“You’ve just won a new BMW!”
“You have been chosen to receive $1,000,000!”
“We have a check waiting for you!”
“Your name came up … ”
“No strings attached!”
“Free ocean cruise!”
“The world is yours!”
Wait a minute. The whole world? So, what’s the catch?
Never mind. We all know if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Uh, it isn’t. You know what I mean. It’s bunk.
It’s amazing to see what kind of garbage makes it through the filters these days, no matter what we put on our computers (“Spam Busters: Guaranteed to Stop That Spam”), our phone lines (Join the No Call List and Avoid Those Sales Calls), or doors (No Soliciting: “This’ll Stop ‘Em”).
They seem to always find a way to get through.
I believe strongly in advertising, particularly that of the legitimate variety. What I have is a problem with is those such as mentioned at the top of this piece, the items that promise things that simply cannot be true.
Of course, you might say they really DON’T promise anything. There’s always something in the fine print that gives the sender a legal escape.
SPAM or SCAM, it’s still a four-letter word to me.
I got seven emails from individuals claiming to be U.S. military personnel currently stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan who had come across thousands … no, millions of dollars over there and all they needed was a bank account to send it to so we could split it.
“Sure. Would you like my Social Security number, too, so you can make the proper withholding?”
I have had several emails from people saying my name is on an account in another country awaiting my instructions on how to disperse it.
“Great. Here’s where I want you to put that.”
And the sad stories of those in need who only request a few thousand dollars to help them get here, so they can gladly repay me.
“Oh, I will be glad to send you money so you can .. Wait. If you don’t owe me yet, why would I want to … ?”
It’s almost entertaining to see what kind of shill comes next. Almost. Not quite.
But now about the world being mine …
Volkswagen’s signature vehicle for 73 years is changing changes. The company has announced the Beetle will have a different look and better features. Hopes are that the changes will spiff up Volkswagen’s sales in the U.S. … triple them, in fact.
These days, a vehicle that can deliver more gas mileage, comfort, an attractive appearance and a reasonable price stands a chance of doing well. That’s the goal.
This will be the first significant modification to the Beetle since the late 1990s, when a former Oklahoma boy, J Mays of the small town of Maysville (named for his distant ancestors), got involved.
Volkswagen sales had fallen in the U.S. after a peak in 1962, some 30 years after the Beetle first was developed by Nazi Germany. In fact, Volkswagen ceased sales of the Beetle here in 1979. But Mays gave the car and the company a rebirth with the New Beetle design and it rolled on.
The effort was successful, as was Mays, who was hired as the youngest chief of design for any U.S. automaker when Ford hired him away and he promptly reached the winner’s circle again with a redesigned Ford Thunderbird.
Now, the Beetle may have another victory in sight.
The new design includes a few cosmetic features that certainly will draw attention. There is a flatter roof, narrower windows, a crease along the side and “a less bulbous shape,” auto design critics say.
Don’t expect the new version to look like Herbie the “Love Bug” of Walt Disney movie fame. This one has a smoother, more modern appearance.
How well will it be received? That’s yet to be seen. But with a navigation system, a larger trunk, better lighting and a fancier interior, it’s sure to get some attention.
The Mays New Beetle was popular with women in their 50s and 60s, car experts noted, but the latest Beetle has been getting good reviews from male focus groups. One reason is that the 170 hp, 2.5-liter engine has been upgraded and there now is a 200 hp, turbocharged gas engine, as well as a diesel engine which has a rating of 40 miles per gallon.
We’ll see how the new Beetle (as opposed to the New Beetle of Mays) sells. It may be a winner, or it may fall in line behind the high-volume sales machine, such as the Toyota Corolla, the Jetta, the Passat, or other sedans.
Now if they had just left that built-in flower base on the dash …
See more on the new Beetle at http://knowit.newsok.com/buying-a-car-oklahoma
Part of my job is to look for the offbeat, unusual or downright weird story or photograph. You’ve seen it. It’s one that you just have to pay attention to because it’s … well … different.
These are the kind of things that we search for to add to “know it: Unusual Oklahoma.” When you go to that site, you find that it’s http://knowit.newsok.com/unusual-weird-oklahoma by full name. There’s a reason. You’ll see.
The postings include out-of-the-ordinary people, places, things and events. Sometimes, they are WAY out. But they make interesting reads.
We also have experts who know all about the strange-but-true and how it relates to our lives.
There’s Tonya Hacker, who takes readers through paranormal investigations in Oklahoma and elsewhere in her Paranormal Eyes. There’s professor Bryan Farha, well known for explaining “extraordinary claims — often in the ‘paranormal’ arena’ — sometimes revealing deception, fakery and faulty beliefs” in his Smoke & Mirrors.
We also have our own Carrie Coppernoll, who likes to give you a little flavor of the unusual variety in her Red Dirt Ruckus.
But not everything you find under “know it: Unusual Oklahoma” is about or from Oklahoma. There are subdivisions for Unusual America and Unusual World. No reason Oklahoma should have the corner on weirdness, right?
So what might you find in “Unusual Oklahoma … America … or World?” Here are a few headlines. You can visit the site to see what the entries are about:
* Dog’s life changes after rising from ‘dead’
* Strange humanoid creature caught on deercam?
* Aliens: the scientific approach
* Drunken burglar gets stuck inside house
* Unusual Oklahoma
* After 4 years, Chinese doctors remove knife from man’s head
* Romania’s witches forced to pay income tax
Some are fun to read. Some are fascinating. All are interesting.
Take a trip to the site and see for yourself.