8/17/06

Spam With a Garnish

I get a lot of junk mail in my inbox. A lot. I'm not sure why, and I have all the filters in place, but to be honest with you I don't even mind it so much anymore. In fact I kind of like it.

Sure it's a little insulting to have every Tom, Dick and Alvaro commenting on my investment skills, wristwatch choices and sexual prowess. And yeah, I do get a little let down when I receive a new message and think it's a charming lovenote from the Mrs. or some interesting insight from a trusted pal, only to discover it's just "Local Hotties Wanting To Hook Up" again.

But you have to admit they're crafty. They know that I know that they're dirty spammers, and they know that my valiant Apple Mail program will prescreen all incoming messages to see if they're useful treasures or worthless "R O LIX" offers. So they go to the trouble of disguising their subject lines to look as much as possible like legitimate correspondence.

Fake names, fake content, random gibberish pasted into the end of the sales pitch -- they've thought of everything. But do they know, I ask you, in their crafty little spammer schemes, that I enjoy it? No! They do not. This is my secret revenge.

The other day, when my affection for unsolicited come-ons first occurred to me, I started keeping track of my spam. And this morning I lined it all up to see if there's a pattern. My findings:



- Spammers have way more interesting names than normal folks. "Laverne Champagne"? "Linwood Rushing"? "Margarita Sharp"? These aren't people; they're characters from a crime novel! Or perhaps a porn film. Maybe a porn film about criminals.

- They try to win you over with friendly nicknames. "Your money, olive-clad" was particularly enticing. Really, I don't mind someone calling me olive-clad at all. I like envisioning myself clad in olives. I think it would be quite fetching.

- If you don't respond, though, their characterizations get progressively more hostile. The next day they're calling you an oyster fork, then accusing you of having wide streets or a weak chin, and on to nonsensical jabs like "large baptismal." Let's just get this straight, Jodie Belanger: nobody, but NOBODY, calls Colin Dullaghan a large baptismal. I'm a moderate-sized washbasin at most.

- Eventually they'll get frustrated and just put "HEY" in all caps, or issue vague warnings like "You better read this."

- If you actually do read any of these messages, you'll find an assortment of questionable or useless schemes, either encoded by illiterates ("stoockss wee proofile sshow aa significannt increease iin sttock priice") or followed by outright nonsense. ("refrain guilt Case Kingpin Caught EMail sneak fall SHARK. Green Bays Favre Faith innertube ANIMATE THISHot...")

Personally, I prefer the nonsense.

Some of it's kind of poetic: I got "direction of the bundle of rags on the stony hillside" on the end of someone trying to sell me a $325,000 mortgage, for instance. (Occasionally it's frustratingly incomplete. Jaclyn Sandoval's offer of a better life ended thusly: "You fool, you, Burbridge, Redrick thought. You're clever, but you're a")

A what? What the heck is Burbidge? A clever... oyster drill, perhaps?

Overall, I have to say I'm satisfied with my daily serving of spam. It's easily worth what I paid for it, and as long as they have to keep coming up with new ways to dodge my junk mail filters, there's always enough seasoning to make it palatable.

3 comments:

penelope said...

I *finally* had a spare moment to read this and laughed hard! Thank you for making me laugh! hee

Anonymous said...

You know how I have been tricked by the spammers! Two times I thought I got an email from Penelope but it was not! They were giving me trader tips. Bastards.

- amanda

Danielle said...

Oh yes, the names of these characters are glorious. My personal favourite? Pouncing D. Fluffiest. It's sublime, isn't it?