‘Spam in your inbox’ isn’t as kinky as it sounds
BY CAMILLE DODERO
The first e-mail bearing the subject WANNA BE HUNG LIKE A HORSE? was amusing. The second one made me smirk. Even when I opened a message begging me to join two " sexxx-a-licious " sisters screwing barnyard animals, complete with color pictures of women cupping their whinnying lovers, I momentarily giggled. But when my work e-mail account became saturated with more than 50 pieces of spam a day — everything from anti-virus-software solicitations sent by " Cindy Laupar " to ads for Dale Earnhardt commemorative wrenches to promotions for septic-tank systems — the novelty of junk e-mail quickly disappeared.
The amount of spam seems to have swelled in the last year, and apparently I’m not imagining it: according to Brightmail, a San Francisco–based company that thumps its chest for being " the worldwide leader in anti-spam technology, " the number of " spam attacks " has more than tripled since August 2001. Since October 28, 2002, my work address has received 1746 unsolicited commercial e-mails, plus another 15 or 20 a week that I’ve deleted out of abject frustration. (In the time it took to write this, I’ve received seven unsolicited commercial e-mails.) Out of these, 130 cite my last name in the subject header; 45 use my first. The word " free " pops up in 836; 89 explicitly read " sex " ; 55 incorporate the text " penis " ; 17 say " scam " ; six employ the word " truth. "
Of the 1746 unsolicited e-mails in my inbox, here are a few priceless gems.
Most creative subject header. " The famous Slutbus "
Oddest product line. The do-it-yourself ding-removal kit was quaint, the talking toilet paper was unusual, but the offer for mail-order Russian brides was certainly one e-mail I opened.
Best example of utter incoherence. Spelling and grammar aren’t the strengths of most spammers, but this one from " Person in Need " is a beauty: " I need you help I like bsoui and you hux sum. Can yuoi hlpe me? "
Most inventive deceit. Some freaky-porn genius figured out how to spam me with messages saying that a co-worker, who was mentioned by name in the subject field, had sent me " a coke whore. " Thanks, Brad, but I won’t be needing one today.
Nastiest insult. Out of all the slurs flung at me — including " You need to lose weight, " " Sorry but your friends are saying your teeth are yellow, " and " She is just being nice " (an ad for penis enlargement) — my personal favorite is the online soap distributor that wondered, " Why don’t you wash down there? "
Issue Date: January 2 - 9, 2003
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