Editorial Comment

Junk Filter

 

A trip to the post office confirms , although the junk mail industry still has a presence in our world, it seems there’s a lot less of it. The reason for this happy happentance has an ugly underbelly, however. It’s been replaced by Internet spam. You know the stuff; the coupons, offers and surveys that clutter our email inbox on a daily basis. I usually just give the piles of files in my junk mail filter a cursory glance and then delete them all en mass. This time however, I decided to go through them just to see exactly what it was these emails were offering. Given that the spam is a result of somebody out there tracking my every search and website visited, I decided to see if I could match the spam to the site I’d frequented. With my virus detector on full alert, I eyed the list before me.
The very first entry was for something called “The Plimseur Approach” which promised to teach me a language in ten days. This was mystifying as I’m busy for the next ten days and couldn’t possibly fit it in. With the invasiveness of Internet advertisers, they should have known that. DELETE !
The next one was obvious from whence it came. It was for a dating site. I’ve been inundated with dating spam since I did a story on such websites for this paper and joined a couple of them just to check out what they were like. (Honest, honey, this is for work!) I used to get taglines such as “Hotties in Your Area Interested In YOU” Some even provided pictures of women the site claimed were from Calmar that were just panting to meet me. Calmar’s a small place, however with a population barely hitting 2000. I guarantee the gorgeous ladies, all obviously terribly proud of their undergarments, don’t live here. Maybe they have us mixed up with Calmar, Iowa. 
Sadly, however, the day I hit fifty, the dating spam changed. Match.com and eHarmony disappeared; replaced by the one currently in my junk filter: SeniorsMeet.com. I felt like it may as well read Geriatric Jiggle.com. No thanks. DELETE!
Then they got personal. The next entreaty to my wallet in my email trash bin was for Coffee Bean Extract. Apparently this company feels I should cut my cravings for food and lose weight. Who do these blankety-blank people think they are? The nerve! Besides, surely with the three or four cups of coffee I quaff daily, I don’t need a coffee extract. I get the real thing. It doesn’t help with cravings much, however, as it makes me crave more coffee. DELETE
The next email was from my good friend Karbiru Ahmed. We must be friends because he says we are and has my email address. He wants to send me a ton o’ cash if I simply forward him all my banking details. What a good buddy, ol’ Karbiru is. My relatives don’t make me offers like this.
I know, of course, this is a scam as I get hundreds of these emails. I must use a particularly gullible-looking font when I google. I wonder, too, how frustrating it would be if you were some rich dude in Togo or someplace and really needed someone to give money to but can’t find anyone to take it. Poor bugger. DELETE!
A University of Phoenix ad offering easy letters after my name was next. I get these constantly. Apparently, they feel I don’t have enough credentials for my writing job. You have to wonder, though what any prospective employer might think if all your degrees come from this institution. Human Resources specialists have junk mail folders, too. DELETE!
Up next is an email urging me to get a rip-off Rolex at 10% of the cost of a real one. Considering that I don’t wear a watch, care about copyright and patent infringement and wouldn’t trust them with my credit card number as far as I could throw The Incredible Hulk, I may not be in the right demographic for their offer. I wondered what kind of stupid jerk would fall for it. DELETE!
Here’s a strange one; I can increase my length with their amazing product. Why do I need to be taller? I’ll bet if I send them money, they’ll mail me platform shoes. DELETE!
Oh and the next one is certainly another winner. “The Loan Solution Team” emails me a loan application. Using more credit to deal with your credit problems sounds about as smart as using more guns to solve your violence problem. DELETE!
Then I came across possibly the oddest one I’d seen so far. It was from a sender by the name of Mrs. Hisham Latifa. The subject line read, “Invitation: My Beloved”. I pondered this one a great deal. Over the course of time, I have had spam mail come-ons from ladies named everything from Bambi to Candy. None have ever used the “Mrs.” suffix before. I was also curious how I became her “beloved” without her husband knowing. It occurred to me it might be a fellow writer who was staging a play called “My Beloved” but I couldn’t take the chance. Sorry, Mrs. Hisham Latifa. DELETE!
The rest of the spam was a mixture of equally absurd emails. One wanted me to have better skin, another, a better job. There was no end to the things these emails found lacking in my life that they could help me with, if I just give them my credit card number. Of course I didn’t open any of them. I’ve learned that lesson expensively.  Still, it beats junk mail, with the tree killin’ and all. The major difference between junk mail in your mailbox and junk emails in your inbox, besides the environmental advantage, is that email trash is a whole lot trashier.



 
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