Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Spam Rant, and a SPAM Story

First, the rant:

Lately it seems every time I log on, I have a bunch of "unmoderated comments" to review.

And every time, most or all of them are spam. In the words of Monty Python's Vikings: "Spam spam spam spam...."*

I am so sick of these spammers!!

Note to spammers:

-- I can't read Japanese kanji. Nor Arabic. Nor Russian.

-- I don't need or want to call this number to chat or click that link to get that prescription. (I don't even have the "equipment" that particular prescription goes with!)

-- I don't want to invest my life savings with some numbnut who can't spell and whose best marketing technique involves leaving poorly written spam comments on a post about my grandpa dying, about how I can make "millons" if I'll just click on the link.

It's annoying, and it's stupid. Does anyone click on these links? Does anyone call those numbers? What are these spammers hoping to accomplish?!?

Oh, how I wish they would just go away... I'd wish worse for them, but I'm trying to avoid that whole bad karma thing...

On the other hand (as my Dad, or Grandpa Simpson, sometimes says before launching into a ten volume novel recited from memory)... that reminds me of a story:

When I was in college, my friend - I'll call him Scott, since that was his name - had some goofy housemates (I'll call them Jim and Martin, to protect the privacy of the innocent) and goofy parents. His parents once sent him a box of treats, and in the box were all sorts of wonderful and mostly non-perishable stuff that college students might enjoy. Things like homemade cookies and brownies. Boxes of cereal and Pop Tarts and muffin mix. Cans of soup. Packages of cookies and crackers. Chocolate. And a can of SPAM* brand canned pork product.

Yes, you read that right. SPAM. A staple in every college kid's kitchen, right? Plus, Scott was Jewish, so he technically wasn't supposed to eat pork products. It was very clear that his parents sent it to him as a joke.

It worked. His housemates laughed and teased him mercilessly when he pulled that one out of the box!

So, Scott did what any normal college kid would do. He waited until his housemates were in class and he hid the SPAM in Martin's sock drawer.

Martin had a sense of humor. So, when he found the SPAM a few days later, he put it in the soapdish in Jim's bathroom. And Jim put it in Scott's bed. And Scott put it in Martin's backpack so he'd find it during class. And so on and so on until eventually someone found a small box to put it in, and hid it in the top of Jim's closet.

The guys got involved with other things and sort of forgot about the SPAM.

Until months later, when Jim was looking for a winter sweater or some such, he came across the box and opened it..... "What the...? OH! The SPAM!!"

So, he did what any normal college kid would do... he wrapped the box and gave it to Scott as a holiday gift.

That can of SPAM made the rounds between those three guys for years. Every few weeks or months, someone would find it and surreptitiously hide it or (after they all moved away after college) would wrap and mail it to one of the others. Last I heard, Jim, who was getting a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics at MIT, received a small can of SPAM as a birthday gift from his best pal across the country....


* According to Hormel's SPAM website, Hormel does not object to the use of the slang word "spam" to denote unsolicited commercial email (which it calls "UCE") (or, presumably, to denote unsolicited commercial blog comments ("UCBC"?)).

(Well, they might have objected, but as their website makes clear, that battle has been fought and lost already).

However, Hormel explains, one should spell the slang word with lowercase letters, and when spelling the name of the pork product produced by Hormel, one should use all capital letters, like so: SPAM.

Did you know that the original term "spam" to denote UCE came from a Monty Python skit, in which a group of Vikings sang an increasingly loud chorus of "spam, spam, spam, spam...." drowning out all other conversation? (I remember that skit, but I didn't realize that was the origin of the word "spam" to mean unwanted commercial messages ....) As Hormel explains, the analogy to the increasing volume of unwanted, unsolicited commercial email is apt - it certainly drowns out other correspondence. Same with UCBCs, I suppose.


By the way, if there are any SPAM lovers out there reading this (and I understand there are literally millions of SPAM lovers worldwide!), feel free to tell me all about how much you love your SPAM canned pork products. You likely won't convince me to eat any, but hey, one never knows.... perhaps I'll send a can of SPAM to the most convincing entrant.

And if there are any spam lovers (or spam writers) out there reading this, I don't want to hear about it at all. Just one word for you: DON'T! Don't read, don't comment, and especially, don't leave me any spam!!! (Nor any SPAM, for that matter).

Thank you. Enough said.


SkylersDad said...

I finally had to turn on word verification it got so bad.

Mrs. Lovely said...

The spam with blogs lately has been bad!

And I love that Monty Python skit!

thenerdqueen said...

Can I interest you in a business deal? Just one investment can make you $$$!

-just kidding-.

LegalMist said...

thenerdqueen - Sorry, not a credible spam copy - your spelling is too perfect!

Nan said...

Word verification. It will prevent most of the spambots from annoying you.

Jaime said...

i think some spam is funny. i don't have the right equipment either to go along with most of it - but sometimes if you actually read it, it's really funny...

Jenners said...

One effective way to combat spam is to not allow anonymous comments!!! That might help ... it worked for me!

And I ate spam once ... only once. That was enough.