Date Added: June 30, 2005
Ah, few thing are more satisfying than a good mystery. Unfortunately, this chain letter is not one of them. Rather, it is a juvenile joke, the butt of which is the hundreds of people who forward it in a futile attempt to see something that doesn't exist.
There was once a boy who got a letter in the mail. He opened it and the contents of it was in French. The boy asked his mother what it was and she looked it over. She didn't understand French, so she suggested to the boy to ask the French teacher at his school.
The next day before school, the boy walked up to the French teacher and asked her to read and translate the letter. The teacher agreed and began to read the Letter. The pleasant appearance on her face turned to anger as she continued reading the letter. She looked at the boy and said, "Don't even think about coming within five miles near me or I swear I will kill you!" And with that she! sent the boy to the principal's office.
The principal was a little confused by the French teacher's reasons for sending the child to his office and asked the boy what happened. The boy explained how he gave her a note to translate and that she threw a fit. The principal nodded and asked to see the note and said that he knew French and would check out the letter. The boy reluctantly gave the letter and the principal read it. After reading the letter, the principal lowered the letter and revealed an angered face. "You're suspended. Come within five feet of this school and I swear I'll kill you!"
The boys parents were surprised to see him home early later that day. His mom asked him what happened and the boy explained what had happened. The boy's father said that he knew french and asked to read the letter and find out what could have been so bad that the boy had to be suspended.
Thinking that his father had some sense in him not to ground him or threaten him because of the letter, the boy allowed the father to read it. Suddenly, a low voice came from his dad that turned into a frightening yell, "You get out of this house now! If you come within five feet of us, I swear I'll kill you!!"
A few years later, the boy was successful in an army with several badges and many many adoring friends. One night he was asked why he ended up in the army. Th! e young man spoke of his life before he received the letter, then the effects that it had on his life. His friends in the army listened to him very intently then asked if he had the letter with him after so many years. The young man nodded and everyone asked him to let them read it. Feeling that these were his friends and that since this was all in the past, the young man thought it would be okay to read it. So he took out the letter that had ruined his life and gave it to his friends who all gathered around it and read. After they had read it, they all stripped him from his badges and awards and yelled at him for not being worthy enough to stay in the army. He was banned from the premesis and was told, "If you come within five feet of this place, we swear we'll kill you!"
The young man, feeling deprived of anything good in! life, walked along a high bridge and looked down. This was his only answer left in life. There was no longer anything he could do to make anything better and his life was torn to shreds because of that letter. Before he was about to jump, the young man saw a little kid walking across the bridge, too. "Excuse me," the young man asked the little kid. "Do you speak french by any chance?" "Of course," said the little kid. "Who doesn't?" "Well, could you please tell me what my letter says and promise not to theaten me or get angry like anyone else? This is very important and I'll even pay you to just tell me what it means and not say a word about this to anyone else. Could you please please help me?" asked the young man. The little kid smiled and nodded. "Okay."
Happy that the secret of his ruined life would be revealed, the boy eagerl! y searched for the letter in his pockets. The little kid getting quite a bit impatient hurried the young man saying that he needed to get home soon. "Oh, SHOOT!" yelled the young man. What?" asked the little kid. "I left the letter in my army camp!"
Eager to know what the letter said???
Pass this to 5 people and a sentence of the letter will be sent to you.
Pass this to 10 people and half will be sent to you.
Pass it to 15 people or more and the whole letter will be sent back to you.
It's really really bad, too! So hurry!
C'mon, admit it. The curiosity is about to kill you. What could possibly be so terrible that it could get a person sent to the principal's office, expelled, kicked out of his own home and drummed out of the Army? Only those rascally French could come up with something so terrible, right?
Wrong. What this chain letter promises - namely, that you can learn the terrible truth of the "French letter" by forwarding it to a designated number of recipients - is technologically impossible. This is just one of many variations of the time-honored e-mail tracking hoax wherein we're led to believe that a third party will somehow know how many people you forward a note to and will be able to make something happen for you in return. The current scam is similar to the Old lady in the grocery store chain letter or the riddle of what is greater than God.
Unlike those, which had a punchline even though they were unable to deliver it, this one has no apparent conclusion. The joke comes from those foolish enough to try to find out what was in that note that could ruin a man's life. It's possible that this joke plays on the fact that "French letter" is a 17th-century British slang term for a condom. Other than that little tidbit, I can find no other explanation for what the "French letter" might be. Dismiss this as a prank designed to make you look the fool. Break this chain.