While I was visiting family in Ohio over the Memorial Day weekend, I received an email from a friend asking if I knew who Amy Livingston was. The name sounded familiar but I couldn’t quite place it with a face.
Sitting in my brother’s backyard sweating through the earliest heat wave the area had experienced in years, I kept wondering about Amy. I flipped open my laptop and turned on my cellphone hotspot that gives me Internet access wherever I go.
As I re-read the email, I noticed a Web link that offered to provide me more information about the salvation for all Mesquite stay-at-home Moms thanks to Amy’s good fortune.
Now I remembered Amy.
After clicking on the link and accessing what appeared to be a legitimate news site, imagine my surprise to find out Amy’s home was now listed as Cleveland.
Amy, Amy, what have you done? Don’t you realize no one claims to be from Cleveland? If you’re on an airplane bound for Ohio, asking the person next to you if they live in the ‘mistake by the lake’ will earn you a furrowed brow and a hard look. Oh no, they’ll say, they don’t live there, they’re just visiting. Never mind the transient nature of their stay has only lasted for 32 years.
But Amy had gone and moved from beautiful Mesquite; the diamond in the desert, where sunshine calls home (still my favorite proposal), where adventure begins, where everyday life takes a vacation, where Scotty and I came for a day and stayed for a lifetime. To Cleveland of all places. Even LeBron James didn’t want to be from Cleveland anymore and he grew up close by. I think he knew more than Amy did. Even the renown Cleveland Clinic figured out desert living just south of us was more enticing than taking showers every ten minutes as a way to stay drier than sitting out in the hot Ohio humidity.
What was that girl thinking? Now I bet if you’re surfing the Web while in Mesquite, Amy’s unbelievable success story is going to flash up on at least one Web site. She’s the girl who suffered through untold economic and financial tragedies as she tried to eke out a living in the labor troughs of our local businesses.
No way could she afford to purchase a home in the local area, especially while the housing bubble was still expanding in the late 2000s. After that bubble burst, as Amy’s sad tale on the Web says, so did any hope for Amy to ever feed her children more than bread and water on local wages.
So Amy did the only thing a sane woman could do who understands that snake oil salesmen don’t really sell snake oil. She turned to the savior of all, the Web, and miraculously found a way out of her dilemma. As the authentic-appearing news site says, she hooked up with a business that provides something to someone for some reason for just a small sum of money. Sign up today and get a big discount on the deal reserved just for Mesquite moms – or is that Cleveland moms? But hurry, because the special offer expires tomorrow, whenever tomorrow comes.
Now, how could this legitimate news site be so wrong about Amy? After all, isn’t everything you read on the Web the absolute truth? (The only one we vouch for is of course the Mesquite Citizen Journal.)
And, if Amy really had moved to Cleveland, what is she still doing in Mesquite that my friend saw her story on the Internet proclaiming she had conquered the local economic beasts? That’s the beauty of the snake oil, er, computer coding, that salesmen nowadays have at their disposal 24/7/365.
Several other MCJ readers had emailed me in recent weeks with Amy’s story of breaking the chains of financial bondage and finding salvation on the Web. I explained that perhaps the story was a fabrication or a filament of someone’s imagination. There were only a couple of legitimate jobs in Mesquite paying $10,000 a month, none of them in the newspaper business, by the way.
Amy discovered that by accessing a certain Web site and making small payments to someone for something for some reason, she would only be out small sums of money. But, if she worked hard enough and got 10,000 other stay-at-home Mesquite moms, (or is that Cleveland Moms) and maybe a few desperate retirees, and a guy who needed a few extra bucks for a new snowmobile, to buy into her scheme, er racket, er new way of selling snake oil without the oil ‘cause we’re all on diets, she too would be on her way to fame and fortune.
After I got back to where sunshine calls home and accessed the Web in my office, dang if Amy hadn’t seen the error of her ways in moving to Cleveland in the first place. True to Amy’s superhuman, uncanny ability to conquer all obstacles in her way, she had gotten the kids, the husband, the dogs and cats and a house full of furniture back to Mesquite before I did.
Apparently Cleveland’s snake oil market had dried up faster than a wet sidewalk in Mesquite in a dry heat.