One morning as I grimly clicked DELETE, DELETE, DELETE, DELETE ALL, I came to a realization. Yes, SPAM is infernally annoying, but it won’t make me sick, homeless, or fat and only if I let it control me will it alter my personality. Instead of being annoyed at the SPAM in my inbox, what if I use the weirder subject lines to inspire, to nourish my creativity?
So, here are five of the best lines from my inbox, collected over a period of ten days and listed randomly. All grammar, punctuation and spelling oddities have been preserved. When the sender isn’t detailed below, the name wasn’t particularly notable. Oh, and I did not open any of these so my ideas of their content is pure speculation. After you read this, should you be similarly inspired, please leave a comment and share some favorites of your own.
Hello! I gotta something to say…
My first thought here is Godfather, or at least a mid to senior level fella from New Jersey. If I open this one I’m thinking it’s friendly advice about a great investment opportunity—one I can’t refuse. Waste removal and processing is very profitable these days. Maybe this is an offer for cut-rate burial services. I seem to get ten of those a week. In this case, only the very best concrete used. Or, perhaps some public-minded group wants to give me the real scoop on candidates running in the next election. With that folksy, down to earth wording, I can tell whatever it says in the email would be the solid truth.
Bare your legs with confidence.
The sender here was identified as Right to Bare Legs Ad. I commend the sender for outright telling me this is an ad, but I have to take off points because the honesty decreased the anticipation. Plain old Right to Bare Legs could have gone so many interesting ways. Before I saw the sender was merely an advertisement, my imagination whisked me to a beach where scantily clad, older women pirouette at the water’s edge, boldly exhibiting all their veins and spots while horrified adolescent grandchildren look on. From that scene, I am riding in a convertible down Sunset Boulevard and I look up to see a billboard of a very hairy, Russian women sunning herself on lawn chair in front of the Berlin Wall. She wears a bikini in a style popular circa 1963. She’s being guarded by two KGB types. In huge print, the billboard announces, “They hate us for our shaving!” Dear Spammers, don’t ruin my fun with too much information up front!
Buy Nice Medicines Today
This one made me want to whip out my credit card and buy every single one of their pills and potions. After all, wouldn’t a nice medicine make me feel, well, nice? Don’t I want to feel like that? Don’t you? Wow, if I took some maybe I’d even become nice. That is one description seldom given me. No, wait, the subject line doesn’t actually say anything about what the medicines do when you take them. It only says they possess the quality of being nice. I bet they remind you to take them and then thank you afterward.
I have found you by accident…you look catching…
This email came from Emmie Longhorne. A curious name, I’m not sure whether it makes me think of a stripper or a character from Little House on the Prairie. She didn’t just find me, she has found me, indicating to me she put extra work into the search. How flattering! Anyway, how does Emmie know what I look like? And how can I look “catching”–unless I’m catching a cold? Is she trying to sell me some nice medicines? All those ellipses, maybe she’s a stutterer, In any event she certainly has a difficult time expressing herself. Although a name like Emmie sounds English, I doubt the sender is a native speaker. Perhaps Emmie would like to get some personalized English lessons. If she uses catching to mean fetching, alluring, captivating, what x-rated activities might Emmie want to discuss with me? Does she know what sex I am and does she care? I think not.
Change Your Spots
The sender is From High Speed Internet. Yes, in case they believe I didn’t understand that the SENDER is who is listed inside the email’s SENDER box, they went to extra trouble to tell me they, the sender entity, is on the FROM end of the transaction. Perhaps, in their very high speed system, they’re using a quantum computer where one can send things and, if anyone’s watching, the email might simultaneously sit at the destination point. To avoid confusion, they felt it necessary to let me know they didn’t receive it, I did. Wow, the Spots could be electrons or photons! Casting aside such ideas, on a macro level, what do Spots have to do with my internet connection? Spotty connection? Spots to plug in a modem? I know one thing for sure; at times I’ve been so angry with AT&T I’ve seen spots.
Mickey Hoffman is the author of the Kendra Desola mysteries, School of Lies and Deadly Traffic published by Second Wind Publishing. www.mickeyhoffman.com