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Chain mail

By Nickunj Malik - May 17,2017 - Last updated at May 17,2017

Even though I have a pretty strong junk mail filter installed on my computer, every now and then some spam messages manage to permeate through the shield and appear in my inbox folder. And then I was hooked, because unlike other normal people who delete them immediately, I find myself scrutinising the correspondence in inordinate detail.

Out of all the various chain mails that I ended up reading, my absolute favourite were the ones that alerted me of an imminent heart attack. For instance, the recent missive I received had all the usual warning signs I should watch out for, like: shortness of breath, fullness in chest, heaviness in right arm, shoulder, jaw and so on but the primary threat, marked in block letters was, “an abrupt change in how you feel”! 

I mean, for females, especially the fifty plus types, that was one sentiment we were all too familiar with. So were we, the entire tribe of abruptly changing feelers, in the unfortunate situation of facing a potential heart failure any minute?

Another warning that caught my eye was labelled under number five, and cautioned against “a sense of impending doom”! This one universally applied to everybody in the world, particularly after the new American President was sworn in earlier this year. Therefore, were we to assume that we were jointly in the process of experiencing a collective cardiac arrest? Was that it? 

A strange thing about these messages was that the symptoms I was supposed to recognise if I was having a stroke, changed on a daily basis. Along with the tingling sensation in my toes, sometimes yawning for long periods or even sneezing without a reason would be added to it. In most cases, without even stretching my imagination, all of them could be linked to me, and I was advised to seek medical help immediately.

If I made the effort of examining these mails till the very end, they would also tell me about what happened to the people who did not heed the signs, and how losing valuable time, lost a precious life.

Now, as if the above frightening scenarios were not sufficiently scary, the senders of these spam mails stressed that I had to share the message with five hundred people in the next three minutes or a deadly calamity would befall me. Someone should have asked them, was suffering a heart attack not calamitous enough? Also, what could possibly be deadlier than that?

The writers of these chain letters love exclamation marks and the mail themselves were riddled with typos. Most people I spoke to confessed that they hit the forward button because they preferred to annoy a friend rather than take a chance at being killed by someone who was murdered but whose ghost evidently still lived in the basement. 

When the immense fortune of Bill Gates was being distributed via chain mail, I did not follow any of the instructions to double my wealth, but as soon as the tenth misspelled stroke alert, in italics, appeared in my mail notification, I became worried. 

“I might have a cardiac arrest in four hours,” I told my husband that morning. 

There was no response. 

“I didn’t forward the heart attack symptom mail to fifty people you see,” I explained. 

“That was spam and should have gone into your junk folder,” he said. 

“Maybe I will visit the heart specialist today,” I muttered. 


“I would recommend the computer specialist,” he stated.

177 users have voted.


Hilarious rendition of the annoyance one feels at these insults to one's intelligence. Because despite their implausibility, due to some quirks of our genetic make up which make us credulous to a suggestion from one of our species, at least I find myself reaching for the emergency number whenever I feel a tingling in my big toe.

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