The Mystery of the Mexican Chain Letter

The Mystery of the Mexican Chain Letter

I live in very close proximity to both a Mexican and an Italian catholic church (neither of which has adequate parking), so oftentimes after a weekend of leaving my car parked on the street amongst the overflow congregation parking, I will return on Monday morning to find an assortment of strange fliers stuck under my windshield wipers. But while I often don't give these bits of paper a second thought, I certainly had to take notice when this letter made an appearance one recent weekend.

I was halfway to work when I noticed what seemed to be a sheet of notebook paper with a handwritten note flapping in the breeze, tucked under the passenger-side wiper. Once I had a chance to examine the letter, I saw that it was merely a photocopied note, but the fact that a penny was taped to the corner still had me intrigued. Was it a present? My very own lucky penny?

Some quick deciphering in my very rusty Spanish soon showed that it was a chain letter, apparently asking me to make 50 copies of this letter and give it to 50 different people. But I'm not even sure I know 50 different people, and doesn't taping all of those pennies on just seem like an awful lot of work? Do you think I could just make two copies, tape a quarter to each and call it a day?

Hmmmm. Further investigation leads me to believe that perhaps I might get to be the president of Brazil or a priest in California if I do this correctly, but do I really want either of those things? And, clearly, my Spanish sucks so I really don't know what I'd be getting either way.

It's been nearly 10 days since I received my letter, so my time is nearly up. So instead of merely giving the letter to 50 people, I am posting it here, for all of you. (Although I'm probably breaking the rules by not giving you each a penny.)

I don't know what this letter means, but if you do, please leave a comment or email editorial@westword.com with information on the meaning and origins of this mysterious letter. In the meantime, I'll be waiting to see if my luck is about to change -- for better or worse.

-- Aubrey Shoe

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