Weekly Shorts

The Title of This Story is…

Reply To All

by Mike Crompton

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Shelley wasn’t very computer savvy. She had left school at the earliest possible moment and entered the work force to start earning her living. As a result, she had missed some of her formal education, but was by no means lacking in common sense and certainly had lots of street smarts.

Just before Christmas on her work computer, the only computer she had access to, she received an E-mail wishing her a very Merry Christmas. It had been sent to her, along with a list of twenty or so others, from a very good friend of hers.

Wanting to thank her friend and pass on best wishes too, she typed in her thanks, greetings and her name then hit ‘Reply to all’.

Her friend received her E-mail along with twenty odd other people who wondered who the heck Shelley was.

That is how the repercussions that Shelley was sublimely unaware of began.

One of the recipients was actually a good friend of Shelley, so she immediately sent an E-mail thanking her for the greeting. Shelley, a bit confused, replied that she hadn’t actually sent any greetings and wondered why she was being thanked. The friend now wanted to know why, as a best friend, she hadn’t been sent a greeting. She was quite upset at being ignored, when twenty odd other people had received Christmas Greetings. A series of misunderstandings followed resulting in a complete break-up of the friendship. They haven’t spoken since.

Mary got the E-mail and immediately demanded to know from her husband Frank who this Shelley was. She had long suspected that her husband was having an affair and this E-mail confirmed it. Of course, Frank hotly denied any knowledge of Shelley or the E-mail and accused Mary of being pathologically jealous, as usual. He declared that he was sick and tired of Mary’s constant accusations. Charges and counter charges continued for several days, culminating in both spouses declaring they wanted a divorce. Several months and many thousands of dollars later their wishes were granted. Frank lost almost everything and was last heard of living on the street. Mary was busy accusing her new beau of cheating.

Tom too got the E-mail and greeting. He thought that his old flame, who was on the list, wanted to get back together so he sent an amorous, very sexy reply. It isn’t hard to imagine the response from his old flame’s husband. Tom was dragged into court, charged with stalking, ordered to pay a five thousand dollar fine and was handed a restraining order. He has now had his wages garnisheed to pay the fine and is living pay cheque to pay cheque. His present girlfriend, quite naturally, has abandoned him after learning about the sexy E-mail he sent.

Another of the recipients was a Canada Revenue Agent. He recognized one of the names and noted the E-mail address on the list. That person was wanted for tax evasion and CRA had being trying to locate him for years. Now they had his E-mail address and they quickly pounced. Edward, the tax fraud was given the option of paying off the $750,000 back-tax due or going to jail for 5 years. The last that was heard of Edward was that he was arrested trying to slip into the States.

The good news is that many of the recipients just ignored the E-mail, wondering if it was some new kind of scam or just a simple error. All of them however wanted to shout loud and clear,

“Hit ‘Reply to sender’, NOT ‘Reply to all”