Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Last year, I wrote an essay about all the spam this site gets. Then, I wrote another one. I guess I thought that if I pointed out to the spammers that they're aiming at a completely inappropriate audience, they might pause for a moment--just a moment--and reconsider throwing unsolicited e-mails about home loans (when I don't have the money for property, especially now that I don't have a job), auto insurance (when I don't have a car or even a driver's license) and erectile dysfunction (not really my problem, but thank you ever so for asking).

How entirely naive of me.

Of course, I still get messages about all of the above. Maybe even more, as if they're punishing me for having borached the subject in the first place. But I've also gotten several new tasty (read: nasty and annoying) flavors of e-mail as well:

Click Here for Your Free (PRODUCT NAME HERE). Whether it's a MotoRazr or a BlackBerry or a Sony laptop or just about any software program you can name, spammers are willing to throw 'em at you. Or, at least, pretend to throw 'em at you, just as long as the promise of free gets you to visit their Web site. Or, at least, click on the link provided and have your computer be infected by a virus that turns it into a monster with rows and rows of razor-sharp teeth that leaps off of your desk, lands in your lap and bites your dick off. Or, y'know, just screws up your computer something awful.

Free Subscriptions. Dudes, get it straight: I don't watch Oprah Winfrey's TV show. I don't read her magazine. I don't really like her and generally go out of my way to avoid her. So sending me message after message after message offering me a free subscription to O is not terribly likely to do anything else except piss me off.

YOU'VE WON THE LOTTERY!!! Don't you have to actually enter a lottery in order to win? Or, as the saying goes, "You have to be in it to win it." Nobody just randomly picks your e-mail address out of the billions out here on the Internet and awards you millions of dollars or pounds sterling or euros just because.

And if you're going to bother trying to scam people out of their personal information--social security number, direct deposit info, etc.--it might help you sound slightly more legitimate if your spelling and grammar aren't, you know, horrid. Hire somebody who can spell. Or, if you don't want to pay someone, at least have someone proofread your e-mail before you drop your grimy little finger on the "send" button. You just might get more, "contest winners" to pay attention to you that way.

Er...excuse me? Sometimes, just the subject line of a spam e-mail is enough to get me rolling my eyes and shaking my head. Example: One message's subject line promised I could increase my "volume of cum 500%." Which I should care about...why? I mean, why would I need 500% more spermatazoa? What would I--or anyone else--do with that much semen, aside from making a mint in the adult film industry or being the most popular donor at the sperm bank? Or, as Arron so eloquently put it over on He Gu!, "500%?! Wow, I think I would be scurred of getting dehydrated."

Find a "Special Friend" Tonight! Only they don't use the word "special." It's usually "horny" or "fuck" or some variation thereof. And the volume (see? here we go with "volume" again) of these e-mails has only increased since I wrote about the idea of hiring an escort.

For the record: I wouldn't mind getting laid again at least once more before I die. And as JB has said on many an occasion, "You're far too young to have gone this long without." Can't argue with him there. But if I were to explore alternative methods of arranging a hookup, it sure as hell wouldn't be through an anonymous e-mail link sent to me at random. And if you think all I want to do is see pictures of naked pictures, think again--even if that were my goal, which it's not (because that only fuels the frustration), there are plenty of sites I can go to and indulge my more prurient interests without running the risk of infecting my iMac with any of the nasty viruses currently infecting the Web. Even on the Internet, one must play safe.

Of course, I understand that writing about spam won't prevent it from finding its way into my inbox. Quite the opposite: It'll likely only increase the amount I dump into the trash every day. But it's still disheartening to know that the majority of traffic to this site isn't human at all, but Web searching mechanisms gloming onto key words in essays or reviews and generating junk mail based on those key words--that 199 out of every 200 e-mails sent to this address aren't from a person sharing an opinion, a thought, a complaint or a joke, but a Googlebot intent on either selling me something I don't need or want, or doing my computer grievous harm.

Then again...I did get another essay out of it, now didn't I?