Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Shhh dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your spam; I love it!

People are so touchy when it comes to spam. Spammers are often spoken about in tones usually reserved for child pornographers and Taliban insurgents. Is it annoying to see dozens of daily e-mail teasers from insurance companies, dating services and pharmaceutical suppliers in your daily inbox? Of course it is. But it's way down on my list of annoyances and pet peeves.

Speaking of pet peeves, honey containers are rubbish aren't they? Actually, honey itself is rubbish too. God bless the bees and hives and the whole notion of it being nature's sweetener and all that. Just don't ask me to eat the bloody stuff. As my granddad used to say when remarking upon foods he didn't like, "Ugh, it gets in your mouth."

I actually quite like the taste of tea, so I wouldn't dream of putting any kind of sweetener in mine (natural or otherwise), but my wife insists on using honey in hers every morning, and since I'm generally the tea boy, I also have the chore of squeezing honey out of a bottle and into her mug. As many of you no doubt know, honey is deplorably sticky and and feels so grotesque on your fingers that you have to immediately run to the sink in a blind panic, soap up and wash your hands. I do this on a daily basis.

What I can't for the life of me figure out, is how the hell the honey always manages to repeatedly get on the outside of the container. It can be a freshly opened bottle, but by the next morning the whole exterior will be tacky to the touch. Even if you take it to the sink, lather it up with specially formulated anti-bacterial honey-eating soap and then dry it off completely, by the next morning the bottle will be honey-coated again. How can this be? Does it ooze its way through the plastic to spite us as we sleep? I ponder this on a daily basis. Seeing a spam-filled inbox pales in comparison, I can tell you.

Anyway, yes spam is decidedly tasteless, lowbrow and unnecessary, but then so is most of our reality TV-fueled celebrity worship culture. We don't hit the delete button enough on that, in my opinion. Quite the contrary really. They keep selling gossipy garbage to us because we keep buying it. Not only that, we actually go in search of it with our TV remote controls.

So, while it can get tedious sifting through your e-mail messages, not all junk mail and spam is useless. Oh no. Just today I discovered that just by mailing a cashier's check to a Mr Codogo in Namibia, I can stake my rightful claim on a sizable inheritance. Can't get that from the latest episode of Baby You Can Drive My Kardashian can you?

If that weren't enough, there's always the good old anti-impotence drug offers. You know, the ones that they even advertise on TV now, complete with outrageous and embarrassing disclaimers that you try to cough over when your children are within earshot. For a while there, they were showing an ad featuring a couple holding hands while sitting in separate bathtubs. On a cliff. I always thought this was the most barmy ad I'd ever seen. Thankfully, I haven't seen it for a while. Perhaps the drug company realised how bizarre it all was and surmised that if you and your wife are in the recreational habit of dragging bathtubs up onto a cliff, impotence might just be the least of your problems.

No, give me spam e-mails over Unreal Housewives and Celebrity Chef Food Fights any day. They're at least good for the occasional giggle. Why just this very afternoon, I was informed by way of a demographically targeted message that mature single ladies wanted to meet me. Not that funny by itself, but the next e-mail up was from a self-described cougar dating site, and I found the juxtaposition quite amusing. Who are they trying to set me up with? Betty White?

Now, that's entertainment.

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