Saying goodbye to spam
Vail CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Here’s something I never thought I’d hear myself say … I miss Spam.
Yes, after years of complaining about it and diligently training my Spam-killing and filtering software to expertly recognize and whisk away annoying junk e-mail before I even have to look at it, I now find myself feeling a bit nostalgic for it.
I know, I know … this makes no sense. It’s akin to FINALLY getting rid of your migraine and then longing for those quiet evenings by the fire, feeling like your head has been used for splitting the firewood.
These days the only emails that make it through to my actual in-box are either work-related or from friends and family ” people with names like Smith and Williams. No more emails from people named “Fixity V. Vulture” and “Queueing H.
Unseasoned.” The email subjects are all “Hi” or “RE:Hi” or “Where’s this week’s column?!” No more “Get Paid To Eat And Shop” or “L@@K:Low Cost Term Life Insurance” or “u r stupid dumbass if u pay retail pri-ce for softwares.”
And the messages themselves are always the same old boring, “Barry, your column is late! And it had better not be another column about Spam, either!” God, how I yearn to once again open an email and read, “expectorate consider cluj omnipresent exeter stopgap bereft stiffen captious composite decelerate blackstone senora look feb floodlit superlunary cobblestone dacca response bridget peck noble grapevine cricket dampen electret congo.”
But no. No more offers to enlarge my penis, save me mortgage costs, open Nigerian bank accounts, grow my hair or collect my lottery winnings.
Because as annoying as these invasions were, I always found a bit of poetry in them. And, believe it or not, I’ve actually prepared for this day. I’ve spent the last few Spam-filled years setting aside some of my favorites, so that on a (virtual) rainy day like this I can pull them out and get all misty over bygone days.
C’mon, pull up a seat by the fire with me. Let’s relive some of our favorite Spams. And you can put the axe down, the firewood splitting is all done. No, really ” I’d feel better if you put it down … we’re going to look at old Spam. Seriously, you don’t need the axe.
Put. It. Down.
Subject Line: “Get Free shipping! Curn like a porno star!”
[We all know how porno stars are when it comes to curning, right? For those of you who don’t know ” they are awesome. And we all know how clever the human mind is when it comes to figuring out that an “r” right next to a “n” looks like a single “m.” That is, it looks like an “m” to the human eye, but it totally fools the computer Spam protection software. This is why humans will always be better than computers. This is why we will win the Robot Wars. And, as if that wasn’t good enough news … free shipping!]
Subject Line: “Self Stirring Mugs for Nothing with Gourmet Coffee”
[Thank God! A self-stirring mug! Finally! See what I said about humans triumphing? I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have time to sit around stirring the contents (gourmet coffee, usually) of my mug. I’m far too busy filling out questionnaires …]
Subject Line: “FILL OUT QUESTIONNAIRES AND BE PAID!”
[This is my dream job, because in the “name” section I draw from my collection of favorite Spam-sender names, like “Thompson J. Rosiness,” “Efficacious Q. Fidget” and “Hairdressing H. Golfer.”]
Subject Line: “Stop emails like this one …”
[Let me get this straight ” you’re going to use an advertising method to sell me a product, a product whose function is to make me impervious to your chosen advertising method! I’m sorry, but that’s the coolest thing I’ve ever heard.]
All-Time Favorite Subject Line: “A Unique Valentine and a delicious alternative to chicken.”
[I don’t remember what this e-mail was selling me … some sort of pork-based, heart-shaped chocolate, maybe? All I know is that, in the history of the English language, the above combination of words have never, ever been arranged in that order before. I’m convinced that “A Unique Valentine and a delicious alternative to chicken” may very well be the most beautiful sentence ever created. This is truth, not just my personal bias, either. I love chicken.]
Next time: Barry replays some of his favorite phone messages. Visit him at http://www.barrysmith.com.
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