Jeff's top ten forwarded emails

Jeff Dray recounts his top ten forwarded emails. He's looking for your favorite candidates to add to the list.

Some of these forwards have been around for years now, yet they still pop up with annoying regularity. They were unbelievable at the time; the amazing thing is that they are still doing the rounds.


1. The one about the Microsoft e-mail tracking promising vast payments simply for forwarding mail to everyone you know. I remember being assured by a friend that this was an absolutely solid gold way to make some real cash.

2. The U.S. Navy ship ordering a lighthouse to move. Fifteen years on and this one still puts in regular appearances, it is even a Youtube video.

3. How to recognize Swine Flu. Apparently there is no other illness in the UK at the moment. What I like best is the instruction to stay at home if I show any one of the symptoms listed. Given that the symptoms described are very general, this could lead to a huge increase in absenteeism.

4. The scary pictures about driving in Bolivia. There are some spectacular pictures attached to this mail, mostly showing vertiginous mountain roads and heart-stopping precipices. While these pictures are spectacular, they are not really relevant to the everyday workings of my inbox, or anyone else’s, so if you have images you want to share, put them on a Web site and share the link instead.

5. Those forwarded carved pumpkin pictures every year; they even appear in the UK. Sadly each year we get the same pictures.

6. The one with the picture of the crash scene of the car that had a jet engine bolted on to it. Believed to be one of the early Darwin award winners but could be any idiot with a pile of junk. Every now and then this story pops up again, as though it is new.

7. The ones offering those magic blue pills that will revolutionise my private life. How dare they assume that there is a problem in the first place! It would be silly for a British person to buy these online when their local health center can supply them free.

8. Get your hair back in less than four weeks! NO chance, it’s been too long since I last had a head of hair. I would sooner spend the money on something useful. Strangely enough my wife, who has a thick mop of hair, gets this one regularly while I, bald since the age of nineteen, have never had it!

9. Invest your pension plan with **** financial services for a better return; we are the country’s top financial investment company. Yeah right! They are so well known that I’ve never heard of them, so I would be bound to trust a major financial transaction to them.

10. Pass on mail to get good luck, break the chain and have bad luck. Let’s face it, these messages are complete nonsense, but how many of you have either forwarded one or felt a momentary twinge of guilt before consigning it to oblivion with a click of the mouse? I have often wondered what the point of these messages was, other than to overload mail servers and get on people’s nerves. If everyone passed on the message to the first ten people in their address list we could have more mail than anyone could cope with, rather as though everyone of a house fly’s potential offspring were to survive we would be buried with them in a very few weeks.

If you have any "favorite" annoying e-mails that you bat away regularly why not share them with me?