In a sure sign that I'm much too isolated, I've started noticing the nice names and cute titles of the various bits of spam littering my inbox. This latest flurry -- I have been remarkably good at keeping my inbox free of spam, but lately, probably because of this blog, there's been an upswing -- has incorporated a new, dovetailed strategy of (a) making up real-sounding names and (b) providing interesting-sounding subject lines.
When one pops up in my inbox, I pretend, for a millisecond, that it's a real bit of mail from someone new and interesting. Here, courtesy of my Mail program's "trash" folder, are some of my new, interesting milli-friends:
I mean, these are GREAT names. One of the stupidly difficult things about writing fiction is making up character names that don't sound like fanciful made-up nonsense that you doodled in the margins of your notebook. Somehow, probably with the help of a randomizer and a baby-name site, these spammers have come up with perfect candidates for "the vice-principal guy" or "the boyfriend from a dozen years ago that still haunts the main character's memory." I mean, Rudolph Vickers! Didn't he woo Bette Davis' character in Now, Voyager?
As for the subject lines, who wouldn't want to read about these?
It reads like found poetry. Well, I guess by definition, it is found poetry. It reads like a random line from a book of Kenneth Koch. (I still don't know what a fricking bluet is.)
Of course, my personal favorite, yet saddest, random subject line -- which says volumes about the perceived audience, about the loneliness of inboxes, about the grasping needs of spammers -- is this slivered slice of genius-cheesecake:
You're not ugly
Anyone who can resist clicking on that deserves the cleanest, spam-free inbox the world has ever known.