Look, cow-orker, I'd love to help the child IF SHE EXISTED!!

Oh boy, isn’t that the, err, truth. A friend of mine forwarded me the infamous “Bill Gates will pay you to forward this email!” email the other day, along with the comment, “I know this might not be true but I’m taking 60 seconds out of my busy day to pass this along on the off-chance that it might be true…blah, blah, blah”.

I immediately sent him a link to the Snopes debunking on the Bill Gates email and he fired back with the indignant reply, “I told you I didn’t WANT to know if it was real or not!” as if I’d spoiled all his fun and wasted his initial 60 seconds forwarding the stupid email. It would have taken him less than 60 seconds to check out the story for himself on snopes in the first place! Besides that, I know I’ve debunked that particular strain of email hoax to him before anyway. Arrggh.


Cow-orker. Is that a joke or a typo, 'cause I’m gonna have to use it myself.

No, 32 cents was the amount in the glurge email that the needy parents supposedly got every time someone opened it and read it.

It began, years agoi, as a typo, but has been adopted by the Dopers as a term defining dimwitted collegues.

There’s a plastic bag tacked to the wall in our break area for these.


Even worse is “so what if it isn’t true, it’s a nice (or cute) story!”


:::bangs head on desk:::

The proliferation of “Cow-orker” is generally credited to one Charles Anderson, who began using it in his UseNet .sig sixteen years agoi.

ah - skimmed that. Thought postcards had gone up or first class gone down - or it was VERY old.

Well, I have a friend who collects pull-tabs for Ronald McDonald House. I just don’t have the heart to tell her they only get $0.40 a pound, and it’d be a lot better if she took the ENTIRE can, sold those, and sent that money to them. Fewer cans make a pound than silly pull tabs.

You know, I’ve sent the Snopes link to my family multiple times, and I don’t seem to be getting much glurge anymore. Could it possibly be that I’ve gotten through to someone? They probably just don’t forward the glurge du jour to me anymore. Oh well.

Maybe we’re looking at this the wrong way, Mr. Blue Sky. Your co-worker just told you that she’s gullible; maybe you should, you know, take advantage of that somehow.

Do pull-tabs even exist anymore? I haven’t seen any in ages.

Yes, I’ve been sending them in for Hansen’s cancer research fund.
I have found that if you Snopes (yes, I’m making it into a verb) people long enough, they might get a clue and check out the links; or else they will stop forwarding all the crap to you. I’m still educating my nieces about this, but I have seen a dramatic drop in the amount of glurgey appeals for missing nonexistent kids, abuses of bonsai’d kittens, and promises of wealth via Bill Gates and more.

If you’re going to do that, you should say “Snope”. :slight_smile:

I think part of the “It might be true” response comes from a these people not wanting to admit that they were stupid enough to be taken in by these things.

My god, the stench of rotting turnips emanating from that guy must be nauseating. I sympathize. sigh

I believe Dilbert’s Scott Adams also helped to popularize it, along with “induhvidual.” At least I first heard it from Adams’s online newsletter.

You can still break off the doohickey that opens the can.

This particular UL is a double :smack: :wally , because originally, people were urged to donate them so some kid could get a kidney dialysis machine. :::sigh::: Nobody has to pay for a dialysis machine! But like all such ULs, it feeds on the “Clap your hands so Tinkerbell won’t die” mindset.

The thing that gets me about this is one can apply a bare minimum of logic to the situation and see the ridiculousness therein. If some agency will donate money to help little Suzie from dying of nostril cancer, why don’t they just donate the money? Why must they make a game out of it? “We’ll save little Suzie, but only if millions of people forward an e-mail. If you don’t send this on, then little Suzie dies! Dies, I tells ya! Mwa ha ha ha ha! We’re pure evil!”

Here’s a fun game you can play with pull-tab collectors: Act genuinely interested in the charitable project. Ask who is collecting the tabs. Ask who picks them up. Try to get the claimant to trace the entire path of exactly where the pull-tabs go, from collection box to dialysis machine. Do not accept “I don’t know, but somebody must take them” as an answer. Introduce the claimant to a little concept that we call “research.” Make the claimant answerable to you. Refuse to donate a single tab until you can be sure that they are not going to the “wrong sorts of charities.”

Sit back and watch the fun.

Or they may have just taken you off their distribution lists, you killjoy, you. I used to answer every one of my uncle’s forwards with a snopes link. One day, I stopped getting them. Come to find out he was still sending them out, just not to me.

tdn, yes, that could be. But hey, as long as it doesn’t clog my inbox, I don’t mind getting fewer forwards. Actually, most folks were glad to have the record set straight, and were a little miffed at having received them in the first place.

Lute, you’re quite right. Snope 'em all, I say.