I've noticed something about old people. Give an old person a device connected to an email account, and they will magically begin forwarding chain letters. I call this phenomenon, the Old People Email Forwarding Network™. My grandpa is a member.

My grandpa strongly believes everyone in our family needs to know about all the stupid shit his old people friends send him that they probably forwarded from 83 other old people.

I have a gmail filter that automatically marks his forwarded emails as read. Occasionally he changes something that sneaks a forward past the filter. I've had to tweak my filter a couple times this week from these variations.

I've told him check Snopes.com to see if it's real or just another BS chain letter. I thought this would slow down his forwarding pace, but all he did was forward more shit and say, "I checked on Snopes.com, this is REAL!" when forwarding.

When he asks me if I saw some email he sent me, I tell him if I missed it, it was because he forwards so much stuff I can't tell if an email from him is actually just sent to me. He usually expresses shock that I don't read every single forward.


My grandpa has even "forwarded" me entire books he thinks I need to read. I've randomly received packages with Alan Greenspan's autobiography and The Travels of a T-Shirt In The Global Economy. He just went on Amazon and was like, "Mike needs to read this" and sent the books to me. Not as a birthday or Hanukkah present. Totally unanounced.

At this point, I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that unless I smash his computer to bits, he's going to keep forwarding this shit. He can't help himself. He wakes up, he and my grandma go down to the cafeteria in their retirement community to get some breakfast where he goes to the omelet station and orders an intentionally-undercooked Egg Beaters omelet, then hi shimmies back up to their apartment where he hops on the computer, skims through what I'm sure are hundreds of forwarded emails from all his old people buddies, carefully selects the ones he thinks are best, and forwards them to my whole family.

At least he's not nagging me to make some great grand babies, or guilt-tripping me for not showing up to his 90th bday party that I actually did show up to.