Conversations with Spam

Angel.jpg

I don’t usually dignify the contents of my e-mail spam folder with more than a quick glance. And I very rarely actually open anything there (even with HTML disabled so they can’t do any mischief). But I have to admit that when I do, it’s just…wow. What’s the opposite of catharsis?

Midway through an e-mail about Vydrex or Viltrax or Vontrappe or whatever they’re calling erectile dysfunction drugs now, I got to wondering – what would it be like to actually respond to one of these?

I have no illusions that a human being would answer, of course. In fact, I’m not entirely sure humans were ever involved in these messages reaching me in the first place. They’re obviously sent out by some auto-mailing machine in batches of hundreds or thousands at a time. And as far as the contents are concerned, I don’t so much think they were written as they were the byproduct of language congealing into a thick, viscous slop from being left out in the sun too long.

Kind of like not changing the oil in a car until its innards are filled with a charred black goo not unlike overcooked marshmallows. But, you know, with more stuff about increasing your girth and stamina because that’s something ginkgo totally does.

In any case, I’m more than happy to have a one-sided conversation.

From: Free Psychic Readings <subscribers@nancyssubscription.com>

Okay. So far, so good. One thing you usually notice about spam messages is that they’re from some incomprehensible mess of letters and numbers at a domain which is more or less the same. Maybe this one’s a legitimate offer…

“Subject: Get a Free Psychic or Angel Reading Now”

This all seems pretty standard for…wait a minute. Angel reading? Why would anyone talk to a lousy physic when they could talk to a freaking angel? That’s kind of like saying, “Free Medical Checkup from a Drunken Vagrant Speaking Through a Hand Puppet…or an Actual Doctor.”

Then again, though, do angels even know the future? I mean, I’ve read the Bible and they’re pretty powerful. But I’m not sure that’s in their skillset. Like, Superman is great and all. But I’m not sure I’d want him cutting my hair.

Maybe it gets more into that and the pricing structure of a random person with tarot cards versus a resplendent celestial being later…

“Is There a Surprise in Your Future? Romance? Finance?”

In order, probably, yes and…I guess so? I assume that at some point in the future, finance is going to be a thing. I hope they go into specifics rather than just yes or no, because I already know those answers.

I’d hate for them to say, “I see finances in your future.” And when I ask what kind, they’re just like, “Um…financial? Probably fiscal. Possibly even monetary.”

 “Get a Free Psychic or Angel Reading Now”

Yeah. You mentioned that. Now, like I said, I’ve actually read the Bible. And the more I think about it, the more I’m recalling that God was pretty anti-fortune-telling. In fact, He was pretty much against any magic except when He was supplying the pixie dust, if you follow me. Are these angels on the up and up?

Wait. Is this going to be some awkward learning experience? Like, I pay and then the angel just lectures me about breaking rules or something? Because that sounds like the opposite of what I want in a reading of my future.

I had a friend once who called up a sex line and told them he had a girlfriend. Yeah. I know. Who even called those things? Am I right? Anyway, the lady on the line told him that she had a daughter of her own and wouldn’t want her dating a scummy guy like him. I’m not saying she wasn’t right and all. But he paid money for a service. Not to be scolded by a phone sex operator about making bad life decisions.

I’m starting to have some serious doubts about this unsolicited advertisement for angels.

“To Enable Links click Show Images.”

Why are your links images? Something’s not adding up here. Why do all spam messages want me to enable HTML code? It’s like a conspiracy.

“To End These Advertiser Announcements:

Via Postal Mail:

2008 West Broadway #169

Council Bluffs, IA 51501”

Seriously? You want me to send you physical mail to make you stop sending me e-mail spam? First off, what is this? 1892? You want postage-paid correspondence? Why not telegraph? Maybe a carrier pigeon? Which way does your office window face? Because smoke signals are always an option.

Secondly, I should send you a letter requesting for you to stop sending me unsolicited spam? I never gave you permission to send me e-mail. I feel like there’s a better than outside chance that if I send this physical letter, I’m just going to start getting physical junk mail. Junk mail about angels, but still.

In the end, I think I’ll pass – something they probably should have seen coming.

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