I hadn't heard from him since he wanted me to help him do PR for a friend who was opening a business, but hooray, I just got an email titled "Your Water."
I thought it might be something political - a local water conservation measure or something, so I opened it and found:
As you may know, my wife, "Mary" (name changed to protect the guilty) is recovering from breast cancer,
and after much due diligence, we've discovered a simple way to give
her the best odds of never getting sick again.
Please share this with anyone who could use the info-
LINK TO SITE ABOUT WATER PURIFICATIONS SYSTEMS HE IS SELLING
Name of Loser Friend
At first I was furious. How dare he use his wife's breast cancer to shill for his latest crappy multi-level marketing scheme?
But then I calmed down and decided to do what I do best: ignore the email and mock him mercilessly on the Internet. I feel better now.
Edited to add: I decided to do something about it. I figured our friendship was over anyway, but I wanted him to know how appalled I was. I emailed him -
Dear [Loser Friend],
I think it is pretty disturbing that you use your wife's breast cancer as an
excuse to shill for water purification systems.
I always loved you, thought you were such a funny, insightful human, but it
seems like the only time you ever contact me is when you want something from
me. That hurts.
I forgot what it was that you sent to me, and I wrote back saying "Let's
make dinner plans" and I didn't hear one word from you, and that hurt, too.
I just wanted to let you know how I feel.
Take care, and I hope [Wife Name] is in good health.
He wrote back a couple hours later:
Sorry you were disturbed. We've been pretty disturbed as well.
The note was meant to turn a few of our friends on to something
new that we'd never even heard about before.
I'll make sure not to disturb you in the future.
I thought it was interesting that he didn't defend his practice of only contacting me when he needed something. But there you go. Thus endeth 25 years.