Mr. Gates, my name is LaMott Johnson. By trade, I am a clinical sociologts. I presently hold a masters degree in human services, and a Phd in chemical dedendency counseling. In May 2002, I was arrested for having sex with client who wanted me to leave my girlfriend. When I refused, the client charged me with rape. After being incarcerated for seven months, the court came to the conclusion that the charge was was not true. Meanwhile I lost many possessions to include a new car and credit to the point of recently filing for bankrupcy. Yes, as a professional i am wrong for the bahavior I displyed. However, what I need now is help. will you please consider my plea? any amount will help to save my home of nine years and begin the process of getting out of this depressive hole. My God continue to bless you, your business, and family.
If you’re not in the habit of clicking through to the links for the original comment threads, here’s the one to start with. There were really too many astounding and alarming pleas to pick from, including the senior citizens about to lose their home, the requests for support for religious organizations (including a Mormon “indie record label”), the battered wife of a cop who wonders if Mr. Gates takes a stand against domestic violence, and a classic example of a muddled amateur inventor who can’t seem to decide whether he is working on hand brakes, items lost in purses, excessive sweating, dead lightbulbs, or a system which will extend the life of carbonation in a beverage.
Blog readers who comment on this thread are deeply puzzled by the amount of traffic the page gets, until someone points out in 2003 that the page is Google’s #2 hit for “philanthropist.” One hopes that the search engine has since improved.
In closing, just a friendly reminder, Internets: Mind those clauses. The court was not incarcerated for seven months. I’m not a militant grammarian anymore, but there are cases where errors actually change the factual claims of a sentence, and it’s worth being alert to these mistakes.