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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nowhere Is My Paranoia More Evident Than in My E-Mail Confidentiality Notice

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: Psst. This message is being sent by Frank Ferri Copywriter LLC. This e-mail and any attachments are confidential and proprietary. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of this e-mail or any attachment is prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please follow these 25 easy steps:

  1. Delete this message.
  2. Expunge all deleted messages.
  3. Reset your e-mail password.
  4. Sign out of your e-mail.
  5. Erase everything on your computer. Consult your computer’s user guide for instructions on how to wipe it clean.
  6. Shut down your computer.
  7. Using a Phillips or flathead screwdriver, disassemble your computer. [IMPORTANT: Do not back up any information. The content of the e-mail you received in error could be stored somewhere on your machine.]
  8. Using a sharp knife, repeatedly slash the screen of your monitor and smash all components with a lead pipe.
  9. Wrap all components, except for the hard drive, in a fine mesh netting and weight it with seven 12-pound bowling balls.
  10. Rent a boat (using a false name) and sink the bundle of computer parts in a vast body of water, preferably the Indian Ocean.
  11. Rub the hard drive with an industrial-strength neodymium magnet for at least 45 minutes. Then flash freeze it to 8 kelvin using a cryogenic processor.
  12. Place the hard drive in a commercial-grade blender. We prefer the power of the one used in the kitchens of the mess hall at West Point.
  13. Pulse it to get it started, then frappe until the hard drive is nothing but a fine powder. This usually takes about three hours of straight blending.
  14. Continue to blend while simultaneously drizzling in enough extra-virgin olive oil to form a fragrant paste.
  15. Call your mother. It’s always good to give her a random call every now and again. Just don’t mention the email you received in error. If you do mention it, please visit our website for instructions on how to make your mother disappear.
  16. Scrape the paste out of the blender using a spatula.
  17. Burn the spatula. Visit our Web site for directions on how to do this properly—and safely.
  18. Rip the siding off of your entire house. If you live in an apartment building or condominium, do not consult anyone. Just plan to work at night under a cloak of darkness.
  19. Transfer the paste to a plastic bucket and add cement mix and water.
  20. Adjust the proportions as necessary to form a thick paste. It should be similar to the consistency of strawberry-flavored cream cheese softened at about 58 degrees—give or take.
  21. Using a trowel and the cement mix, re-side your residence with brick veneer.
  22. Set fire to your home.
  23. Collect insurance money.
  24. Buy a new computer [and a new house].
  25. Change your e-mail address and mailing address.

If you are the intended recipient, then please disregard this notice.


Frank Ferri is a copywriter who thinks he's funny. Visit him at