Humpday Haiku #15

If you call me past 9pm these days

“Sorry, can’t talk. My
demons are coming over
to play some mind games.”

An Open Letter from the Nigerian Prince

August 3, 2020 | Somewhere in Nigeria

Fellow global citizens,

You may be wondering why you haven’t heard from me in a while. Rest assured, I have a story to tell you – one of hope and dreams and longing and ambition.

I’d like to begin by clearing the air. There seem to be other scammers mimicking my style when it comes to requesting large sums of money these days (looking at you, Syrian Banker), but I, The Nigerian Prince who started it all, have stepped back from the forays of the Internet.

Here’s what happened.

About 30 years ago, when email was becoming a ‘thing,’ I was a mere schoolboy on the precipice of graduation. My family sat around the dinner table one night and, after a hearty meal followed by rounds of political debate, my parents asked, “Prince, child, what will you do for a living?”

I told them I’d like to write emails. They laughed and said there was no money in that.

“My parents asked, ‘Prince, child, what will you do for a living?’ I told them I’d like to write emails. They laughed and said there was no money in that.”

So, I set out to prove them wrong. I set up countless email accounts and wove stories of my fortune being held hostage to war, corruption, and political unrest. I humbly, urgently cajoled you into sending me your bank account number so that you could help me move my money out of the country, with the promise of generous pay. And you did.

We had a relationship, you and I. I was a perpetual victim and you were looking for someone to save (and profit from). My English wasn’t the best, but I enjoyed the flourish of greetings like “Compliments of the season” and “Pardon the abruptness of this letter” and “Get back to me Urgently!” I became addicted to the pretenses of being a business executive, a barrister, a royal with a better backstory, and the quick acceptance of lies like “This transaction is 100% risk free.” I targeted your naiveté in hopes of erasing my own. And your millions of dollars became my millions.

It was extremely fun – until my scam was revealed.

I don’t need to say much about my fall from grace other than, well, I fell.

My peers urged me to lay low. I began journaling and took an English course, an excellent investment that spared me from relying on Google Translate. The more I read the news, the clearer it became that most of you found me funny (pitiful, even) – just like my parents did when I said I wanted to write emails.

Anyway, that’s in the past. I’m married now, with 3 children of my own. Thanks to you, they attended excellent private schools. I’m also wiser now, and it’s clear that my actions all those years ago were foolish.

But there’s a silver lining.

“Looking back at those thousands of emails, it turns out what I loved most was the writing. I, The Nigerian Prince, was born a storyteller.”

Looking back at those thousands of emails, it turns out what I loved most was the writing. I, The Nigerian Prince, was born a storyteller. That’s why I’m excited to tell you I’ve been accepted to a graduate writing program in Los Angeles! If I accept, my family and I will need to relocate to the United States and I will finally – finally – pursue my dream of becoming a novelist.

That’s where you come in. I hope you can contribute a few dollars towards my continued education; in return, I will give you a small percentage of the royalties from what will soon be (let’s face it) a bestselling memoir of my life.

After all, what is life if we are not pursuing our dreams?

If you’d like to support mine, please Venmo me @NigerianPrince4Ever.


The Nigerian Prince


Humpday Haiku #14

The allure of zen in a 400-piece puzzle

Everything I need
is right in front of me. Wait,
I’m missing a piece.

The Planner

July 20, 2020 | New York, NY

For the first time in months, she reached into her desk drawer and pulled out her gold 2020 planner. She cracked it open and breathed in. It smelled new, filled with possibility for the year ahead. The year that she was going to get bangs.

It was right there in her last entry: “March 12, 2020: Get bangs.”

She’d sensed deep down that bangs would change her life. Perhaps (along with hiding some persistent acne), a sheet of hair against her forehead would make her feel young again, glowing with innocence, untethered to a life of daily minutiae. The only thing between the present moment and the woman she was meant to become was a good fringe.

She was pretty sure.

She’d never believed in conspiracies, but it was kind of strange that in the same week her life was supposed to change, a global pandemic hit. It felt a little too specific that they closed down all the salons and hordes of online articles warned women, “Do NOT cut your own bangs at home.” That we’d entered a time of major civil unrest and possibly the worst economy since the Great Depression – a period for which, she thought wistfully, bangs would have looked great.

She sighed – then opened her computer, made a donation to a trending charity, took a screenshot, posted it on her page, and went on with her day.

Maybe she’d have to wait until 2021 to change her life.




Years from now, when far more advanced (and reasonably governed) humans study how we adapted to our abrupt new circumstances, they’ll notice we ate a whole lot more cereal.

Here at General Mills, we want to say, Thanks for that.

We know that when you’re digging through your cupboard in the wee hours of the night, you’re looking not just for food, but comfort – the kind that comes in a cardboard box filled with tiny grains reminiscent of a simpler time. And in the mornings, when you can’t tear your eyes away from the news, we know you just need a healthy standby that includes sugar in a fun, colorful way.

While we can’t take your troubles away, we can help you stuff them deep down in your stomach. That’s why we’re introducing WorriosTM.

Our newest cereal is for those of you worried about morning meetings being scheduled as you brush your teeth; unsure whether your pilot for “Friends, but on a cruise” will ever get picked up; stressed about your 2020 plans being delayed by a year (or two or three), having a less than desirable employment status, and other such things.

From the people who brought you Cheerios, here’s a cereal that’s truer to life. We’re not feeling so cheery these days. So, don’t worry – well actually, go ahead and worry with Worrios.

From the people who brought you Cheerios, here’s a cereal that’s truer to life. Each box of Worrios is filled with pulverized oats in the shape of an ‘O’ – or as we like to call it, a Woe.

Each box of Worrios is filled with pulverized oats in the shape of an ‘O’ – or as we like to call it, a Woe. Start by pouring some Worrios into a bowl of milk. Now, look into the bowl and face your Woes. If you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and dip your nose in your Woes. The first step towards making an annoyance go away is facing it.

Did that? Great! Now, sit with your Woes. Stir them around a little. You have ten minutes to reflect on them before they get soggy. (Unlike Cheerios, for which Time Until Soggy = 9 minutes, we’ve added an extra minute for you to stare at your bowl in melancholy.) When you feel ready, go ahead and eat your Woes.

Just like that, you’ll see your Woes be gone*. Do this as many times as you need until you feel better. Let (y)our Woes empower you.

(*Our nutritional breakfast may not literally obliterate your worries. But you will be well-fed for a few hours.)

Our tasty, toasty Woes of oats are chock-full of Vitamin B1 (more than corn, rice, and wheat!). Like their sister cereal, they’re grainy and savory – just how we know you love them – and come in multiple flavors: Original, Honey Nut, Fruity, Chocolate, Blueberry, and Banana. They may also help you lower your cholesterol, but we’re not allowed to say that anymore.

Anyway, is there anything more American than eating your emotions? At General Mills, we’re proud of making the food the world needs. What we eat should reflect who we are – and we’re worried.

Eat your woes with Worrios.

Disclaimer: These United Scrapes receives compensation every time a reader buys an imagined, yet necessary, product featured on this site.


Humpday Haiku #13

Love in the age of quarantine, Pt.II

You know you’re soulmates
because he uttered the words,
“I Swiffered the floor.”

Humpday Haiku #12

Love in the age of quarantine

Loud and passionate
arguments over the risks
of taking a stroll.