February 2, 2004
I don’t know about you folks, but I get some pretty fricking entertaining spam.
And I think that’s the way you have to look at it. Sure, it can be annoying, and take up time and mailbox space. But it can also — like just about everything else in the world — be a rich source of entertainment. And free entertainment, at that. Yay, spam!
Okay, wait. I can see that you’re unsure. You’re saying to yourself, ‘Yay, spam? Has Charlie been mixing up his ecstacy and his Flintstones vitamins again?‘
Well… maybe. (I’m pretty sure the little green monkeys crawling on the wall know, but they’re not talking. Damned monkeys.)
But regardless, it’s a valid point, and I’ll try to prove it. Let’s take a little stroll through the spam currently in my Yahoo account, and see what we find. C’mon — it’ll be a hoot. (And we might see hooters, too! Bonus!)
Okay, so I’ve taken a careful look at this, and I’ve found that there are essentially two types of spam. There’s the boring, anooying kind — ‘Get low mortgage rates!‘, ‘Buy vitamins here!‘, ‘Ink cartridges, ink cartridges, ink cartridges!‘ — and then there’s the entertaining kind.
(Which are pretty much all about sex, frankly. It’s really pretty tough to send an unsolicited email about earning money at home, or some cockeyed pyramid scheme, and make it funny. But the porn peddlers — ah, now, they have all the fun, don’t they?)
Of course, within the scope of ‘entertaining‘ spam, there are many subtypes. For instance:
There’s the ‘Mean It, But Don’t Spell It‘ technique. In just the past couple of weeks, I’ve gotten enticing emails with the following subject lines:
- ‘G1ve H.e.r. da |O|R|G|A|S|M| S.h.e dezurvez!‘ — Now, I can understand trying to fool spam filters, but is there really a need for ‘G1ve’ or ‘H.e.r.’? Are there filters out there killing emails with ‘her’ in them? Is that why I never hear from my mother any more, because she always asks about my wife in her emails?
- ‘ Find your finest c’o’c’k‘ — You know, I presume this is supposed to make me all hot and watery somehow… but frankly, all those apostrophes just make me think of ‘cock’, as some African bushman might say it. Or rather, click it, or pop it, or whistle it. (Anybody else see ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy‘? Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.)
- ‘p.e.n.e.t.r.a.t.e your predicament‘ — This one gets high marks for both readability and for not distracting me from the obfuscated word; right off the bat, I’m thinking about ‘penetrate‘. I’m all about the ‘penetration‘… but my ‘predicament‘?! What the hell? Suddenly, I’m all shrivelled up and sleepy. Penetrate my predicament? What on earth does that mean?
- ‘Sooper s_eks machine – want ladiz to think of you the same?‘ — Um… huh? Maibee? Whut wuz tha kwestun agin?
- ‘Amplify y0ur erect10ns and 0rgasms!‘ — D00dz! That would totally r0x0r my b0x0rs! This one gets bonus points for creative use of ‘amplify‘, though.
- ‘J0|N N0\/\/ to see new 2004 foorblddeen lnccessst scenes‘ — Holy hell, they’re breaking out the punctuation! Can umlauts and tildes be far behind? And \/\/hy go to all the trouble to disguise ‘now‘? Is it me, or is that just \/\/eird?
Not into butchering individual words? Well, then, maybe you’ll appreciate the ‘If There’s One Thing We Don’t ‘Conjugate’ Around Here, It’s Sentences‘ approach. Observe:
- ‘Secret Apparitor‘ — Dictionary.com tells me that an ‘apparitor‘ is ‘An official who was formerly sent to carry out the orders of a civil or ecclesiastical court.‘ So I say to you… uh, what? And why is it a secret?
- ‘circulate indefwnite‘ — Look, let’s give the spammer the benefit of the doubt here, and say that the second word is really ‘indefinite‘. So now we’re up to ‘circulate indefinite‘. Um…Vanna, could I buy a damned noun?
- ‘Be the great and the gorgeous‘ — Hallelujah, it’s almost a sentence! This one isn’t completely garbled — it just comes across like a subtitle on a Japanese movie. And if there’s anyone we should be taking sexual advice from, folks, it’s the Japanese.
- ‘(Recipient), tasty read ends‘ — Well, ‘tasty‘ certainly sounds good. And ‘ends‘ could be about bottoms, I suppose — that might be sexual… but ‘tasty read ends‘? Are you sure those words are even in the right order? I might have just used ‘tasty ends‘, and left it at that. But that’s just me.
But not all spammers eschew the rules of grammar, of course. No, some of them simply abandon reason and meaning, instead. Structurally, these sentence fragments aren’t so bad. Semantically, they’re half-baked head-scratchers. Here are some examples from the ‘That Subject Line You Keep Using… I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means‘ camp:
- ‘Let her be alive‘ — Um.. unless you’re getting a lot of necrophilia spam, I really don’t think this is much of an issue. ‘Alive‘, I think we’ve all pretty much got covered. It’s ‘happy‘ that we’re shooting for, dingleberry — show us how to let her be ‘happy‘. Sheesh.
- ‘Run down your revenge now!‘ — I gotta admit, I actually looked at this email. I had no idea what the fuck this was getting at. And it turned out to be a Cialis ad — sex, sex, sex, just like all the others. But… ‘run down‘ my ‘revenge‘? ‘Now‘? Wha?
- ‘Excuses should be excluded‘ — All right, this one actually makes some sense, in a rather broadly interpreted way. Still — I’m pretty sure the last thing someone who’s looking to improve their sex life wants is a frigging tongue-twister. Maybe if that thing wasn’t so busy trying to wrap itself around ‘excuses should be excluded‘ three times fast, it could be doing a loved one some real good.
- ‘Have your mission accomplished‘ — You know, when you put it that way, it sounds an awful lot like someone else is going to ‘accomplish‘ my ‘mission‘ for me. And if that means what I think it means, then we gotta talk. I am so not into that, dude. Get your own freakin’ ‘mission‘!
Maybe all this misdirection isn’t really your style. Perhaps you’re more of a ‘direct approach’ kind of guy or gal. Well, then you might like these examples from the school of ‘Less Than Subtle Suggestions‘:
- ‘the best buttocks in the industry‘ — Okay, so possibly this one could be a bit more direct; I don’t really even know which ‘industry‘ they’re referring to. La-Z-Boy testers? Underwear models? Retro 70’s ‘bump’ dancers? Who’s to say?
- ‘Your organ shall be full of it‘ — Whoa, whoa, whoa, there, dude! How did you know I even have an organ? Not everybody has room for all the pipes and keyboards and things. And just what exactly is it gonna be ‘full of, anyway? Music? Bong water? Cheese doodles? What?
- ‘The bigger, better boner‘ — Finally. There’s no mistaking what this little gem is offering, right, kids? And I gotta tell you, I have been begging for that ‘bigger, better boner‘ for years. I can’t wait! The knife I’m using now to clean fish is just way too dull, and not nearly long enough, and… oh. I see. Not that sort of ‘boner‘, eh? Um, never mind, then.
- ‘Massive Hole Stretching Cocks‘ — Wow! So big, we had to capitalize all the words! I dunno, folks… I’m sure these things are very exciting and all, but really, this just looks like the tag line for a bad B horror movie. ‘Look! It’s the giant cocks that peckered Las Vegas! Run for your lives!‘
- ‘beef up the size of your willy!‘ — Something about this one just seems so happy and excited! I can almost picture one of those little newspaper kids in the old movies — you know, the ‘Extra! Extra! Read all about it!‘ ones — who always seemed so happy and eager. Can’t you just see one of ’em skipping up to businessmen at the newsstand, beaming, ‘Well, howdy, mister! You wanna beef up the size of your willy?‘ Aw, shucks.
- ‘(Recipient), it just keeps drippin‘ — Well, then, fer Chrissakes, put a bowl or something under it, and call the damned doctor! That’s not sexy, dammit — that’s clinically gross! Double ‘ew!‘ and a horrified look to you, my friend.
Perhaps you don’t enjoy the subject lines of emails at all. That’s fine — spam can still be entertaining, let me assure you. You can still enjoy the practitioners of the theory of ‘Make Yourself Sound Like a Haughty Nineteenth-Century Englishman‘. Folks with these aliases (or not?) have taken the time to send me email in the past two weeks:
- ‘Luxembourg V. Antlered‘ — Wasn’t that a landmark legal battle?
- ‘Monopoly Q. Sweeten‘ — ‘But my friends call me Mono!‘
- ‘Guerra A. Wholeness‘ — I like that — ‘Wholeness‘. Screw ‘Your Highness’; can I be ‘Your Wholeness’? That’d be cool!
- ‘Rid F. Physiognomy‘ — He puts the ‘fizzy’ back in ‘Physiognomy‘!
- ‘Chiropractor C. Bastardizes‘ — I’ll bet he does, that little vixen. I’ll just bet he does.
- ‘Mendoza S. Diophantine‘ — ‘Mendoza S‘… so maybe he’s a Latino 19th century Englishman. It could happen.
- ‘Incorrigibly H. Lexica‘ — Clearly a friend of ‘Biggus Dickus’. No question.
- ‘Interpolation F. Disowns‘ — Pow! Hey! Ouch! Inter… oh. Sorry. That’s ‘interjections‘, not ‘interpolation‘. Got Schoolhouse Rock on the brain, I guess. Never mind.
- ‘Cornelia E. Relentlessly‘ — Man, I don’t know what the ‘E’ stands for, but if Cornelia does it relentlessly, then that is hot! Sizzlin’!
- Okay, I’m tired of coming up with lines for these — here are a few for you to think of comments for: ‘Latency D. Underwriting‘, ‘Braked F. Convalescence‘, ‘Opening A. Gingko‘, ‘Fish I. Crabbiness‘, ‘Economists C. Expiry‘, and last, but not shortest, ‘Misrepresentations S. Strongest‘ Whew!
Finally, there’s always the old standby. Find an angle, and get it to as many people, from as many filthy spammer accounts, as humanly possible. It’s the ‘If I Send This to Everyone in the Fricking World, Something Good Is Bound to Happen‘ theory. And it’s why I, in two weeks of collecting spam for this post, received no less than sixteen emails proudly offering to regale me with the story of:
‘How I became Mr. King Dong‘
Inside the emails (yes, I opened one; how could I not? It’s a compelling premise, damn it!), we find the following text:
‘Mr. King Dong took our madication & just look at him tool, it worked insanely well:‘
(Yes, yes, I know… look, forget the fact that he was apparently already called ‘Mr. King Dong’, okay?
And that he seems to have taken the ‘madication‘ and now ‘him tool‘ is ‘insane‘. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.)
The text above is followed by three pictures of… well, let’s just call them ‘willies of progressively increasing mass’, and leave it at that. (And yes, I could have gone my whole life without seeing that particular spectacle. I won’t subject you to it, as well.)
Then there’s more text, and more pictures, and some other stuff… but I keep coming back to the question: which of these jokers is the real Mr. King Dong? I mean, presumably, it’s one of them in those pictures, right? One of them has taken the ‘madication‘, enjoyed the results, and taken pictures for all to see. And now at least fifteen other snivelling, heartless, cheating bastards are claiming the Mr. King Done throne as their own. It’s an outrage! An outrage, I say!
I’m looking for the real Mr. King Dong to step up any time now and put these jokers in their place. Photographs will be examined. Distinguishing… um, features will be compared. Who knows, we may even need DNA samples to sort this thing out. But mark my words, folks — Mr. King Dong will have his day. He’ll stand on stage in all of his glory. Ed McMahon may even sing a little song; it’ll be very tasteful. And finally, after ousting the pretenders, he’ll claim the title, and don his sash, and his wreath of roses, and his lovely silver tiara.
Just… just don’t ask where he’s gonna wear them. Really, folks. You seriously don’t wanna know.
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