Wow. I always get annoyed with chain emails. I always tell people to stop sending them, especially the ones that ask you to forward it on, or send correspondence back somewhere. But I never knew how bad the consequences of people’s mindless responding to chain emails could be. Strangely, this story still makes me laugh, and it shouldn’t, but it does.
Let’s take a journey back in time. Bak in 1989, a request was made on behalf of a 9-year-old boy named Craig Shergold. He had a brain tumour, and he apparently wanted to break the record in the Guinness Book for number of get-well cards received. by 1990, he had received 16 million cards. By May of 1991, he had received 33 million, and they cried “mission accomplished!”
But the problem is the deluge of cards never stopped. In 1991, his tumour was removed, and he’s still with us to this day, completely healthy and no longer wanting these cards. But they keep on getting mailed. Now, business cards and compliment slips get sent too. Why? because people keep sending this damn email, in different variations, that asks for more cards!
Here’s what the email has caused:
- The Shergolds had to move.
- The Children’s Wish Foundation International had to relocate because they too were getting bombed with cards, as requested by the emails.
- Another foundation, the Make A Wish Foundation of America, had to set up a toll-free number to tell people to not send cards anymore please please please!
- The Guinness Book of World Records *retired!* this record. That means no one can try and break it. They don’t want anymore crap to happen.
- The Shergolds’ old address had to be given its own postal code.
- The Shergolds have now appeared on various talk shows to tell people to stop sending cards.
They think that they have received 200 million cards. Wow! Can you imagine receiving that much mail? You know what isn’t fair? The Shergolds are receiving zillions of unwanted cards, but No More AOL CD’s.com has been working for 6 years and still hasn’t managed to receive 1000000 AOL CD’s so they can send them all back to AOL. I know, it’s because a lot of people don’t know about them. but why couldn’t someone starta chain letter asking people to send them all their unwanted AOL CD’s? They’d have them in no time!
If this didn’t come from Snopes, I would think this was a tall tale. But this actually happened to people. So the next time you think you should forward a message because it couldn’t do any harm, remember the Shergolds. I sure will, even if it’s only to giggle at the idea of being driven from your home with kind words.