Reader Appreciation Week

Page 1, 2, 3, 4 
Friday, January 17, 2003  

Hi there Rob ?? Hope that is your name !
My name is Janis and I am writing to you from Australia. I answered an ad in the local paper which read : "A genuine Home Based Business. Work smarter not harder. At least get the facts. Call 1800 002 455 or ". I chose the website. 
It is called Average to Fortune which was registered in Australia on the 5th June 2002. No matter how hard I searched I couldn't find out anything else about it. I chose to spend $49 to get a decision package. 

I was sent a cd rom that had a user identifier number and a password that had to be entered before I could view it. There was a 45 minute video containing success stories. Next was an audio package about, you guessed, it success stories. Then there was a decision Package Manual 27 pages to read !! Finally, a paragraph that caught my eye "Our parent company has a rock solid foundation. Now in business since 1980 there are over 30 million satisfied customers in more than 50 countries producing over A$2 billion in annual sales!! and the mention of health & nutrition. So I guessed that it was selling health products but still no mention of who the parent company was. The man that sent me the package had set up an appointment time to phone me after I had reviewed the material.

Well I asked who the parent company was & he told me Herbalife.... but you already knew that Rob didn't you.

For the price of $399 I would receive the following:
An international distributor package.
A months supply of herbalife products.
Herbalife distributor application, business licence for 54 countries.
Average to Fortune business skills manual.
Herbalife video, nutriton primer, 2 points of view from a Doctor and a distributor.
5 multimedia CD's like the one I had first received.

That would take a week to get here so in the meantime he would give me the rest of the code to unlock the rest of the CD he had already sent me. I was to study the 800 plan ?? Study the supervisor position and call the "getting started training phone number 02 85772700 24hrs day 7 days a week".

I asked how the $399 was broken down $92 Herbalife, $61 marketing materials, $246 products.
I said they were making money from selling the CD and the distributor package and that it sounded like pyramid selling and was told no, pyramid selling is selling a concept, this was selling products!!!

I remained unconvinced and am $399 richer and don't begrudge the $49.

I have found other sites: and they are all the same company but I am not prepared to spend $50 on each to find out if they are herbalife. International Success Systems keeps sending me emails and they are 

Thanks for posting your letter on the website.. if I hadn't already convinced myself your letter would have.
Kind Regards
Learn to drive via Internet, still experienced drivers can learn a lot, haha...

das Internet wird mittlerweile als Medium der Fahrschulausbildung genutzt.
Aber auch alte Hasen können durchaus noch was dazulernen (hihi):

Karl-Heinz Kreiter
No Thanks to: Kenji Otto < --- please there is a story there surely?

Leonie M.

Hey Rob,
Great site. I don't have many pictures that would be worth posting for
others enjoyment, but I do have one in mind. I have a pet Chihuahua named
Rocky. He is almost 2 years old, and kicks ass. I was bored one day and
was thinking about your "How Much is Inside" adventures. Well, to sum it
up, I wrapped Rocky in aluminum foil. I didn't get any measurements, or
take any stats, but I did spend some quality time with the little guy.

Hopefully this will make your special gallery. And since you began "reader
appreciation/email showoff week" on a Wednesday, I will spend this weekend armed with my camera, ready to unload on SOMETHING. 

Nick Hagan
Dayton, OH
Reader attachment attached.

Douglas W.

Subject: It's not personal, Eddy hates almost everyone



Thank you for your article on Herbalife. I am a 25 year old stay at home 
mother. Luckily my husband is successful enough to support our young 
family. I stumbled upon your website while doing some research on work from home opportunities. Thank you for shedding light on these scams. I will not send any of these companies money.

I enjoyed your site. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

This email confirms that you have received an Auction Instant Purchase Payment

for $1.62 from michael p.

Circuit boards from Nokia cell phone after 15 seconds on "HI" in motel room microwave oven. Note extensive carbon tracking on antenna input circuit, distorted LCD screen. Phone was on, in a call, when door to oven was shut and 'cook' button pressed.

Geoff S.

Hmm, wow, not sure if it was just incidental or if you actually listened
to little ol' me, but when I sent my e-mail a while back complementing
you on your site and asking if you would remove the bgcolor modifiers
from your body tags, you did! Either way, my overbright display and my
eyes thank you!

Not sure about how you can get more participants for your idea... perhaps
seeing if putting it on Fark will work?

-Tommy T. K. P
A little e-mail for your reader appreciation/e-mail showoff week.


I was wondering if you were out of the fake money. My friend hasn't 
received his yet. Oh well.

Wet Willy
I love the site, how much is inside is awesome!


The information about ___________ on your website at is incorrect. Please remove our name and link from your website.

___________ Administration


You've been officially linked a few times from Once in the "web links" section under "when I'm bored" and a few more times on the main section of the page.

Peter Swift

Hi Rob,
You said that you'd be recognizing any submission this week. That's the 
only reason I'm sending this. But anyhoo, I was playing Bookworm on Popcap games at lunch today (well, it started at lunch anyway), and one level summary gave me this. Funny how such an innocent game can give such dirty and innuendo-laden result. Oh well. As always, great work. I look 
forward to every time I get a chance to visit your site.

Have a good one,
Ryan B.
Thank you so much for your article on Herbalife. I fell for it and ordered the package last week. I thought hey what it there to lose. I had received a "personal" email from the distributor in which I had ordered the package from and thought wow, they really want me in this company. 
Then today I saw on the news, some people who had sent away for the stuffing envelopes scam and all the hassle they had with that. I knew about that one and a couple others. So it got me to thinking and after about three hours trying to figure out what I had gotten myself into, I found your article. 
I tell you, I felt so pissed off at myself for being a sucker, and so lucky, to have not gotten myself any deeper than I already was. I know that I wouldn't have sent more money to them. But I still feel like a schmuck to have let myself send money for something I had really no information about. 
I had never heard of Herbalife, but I know that its out there cause I've seen the signs and adds about losing weight in the papers, etc. 
I called they lady in which I ordered the package from right away, and told her that I just wasn't interested and knew that it was herbalife and that I wanted my money back. She actually agreed and said that I just had to send the package back and I'd get my money. She didn't even guilt me into changing my mind. I just said that I didn't have the time to make it work, or the money to invest in it to maybe get some back. 
Thank you so much for this information. I've definitely learned a huge lesson, I just hope that others will find this out before its too late. 

Sincerely, T J
This is part of an ongoing gallery of construction paper artwork taped to the wall over our couch. This particular masterpiece is entitled "Siegfried & Roy". Past showings have included "Parrot with pirate on shoulder" and "Bluebird in blender".


Marc L.

Saturday, January 18, 2003
Good show in court.
You have about a 1 in 3 chance of walking from a cite because the cop does not show.
I have beat many tickets in court. Never let the traffic tax stand!! (and 
the accompanying insurance increases.)

Mark C.
I found your site from a link on Evany's diary ( I think I just read every page, so when you see a kajillion hits from Paris, know that it's me. I think you're hysterical and I love your California costume.
When you have a second, do take a look at my diary. I think you'll find this entry of particular interest.
I hope you like it!


Hey Rob,
Your site is the greatest, sometimes when I visit it reminds me of a time I was in Egypt and took a camel ride, but the camel was PURPLE! Crazy!!! Keep up the good work.
I am currently exploring ways to stay away from work, while maintaining the lifestyle I am accustomed to (nice apartment, clean car, drinking excursions, etc). I would appreciate any hints you can give me on how you do it.

Lance D.

Subject: Traffic court stories

I've been in twice.

The first time was when I bought a new Honda Scooter.  A big gold Cadillac hit me as I drove it home, when I was but 3 blocks from my house  (I guess it's true what they say about most accidents being close to home).  The accident was entirely his fault, as noted in the police report when the driver stupidly said, "I didn't see him."  I woke up in the hospital, and when I got out I learned I had a ticket for driving with the wrong class of license.  I went to court and on the first meeting with the "negotiator guy" I was able to successfully argue that I had just bought the scooter, would have needed the scooter to get that license, and it's now totaled and I'll never ride one again.  They just told me to leave and wiped it clean.
The second time was a highway speeding ticket, eastbound on the 1-80 split.  I was going about 70 in a 55 zone.  I took your same tactic, playing the "maybe the cop won't show" card.  Ugh, he showed up and I recognized him right away.  He began drawing a map of the highway on poster paper showing my truck and other visual evidence before the case was brought up.  The fact that a trust worthy cop with pictures was going to compete against some 25 year old guy who's sole defense was "I wasn't speeding" didn't seem to be very good odds for me, so I was allowed to change my plea to avoid the bother of fighting it, and was allowed to go to traffic court (which is a story in an of itself).
Robert B.
Hi Rob,

I know I threatened to send cannonball pictures, but I got kinda lazy and
haven't done anything with them yet. I saw that you would be posting
anything the viewing public sends you, I figured I should do it now.
So here are a few pics with my pets playing with, on or near Ida the
The reptiles are African Sulcata Tortoises. They'll get to be pretty darn
big. I'm using the cannonball as a control to gauge the growth process. They
are Tantor, Qwestor and Nestor.
The dogs like to play with it. No broken teeth yet. They are Louisiana
Catahoula Leopard Dogs. Beulah and Tallulah.

Carol DLS.
Here ya go



I just finished reading your traffic court account. Very good, and 
entertaining as always.

Two anecdotes:

I received a ticket for speeding in Half Moon Bay by one of the local 
officers. He stated I was going 76 in an undivided 50 (it was 2:00 AM). 
Not exactly slow, by any means. I showed up in court, facing 
approximately $250 in fines. The "referee" (Judge) lowered the fine by 
about $100 and gave me the option of going to traffic school (I was 
initially not allowed because of the "seriousness" of the crime). I 
either got a judge in a good mood or a very generous judge.
The second story is a little more entertaining. I was pulled over last 
night doing 80 in a 55 (I know, I know, it's a pattern) on Highway 1 
south of San Francisco.
After going through the usual license, registration, and insurance 
deal, the officer began to lecture me:
"Mr. Dove, you were going 80 until you hit the hill. At that point, you 
began going between 72 and 75. The speed limit is 55."
"Uh huh."
"Now, early today, I pulled over two cute girls for fix-it tickets. I 
should have given them tickets, but they were cute, so I let them go 
with warnings."
I was beginning to grow nervous. What could he be suggesting??
"So, Mr. Dove," the officer said, "you do deserve a ticket. However, I 
cannot issue you a fix-it ticket and you are not a cute girl, so, to 
balance the Karma in the universe, I am going to let you go with a 
warning this evening. Please keep your speed with 10 miles of the speed 
Damn, I'm good.
Keep up the good work!

Hi.  I read your article about the "free electronics" scam.  I recently obtained information from someone on how to do so.  The website is
I was wondering if you and your team could look up on this site and see what it is all about. It would be greatly appreciated if you could email me back a short summary of what happened and how everything worked.
Thank you for your time and help.
Alex Coleman
This letter might be like a flower, but a jilted, angry flower.

The picture is of my iPod, plus a little extra sticker on the back to
preserve its shiny metal ass. I know, I know, Apple people tend to be
counter-culture, but not so much anti-social counter-culture. I guess that
identifies me as a PC user.

I love the site, keep up the good work, and for the love of god don't use my
Really interesting website. Educational, too! Well done you.

Emma M.

My name is Bill Palmer, founder of Applebees. In an attempt to get our
name out to more people in the rural communities where we are not
currently located, we are offering a $50 gift certificate to anyone who
forwards this email to
9 of their friends. Just send this email to them
and you will receive an email back with a confirmation number to claim
your gift certificate.
Bill Palmer
Founder of Applebees Visit us at:

Hey guys,
It really works, I tried it and got my Gift certificate confirmation
number in 3 minutes.
Did you never ask vourself "How much pieces of toilet-paper is on one roll?
How many litres can get inside a tampon?
So try, and make me happy.
(Excuse my worse english, but i'm a german... ;) )
sincerely yours
Hi Rob.
I've been a fan of your site for some time now, but have never had anything worth emailing you about to say.
But all that has changed. Oh yes.
I've got a question about your Friendship Favours Price Sheet. A friend of mine recently did me a favour and I'm wondering what you feel its value is. You listed the job of cleaning up vomit at a price of $7, which seems very fair to me. However, my circumstances were a little different. In this particular case there was a rather large amount of vomit on the chesterfield (or perhaps you would call it a couch or loveseat?), carpet and coffee table. All of which was kindly cleaned up by my friend, with minimal complaint. How much would you say this is worth? My friend and I are very interested to know.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
The spelling of "favour" with a 'u' is intentional, in keeping with Canadian tradition. Please don't worry about putting the price in Canadian dollars though. We'll just multiply whatever you set it at bu fifty or so.


Oh, O'm sorry, but I didn't see that, because I was looking in files, that were translated into German......

So, good night.. *yawn* It`s almost midnight now. 

Bye Felix
Cockeyed IS indeed the 6th best site in the world.


Whats something Interesting? I don't know. But I figured I might as well email you something that at least my friends will get a kick out of.

Thanks for the wonderful science experiments! Because of your intellectual depth and indefatigable tenacity to discover the truth, you have made me want to follow in your glorious footsteps and become a bike repairman, no wait, that was Monty Python. What do you do exactly? Whatever it is, I want to do that when I get out of this horrid dungeon they call IB and leave my high school. Hooray for college debts!!!!

Thanks Again,

Here is an attachment. Use it well my friend.

P.S. Love the site.
Subject: Clone Army

Yishan W.

Subject: Broken Link

Craig Copelin

I just read your article on getting a ticket (and getting your case 
dismissed)...congratulations and whatnot. You might be interested in a 
traffic incident that I had somewhat recently (back in December). I ended 
up pleading guilty and paying the money...because by the time my court 
date would have come through, I would be in college and it wouldn't be 
worth a day of missed classes and 8 hours of driving. However, the funny 
thing about the ticket, is the citation in the mail stated that my charge 
was:"Driving At Safe Speed." I scanned the ticket and put it on my 
website... here's the URL:

I thought you might find that interesting. Keep up the good work on your is mighty entertaining.


I recently read your description of your trip to traffic court and I must
say that you got off easy.

I'm a former state prosecutor from Florida. We didn't handle speeding
tickets, but I've seen a few of those trials, as our lowest-level judges
handled both traffic court and misdemeanors. There are two cardinal rules
of traffic court:

1. The judge will always believe the cop over the defendant (unless the
cop is plainly a jerk in court); and
2. No judge likes a non-lawyer coming into his courtroom and acting like
he knows the law.

Legally speaking, I don't think you would've had a chance with your argument
about driving a safe speed even though the speed limit is lower than the
rest of the streets. It has to do with the separation of powers doctrine;
that is, the legislature has the power to set the speed limits (usually
through some kind of administrative agency like the DOT) and the judiciary
has little or no power to declare the speed limit on that particular road

The only way I can think of that a judge would rule your way is if you
encountered some defect in the process by which the speed limit was set.
For example, if the law calls for public hearings before a speed limit is
set and there was no public hearing for this road, the judge may be inclined
to say that the speed limit wasn't set properly.

The judge may have bought your explanation and given you a lesser fine, but
I don't think your case would've been dismissed.

Drive safe,

ahoyhoy! is definitely at the top of my list of
websites i like to browse while procrastinating. it's
even keeping me from studying right now! uh HUH. you
totally rock.

anyway, i'm very impressed by your giant papier mache
menagerie. during my senior year at berkeley, my
roommates and i constructed a giant papier mache
chicken. we don't know exactly why, but we found a
huge roll of chicken wire in the backyard and we
didn't have anything better to do. our chicken was
purple and had a chute so he could dispense beer cans.
we decided to throw a party called "homage to chicken"
which was to be our chicken's debutante party, marking
his grand entrance into society. at this party we had
an official vote on what to name our chicken. you'll
find Adonis McGee in the photo that i'm attaching. (in
this particular photo, adonis functions as a red
licorice dispenser. notice how well our friend Grant
seems to match adonis. sorry the photo quality isnt
perfect, but it's a photo of a photo.) 

unfortunately, after a few months of neglect, Adonis
wasn't quite the able-bodied young fresh chicken he
once was, so it was decided that he had to be put out
of his misery. of course, we couldn't let him go
quietly so we had another party. adonis mcgee was
dropped off the third floor balcony of our apartment
building, into the ceremonial fire pit we had dug in
the backyard. it was quite a spectacle, and i could
tell you the entire story but i'll save you all the
details because i don't want to bore you.

anyway, i thought you might appreciate this. i'm glad
there are other people out there who recognize the
potential entertainment value of papier mache animals.

there really should be more goofy/kooky like you in
the world.

I invested almost $5,000 in this company since last August, and have yet to make any money.  My "coach" and his upline went over to another "organization" within Herbalife, and I was left with a lot of expensive products I haven't been able to sell. Today I checked out ebay & found there really are hundreds of people trying to sell their Herbalife products there. Now, I've made the mistake of trying to get information about how to get at least some of my investment back by returning the products, but my upline isn't answering me.  I was in good financial shape until I believed their hype & bought a "Supervisor" package from them.  Now, I'm behind on all my bills, my credit is shot, I've had to enroll in a consumer credit counseling service, and I have no idea how the nightmare will end.  Actually, I truly believe that their products are good - though expensive.  I'm trying to find a way to sell my products at a discount, to get out of this financial hole I'm in.  If you want to use my email on your site as a warning to other would-be Herbalife distributors, please delete my name. I still haven't been able to get any sort of refund from them, and I don't want to jeopardize the slim chance I may have of doing so.  I only wish I'd seen your website before I sent them my money...

Nancy L.

hey robert,

i just visited your site after a long hiatus. the magazine ad thing
was funny. it reminded of my days shelving books at cosumnes river
college. i stumbled upon JANE'S AVIATION WEEKLY, an industry mag
specializing in jet fighters and such. so i flipped thru it and found and
ad for a company that makes missiles. the crazy thing was that the ad
was -scratch and sniff-. remember that fad? well anyway, i scratched, i
sniffed. and guess what? it smelled like phosphor. and the headline to
the ad was "I LOVE THE SMELL OF NAPALM IN THE MORNING". this is no lie. i
wondered how much that ad costs? and i wondered if they sold any missiles
due to that ad. thanx for listening. talk with you sometime in the
future. tell michael and jane i say howdy!

last of the v8,

Love your site! I see you answered a ton of questions from one person, so what's a few more right?

1. Is Cockerham really your last name? Come on ya made it up didn't ya?
2. If you could live in any other state besides California, where would it be?
3. Do you have a real job? 
4. White or wheat?
5. Gay or Straight?
6. Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?
7. Where's your favorite travel location?
8. Democrat, Republican, Independent or "I don't give a shit" party?
9. Baked, boiled or fried?
10. Parachute or Bungee Cord?

Keep the laughs coming,


I saw that you're going to display every email you get this week in a special gallery. 

So I just thought I'd mail you to say I love you, I miss you, and you're $10,000 in debt on the child support. 

Our daughter isn't going to raise herself, you know. 

Work of Fiction.

Clone #23 (or is that 25?) reporting for duty, sir! 
Just thought you could use yet another pic of
something "you" bought.

Man! The cashiers have a tough time with your name:
"Thank you Mr. Caw...Mr., uh, Coke-rum..."

Peace, dude...

--Uncle Mike
To celebrate victory, I enjoyed a big bottle of champagne on the way home.
Don't drink and drive, you might spill some.
      My name is Andrew and I am from Australia, just writing to tell ya i love the site... and make a request for maybe an Australian inspired How much is inside?... also thought i'd mention that your site made our sunday newspaper a while back, The Sunday Herald Sun.
Telephone wire, pants on fire, phantom flier tome tomb tom tom, I doubt it very seer I us lie, only kidding yourself. Own worst enemy no down payment fourth and long punctuation. Worn restore dominant fore the handle with care this I'd up. Raze or rectified walk a fine line any many mine he mow, grim reaper deep grave gripper ream peg evader, square round one, go the distance, the gist dance zero.

My mother told me green light red light, mime other toll meager enlight readily tied, cross-eyed blind-sided, don't make a face at me in your own image, I'm age a fake came tame in nigh rowen, can I thirst, water water everywhere, not a drop to drink.

Weed the horning, listen for it, mind your own damned business.

Rod revere rod revere, send him over the valley and through the woods, shadow of a doubt shout a bad foe woe, door reverse or do serve turnstile stern tile, all your base belong to us, bell along by hour seat us, ushered in, draw the curtains dim the lights.

On with these how this I sit...

Calm me

James P.

Rob --

I was at a Randalls (which I believe has the same club card system as Safeway
and Tom Thumb) recently with a friend. During checkout, he just typed in
his phone number into the point of sale terminal which was to my amazement
since I've been carrying around this waste-of-space card without ever knowing
that there was an alternative.

The next time I was there shopping on my own, I tried entering my phone number
to no avail, so I ended up swiping my card as usual. I called the number on
the back of my Randalls card, but the 800 number had been disconnected. I
visited and called the first number I could find. This was,
of course, about midnight central on a Thursday evening, so I was pretty
surprised that a woman actually answered. When I gave her my card number,
she said that it had an empty profile with no information entered at all.

This was interesting to me since I've had the card for years and never had
an issue. Regardless, she said that she could update the profile over the
phone. Naturally, I went ahead and gave her a fake address and my old phone

I passed on giving her my birthday, which was the only non-contact information
that they wanted. However, on second thought, I wonder if providing that
would allow the cash register to stop beeping when I buy alcohol? Certainly
they can't be that stupid, but then again, why would they ask for that 
information and not other demographics?

A handful of friends and I would like to support your noble effort with the
shopper card, but the issue is that the label that you generate wouldn't fit
on my Randalls card and could raise suspicion. You would need to add a phone
number to the account so that I could type that in. However, there is a
minimal (but very real) risk that a call into their customer service folks
could generate some legitimate inquiry into the spending habits on your

Before enduring such a risk, you might want to stop off at a Safeway to buy
a bottle of water or something and try typing in my old phone number
(___________) into their system to confirm my suspicion that the two stores
share a club card database.

Let me know what you think.



Continue to Sunday, January 19, 2003