Here is the eloquent robot prose I received in response to my email yesterday to a Lebanese friend and colleague who now teaches at the American University in Beirut.
The message identifier is: 1G2Wfq-0005Ei-S6Temporary local problem. Please try later. Eventually we will give up, and when that happens, the message will be returned to you.
The subject of the message is: sorrow and concern
The date of the message is: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 13:14:25 -0400
The following address(es) have not yet been delivered:
Delay reason: SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO:
: host mx1.aub.edu.lb [22.214.171.124]: 451 Temporary local problem - please try later
No action is required on your part. Delivery attempts will continue for some time, and this warning may be repeated at intervals if the message remains undelivered. Eventually the mail delivery software will give up, and when that happens, the message will be returned to you.
I don't care what Revere or Majikthise say in their Sunday Sermonettes about my quaint traditions. In such times, my family and I pray for peace.
Update. My friend and his wife and children are safely out of the country. He writes, "The situation is all so sad and surreal. Most AUB people I know have been evacuated. Many of those remaining behind are joining relief efforts.... I hope and pray that sanity prevails soon..."