SPAM for the ages |

SPAM for the ages

Barry Smith

I stopped in a little coffee shop recently and noticed, there on the wall, a framed Greyhound Bus schedule.I studied it carefully, as people tend to do with things that are enclosed in a frame. It was a schedule from Glendale, Calif. in 1954. That’s it.It wasn’t signed by anyone famous, there was no Marilyn Monroe lipstick print on it, and as far as I know there was nothing of any historical significance that happened at the Glendale bus depot in 1954. Or ever. And the coffee shop that was displaying it wasn’t called &quotThe Depot&quot or anything bus related. It was just a 50-year-old bus schedule, framed, hung above the cream and sugar station.But as a piece of art, it worked. I mean, here is something that, in itsday, was totally mundane, probably even (to the guy in charge of sweeping up the depot each night) a nuisance. But add a nice little frame, and 50 years, and you’ve got some art.I now receive just over 100 pieces of SPAM e-mail a day. I have to skim the titles of them, because buried somewhere in there may be an e-mail from someone I actually know.As I skim each day’s list, with its offerings of penis enhancements and embroidered patriotic accessories, some of them really leap out at me, like &quotMake Computers From Scratch&quot or &quotRub and Grow 100% GUARANTEED BREAST ENHANCEMENT!&quot These, like the antique bus schedule, strike me as poetic.I pluck the good SPAMs and store them in a folder, and then on days like today I share them, along with my comments, with you … because I know we have similar artistic sensibilities.So, read on, and enjoy the poetry of the mundane. Or, better yet, wait 50 years and THEN read on, and then you’ll see that I was right:SUBJECT: &quotYou’re Loan Approval…&quot[Not only am I excited about the approval for a loan that I didn’t apply for, but I’m glad to know that the person approving it doesn’t know the difference between &quotyour&quot and &quotyou’re.&quot Maybe, when the time comes, they’ll be equally puzzled by the word &quotforeclosure.&quot]SUBJECT: &quotWant to Feel 100 Years Younger?&quot[I understand the necessity of hyperbole in Internet advertising, but the thought of being a drop of seminal fluid residing deep within my great-great grandfather just doesn’t grab me. Get back to me when I’m 119, ’cause I don’t want to feel like I did in high school, either.]SUBJECT: &quotRe: Shemales&quot[I eagerly opened this SPAM thinking it was a recipe for &quotshe MA lees,&quot a Mexican entree (obviously a close cousin of the tamale) that I’d never heard of. I was pretty wrong.]SUBJECT: &quotThe Best ANTI-SPAM Software For You, Barry!&quot[This is beautiful – a piece of SPAM offering me anti-SPAM software. If it really worked, wouldn’t they be putting themselves out of business? Whoa…that’s pretty heavy. This must make for quite an existential dilemma in the SPAMMER community, and I’m sure they discuss it passionately at their monthly SPAMMER picnics.]SUBJECT: &quotBarry, Fing a Partner for good sex&quot[I don’t pretend to understand the mind of the SPAMMER, but it seems like if I was about to send out 5 million copies of an e-mail, I’d at least make sure I spelled &quotfind&quot correctly. Either that, or there’s a sexual act known as &quotfinging&quot that I’m not hip to. Sadly, I’ve never finged, nor have I ever, to my knowledge, been fung,so it could be that the spelling is in order, and I’m the one missing out.]SUBJECT: &quotSay goodbye to your rubber hose TODAY&quot[Despite the wonderful double-entendre possibilities in this one, I’m sad to say that it’s merely a SPAM for some new-fangled garden hose. Still, it’d look good in a frame.]SUBJECT: &quotHanging Low Yet?&quot[This is your run-of-the-mill penile enlargement ad, but it’s noteworthy because of the name of the sender, &quotMohamed Puckett.&quot If the Islamic world had a Country-Western singing sensation, he would be called Mohamed Puckett.]Barry Smith, an Aspen-based freelance writer, moves his lips while writing this column, and hopes you do the same while reading it. E-mail him at or visit his Web page at

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