Earlier this week, I left my computer unattended for nearly 24 hours. When I later logged into my email account, I expected to hear that annoyingly cheerful guy say: “You’ve got mail!” What he actually said is: “You’ve got 2,309 emails. Don’t you ever clean out your inbox?”
Okay, so 2,309 is a bit of an exaggeration. In truth, it was only 2,308. And if you’ve been an Internet user for more than, say, five minutes, I’m sure you can guess what 95% of it was: sp*m. Junk mail. Emails that need to be sorted directly into the ebucket. Tell me if you recognize any of these:
Wild Sexy [Fill In The Blank]: If you’re not an adult when you open your email box, you will be by the time you close it. So far this week, I’ve been offered a peek at straight sex, lesbian sex, gay sex, and yes, even goat sex.
Banned Cd! Banned Cd! No less than 22 people offered me a CD full of things my government doesn’t want me to know. Since I live in Canada, the only thing my government doesn’t want me to know is the secret recipe for maple syrup.
Urgent Business Proposal: Hello, I am Mbende Boruto (claiming to be from Nigeria/Uganda/Congo). My (father/brother) was (chieftain/king/grand poobah) until (evil doer took him out with military coup/machete/knitting needle). He bequeathed to me (a unbelievably large amount of money that amazingly is never in an African currency) but I cannot access it. I am asking you (and 5000 of your closest friends) in confidence to help me out — I need an account overseas. If I can transfer this amount into your account (even though I have no access to this money), I will be willing to give you 20%. I need this quickly, I have no money left for food or shelter (but can pay for a computer, email list and Internet account). Send me your account access information. Oh, and if you act now, I will also throw in the Brooklyn Bridge for just $19.99.
Legitimate, Honest Business: Any email that starts out by insisting that it is both legitimate and honest is almost certainly not.
[Fill In The Blank] Enlargement! Sadly, these emails only ever offer to enlarge the bits that I don’t own.
Legal Cable TV Descrambling: Strangely, I already have this product. Up north, we call it a cable TV subscription.
Bill Gates Email Tracking Program: Because Bill Gates clearly got to be a bazillionaire by giving money to complete strangers just because they forwarded an email to all 1700 of their online friends.
Virus Infection: I am sorry about this but I appear to have been infected by a virus and I think I may have spread it to everyone in my address book. Check your hard drive! If you have a file called windows.exe, delete it quick! It is the virus file. Don’t be surprised if you cannot restart your computer or if tech support laughs when you call.
What You Don’t Know About Me: One of 3400 variations of that questionnaire that teenagers forward to learn deep, meaningful things about each other like: Do u think Lance Bass iz cuter than Justin Timberlake? or Are u, like, into Coke, or Pepsee?
Party Horror Story: I am forwarding this as a warning to all party people. Do not leave your drink unattended! I just read a news story about someone who had been slipped drugs in his drink. He fell unconscious and woke up the next morning in a tub of ice water, missing a kidney! He had also lost a heart valve, several gall stones and a big toe. Astonishingly, he did not die of hypothermia after being in ice water for 8+ hours! But he could have, so beware!
Stop Goat Sexploitation: Because goats just aren’t getting paid enough for that sort of thing, darnit.
So, I don’t know about you, but on an average day, I receive 95 junk emails. This works out to 34,765 spam per year. If it takes me two seconds to delete one, then I spend 19 hours a year just deleting email.
Multiply that by what I think my hourly wage should be ($872/hr)… Hey! Somebody owes me $16,000 in lost productivity!
I think I’ll talk to my lawyer. That way, the next time I log onto my account, Mr. Happy Email guy will say “Your check is in the mail!”