(Long Island, NY) My mailbox a daily dose of useless junk mail. On a weekly basis, a small forest is destroyed in the name of The Gap, Capitol One credit card offers, loan consolidation companies, and Bed Bath And Beyond. If I could ever figure out where to direct my anger, it would soon turn into Bloodbath and Beyond.
To the boys at the FBI: I am KIDDING. We writers talk a lot about violent reactions to ordinary trifles. A friend of mine yearns to mount a rocket launcher on the roof of his car, to be used at people going the wrong way down one-way streets. I personally would save my attacks for those idiots you get on the road who use their horns pointlessly. You know the ones, you take half a millisecond longer to hit the gas when the light goes green and they are already honking at you like you had fallen asleep at the wheel. The fewer of those people we have on the road, the better. It would only take two or three smoking craters where honking cars used to be to make the point.
But I digress.
On the junk mail front, my inbox gets a flood of similar nonsense, but it’s far more interesting that what shows up in the mail. The subject lines are hilarious, and could be interpreted as some kind of bizarre, wrongheaded Dadaist poetry.
My favorite subject line to date reads “Your future, night-parrot”. What the HELL? In addition to being rather bewildering, it’s totally hilarious to someone like me, with a sense of humor so warped that I should probably be institutionalized. How warped is that? Well, years ago at the premiere of Paul Verhoeven’s ultra-violent sci-fi movie Starship Troopers, I was the only person in the theater who was laughing. For some reason, the idea of giant bugs fighting a war with the humans in outer space was just too funny. It didn’t help that the actors were forced to spout ridiculous dialogue; “It’s some kinda…smart bug. A BRAIN bug!”
Some of the spam I get is insultingly funny. “R U tired of being a fat-ass?” Ummm, somebody direct this genius to a Marketing 101 class, where the first rule is NOT to alienate your potential customers. I yearn to fire back at these dorks something along the lines of “Dear Sir, would you kindly find a seat on the nearest land mine?” Alas, any reply at all only encourages them to send more brain dead nonsense. “Is your girl tired of your lousy performance in bed? Skyscraper Kidney”
The spam pains me because there is no real solution to getting rid of it. If only I could do with the unwanted emails what I do with the junk mail. If I have a repeat offender, I save ALL my junk mail for a year and mail it to them, postage due. You could technically do the same with a brick, but in the days of terrorist fear mongering on behalf of our lovely elected government, you are probably much better off just sending the mail back.
Once I send off my little package to the junk mailers, they usually get the hint. The spam, on the other hand, just keeps on rolling in. “Get your college degree online Pig Stamper”
All that legislation a few years ago was supposed to make a crime out of the spam, but there seems to be no stopping it. Today we’re stuck with these bozos, and I for one would like to know exactly how they are making money off of any of this. I can’t see how it’s done. I try to picture the average spammer in my head and come up with a vision of someone who is part slimy used car salesman, part slack-jawed yokel, and part stoner.
If I ever catch up with any of these bozos, I have a fitting punishment for them. They should be forced to either deal with an entire year’s worth of junk emails—reading, deleting, and emptying the trash folder—at some large apartment complex. They would have to deal with everyone’s spam until the volume they delete matches the amount of spam the offender has himself sent out. Or they could be locked in a padded cell and be forced to listen to the mindless driveling of the Gangsta Rapper Of The Week, at top volume, 24 hours a day. There would be a short reprieve for a rest room break, and then right back into the “music”.
This would teach the spammer nothing, but would at least cause as much grief as he or she has perpetuated by emailing, “Toothpaste lost its flavor? Pre-Dental Corn Wash”. I could live with that.