I remember 1992, when the world was new and the Internet as we know it today was still being born. There wasn't a lot of spam back then. I don't recall ever seeing any on the hundreds of FidoNet echoes I perused daily. Occasionally I'd see one of those "make $50,000 in just five minutes" posts way back in some hidden corner of some BBS.

1994 came and whitehouse.gov was cool and the Netscape Fishcam was even cooler (and the less well-known Netscape Signcam was even cooler). Internet email gained popularity. FidoNet wasn't so cool anymore. I stopped running my BBS and started running my first website. And still I don't remember ever getting spam.

A year or two passed, and the unsolicited commercial email began to trickle in. It was a minor annoyance. Maybe one or two messages a week. There weren't any free email services back then, so most of the return addresses were actually valid. There were no "Click here to be removed from our list" taglines.

It's 2001 now, and spam permeates my inbox hourly. Minutely, to be more precise. On average, I probably receive upwards of 50 pieces of spam a day. On the surface, I tell myself it's annoying, and I tell myself I hate it, and I tell myself I wish it would stop, but none of that is really true.

I enjoy coming up with more and more complex regular expressions to filter out the spam so I never even have to look at it. When the occasional message manages to sneak its way through the filters, I'm happy because it means I get to add to my filters and make them even more efficient.

A friend of mine sarcastically mentioned several weeks ago that he'd just love it if I forwarded all my spam to him. So I set up a filter to do that, and now my daily influx of spam is also his daily influx of spam. I think he's using a different email account now.

Today I got gobs of joy from sending an email to a spammer explaining to him how he was violating Nevada state law and how, if I were a meaner person, I could legally sue him for it. Imagine my joy when his return address turned out to be valid and he actually responded!

Spam has become a normal part of my daily routine, and I really do enjoy it. I rarely read it, and I long ago stopped trying to report it to ISPs. Now I just enjoy the short periodic breaks I get in my day when a spam squeezes through my filters and I get to play with it.

I like spam.

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