*UPDATE: There seems to be some confusion here. Aaron and Seth really did write their own e-mails. Some seem to think that I was writing as them, but that is false!

About a week ago, I was browsing my MB e-mail (I still have the account as I’m doing contract work for them) when I ran across a pretty typical looking piece of spam e-mail that managed to avoid the Spam filter and appear in my inbox.  For some reason, I was in a punchy mood that night and decided to respond to the ad.  This is definitely not the first time I have done this, but certainly the funniest.

On March 7, 8:21pm, Sasa wrote to me this message:

Dear ,

It is my pleasure to get chance to keep in touch with you.

I was told by a friend that your company need to buy Led products. I would like to introduce us as a manufacturer of all kind of led products to you. our monthly production volumn reach to 5000kkpcs.

Detail about our products, pls find below:

5mm round led water clear 15deg, 30deg,50deg

5mm Oval led color diffused 120deg
SMD led (0603,0805,1206,1210,5060 size)
Super flux led ( 4 legs )

All color about, redyellow, greenblue and white, warm white. RGB color etc…

LED lighting products
Led display screen

Detail pls visit: www.ledmfg.cn

I sincerely Hope you will give us chance to sell you our products.


Led manufacturer


If you don’t wish to receive future email, pls ask for remove!

March 8, 8:21pm – Rather than delete or report as Spam, I replied and wrote the following:

“Hi Sasa, you are right, our mutual friend Mitch must have gotten you in touch with me after all these years!!!  I remember you from the 1999 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  We had some good times there, huh?  I am so glad to hear from you after all this time!  I didn’t know you were selling LED products by e-mailing databases, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, you always did talk about wanting to start up your own business.  I wish I could buy from you today, I really do, but my boss just spent $5.2B USD on LED products over Christmas break and we won’t need any again until June 2039.  Why don’t you go ahead and put my manager’s info on file and check in with him then.  His name is Aaron Pratt and I’m copying him in.

Seriously though Sasa, I hope you had a great Chinese New Year… you and Reggie’s parties were LEGENDARY!!!  Do you still have the herd of buffalo roaming your garden?  I hope Mark and Donny are doing well in pep band.  Send my best to the Atkins family as well.

Yours truly,

March 8, 8:31pm – Feeling a little unsatisfied with my work, I decided I needed to write a little bit more and sent a PS…

“P.S. – I’m mailing you five large boxes of old Sudoku puzzles.  The puzzles are already completed, but I remember how you liked to double-check my work, and also how you like to make confetti out of old magazines to save for the big Chinese New Year parties.  Okay, I’ve blabbered enough already, write me back when you get the chance!!!”

March 8, 10:39pm – Aaron, not surprisingly, jumped right in and sent the following message back to both me and Sasa…

“Hey Sasa,

Ryan cc’d me in on your message. He is right, we are set for now, but I am hoping to blow through this inventory earlier.

At that point, we will place an order over our plasmanet communicators for 7t in globalmarks worth of the new leco (light emitting cellular organism) technology.

Looking forward to your next soirée. Perhaps we could combine it with my ferret’s bar mitzvah?

March 9, 7:18am – I wrote back to both Aaron and Sasa.

“Thanks for chiming in there Aaron, I totally spaced on the leco project, that’s definitely something Sasa should know going forward.  It’s a shame Project Sea Otter didn’t pan out, what with the LED components inserted into their tonsils, but there’s always Project Pony this fall!  (Sasa, that is strictly confidential!  Word gets out and I’m going to your superiors!  And just so you don’t think we’re inserting live LED components into ponies, it actually stands for Pedestrians Of New York… and also a few sick ponies.)

Aaron, where did I have those old pallets of motherboards stored?  Can you dig those up and have them shipped to Sasa’s house?  I have a feeling Sasa and her friends can make use of them in some arts & crafts projects this spring.

Take care all!  Be in touch!”

March 9, 10:59am – Aaron was quick to respond to the group later that morning.

“Right. The Qingming Festival is coming up in just a couple of weeks, so they’ll want to get started.  I’ll have them sent priority overnight on Sasa’s FedEx account – I think I still have the number around here somewhere.  At any rate, it is just a few hundred pounds worth, so shipping costs should be sub $10k.  Just be careful not to use these as platters for Hanshi again – that whole lead poisoning thing was really bad for our stock price when it hit the news.

Did you want me to send over the wholesale lot of velveteen rabbits too? I know you’re holding on to those hoping for a price increase, but ultimately I don’t think eyeless rabbits are ever going to take off.  They’re kind of spooky looking, and my daughter is just getting out of counseling from the batch of legless “Ammunition Annie” dolls they gave to all the veteran’s kids.



Four long days passed. No response from Sasa… did she not want our business?  It was time to get the thread moving again.

March 12, 12:18pm – I replied to Sasa and Aaron and copied in co-worker Seth, who had seen my e-mail post on Facebook and was inspired to do the same.  I gave him a great opportunity to join in as a foreman in China.

“Sasa, I am beginning to wonder what kind of businessperson you are if you aren’t willing to respond to a serious inquiry within a week.  Now listen here, I need confirmation that those items we shipped to you have arrived.  I have arranged for my foreman in Xinrongxiang, China to stop over at your LED facilities later this week and facilitate the unloading of the motherboards, velveteen rabbits, and Sudoku puzzles.  His name is Seth Aikman and he is also interested in having you show him a good time out on the town.  I have CC’d him in on this e-mail; he will be in touch with you soon regarding plans.

I went ahead and booked him a hotel near your facilities for the week + an extra week of personal vacation time as long as he’s in town.  I gave the hotel your name and told them to go ahead and send the bill to Sansen LED Corp.  Luckily they seemed to have your info on file and it was no trouble at all.  Please let us know if we can order in-room movies and room service.  If I don’t hear back from you today, I will assume it’s okay.

Thanks again for everything, hope to hear back very soon.”

March 12, 1:52pm – Before Seth responded, Aaron made sure to give him a few more instructions.

Be sure to wear thick-soled shoes and to carry a RED umbrella with you.  You probably won’t actually need to use it, but it is critical that you have it with you at all times. Sasa knows what I mean.


March 12, 2:59pm – Seth had a chance to respond, and what a great job he did!

“Thanks Ryan.

Ms. Sasa,

It’s great to make your acquaintance through Mr. Glanzer although I can tell he is becoming quite impatient with your lack of response.

I would be more than willing to unload the motherboards, velveteen rabbits, and Sudoku puzzles.

As he mentioned, I was granted some vacation time so I would also like to tour your plants in Shenzhen, Huian City, or Changzhou City if at all possible.

Being that this vacation time was so graciously given to me, I’d like to make the most of it. As for the nightlife, I’m hoping that Sasa is short for Sassy. It’s such a nice name that gently and seductively rolls off the tongue. I hope I’m not being too forward but, like I said, I’d like to make the most of this trip (if you know what I mean).

I hope that this business relationship can blossom into something far greater. Knowing the hotel is very familiar with you is a great sign of things to come. I’ll be sure to have a red umbrella as Mr. Pratt mentioned.

I am really looking forward to meeting you.


March 12, 3:22pm – At this point I fully never expected to hear from Sasa, but thought it would be quite funny to continue pulling more and more people into the conversation.  All the while, I couldn’t help but imagining some poor Chinese intern scrambling to translate the messages and realizing Sansen LED was in big trouble!!

“Seth, I appreciate you getting in touch with Sasa so quickly.  I am doing some research right now attempting to find her home phone number.  I know she gave it to me written on a cocktail napkin many years ago when I met her in Las Vegas, but it’s kinda warbled after many sleepless nights crying into it, thinking of her smiling face and eyes all aglow of LED lights.

Aaron, thank you for pointing out the note about the red umbrella.  Believe me, I know what that means.

It truly is of absolute importance.

I am copying in a colleague of mine from years ago, Nate Stout.  We worked a copper minefield in Switzerland and he now owns a vacation home in China.  I think he may be willing to lend the room to Seth and Sasa for their stay if things go as well as I expect them to go.

Also I just received word that the velveteen rabbits were hung up at the border… some sort of tariff on eyeless toys. Aaron please look into that.

Cheers everyone.”

March 12, 7:09pm – And then it happened.  Sasa got worried.

what is your mean?
we have do business before?

what is your company name?
and waht you need we do now?


March 12, 7:26pm – Aaron was the first of us to see the real response and fired back.


Which part of the message did you not understand?  It has been a lengthy thread.

Also, FYI to all, the Velveteen Rabbits have been freed by our commandos on the border. Minor international incident, but we did score some free candy bars and a “road closed” sign for the office. Too bad that mail-order bride business didn’t work out, they’d have been impressed by our new digs.


March 12, 7:31pm – Sasa wanted to clarify to all that LED is her only business.

“Dear Aaron,
seems we only produce and sell led products, so I am not understand what products you need from us?


March 12, 8:00pm – I finally saw that Sasa and Aaron had been talking and decided it was best to end this before it got out of hand and we were being investigated for conspiracy or something.

“Oh I am sorry Sasa, I think I may be confusing you with an old friend of mine from the Canadian Navy, Sasa Steinwicz.  I had not heard from her since her yacht shipwrecked off the coast of Uruguay in 2003 and assumed you were her.  Please disregard these messages.  I am very embarrassed for the terrible confusion.”

March 12, 8:07pm – Sasa forgave us.

“it is okay. bye”