Subject: I,t's y,o-u,r c-h,o,i-c,e
Return Address:
Received: January 9, 2001

(Message begins.)


Ah, the wonders of ASCII. I'm sure if he could have included MS WordArt in his spam, he would.

Look, we don't want to waste your time.... or ours

Ah, good move, Hopeful E-Mail Marketer. Begin on the defensive, and claim not to want to do what you are currently, in fact, doing. (That is, wasting my time. I don't believe for a moment that your time has been wasted. I'm sure it was merely unique artistic genius that produced such a beautifully decorated subject line, and not at all a bot-produced tactic to get by mail filters. And I must say, you show exquisite taste in your choice of e-mail handle, Mr. GUID-For-A-Name.)

You must be determined to earn a bare minimum of 10,000 in the next
30-45 days and to develop a net worth of over 1 million dollars cash
in the next 24-36 months.

Take advantage of our special offer, chance of a lifetime, act now, operators are standing by, time is running out, supplies are limited, first fifty callers get a free toaster!

The second thing that bothers me about spam is the calculated, almost Disney-like earnestness of it all. My amigo, I am one of the most cynical people I know, let me tell you, the flowers curl up and turn black when I walk through the park, but I could never compose a sentence with such concentrated evil, such sheer intent to manipulate, as this. (The first thing that bothers me about spam, of course, would be the stain on my soul caused by my fervent wishing of a fellow human dead.)

What sort of scheme could this be to garner all recipients an easy ten G's within a month and a half, a hundred times that three years after? My mind fills with images of the deserts of Egypt...

My mission is to help other people develop their life long dreams. And part of
what I'm looking for are those people who are committed to that big of a
picture and are not afraid to work for it.
Work! I knew there was a catch!

Help people develop their life long dreams, eh? Pushing aside the magic mechanism by which this plan will serve as Lord Hypnos' sacred Polaroid, forgiving the often-observed point that, if the spammer's plan is so great, it seems odd that the spammer doesn't state it entirely in the message or just post his offer on a website and wait for the cabbages to line up at his door, I have to wonder what sort of work could this be that any person hit by a spambot could do it? Lo! Before my eyes spring visions of a solid, four triangles for sides and for its base, a square...

                 We can help you.

Oh sir, I have spent over an hour mocking your little missive. I am beyond mortal help.

              OR YOUR DEBT LOAD!

Joel, I'm scared!

In this ad, the spammer is targeting a very specific, yet important, demographic, namely those human beings who lack critical thinking skills.

                              NOT MLM or FRANCHISE
I don't know enough about get-rich-quick schemes to know what he means by this. I guess he's speaking to all those people who failed to start a McDonalds or a soft drink bottling plant.

                      Don't bother to call unless you are serious.
             Learn the facts CALL 1-800-366-9532
Heh, heh. Oh, I'm serious all right.... Such a beautiful, shiny, toll-free number. The incredible novelty of making a long distance call on another's dime never fails to entice!

In summary:

EASY $10,000 in 30-45 DAYS
Thank you, and good night.

As an added bonus, we present, for your entertainment, the world's most-inclusive filename wildcard:

The last time we used that one, we not only accidentally wiped our own hard drive, but also those of everyone in our building!

ALL REMOVE requests AUTOMATICALLY honored upon receipt.
Please understand that any effort to disrupt, close or
block this REMOVE account can only result in difficulties
for others wanting to be removed from our mailing list as
it will be impossible to take anyone off the list if the
remove instruction is not received.

"In order to be removed from our mailing list, you must provide us with the only conclusive proof we have that an actual person has read this. Please, don't block this e-mail address! If you do that, you will be wasting our resources in sending you this unwanted, distasteful marketing message! Why, if everyone did that, the entire future of our unwanted, distasteful marketing messages would be in doubt. Then where would we be?"


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