Friday, July 25, 2008

A Pile of Rocks

Well, what do you know? Here I am heading off on another rant-and-rave on one of my favorite topics: email spam. I’d really like to know how this spam thing works. Obviously it is something of a franchise program, for if you’ll note, you’ll get five or ten with exactly the same heading (usually with two or three egregious misspellings).

I swear, these idiots truly must think everyone is dumber than a pile of rocks. Unfortunately, since they wouldn’t keep doing it if it weren’t paying off for them, they may be right.

My current favorite is “Earn $5,000 to $10,000 at home every month. GUARANTEED!” Well, I admit I was just the teeniest bit skeptical until I saw the word GUARANTEED which, of course, like mommy kissing a boo-boo, removed all my doubts and made it all better. How can I possibly doubt the veracity of anyone willing to GUARANTEE me $5,000 to $10,000 a month? I do tend to find my eyes misting over a bit, though, thinking of the nobility of these wonderfully generous people.

I am also impressed by the recent, though now largely vanished, announcement that major motion picture companies are offering top dollar (I like that phrase almost as much as “big money” or “piled high”) looking for movie extras in my area. Of course they are. I can imagine how very very difficult it must be to find someone willing to be paid money to stand around in a crowd scene for a movie, and they are shooting movies in my neighborhood nearly every day. (Well, they did do the latest Batman in Chicago, and I missed my chance on that one, but I suspect several people in Pence, Wisconsin, might possibly have gotten the same offer. Pence is obviously the new Hollywood.)

You have no idea how very, very much I want to respond to these ads with the same positive, evangelical-fervor as they were sent. (Oh, yes! Please!! Please tell me how I can earn $5,000 to $10,000 every month from my own home! I am sure I am the only person in the whole world who realizes the wonderousness and sincerity of such a wonderful offer. And that you GUARANTEE it makes it even more precious to me. In anticipation of my first monthly check, I have placed an order for a new Cadillac. My second check will go toward the downpayment on a new condo. Please send me my money right away.)

One I just got rather frightens me, though. It tells me I can lose 20 pounds overnight. At that rate, I would totally disappear in a week!

The problem with responding to any of these offers with a suggestion that they wrap their offer around a stick of dynamite and put it in any one of their choice of bodily orifices will only result in your finding yourself with 189,999 brand new and equally fascinating offers. I one time made the mistake of requesting mortgage loan information from an on-line pop-up ad (far, far higher class than mere spam, and therefore to be trusted implicitly). By the next day I had received 273 similar offers from 273 different companies. How ever they knew I’d responded to that one, I have no idea. Really. I don’t. No. Do you?

But I do fondly remember a product from the years before spam was king. It was an ad ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEED to kill any bug or insect. It cost $20.00 but it lived up to its promise. When you sent in your $20.00 you received a small box which proved to contain two small blocks of wood, labeled “A” and “B”, and an instruction sheet which said: “Place insect on block A. Strike with block B. Repeat if necessary.” I love truth in advertising.

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