Spam is the transmission of unsolicited messages to e-mail accounts, Internet forums, cell phones, instant messaging systems, and video sharing sites. These ubiquitous messages bombard us daily and can bring mild amusement or major annoyance.
They entice with promises of wealth, employment, romance, or sexual enhancement but rarely deliver the intended results. While some are harmless, many are scams meant to trick readers into sending money or financial information. Still others contain worms that allow a spammer access to a user’s personal computer. It’s no surprise that bloggers turn to the Web to seek or offer advice and to vent their frustration over the constant threat spam poses to their computers and cell phones.
Though spam filters exist and a few spammers have been identified and held accountable for their mass mailings, legislation to ban or monitor spam varies from state to state and is often difficult to enforce. Spammers have also become increasingly savvy to the techniques used to block or suss them out. Spam levels are on the rise, and such messages will likely continue their assault on electronic forms of communication for some time to come.
I never cease to be amazed at the level of stupidity displayed in spam – the unsolicited email, not the tasty food product made from animal intestines and brains.
Here’s one I recieved recently with the subject heading, “Failing FDA Trials Is Not The End”.
Shouldn’t it be, though? We can bemoan the inefficiency of the federal bureaucracy until we’re blue in the face, but when it comes to drug testing, I want them to be thorough and the tests rigorous. I don’t care if they have to inject those drugs into the testicles of a hundred lab monkeys or spray it into the eyes of cute little bunny rabbits, I want it thoroughly tested before I swallow it!
As far as I’m concerned, yes, failing FDA trials is the end.
I got another email last fall asking for my support to ban cockfighting in Oklahoma.
Jesus, where to start with that… ?
Well, first of all, I don’t live in Oklahoma. I couldn’t care less, if it’s perfectly legal to put two chickens in the ring and let them gouge each others eye out. As far as I’m concerned, they could be jamming icecubes and strawberries down the gullet of a chicken and shake the hell out of it until it shits strawberry snowcones.
I don’t live there. I don’t care.
The good news is that the ban was passed on November 5th of last year. The Oklahoma Coalition Agianst Cockfighting has a website which states, “[T]he voters of Oklahoma overwhelming approved State Question 687 to outlaw cockfighting, with 56.2 percent voting ‘yes’ and 43.8 percent voting ‘no.’
I dunno that I’d call a 12.4% margin “overwhelming”. Apparently there are still quite a few sodbusters out there who think cockfighting is an acceptable family pasttime.
And if that was State Question 687, what was Question 686?
“Should gunfights in Tulsa be held at high noon on Main Street or in the nearest saloon?”
Oklahoma! Leading the way in bringing a world-wide moratorium on cockfighting. Next on the agenda is to put a stop to the reprehensible sports of Lebanese mouse racing and German cockroach sword fighting.
Lately, however, most of my email has been in regards to penis enlargement drugs. A couple of days ago, I had one in my mailbox which stated, “MEN! 67% of women want a larger penis!”
When I first read it, I thought, “Christ, we gave them the right to vote, they can own property, and now they want a bigger dick. Nag nag nag! It’s like they’re never satisfied.”
Which is probably why they want a bigger pecker to play with. Or maybe the problem isn’t that men have tiny dicks, but that women have wide vaginas? Why can’t they make a drug to fix that?
Later I was thinking, hmm, did they mean these women want their men to have a larger dork or they, the women, wouldn’t mind having a big dick of their own? You sometimes have to wonder about the lead levels in the bloodstreams of the people who compose these ridiculous emails.
Then there’s all that email I get from Africa.
“Greetings & Strict Confidence Required!”
That’s how they start out. I don’t know anyone in Africa.
They always have some hard luck story about how they’re the wife/son/daughter of some crooked politician in some shithole country over there and they’re trying to embezzle a couple hundred million dollars out of the country before a noose is put around their neck. That’s why they need your help.
Do they even have paper money over there? I thought I saw a show on PBS about how they’re still using clam shells and leopard pelts as currency.
Well, these folks always want me to set up a bank account here for them so they can electronically transfer the “money” to this country. And, for my effort, they’ll give me a 25% cut in the deal.
I always write back saying I’d be happy to help them drain their country’s bankroll, but it’s much safer to do it via Western Union, seeing as how my bank would be a bit suspicious if one day I’m depositing $358 and the next I dump $18,200,000 into savings. How the hell do you explain that?
“Oh uh… yeah, my wife’s garden had more tomatoes and zucchini than we could eat, so we set up a vegetable stand.”
How about when you go to remove yourself from some company’s spam list and they say, “Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience. You will be recieving a confirmation email stating that you have been removed.”
Great. In order to eliminate their spam, I have to let them take a parting shot. It’s their way of saying, “Screw you, pal!” as you walk out the door of their shop.
And you can enter your email address all you like on their removal page, but that “Click Here To Be Permanently Removed” button is no different than the light button at a crosswalk: it’s strictly for cosmetic purposes.
“Thank you” – as if I did them a big favor. And “Sorry for any inconvenience” – as if they thought for sure I was the kind of person who would be interested in refinancing my home with some fly-by-night company via the Internet, or was big into online gambling, or had a real strong need to see naked college girls on their webcams.
Well, ok… the college girls.
Other idiot-oriented email I get are all those get-rich-quick schemes.
“Make $25,000 in 90 days from HOME!”
You know what? If that shit worked, everyone would be doing it. But, just like Amway, there’s always some hitch they don’t tell you about. Like how you’ll have to embarrass and humilate yourself and your family by suckering your friends to come over for dinner and coffee.
Out comes the dry erase board with the circles, squares, and pyramids on it and a half dozen of your closest friends instantly become your bitter enemies.
No thanks. I’ll do like Ben Franklin said – if you want to double your money, fold it in half.
I’ll be honest, the only spam I take time to look at these days are the ones saying, “Lonely housewives are HOT and HORNY and waiting for YOU!”