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January 15th, 2000

Diet Dopes

As you may or may not know, I have a fake diet page that is an attempt at humor. I stress the word “attempt” because since I put it up a couple years ago, I’ve received more than a dozen e-mails from people that thought the page was real. This, despite the fact that one of the diet plans I offer is called the “My God I’m Friggin’ Fat Plan” and that the page features obviously fake “before and after” pictures. When I designed this page, it was simply an attempt to poke fun at so-called weight loss programs that claimed miracles but quite clearly could not deliver on their promises. The response to my page has been frightening — people have informed me that my order form wasn’t working, or that they needed more information, or they simply threatened me.

Below are quotes from actual e-mails I’ve received (spelling and grammar mistakes left in tact for effect) that are now stored affectionately in a mail folder called “Diet Dopes” (though that description is only sometimes appropriate):

  • “I have a lot of doubts about this so called plan because its impossible to lose all of your weight in about a week or so.”
  • “My name is ****, and I am trying to lose weight, and hopefully fast. I have tried many diet plans, and in truth have wasted a lot of money. Is there a way you could send me an example of the diet, to see if I like it, and hopefully I will. Then I will feel much better and more sure about wanting to, and buying your Laze diet. Thanks a lot for your help!”
  • “i would like to order this but i need to know more information, please send me more info. Like what i would recieve if i did order it. the sucess rate, how your product works, etc…”
  • “This diet sounds as a major rip off. I would love to lose 20lbs but that seems impossible in one day. You need to give me more assurance”
  • One letter came in with the subject line “what a crock of shit”. It read: “That pic of that guy who lost all that weight is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. At least try to make it look reall!!!!!! Come on –he’s sucking in his stomach–you’re a loser and a phony.” This was one of the ruder letters I’d received, so I replied back, something to the effect of “No shit, sherlock.” This fine individual later graced me with a reply: “by the way –the founder of that stupid site. is ugly or is that a joke too.” Apparently this particular user had one of those SHIFT-less keyboards.
  • “I tried to order the seven day trial of your diet plan but when I pushed submit, I was taken to a page that said that my order couldn’t be processed because the page was created using pre-HTTP/1.0 specifications and that I should contact the website’s owner. I am currently using AOL 5.0. How can I place the trial order and can you also give me a little more information on how the diet works?”
  • “do you really think anyone would be stupid enough to order such a retarded thing?? you dont have the creativity to describe this FAKE product!!!!” Oddly, my “creativity” was directly lifting descriptions of popular diet plans from their own advertising. Again, another user with a SHIFT-less keyboard.
  • “the order form is not working. please e-mail me with more information on how to get the laze’s diet!!!”
  • “You people are crazy! 100lbs. in one week?! And for $135.00. Ya Right!!! What are you going to do send people a saw to cut off the fat?!!!” This one has a special place in my heart.
  • “I think all this is a JOKE it’s impossible to lose weight like that in few time, if you lose 100 pound in one week you dead… so I want see your product I going to try this and if it’s real I pay you the in double… I want see before you don’t buy nothing before you don’t look if it’s real”
  • “I visited your page on weight loss. I’ve never heard of anyone losing 95 pounds in just seven days. What is this all about? There are people that are suffering from obesity that are in dire need of serious medical help, and you offer such results in a week! Please explain. You don’t go into detail about what you offer.”
  • “I would prefer to pay COD,or send a bank check,please specify name,address,etc.”
  • “Hi, My name is ****… I was looking through your product, and if this isn’t a fake… It seems like this really works. Usually there are a lot of fakes out there, so I see myself prolly getting ripped off, but I’m gonna trust this product.. it says I get my money back if I don’t lose the weight. I need to lose 50 pounds basically..actully.. like a hundred.. so hopefully this does end up working. I need the product that is $100 and can lose 50 in three days. I don’t know how that is literally possible.. but if it is… you are a genius.” This person actually sent me their credit card number in e-mail.
  • “you should be ashamed. what a rip off.” I replied that they should be ashamed for believing it was real, then they replied “No I am not ashamed of myself, I wonder why you would waste anyones time with something like this. We have many people with real health problem conncected with weight , so I dont see a joke connected with it. Get a life do something constructive.”
  • “I tried ordering but a msg came up that sd there was an error in the system. Please cntct per e-mail w/ any info. Also I wld like to know what it is I am ordering. since u did not gve any details. IS it a pill or special diet plan that u lose tht much wait in such little time.” is the shorthand not incredibly annoying?
  • “I have tried to order the mini plan (50 lbs in 3 days), but it says internal server error. Please get back to me @ xxxxxx@aol.com, not the address which wrote to you. Please get back to me as soon as possible, Thanks alot”
  • “I PLACED AN ORDER FOR THE 75 POUNDS IN 4 DAYS I HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS TO BELIEVE IT HOWEVER THERE WAS AN ERROR WHILE I WAS ORDERING COULD YOU PLEASE GET BACK TO ME AND LET ME KNOW WHAT HAPPENED ?”
  • “While trying to purchase your product an error screen occured @ 7:40 a.m. central time 3-14-00. I did not do anything that may have caused this error that I am aware of.” and then, the next day: “There is an error when trying to place an order on www.laze.net/diet. It is 7:30 a.m central time. I do not know why it is doing it.”
  • “dude! does that diet thing work or are you screwin’ with everybody’s heads? and if it works do people gain the weight back if they look at pizza??”
  • “WHAT IS THIS DIET AND WHY DOESNT YOUR SIGHT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT IT IS, PILLS OR LIQUID? ARE YOU LISTED WITH ANY OTHER SITES? DO YOU HAVE MORE REALISTIC LOOKING PICTURES ON YOUR SITES? WHAT CAN YOU TELL CURIOUS PEOPLE ABOUT THE DIET BEFORE GETTING THEIR MONEY?”
  • “This diet is fucking bullshit. How could anyone possibly loose 100 pounds in a week who are you trying to fool?????”
  • “Hi, I came across your site, and I would like to lose about 50lbs. Please tell me more about your product. This really sound unbelievable. How can someone lose that much weight that fast? Is it a diet? Pills? Exercise? How safe is it?”
  • “If it is possible, i would like to learn more about your diet, i am really interested but you dont have an e-mail address or no information on what you diet consists of, how it works (if it is a medication, or vitamin) or what it is exactly. So if you would be so kind & send me something to tell more about you & if there is a phone # that i can call” I got this message twice.
  • “I really wanted to order you diet plan, however there was an error every time I thried to send in the order form I realy want to lose weigt fast, and your plan seemed like the best way to do it. Please get that fixed or send me more info about what you diet plan is. (pills shakes etc..) Thanks Alot!!!” After telling her the page wasn’t real, I still got this reply: “Does you plan really work though?”
  • “Hey, my name is *** and i really need to loose weight. does your plan really work or is it a fake like all the rest?”
  • “Hi: I was thinking about those kinds of diets that you loose weight fast and have some questions for you : 1- If I stop the diet do I gain the weight that I put off? 2- what phone number should I call to return the pills if I do not loose the weight? 3-is it safe to use these kinds of pills? I need a number to contact you any time I want.And please respond as fast as possible. thank you.”
  • “i am not happy about the way i look. in one of the pictures on the web site it looks like the guy is majorly sucking in please write back telling me what ur product is and how it works.thank you.”
  • “hi!! i was submitting the application and there was an internal server error. so if you could please write back with info regarding the error id really appreciate it. p.s. im very doubty about this diet, is it true?”
  • “I just wanted to know what ingredients are in your diet plan and does it really work.I am really finding it hard to belive that you can lose 75 pounds in 4 days and not die . If you can prove to me that your product really works , i will buy it for my entire household . And one more question that I have to ask is that when you lose the weight do you gain it back double ?”
  • “i want the mini diet, but can’t order from your site everytime I try to it comes up with internal server error”
  • subject: was ordering, message: “didn’t go over”
  • “please send me more information about the diet.”
  • “I’m trying to order the Laze’s Diet system, but I haven’t been able to get thru. Please let me know how I can go around this.” included a phone number
  • “I would like more information on your diet plan and also how to order it because I had problems doing it in the net. I would appreciate it. Thanks”
  • “Hey you bunch of BIG FAT liars. How stupid do u think the public is. And u call your diet safe well let me tell u losing 125 pounds is not safe Bye u freaks” I replied back and explained it was a joke… this person replied: “HEy sorry about that. Some people can be really stupid if they buy it!!! DO u actually send them pills and keep the money.”
  • “Please can you send me more information on how your product works? thank you”
  • “Hello Ryan!!! I just heard about your diet plan, and I wanted to know if you could give me some more information about it. Do you have to take any drugs? Is it a diet? Do you have testimonias on people who have used it? Although it sound wonderful, it seems impossible to lose so much weight in such a little time. I hope you can reply to this mail soon. This system sounds like what I’ve been waiting for my whole life.” messages like this depress me
  • “take a look at this site i found laze.net they are selling weight loss 97lb in 3 days they are takeing peoples money look at the picture this is crap i have downloaded this site and forwared it to the better bussiness” I replied back something along the lines of: “Congratulations for reporting me! Too bad it’s just a joke site and they won’t do anything to me.” And then I reminded him that it was OK to use punctuation in his letters. His reply: “i work with a guy who found this site on diet.com it is also how i found it and yes he is very over weight and he like most people would like to lose some weight and he was trying to buy your diet so mabe you dont like my grammar , hey if that is the only thing you find wrong with me great. hey i dont even know why i am even brothering to send this e-mail to you mabe its because i always thought i could thak a joke but makeing fun fat people was never cup of tea”
  • “Ha!Ha! Hey, you look just like my friends exhusband.Been in Jersey?How can I get that skinny geek look too?” I replied that I was glad this person “got” the joke. The reply: “I don’t want to be mean or snotty, BUT, as a native Californian,{you can make any joke you want,I do not surf] we can always spot that especially pale look sported by vegetarians AND non-Californians.OH MY GOD!!Have a good one, **** My workout instructor does the same stomach thing to bring us to our senses if we think diet.”
  • “Could you please send me some informationa bout your diet plan. Can you really lose 50 lbs. in just 3 days!!! I tried toorder it but something is wrong with the order form. Let me know”
  • “Please get back with me. I want to try your program, and I can’t submit my order”
  • “Hi,my name is *******, I would like to place order for microplan 25lbs, 1day which is $75.00.Unfortunately i could not complete the process bacause of internet server error.So, please tell me what to do to complete my order, because i need it urgently!Please help me and get back to me as soon as possible.Thank You.If you can help me, I will thank you very very much, bacause i had tried so many diet programme, but finally failed, so please help me to succed and keep it off for long long time.”
  • “This is a joke! Noone can loose weight that fast!”
Generally, I reply back to these people letting them know, politely (as to not damage any egos) that the page is supposed to humorous. And though I’m far from a nutritionist, I let them know that except in extreme cases, diet plans that claim to help you lose weight very quickly are simply not safe. I then let them know that if they are interested in learning to eat healthy and for safer suggestions on losing weight to head over to Dr. Weil (who basically says: eat healthy, exercise, and have a good self-image no matter what you weigh). I try to be gentle about it because the page was not intended to poke fun at people trying to lose weight, but the companies taking advantage of these people.

Every so often, though, as you see above, I do feel the need to reply back with a smart ass remark. 🙂 -ram

Posted in Just Plain Odd

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