Sure enough, I got the e-mail the next day. A woman really died of rat pee. Or else some wierdo lied and said she did.
Where would we be without e-mail? Now, I'm confident that this story would have made the rounds. There has always been a campaign to get people not to drink pop out of cans. My grandma, Mume, said the little circle thing could break off, fall into your 7up and wind up in your throat. I think this actually happened to her friend. Mume also said you should never bite into a Dorito, but should break it into little pieces before eating it. Her friend also choked on a Dorito, she said. I wish Mume had e-mail when she was alive because she would have had a field day sending out messages about various hazards her friend encountered.
But other exchanges never happened without e-mail. When my brother got married, he communicated with his groomsmen via e-mail and directions to the tuxedo place would turn into fights about who was the best high school football player. Then someone would call Josh "groomzilla." People just don't talk smack like that over the phone or in letters. You might wonder how I knew about these e-mails, not being a groomsman. My mom told me about them.
Witness the March Madness pool. My cousins and cousins' cousins have done this for years. It used to be circulated on paper and you'd talk about it on St. Patrick's Day or other get-togethers during the tournament. Now, the picks are computerized and you post comments on the Web.
For some reason, everyone always has the wrong name when they post messages. One year, my mom was Justin Heos, my husband. So she'd send messages giving my dad a hard time and it looked like Justin was making fun of his father-in-law left and right.
This year, my cousin sent an e-mail explaining why his name on his posts is something like Larry Miller. He said he picked an alias so that his kids dodn't get caught in a gambling sting like poor Mrs. Gretsky or little Petey Rose. My dad e-mailed back that there were beds available at Three Rivers--if he didn't get help there, get help somewhere.
I know exchanges like this happen in March Madness pools everywhere. When Justin played fantasy baseball with his friends, they did the same thing, only with Boston accents, so their names were The Clippahs and what not. Justin told me all about it. (Just joking. My mom did.)
I thought this was funny because I didn't know people realized they had accents. My friend once said, "I talk like the people on T.V. talk," but she sort of has a Kansas accent.
When we first met, Justin had a Boston accent and said the weather saying like this: "Red sky at night, sailahs delight. Red sky at dawn, sailahs by wawned."
"That saying doesn't rhyme when I say it," I said.
But he didn't believe me. Now, sadly, Justin talks like a Missourian and has to find new poems to forecast the weather, such as, "Warm winds in Loredo. Here comes a tornado."
All I know is when I open my e-mail each morning, my mother-in-law has sent me a song called "Cheney's Got a Gun," my mom has sent me a funny foreign television commercial (they can get away with murder in their advertisements abroad,) my neighborhood chat group is advocating the legalization of drugs because, hey, it worked in Switzerland, my Web site host company has sent me 50 e-mails regarding who knows what because I deleted them all--eliminating junk mail in a single click, and I hear from a couple friends. I love it.
People say e-mails are the death of written letters. I think they've replaced phone calls more than anything, or answering machine messages to be more accurate. They usually have more information and are funnier because people have a few seconds to think before writing. They've also changed the dynamics of joke telling.
Now people say, "Did you hear the one about the Irish brothers? I'll e-mail it to 'ya."