The American Joys of Spam (Not the Tasty Food Kind)

“Fr33 V1agrA l0w p4armas21cal pr1c3s!s!!!!!!!”

~The Internet

America is a well oiled machine fueled by skepticism.  When we see a homeless person aggressively panhandling on the street we assume, rightly or wrongly, that the person does not deserve our hard earned money, since they’ll just spend that money on drugs.  Besides, we’re in a rush and that quart of vodka is not going to buy itself, now is it?

We Americans are a cautious people, many of us so jaded that you can try for a lifetime and never earn our trust.  This is part of what makes America great, and it’s directly responsible for our world power.  When the 1930s came around, did we “let bygones be bygones” and start trusting Germany, or attempt to ally with Germany?  Hell no, we thought, “wait, this looks familiar…hmm…”  Well, except for, like, Walt Disney and Henry Ford.

How do we keep our healthy level of wary suspicion going so strong?  What enables us to write our children out of our will because we’re like 75% sure that they sided with their mother during the divorce proceedings?  Where do we find the strength and courage to speed past a car with a flat tire during a rainstorm because of that one time where we heard someone getting murdered like that?

Spam, that’s how.  Every day, our inboxes are flooded with hollow, empty promises, and the constant inundation of these penile enlargement offers or attractive girls who like to take off their clothes if you click this suspicious looking link.  Though we suppose if you trained yourself to think that pop-up windows were boobs, your computer would then be like, just so many boobs you guys.  Spam is named after the Spam Monty Python skit, which while not technically American, is still actually pretty damn cool.  Surprisingly, America is not the leading source of spam messages- with an estimated 6.6 trillion spam emails originating in the U.S., we trail Brazil’s 7.7 trillion spam messages, which ranks right up there with the fact that the first Heisman Trophy winner played at University of Chicago as one of the all time, “holy hell, I did not expect that to be the case” random factoids.

Spam is both frustrating and hilarious.  This depends largely on how earnest the evil, hateful robot sending you electronic lies is when trying to get you to click on the links in the message.  Sometimes you get spam that tries so hard it’s unintentionally hilarious. Other times, you get baffling spam that seems to serve no purpose, like this message on the AFFotD spam filter from Luise Altagracia with the subject line of, “xlzvmd” and the body script of, “8r7”.  Either this spammer was incredibly lazy, or our worst fears (monkeys becoming smart enough to operate computers) have been realized.  Or it might be a secret communist code, which is why we just had a schizophrenic Russell Crowe from A Beautiful Mind translate for us.  Apparently, the message is an acronym for, “X-tremely Large Zionist Vulvas Merit Dicks.”  The message within the email informs the reader that, “8 or 7” dicks should suffice.  By this logic, the spam message we received from dear Lynelle Tasia, “amq6sk” as the subject for the message, “dd” simply means, “American Mammaries Quake, 5 Separate Kids,” which of course means that when American women have 5 kids, their cup size becomes a Double-D.  We’re not sure about the science behind it, but if Lynelle Tasia tell us it, we’ll have to take her word for that.

Obviously, here is where skepticism comes into play.  Apparently, according “Xenia Nenita”, who we clearly must know because she (she?) got our email address, “Most women would love to have a guy with a larger penis.”  Well, not that we are concerned about that at AFFotD (haa, Willem Defoe just gave us like, three high fives at once, ifyouknowwhati’msayin’) there apparently is a helpful link that will tell you how to enhance your male member.  It seems reasonable, she (she?) even admits, “Some think that increasing the size of the penis can be done overnight…Sadly, a lot of men are misinformed.”  But then Xenia must know what she (…she?) is talking about, so we might as well go to the link!  It’s the penis mightier!

But then, the more you think about it…if such a product existed, why wouldn’t everyone have used it already?  And then, when could the AFFotD take field trips to various public restrooms to terrify strangers?  It’s like what animated Jason Lee said in The Incredibles, “If everyone is super *evil glare, narrowing of eyes, deepened voice for menacing effect* then no one is.”

Not all spam is well and good, computer viruses are basically the STD of internet porn, and malicious, spam-viruses are legitimately frustrating (in fact, if you meet someone at a party, and they are all like, ‘oh yeah, I program spam messages that infect people’s computer’ you are legally allowed to murder him, so long as he suffers for several hours before finally dying.  And that’s the law, look it up), and many have had to send out the awkward apology email after an infection, along the lines of, “Sorry, a bot hijacked my account, that wasn’t me writing, so please don’t click the link in that email.”  And that sucks.  But some spam is harmless, hilarious, and keeps us savvy Americans on our toes.  These types of spam messages are American because America loves non threatening con artists.  Don’t believe me?  Have you ever seen The Sting?  You have?  Such a cool movie, right?  Yeah, I know, Paul Newman is a badass, anyway, we love that movie because we love watching people get grifted.  Hell, you could have a movie about Con Men starring Nicholas Cage, and it’d still probably be very watchable.

“Oh yeah, I remember that movie being pretty okay probably.”

Below is a list of “America-approved” types of spam messages.

–          IM Spam Bots:  These are baffling and funny, occasionally IMing AIM users to say random shit, without having any real endgame.  Possessing marginal AI, but not nearly enough to sound remotely human and/or to establish a fear of the inevitable Robot apocalypse (fueled by facebook and starbucks), these bots, are great to fuck with.  One particular type is a Coho bot, which is a bot that has “coho” in its screen name and is very friendly and eager to share absolutely fucking nothing of importance with you.  For example, below is an actual conversation we had with a Coho bot some time ago.

          ResidualCoho: I’m made of comonads!

AFFotD: ohhh, its a coho

ResidualCoho: Haha what

AFFotD: orange pickles smell like french waiters

ResidualCoho: What?

ResidualCoho: You rule

AFFotD: what have you done with YOUR life, huh dad?

ResidualCoho: Nothing, you

AFFotD: i’m fucking TIRED of your rules

ResidualCoho: Ok

ResidualCoho: Sorry

AFFotD: it’s okay, dad…No, I’m the one who’s sorry

AFFotD: I…well, I love you

AFFotD: and I forgive you

AFFotD: for being made of comonads

–          Sketchy Promises of Romance (stage 1):  Playing with the fears and insecurities of every acne-riddled teenager who’s never had a girlfriend, these messages offer a sort of foolish hope that, though it seems plausible, it’s best not to get carried away with these things.  Usually it seems innocent enough, something like, “Hey, I have a crush on you, I’ve been too shy to tell you about it though.   You definitely know who I am, and would be really surprised when you find out.  Go to this website and see!”  They’re so damn earnest, they really want you to get excited about this fake “crush” that your “friend” has on you.  Last night, just for shits and giggles, we clicked on the link and it took us to a Christian singles dating site.  You win this round, internet.


They’re silently judging your lecherous ways

–          Sketchy Promises of Romance (stage 2- eww?):  We got a few of these the other day, with both Julia and Melissa inviting us to the same “help us cheat on our husbands” website, with the exact same email.  They must really be in synch, because they are equally nervous about it, but they really want you to help them get out of their marital funk.  These emails are even funnier when you realize that someone had to sit down and write this lengthy 500 word email.  Some fat balding failed writer sat down and had to really find the perfect “voice” for Julia and Melissa, both aged 31 and married women who are members of “The Married Wives Affairs Club.”  It starts off, “okay, I’m a little nervous, but here I go…” before describing this woman and her cuckold (who you can help cuckold as well!) who she still loves, but, “he travels a LOT, and I have needs that I just can’t control.”  It gets a little weird when “she” talks about how she just wants to meet people, bang them a few times, and never see them again, especially when lines like, “I have met and slept with 15 gentlemen over the past 12 months.”  Because, a gentlemen never kisses and tells, but apparently a gentleman is just absolutely riddled with gonorrhea.

–          Sketchy Promises of Romance (stage 3, oh come ON, you guys, that’s fuckin’ gross):  Usually fraught with misspellings, these will go into graphic depictions of the kind of dirty, depraved, gross sex you could be having right now.  This is no holds barred shit, it’s like having a coked out Lindsey Lohan as a sex line operator.  Wanna “Do 3 hours of f1sting”?  How about finding girls who wish to be shat upon?  It’s like Two Girls and One Cup made a baby, and it grew up to become an email copywriter.


–          CH3AP PHARMACEUTICALS/PEN15 EXT3NT10NS/My Robot Gives You Money (that third one is real):  Here we have three, though really the first two are always the same style, different types of Spam that run the gauntlet from “comically and obviously fake, but gosh darn it they’re trying so hard” to “we know we are spam and we’re doing nothing to hide that shit.”  Everyone is familiar with the clichéd spam mail, promising to enhance your junk (yet, the majority of the world’s population is female.  Where are the miraculous pills that increase labia size, huh?), with comical misspellings.  But the “we have the perfect way” to give you money is where the true American skeptic shines.  They normally try far too hard to make themselves sound legit, because gullible people will fall for it.  Appropriately skeptical Americans understand things like “economy” and “it’s impossible for everyone in the world to be a millionaire, because if so that would mean that there’s hyperinflation going on” and just ignore these.  The message’s author sneaks something about being a millionaire with about as much subtly as a guy hitting on a girl asking her, “So, do you have a boyfriend?” five minutes into the conversation.  And example, from the spam mail with the subject, “I May Be Insane For Doing This on New Year’s Day,” where Tim Bekker (that’s right, the Tim Bekker!) talks about how he is giving away his revolutionary “Money Training Package,” a $97 value, for free!  On New Year’s Day!  Which apparently matters somehow!  Bekker’s opening line is, “Okay, everyone is telling me that I’m an insane millionaire who must have gone absolutely crazy for doing this today, especially on New Year’s day of all days!”  That’s so unnecessarily in your face that dudes who introduce themselves to girls by just saying their penis size just threw up in their mouths a little bit.  And a certain percentage of the population will read that, go, “wow, a REAL millionaire is giving this for FREE” and click the link for the same reason why women sleep with The Situation- because they’re young and incredibly stupid.  And sure enough, when they go to the site, and it defaults to sign them up for a paid premium package, they don’t notice it.  And you know what?  America is Dog Eat Dog, if you were dumb enough to fall for that, it’s good that you have less money to affect the economy.  It’s called Darwinism, assholes.

–          Lengthy Gibberish!:  The lengthy message of pure gibberish is like the Holy Grail of spam messages.  They are not as common as the previously listed emails, but there’s a profoundness to their random splattering of unrelated words.  “The cohorts walk down yellow skipper driving through rainstorm clouds,” it might start.  “Haaa, what the fuck?” you reply.  When you get these baffling emails, cherish them, because at the end of days, when the machines finally do fulfill their Matrix-esque destiny, that shit’ll be more valuable than diamonds.

AFFotD salutes the vexing spam message, since if you can laugh at spam, it won’t piss you off nearly as much.  In fact, we support spam so much that we have dedicated a much longer-than-usual fun fact today, filled with spam words, which might just be enough to trick your email’s spam filter into thinking that this is spam.  Because being Meta is very American too…probably maybe.


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