Back when I used to write a weekly humour column that ran in a supplement to The Kelowna Daily Courier, I came up with one idea that at the time seemed to address a relentless plague.
That feature was “You’ve Got Spam”, which poked fun at the junk mail known at that time as spam – mostly from alleged Nigerian princes promising great wealth just by providing your name, phone number, social insurance number and banking information.
As you might imagine, those emails were fake as heck, but not only did I get them in abundance before my column ran, they touched a nerve online and exploded beyond belief into my inbox daily after that appeared. Much like the time I couldn’t find my cutting board at a picnic and just sliced a bag of oranges on our picnic blanket. That was like a biblical plague of ants of every possible variation, some even stopping by with luggage on their way to the ant airport!
In 2012, after things had died down, I dusted that column off and refreshed it for REM. As you might again imagine, my in-box once more exploded from assorted spammers, even a handful of retired wealthy princes from Nigeria that figured they had nothing to lose from trying to phish my personal information one more time.
So, is spam just “junk mail” now? While the term is perhaps a bit tired, I miss the cartoon bubble that used to invoke above my head with an image of a can of Klik luncheon meat, or the even more iconic cooked pork Spam.
When I brought that article up recently I re-read the piece and decided that perhaps it might fall into the category of politically incorrect now, given changing times the last few years. I mean, Eddie Murphy might be able to get away with Coming 2 America, but he’s got cans of steel with respect to his broad humour. I prefer to stay more in the middle of the canned meat road myself.
All of this prelude is just to introduce my latest plague, junk mail disguised as mail from friends, legitimate companies and offers of a lifetime I can’t afford to miss. I’m not sure why I get so many, but I find about 500-600 a week in my mailbox, and there is nothing the senders don’t try pitching to elicit a response.
In the 21 emails that have arrived just today, I’ve got offers to elongate parts of my body, and I’m not talking about stretches you might consider warming up before exercising.
I’ve got mole and skin tags removal offers, but I’m not sure I want to set traps for my moles to remove their skin tags – I’ve got bigger fish to fry at any given moment.
I see some sort of photo stick, which without clicking on the actual email seems to be a way to back up my photos and videos, likely in the sender’s online storage space! Not a chance I would ever risk my self-designed clown costume photos ever getting copied and used by someone else. It took forever to merge Jar Jar Binks and Krusty convincingly into one whimsical character for kids’ parties.
There are secrets to losing weight, strengthening my thyroid (thyroid abs or thyroid pecs?? hmmm…) and of course, incredible savings on gummy edibles, apparently endorsed by Shark Tank no less!
Beyond all those considerations, I’m also frequently responding to deliveries that have never shown up, possibly because I haven’t ordered anything. Canada Post, U.S. Post, FedEx, UPS, Pony Express, BuckBoards R Us – I’m not sure what is supposed to be arriving at any given time, but good thing I live close to a railroad track and a heli-pad – I can accommodate whatever it is I can’t remember ordering.
Even just as I was typing this column out, I received notice from Microsoft Teams, which I recently joined. Not as a team member in a workplace, just for access to online meetings from a variety of organizations. So imagine my surprise when this email advised me a team member had shared a closing file via Teams, for me to click on and view.
To be honest, if one of these clickable links was a virus that deleted my hard drive, I might be better off. I’m developing Carpal English Channel Tunnel Maximus from deleting all these damn spams.
Oh well, soon too, like those wealthy princes of yore, this all shall hopefully pass.
What replaces it eventually, is another story entirely.