they rinsed with some liquid to remove the black dye. Of course,
the rest of the bills were only black paper, but the victim saw real
money. He handed over $27,000 to buy "the chemicals and was told to
return to the hotel later that day to pick up the cash. Of course,
when he came back, there was nobody there. He couldn’t report it to
anybody because, if [the game] had been real, it would "have been
illegal. So he would have gotten himself into trouble."
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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