Boneless Sea Fauna Dave White on 07 Dec 2010 08:00 am

A few months back I received an unsolicited email from a man claming to be a Mr. David Pitman of the London Stock Exchange. (A little Googling confirmed this to be a real-life person). A friend of Mr. Pitman’s had apparently recently died and he was now looking to get in touch with me (ME!) about a sure-fire financial windfall. It seemed a bit fishy, but you should never be too dismissive of a good thing when it comes around, so I responded.

What follows is the extent of our month long email exchange/one-sided love affair. (Each of the following emails and responses is 100% real.)


From: David Pitman PhD
Date: September 4, 2010 8:08:40 PM EDT
To: Dave White

Good day,
I am David Pitman Director of Marketing London stock exchange U.K. I am contacting you in trust that you would treat this matter of mine as confidential.
During my tenure as the Financial Controller, I discovered shortfalls that I call “break-off”, that is the time between the realtime change in the value of stock and the time of reflection on the exchange board which is exactly 0.83 sec. Within this time, any traded stock will reflect the initial value to the broker. I then succeeded in diverting all the funds emanating from these differences to the account of a friend of mine. After four years this account had grown into millions of british pound sterling. Last month James died and I have no access to the account. About a week ago I was in contact with his lawyer who is a signatory to his Will.
He offered that we can help ourselves by adjusting the beneficiary status of the account in the Will to suit anybody who shared the same surname with James so we can withdraw the funds. We agreed to share the fund at a rate of 30,30,40. That is 30% to the beneficiary 30% to the lawyer and 40% to me. I decided to contact you because you share the same last name with the deceased. If you feel we can do this together, please contact immediately.

Thanks and god bless.
David Pitman


From: Dave White
Date: September 4, 2010 8:21:21 PM EDT

Hello Mr. Pitman,

James was my uncle. This is MY inheritance you and that gutless lawyer of his are attempting to scam off. Both my mother and aunt (James’ widow) have been in touch with London authorities regarding this ongoing scam. I will be forwarding this email correspondence to the appropriate investigators.



Date: September 4, 2010 10:38:58 PM EDT
To: Dave White

Dear Dave,
I am sorry about this but you seem not to understand the situation. The money in the account belongs to both of us. In fact I put him in custody of the money. We can work this out and still share the money and we will all be happy.
Please give me your phone number so that we can talk more.

David Pitman PhD


From: Dave White
Date: September 4, 2010 10:54:08 PM EDT

Dear Mr. Pitman,

I’m sorry to say it is YOU, sir, who does not understand the situation. My uncle James was very careful in creating this account, such that, were anything to happen to him, neither you nor his grubby lawyer would be able to get your collective grubby hands on it.

This fund was established to support the education of my two young children. Your attempt to defraud me, me dear deceased uncle, AND my innocent offspring is BEYOND despicable. How dare you, sir? How dare you indeed.

Once again, I have forwarded all correspondence to the relevant London authorities (better known as “the Bobbys”.) This recent turn of events has cast further doubt on the details of my Uncle’s “accident,” the real-life circumstances of which I have always questioned. How long can one live with an undisclosed shellfish allergy? Suspicious indeed, sir.

You and that weasel lawyer will be hearing from my representation.



Date: September 5, 2010 7:48:12 AM EDT
To: Dave White

Dear Donald,
You are making things difficult for yourself, I would not write you again on this matter if you don not seem to recognize what is happening here. I am not interested in any of his inheritance, all I am interested in is the account in which the money is deposited. I can assure you that without my help, you cannot gain access to any of this fund. You might gain access to all other of his properties and accounts but this account in which he deposited this money was not included in his will, so if you are really going to think right, you should know better to aid me in retrieving the money. It is a one way thing, you either work with me or, you get nothing.
Good day


From: Dave White
Date: September 5, 2010 10:48:48 PM EDT

Mr. Pitman,

Please allow me to apologize for the severity of my previous emails. I have been angry and confused and lacking direction since my uncle’s passing. It has been a difficult few weeks. I want nothing but the best for me and my family––and for you, too, sir. I know that may be difficult to believe at this point, given the way I have behaved in our correspondence thus far. But it is thoroughly true.

I have long admired your success, from your days at Merrill Lynch to, over these past few years, your role at the London Stock Exchange. Most recently that admiration has blossomed into something different, something more complicated, something I hesitate to call “romantic” but for which I lack any other word. This is difficult to convey over email, trapped in typed bits and bytes, lacking subtext, so I will leave it at that.

If there is any chance at all of this being real between us, please let me know. I am prepared to give whatever is necessary: my social security number, my bank routing information, anything. What do you need from me to make this right again?

Abraham Lincoln once said, “As a nation of free men, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” I apologize for passive aggressively accusing you or murdering my uncle. That was likely a different dude.



Date: September 6, 2010 6:23:18 PM EDT
To: Dave White

Good-day Donald,
I hope you can treat this matter as confidential as it may seem. All we need is for you to stand in as his next-of-kin. His WILL will then be adjusted and your name will come in as the beneficiary to his accounts. Once that is initiated,  we will acquire the “Oat of Affidavit” confirming a transfer of ownership which will be sent to you with which you can apply for the transfer of the money to your home account, then we can share the funds. I am really putting a lot of trust in you.
Before we can initiate the change of beneficiary status I need you to give me your phone number so we can call you. His lawyer would withdraw his will and make the amendments and then he can apply to the court for the change of ownership. He is positive that this can be achieved within three weeks.
I will be hoping to hear from you as soon as possible.

David Pitman


From: Dave White
Date: September 7, 2010 10:32:07 PM EDT

Mr. Pitman,

It is my every intention to treat this matter delicately and in extreme confidence. It was for this reason that I stopped by your office yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon at the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square, to speak with you in person. After an extended interaction with your reception desk (during which I never let on to the true nature of my visit) I was finally led to your office. There, you proceeded to behave as if you had never heard of me, my Uncle James nor any confidential account from which we needed to withdraw funds. Needless to say, I was confused, startled and, quite frankly, heart broken. (I am in love with you.)

What manner of game is this, sir? Per your noted requirement, I had even brought with me the ‘Oats of Affidavit,’ upon which you looked with confused disgust, as if I were a crazy man. At first I reasoned you were thrown off by my Oats, they having been manufactured by the Quaker Oats Company, an American food conglomerate I imagine Brits are somewhat unfamiliar with. Unfortunately, I was never able to explain myself (nor my oats) as I was quickly ejected from the premises by the strong arms of your security detail, who made quick work quite physically tossing me from Paternoster Square, a rag-doll DJ Jazzy Jeff to the LSE’s domineering Uncle Phil (another American reference I don’t soon expect you to understand, you limey heartbreaker.)

I have little clue where this leaves us. My uncle is still dead, the account remains in limbo, and my soul continues to ache for your embrace. The erection of our love has long lasted well past the medically advisable four hour limit. Perhaps the extreme secrecy of this matter forced you to pretend you did not know who I was, for fear of alerting others in your work place to the account and our love affair. Nevertheless, I was hurt by what happened and expect an apology.

Oh David. Sweet David. My prince. Perhaps it is all my fault. I will never know for sure. I’m sorry. I am so sorry. Please tell me what number to dial and I will call with haste tomorrow. I long to hear your voice again.



Date: September 8, 2010 5:27:28 AM EDT
To: Dave White



Date: September 15, 2010 8:31:34 AM EDT
To: Dave White

I will need you to send a scanned copy of your international passport to me via email as soon as possible.


Donald Passport

From: Dave White
Date: September 21, 2010 9:27:14 PM EDT

Mr. Pittman,

My love. I have been a wreck since your previous email admonishing my visit to your office. I am only now able to breathe freely and type with repose. The following is my attempt to make things right between us once again…

Per your request, I have attached a scanned copy of my passport. You must forgive me my delay; I have been quite busy with a new business venture and am still dealing with the repercussions of my divorce from a childish and poorly acted ex wife. Also, (SPOILER ALERT) my secretary recently dropped dead at her desk.

Before you process my passport information, there is something you should know: I am not the real Donald Draper. Not by birth. My given name is Richard Whitman. I was born in Illinois a neglected whore child. My mother died during childbirth and I was raised by an abusive father and stepmother. My father died when I was 10 years old after being kicked in the fucking face by a spooked horse during an electrical storm. At the age of 19, I enlisted in the Army, promptly being shipped to Korea. There, I was quickly put under the command of the real Donald Draper, who not long afterwards died in a freak gasoline fight accident. With Mr. Draper’s face burned beyond all recognition, I was able to snatch his dog tags and steal his identity. This is where you have now found me, explaining my life history via ratings-grabbing narrative flashbacks.

I hope my well-developed though complicated backstory does not endanger our business transaction. The aura of mystique surrounding my past has always been an asset to me both in the office and in the bedroom. I know you have forbidden physical contact “unless [you] say so.” I hope the saying so is said so soon; I am a lecherous, angry, timeless prick, one who quite neatly embodies the disintegration of the nebulous post-war suburban American ideal.

Do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.



Date: September 22, 2010 5:35:15 AM EDT
To: Dave White

I checked the passport with the immigrations but they said it is forged.


From: Dave White
Date: September 22, 2010 12:33:30 PM EDT

Mr. Pitman,

Yes, of course it is forged. Did you not read the substance of my email? I am not the real Don Draper and therefore do not have a legitimate birth certificate. As such, I cannot obtain a legal passport. I thought I explained all this. Fortunately this passport has been accepted at multiple international checkpoints. If you are saying it is not being accepted by “the immigrations” then they must be on to me and my wily ways. I will have to forge a new one. (I should have never fired Sal Romano in episode 9 of season 3.)

I really feel our business transaction can be easily and quickly finalized with a simple, covert visit to your office. I will not make a scene like last time. I will bring with me a picnic basket filled with the finest breads and cheeses known to man. I will feed you grapes from the vine as I divulge my social security number, which I have tattooed across my inguinal ligaments, the developed lower abdominal tendon featured prominently on attractive male models who have lowered their Calvin Klein underwear beyond a certain point. I do not own any pubic hair. I will leave the Quaker Oatmeal at home. We will listen to Peabo Bryson. I will smell of musky flowers. I will lightly tickle my bank routing information onto your goose-bumping back, forcing you to decipher the numbers using nothing but the erotic sensations and your mind. We will make a game of it.

Does this sound enticing to you?



Apparently not; I haven’t heard from him since!

Hip Hop and Politics Dave White on 09 May 2010 11:56 pm

The big news: Barack Obama will announce Elena Kagan as his pick to succeed John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. If she’s confirmed, four of the nine Supreme Court justices will rep NYC.

Scalia: Queens. Ginsburg: Brooklyn. Sotomayor: The Bronx. Kagen: UWS Manhattan. Only Staten Island lacks supreme court love, a truly terrible oversight.

Can you say “Associate Justice Ghostface Killah“? He’s clearly not lacking for empathy:

Brings a whole new meaning to Supreme Clientele.

Techno Dave White on 27 Apr 2010 11:19 am

GAWKER: You down with OPiP(hones)?
US: Yes, you know me

Here’s the story:

A little ways back, some dude at a German beer garden gets hammered and steals an early iPhone prototype from a blitzed Apple engineer. Couple weeks later, the enterprising thief sells said iPhone prototype to Gawker gadget blog Gizmodo for $5000. The story blows up, as the secret stolen merchandise proves irresistibly fascinating to Apple fanpeople worldwide. Flash forward to yesterday, as California police raid the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, seizing a whole bunch of computers, alleging a criminal conspiracy.

File this under “is there any way this can possibly be true?” but civil liberty groups are now insisting yesterday’s search and seizure ran afoul of state and federal shield laws:

There are both federal and state laws here in California that protect reporters and journalists from search and seizure for their news gathering activities…But even if they are saying it was unlawful (to purchase the prototype iPhone), the statute appears to say it doesn’t matter. The crime that you’re investigating cannot be receipt of that information or materials.”

This would seem to be a fairly broad interpretation of journalistic shield law, granting any blogger with a modem and a LiveJournal account a 007-level license to to commit felonies in the service of amassing trivial information of limited public import. Which is to say…


The dramatic potential here is HUGE; it’s Grisham meets Crichton by way of Wired magazine, the next mid-budget, high-grossing techno-legal-eagle-crime thriller. And there are bloggers involved. We LOVE bloggers. Topical.

Let’s Hollywood this effer up.

First note: iPhone prototype? Too everyday. Blah. Not sexy. Better? Steve Jobs’…children. Young children. But not too young. One is newly post-infancy. The boy. He’s four. The girl? She’s 13. Smart. Precocious. Like her dad.

They’ve been kidnapped from a San Francisco beer garden. By Germans! Nazis. Neo Nazis. The kids have vital inside information on Jobs’ next high tech venture. But it can’t be a next-gen iPhone. It’s something bigger:

Rogue nuclear weaponry. Multitasking. Portable. With stunning minimalist industrial design.


Cut to a slovenly, over dedicated veteran reporter, Cal. Writes for a blog. Gruff, uninviting, but with a reluctant heart of gold. He’s hot on the story, gradually infiltrating the Neo Nazi terrorpod cell. He has an in with one of the guards. He purchases Jobs’ kids. But not for $5000. Who is he, Dr. Evil? For like…$500,000,000. Does he return the kidnapped kids? No. He keeps them. They have vital information he needs for this mind blowing story. It will change lives/drive a shitload of traffic. Shield law, baby!

He’s running from Jobs, running from the Nazis, running from the cops. Just on the edge, all in service of the greater good, a paragon of journalistic integrity.

This is good, this is it, we’re hitting three quadrants here.


This thing casts itself: For Jobs we need…Mel Gibson. He’s perfect, a natural. And due for a comeback. GIVE ME BACK MY IPHONE SON.

Jason Chen? Either that dude from The Hangover with the tiny penis or Rachel McAdams. Depending on which way we go.

Gawker CEO Nick Denton? Graham Norton. Or Steve Coogan. Or Eddie Izzard. Anyone, really.

Lastly: the grizzled journalist who purchases the kidnapped kids? Gotta be Russell Crowe. Brilliant. Blunt. Bearded. He can throw an iPhone at a hotel bellhop. Referential.

Greenlight this fucker.

Les Sports and Politics Dave White on 22 Mar 2010 04:18 pm

For those neither living in nor descended from the holy six that is New England, Bill Belichik is some kid of monster. A loathsome ruthless win machine, desecrating the shield in a cold-blooded quest to squeeze any last possible competitive advantage out of an otherwise noble game. Man you effing hate that guy.

Unless, of course, you’re a Pats fan, in which case Bill Belichick is the Brawny Man studmuffin hero of all your athletic wants, hopes and dreams, a guy who may have long ago stopped being polite but started getting real real good at winning you football games. If he’s a total asshole, he’s our kind of total asshole.

Nancy Pelosi is the same dude, just a chick who does politics.

When your political instincts run counter to her ambitions, she’s a brutal botoxed witch, hell-bent on greedily violating the very fabric of American human existence. Ooohgrrr you hate her!

When she’s on your side, though, she’s queen Nancy the Hammer. For those pretty amped and excited over passage of health care reform, Pelosi today is basically Bill Belichick circa February 7th, 2005. You can’t get enough of that hooded sweatshirt tight skinned forehead and bad dye job.

UPDATE: Relatedly, I’m now hoping these two have an elicit, freewheeling, Woodsian affair. Pelosichick, maybe. Mmmm, wrinkly.

Politics Dave White on 18 Mar 2010 12:49 pm

For the rest of the month, Outback Steakhouse will generously provide all veterans and active military with a free Bloomin’ Onion.

This promotion seems so painfully obvious, so clearly motivating for both service member and plain citizen alike, I’m surprised neither Presidents Bush nor Obama developed a similar deal when attempting to sell a souring public on their unpopular war plans.

What better way to inspire our men and women in uniform, while further promoting solidarity with their protectorates back home, than the far-off possibility of a limited time offer of an Australian recipe ripoff of Chili’s classic American Awesome Blossom?

These are the times that try men’s souls! He that stands by his country now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman, and a large, sliced onion, breaded, deep fried and arranged to look like a flower.*

Lucky for freedom, the savvy folks at Outback Steakhouse and OSI Restaurant Partners had the foresight to develop this promotion, thus circumventing what I am sure to be President Obama’s natural instincts toward a socialist Bloomin’ Onion handout; the free market saw a need and fulfilled it most efficiently.

Semper Fibloomin’ Onion.

* (Offer only available for the month of March at participating locations. Let’s not get too ridiculous.)

Pop Culture Dave White on 16 Mar 2010 03:02 pm

I bet if Bach showed up in the present Bill & Ted-style and was like, “Yo, show me some music” we’d probably put on Lady Gaga “Telephone” and he’d be like, “Woa, wait, seriously?”

But then we’d show him some orchestral arrangements of Super Mario Bros. themes and he’d be all, “Ok, alright, I see what you guys are up to.”

Techno Dave White on 02 Mar 2010 02:51 pm

Conditions in Factory Farms are universally deplorable and a lot of people are starting to figure it out. You can tell this is true by the recent spike in references to Food Inc. in your Facebook newsfeed and the number of Colbert Report appearances by Michael Pollan and Jonathan Safran Foer.

Luckily scientists are hot on the trend and may have a solution, one ingeniously dependent on genetic modification of animal brains:

Recently, scientists have learned to genetically engineer animals so that they lack certain proteins that are important to the [sensation of pain.] When these mice encounter a painful stimulus, they withdraw their paws normally, but they do not become hypersensitive to a subsequent painful stimulus, as ordinary mice do.

I love science so much but this is one of those fundamentally flawed, fundamentally American approaches to problem solving:

AMERICANS: Man, I feel really bad about the horrible conditions for animals in factory farms.
COMMON SENSE: Yeah man, I feel you. Maybe we should stop eating them.
AMERICANS: Ehhhhhhh, I dunno. What if we spend millions of dollars genetically modifying their brains such that they’re physically incapable of sensing pain?
COMMON SENSE: Dude, seriously?

Why solve problems elegantly with simple and responsible changes to our own behavior when we can use well funded science and comic book dreams to dramatically refashion sentient brains?

Les Sports Dave White on 19 Feb 2010 04:38 pm

Its Public Enemy? Its Basquiat?

It’s a well-told story: On January 11th 1992, Nirvana Nevermind replaced Michael Jackson’s Dangerous as the number one album on the Billboard 200. In the previous year, that top spot had been held by the likes of Vanilla Ice, Michael Bolton, Paula Abdul and Van Halen. Kurt Cobain stomped that mess, albeit temporarily, with his cut jeans, dingy flannel and lady’s deodorant.

Men’s figure skating is in need of a similar figure. I love the sport, the athleticism, the artistry. But it’s been stuck in a stale sequined glamrocked routine for as long as I’ve known it. That same rote footwork, musty jazz hands, predictably unpredictable Vera Wang trimmed decadent on-ice outfits.

Maybe it’ll never break out of its mold; it’s a sport driven by tradition and elderly judges. There’s margins in playing it safe. But times should evolve. I’m waiting for a Brooklyn skater in high tops and a hoodie to throw down triple axels to DJ Logic. Less Vera Wang, more DIY Dapper Dan.

Alpine skiing has its Bode Miller. Snowboarding has its Shaun White (a guy so counter counter culture he’s made loving your country and respecting your parents cool again.) I love me some Evan Lysacek. But what’s next?

Les Sports Dave White on 08 Feb 2010 02:34 am

We are men! And so we value our tires more than our wives. We will put up with the pain of listening to their opinions so long as we can still drive our Dodge Chargers.

We will reveal them naked in the shower after finally developing the confidence to use soap to clean ourselves.

Yes, we are men. We will steal our wives’ beer and hijack their bookclubs with harassing sex jokes that make light of our illiteracy. We will pray they do not catch us cheating on them with our milkaholic baby mistresses.

We’ll take off our skirts! Which is to say, we’ll no longer attempt to spend time with our wives without ready access to a handheld television named after their periods.

We are men! We will rock blocking shots on guys with dreadlocks.

(That last one isn’t misogynistic, just amazing.)

Politics Dave White on 28 Jan 2010 12:09 am

Relevant section at 3:32:

Like a Thelonious Monk, I travel in peace
Left on right on black man from the east

We don’t quit
We don’t quit, uh uh
We don’t quit
Nah we don’t quit

Life for nothing but beats and cheese

Last line might be a stretch. Nevertheless, full text of actual speech right here.

UPDATE: Wikipedia’s concise history of the actual May 4th Movement anti-imperialist uprising is well worth a read. Thrice times for the Brooklyn dimes.

Poetry Dave White on 13 Jan 2010 06:24 pm

                    Black spider spins 140 character thoughts
over the slacked mouth of a broken t-shirt cannon

announcing lo calorie diets,
and proto-apocalyptic mortgage gate refinancing.

Don’t plagiarize the hype, young spider;
yours is an office delicate, bent off spin, threadbare
          in a Chinese factory,
          wrapped in the finest silks quite known
                    to the round fat bottoms
                    of popular Pundits.

New web stretched wonders over wide to the world,
          patient hasty lies forging continuous
clock time coverage of new spider time narratives;

                    Barack Obama’s rented Kenyan childhood,
proto-Nazaiian sprinkler head, broken, bent, ripped into soil
scraping up dead bunnies and cat hair wrapped in spit and dust,
     minor clumps of skunked pew research cross-tabs
     and the Politico, printed.

We are heading to be, now,
     only too too honey for the morning;

Dotted mt. dew forming frosty over steamed mourning rose petals,
               on: there: been: that: done.

You’ve lost me, Spider.
     Casting caffeine AmEx dreams over teabagged boats,
like a sack of pet pickles to the forehead.

Pop Culture Dave White on 27 Aug 2009 08:00 am

Early last week, Quentin Tarrantino graced the internet with his list of the Best 20 Movies Since 1992, the year he himself first began making movies:

I wanted to do something similar, but I don’t really make movies. In fact, since this past June, I’ve ostensibly been predominantly unemployed. Meaning: I don’t make much of anything.

I do, however, watch a lot of episodes of Gilmore Girls on DVD.

In the spirit of Tarantino, here is my list of the Top 20 Gilmore Girls Episodes I Have Watched Since Becoming Unemployed.

Like Tarantino, the list is unordered, with one exception: Keg! Max! is clearly the best episode of Gilmore Girls I have seen since June, standing high above anything else. The rest are ordered chronologically by air date.

  • Keg! Max! Season 3 Episode 19
    Lane drunk dials her mom. High comedy, intense Korean Christian drama.
  • Kiss and Tell Season 1 Episode 7
    Rory’s first kiss! The whole town is buzzing but she doesn’t tell Lorelai!
  • Christopher Returns Season 1 Episode 15
  • Nick and Nora/Sid and Nancy Season 2 Episode 5
    Paris craziness and the introduction of Jess. Swoon.
  • The Bracebridge Dinner Season 2 Episode 10
  • A-Tisket, A-Tasket Season 2 Episode 13
    The essence of Stars Hollow distilled to a fine 22 minutes, charming small town rituals and picnic basket zany mania.
  • I Can’t Get Started Season 2 Episode 22
  • Haunted Leg Season 3 Episode 2
  • Eight O’clock at the Oasis Season 3 Episode 5
    A special appearance by a young Jon Hamm!
  • Ballrooms and Biscotti Season 4 Episode 1
  • Raincoats and Recipes Season 4 Episode 22
    The Season 4 finale, in which Dean and Rory doooooo it. Double swoon!
  • Written in the Stars Season 5 Episode 3
  • But Not As Cute As Pushkin Season 5 Episode 10
  • So…Good Talk Season 5 Episode 16
  • Fight Face Season 6 Episode 2
    The first appearance of Paul Anka. Marvelous.
  • The Prodigal Daughter Returns Season 6 Episode 9
  • Friday Night’s Alright for Fighting Season 6 Episode 13
    Wonderul Gilmore fight montage.
  • Merry Fisticuffs Season 7 Episode 10
  • I’d Rather Be In Philadelphia Season 7 Episode 13
  • Unto The Breach Season 7 Episode 24
    Logan proposes!! Anti-swoon!

There it is.

Up next: Top 20 Jelly Donuts I Have Purchased Since They Finished Remodeling Our Local DuDos.

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