SPAM: A suitable name for junk mail

E-mail has changed the face of our communication in the past 10 years. It has been a variable force for good and that is a great thing. I have been impressed with the entire dynamics of the invention.

When you think about it, you can talk to someone around the world and it doesn’t cost you a bloody cent. Well, unless you are paying for your Web service; but then the cost is minimal and the whole thing works out to still cost a fraction of the price you would pay if you were trying to call someone in say, China.

But as with all good things, the general populace has found a way to pollute and destroy this shining beacon of communication.

“How have they done this?” you may ask. I say it is simply SPAM. And no I am not talking about the mystery meat substitute that so many Utah residents love and admire as a complementary side dish to green Jell-O and carrots. I am talking about the hard-to-determine mystery of junk e-mail that plagues the Web.

At least with SPAM (I am talking about the canned ham by-product now) you have a clue, however vague it may be, of what they have ground up and processed into formed meat. But with the Internet, well that is tricky business.

I have taken the liberty of dividing general SPAM (this is the Net variety again) into a few very solid categories which I think can be useful.

1. Financial help and lifesaving: When was the last time you got a credit card, debt consolidation or mortgage help? It seems like every shady business is trying to help you get out of debt. But with senders like Johnny or Belinda I am always just a little scared of the type of company that might be helping me secure my financial future. I conjure up images of big hairy men with baseball bats that go by the name of Guido and Hank who will break my knees if I don’t pay them back in a somewhat timely matter. Maybe I have seen too many movies, but I just have this dark foreboding feeling that they are not on a good level.

2. Health and such: OK, so I have been getting a lot of Viagra offers lately. First of all, how do they know I am male? And secondly, 30 is not an age that requires the help of the little blue pill on a regular basis in order for me to get my kicks. I’m not saying I am getting my kicks because that is not morally right, and in this state I may be looking for another set of guys who would want to beat some “teaching” into me. But in this case, they probably go by the names of Levi and Joseph. They will encourage Mary and Angela to bring me some casseroled potatoes and homemade cookies to get me back on the straight and narrow. So in the long run, I am going down again.

3. XXX: This is the really naughty stuff. I have had so many friends who have changed their e-mail accounts because somehow they have been getting e-mail of this nature. Of course, these e-mails come from people such as Muffy, Buffy and Debbie.

And for the gals, I have seen some from Danny (which is not as respectable a name as the others, but I guess you can’t win every battle). These fine, up-standing folks are inviting us to join them in their own little “artistic expressions.” I guess something is to be said for freedom of speech and stuff, but I have to admit, I am not generally in the mood to be treated to graphic art on a daily basis. And this time, I don’t think I will be accosted by two people who have my well-being in mind, but then again, God is always watching … wink, wink.

So there you have it, that is the SPAM of our lives in a nutshell. And to be honest, I think I would rather take my chances with the mystery meat in a can than some of the stuff I get in my e-mail inbox. Either way, it is always an adventure and a trip into the unknown. I guess that is why it is called SPAM.

University Wire