A popular e-mail that has been circulating the internet for the past several years alerts you to the fact that July is a very special month which has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays consecutively and that this is something that happens only once in 823 years.

There is a picture of the calendar month and the wording reads: “This year, July, has five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays. This happens once every 823 years. This is called money bags. So, forward this to your friends and money will arrive within four days. Based on Chinese Feng Shui. The one who does not forward … will be without money.”

How exciting, once every 823 years! That is amazing so we promptly forward this communiqué on to friends and family who do not ignore the instructions either and away the message goes to hundreds of other places because who is not going to forward a message that will bring you a money bag within four days.

We have forwarded our copy so now all we need do is sit and wait for the money to come rolling in.

The internet has changed our lives dramatically. Such wonderful information comes to us whether we ask for it or not, including the happening that comes only once in 823 years.

You are impressed that you will be living something that happens only every 823 years.

We decided to learn more about these money bags and put “money bags” into search on our computer. An article by Snopes.com (Rumor Has It) gives us much more information than we were looking for … it tells us that the e-mail is false.

The calendar that was sent to us is a picture of July 2011, not July 2012. We are educated to the fact that every month that has 31 days has five sets of three consecutive days, depending on which day is the first day of that month.

While there is a pattern for appearance of five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays to fall in a month, it occurs no further apart than 11 years, a far cry from 823 years.

The most depressing bit of information is that there is a “money bag” in Chinese Feng Shui, but it is an actual cloth bag that is carried by the Happiness Buddha and has nothing whatsoever to do with email forwards or the number five.

Snopes even gives directions for making a “cash attracting money bag” if you are so inclined.

It is suggested that you put your money bag where the anticipated money would be received. If it comes by mail, put the bag where you place incoming mail. If it comes online, put the bag near the computer.

Will Rogers always said that all he knew was what he read in the newspaper. Perhaps we should be more careful about what we get on our computer but still, there may be something to it.

But don’t quit your day job just yet.

While you wait for the money to come, it could be a good time to do something constructive, something that can be done in this hot weather. Find your Christmas card list and update it, keeping in mind that the latest trend seems to be to e-mail your good wishes for the holiday season.

E-mailing has advantages over standard cards. Your message can be personalized and does not require a trip to the post office. In addition to the cost of the traditional card, you will also save $45 per 100 cards in postage.

You may decide to use standard cards for some, but go with e-mail for others. You will certainly be saving money and that is a good thing, just in case the money bag gets lost in the mail.

Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at opelikaobserver@att.net