This story was first published in March 2005
This joke satirises the senseless series of silly email hoaxes that claim a particular email is being tracked and that a given company will donate money every time a message is forwarded.
An example of the message:
My name is Billy Evans. I am a very sick little boy.
My mother is typing this for me, because I can’t. She is crying. The reason she is so sad is because I’m so sick. I was born without a body. It doesn’t hurt, except when I try to breathe.
The doctors gave me an artificial body. It is a burlap bag filled with leaves. The doctors said that was the best they could do on account of us having no money or insurance.
I would like to have a body transplant, but we need more money. Mommy doesn’t work because she said nobody hires crying people. I said, ” Don’t cry, Mommy and ” and she hugged my burlap bag. Mommy always gives me hugs, Even though she’s allergic to burlap and it makes her sneeze and chafes her real bad.
I hope you will help me. You can help me if you forward this email to everyone you know. Forward it to people you don’t know, too. Dr. Johansen said that for every person you forward this email to, Bill Gates Will team up with AOL and send a nickel to NASA. With that funding, NASA will collect prayers from school children all over America and have the astronauts take them up into space so that the angels can hear them better.
Then they will come back to earth and go to the Pope, and he will take up a collection in church and send all the money to the doctors. The doctors could help me get better then. Maybe one day I will be able to play baseball. Right now I can only be third base.
Every time you forward this letter, the astronauts can take more prayers to the angels and my dream will be closer to coming true. Please help me. Mommy is so sad and I want a body. I don’t want my leaves to rot before I turn 10.
If you don’t forward this email, that’s okay. Mommy says you’re a mean and heartless bastard who doesn’t care about a poor little boy with only a head. She says that if you don’t stew in the raw pit of your own guilt-ridden stomach, she hopes you die a long slow, horrible death and then burn forever in hell.
What kind of cruel person are you that you can’t take five freaking’ minutes to forward this to all your friends so that they can feel guilt and shame about ignoring a poor, bodiless nine-year-old boy? Please help me.
I try to be happy, but it’s hard. I wish I had a kitty. I wish I could hold a kitty. I wish I could hold a kitty that wouldn’t chew on me and try to bury its turds in the leaves of my burlap body. I wish that very much.
Billy ” Smiles ” Evans
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!