the greatest paragraph I’ve ever written

…was, of course, in a flame – I’m at my best when I’m trying to insult or provoke someone.

This was years ago when I won an auction for a Commodore SX-64 on EBay. I’d managed to score it for somewhere around $250 (which is a really good price for that machine, it’s super-rare). The guy was really dodgy – he’d said he accepted COD in the ebay listing, but when I said I’d pick it up and pay cash, he said He’d meet me in a carpark rather than at his house, and wanted me to pay by bank deposit in advance.

I told him this was a very unusual way to do things, and that COD meant ‘cash on delivery’, and that I wasn’t paying by bank deposit, and what was the problem?

He replied telling me that he “Never carries around that much cash”…

…wait, what? I paid cash for my motorbike! And this guy never carries around $250?

He went on to explain that he was selling this machine on the sly, it was in storage somewhere and he didn’t want ‘the missus’ to go through his wallet and steal the cash.

Fair enough, I said, thinking to myself how I’m never ever getting married, then we’ll have to meet twice, because I’ll be seeing a demo of this SX-64 in action before I do a bank transfer.

No Reply.

A couple of days later, I get an email from ebay telling me that this guy’s account has been suspended due to fraudulent activity and that if I haven’t paid for my purchase yet, I shouldn’t. The plot thickens.

Not long afterwards, I get an abusive email from a different email address. It doesn’t say who it’s from (it’s a hotmail with a fake name – ‘john hancock’), and it doesn’t mention why I’m a “fucked faced motherfucker”, just that I am. There is no information content, just abuse.

I deduce that it’s this guy from ebay and that he thinks I was the one who reported him to ebay, so I reply, telling him that it wasn’t me who reported him but that I was glad I hadn’t done a bank transfer already.

I get back an abusive reply, and another, new piece of abuse from a new email address. The email headers have the same originating ip.

Here’s a nugget of that response, and my reply… which is just about the most awesome thing I’ve ever written:


you know more than I think, do you? well that wouldn’t be difficult – my
expectations aren’t exactly stellar, but what if I think you know more
than you think I think you know? But then, we both know that you don’t
think much, much less know anything, and it’s much more likely that I’ll
think you know less than you think I think you know, and I’ll probably
be right… And we still haven’t even touched on what I know, or what
you think I know, or what I think you think I think you know. But then
I’m not the one sending abusive emails from two different addresses with
two different names but coming from the same IP. Thanks for the
confirmation on that, BTW.


And now the fun part – naming and shaming:

John Ath –
John Hancock –
X-Originating-IP: []

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>