Thursday, July 12, 2007

How to Spice up Spam

Warning: This is not a recipe. I'm not talking canned meat, I'm talking floods of nonsensical/offensive/uninvited emails. And just so we're clear, I'm NOT a fan!

Let’s all say it together: Spam is BAD! We all agree.

But I have to admit that lately I’ve developed an ever-so-faint flicker of admiration for some of the signs of creativity I have seen in the spam delivered to my inboxes.

First, the names. I have received spam from senders with some pretty weird names. These are a few of my favorites:

Marvel Ludwig

Odette Stamper

Fereidoon Bumpus

Myrtice Piper

These are the sorts of names I would give the characters in my fictional small town of Little Big Pig, Alabama. They are very good made-up names. This indicates to me that at least a few of the authors of spam may have an unsuspected streak of whimsy.

The ultimate confirmation of that whimsical streak, though, is the found in the subject lines of some of the spam I’ve received lately. Now I know it’s probably just some program somewhere churning out words – kind of like the idea that if you leave a monkey alone with a typewriter eventually he’d produce Hamlet. I always thought that was an incredibly stupid idea. But now that my whimsical spammers are sending me messages with these titles, I begin to think …. well, not that the monkey would ever write Shakespeare, but that he might be able to come up with a good headline or maybe a haiku after a while. Maybe.

Some of the recent subject lines I’ve seen:

hairy hockey player

crispy judge

gingerly globule

gratifying pork chop

maudlin duel

Dream like tape recorder

I woke up, gagged, coughed and picked it up. (Disgusting, but does display a firm grasp of narrative.)

fashionable light bulb

Likeable mating ritual

Willful clump controller

You not ugly (Somehow I found its ungrammatical presentation oddly convincing.)

Get a bigger flute (I thought this was a refreshingly prim and Freudian new take on the usual “Enlarge your penis!” drivel.)

You’ve got to give the evil techno-bandits props for creativity. Although really these lines remind me more than anything of the old Mad-Libs we used to play when I was a kid. “Name a color. Give me an adjective. Now name someone’s job.” Etc.

Anyway. Now that my mom’s here I’m apparently in the mood to spot the silver lining in practically anything, even spam, and I'm sharing the joy. I'll share more updates on J-Mom's visit in the near future.


l-bean said...

I had to open my Spam folder after reading this. My last spam: Turbo Charged Grass Seed.

Anonymous said...

All this spam talk...I think it is time for lunch! I like the "you not ugly" myself.

Enjoy your visit with your mom!

Pumpkin said...

Have a great time with your mum, and I agree, things always seem more 'workable' when mums are around (mine also lives in another country from myself).
The spam I get is also pretty inventive, recently though, instead of going straight into my spam folder, they've been getting into my main email folder and have looked so convincingly genuine that I've opened them, to find the usual penis enlargement ad......sometimes it cracks me up, other times I want to set some computer version of a big dog on their ass!
Enjoy the flea market!!!!