ABUJA, Nigeria — When Nigerian prince Clement Oxon was deposed in a military coup last March, he thought things could not get any worse. But when the ousted monarch reached out for help on the Internet, he was greeted with a frigid reception.
His Highness solicited assistance from strangers on AOL in getting millions of dollars in frozen assets out of a Nigerian account, which, due to rebel control, could not be touched by Oxon himself. In exchange for fronting Oxon a mere two thousand American dollars to cover routine, 100% safe banking fees, the prince was willing to split the laundered millions fifty-fifty with his partner.
But after sending this generous query blindly to thousands of “Most Honored Americans,” Oxon says he received only virulent hate mail in response.
“I really don’t understand,” professed Oxon. “I was polite, humble, even generous. Yet the people on this World Wide Web are just awful. The things they claim to have done carnally with my mother…it’s all very troubling.”
“I guess if he was some businessman or commoner, I would understand their hesitance,” said Kom Amil, Oxon’s personal envoy, “but this is the Prince of Nigeria we’re talking about! Does that not mean anything to people anymore?”
Oxon claims to have received only one positive response to his mass email, but when he clicked the hyperlink to the user’s PayPal account, he was re-directed to a Rick Astley YouTube channel.
According to Oxon, this incident has completely changed the way he thinks about human nature. “I used to think people were kind and helpful; that they would look out for their common man. And if they were not good-hearted, at least they could make rational financial decisions. But I guess when the deposed Prince of Nigeria writes you an email in all caps with the subject ‘URGENT BUSINESS MAKE YOU RICH,’ the world is just too busy.”
Oxon admits to certain strategic mistakes on his end. “Maybe I came on too strong including that link to free erectile dysfunction medicine,” conceded Oxon. “But I figured that would just sweeten the pot. Like ‘hey, if you’re not into millions of dollars, that’s fine. Maybe you’d like to make love like a porn star instead.’ Something for everyone, you know?”
Without access to his family fortune, Oxon has been forced to find employment for the first time in his privileged life. “I found a man on Craigslist willing to pay for a discrete encounter. As my email suggested, discretion is very important to me as well. He was very insistent in his posting that he is not gay, which is comforting to me. I think I should like to meet this man.”
Added Oxon, “What does ‘full-release’ mean?”