Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Spam, spam, spam, spam, eggs, and spam

Yesterday I got a spam reply on one of my old Skeptophilia posts.

It happens pretty often, and I usually just ignore them, being that (1) I'm not stupid enough to reply, and (2) I have no particular interest in black-market anabolic steroids, penis growth pills, or helping out exiled Nigerian princes.  But this one was so funny that I read it aloud to a student of mine who happened to be hanging around, and we both had a good enough laugh that I thought I should share it here.

[Image licensed under the Creative Commons Cypher789, Spam 2, CC BY-SA 3.0]

So here it is, along with some interspersed editorial comments from yours truly.
Not just me, eh? You want the whole world's attention?  That's pretty ambitious.
Hello and blessed are you who found me.
Well, you found me, technically.  But hello back atcha.
My name is DR SHAKES SPEAR, and am here to help you change and transform your life in the most positive way possible.
Is that William Shakes Spear?  Huh.  I thought you had Shuffled Off This Mortal Coil four centuries ago.  Shows you what I know.
I use the power of white, black craft and Wicca and voodoo spell casting to help people just like you they get the love they want and the money they deserve.
Did you even read my blog, bro?  You are seriously barking up the wrong tree.
My love spell offer amazing and quick results.  Do you want to find your soulmate?
Already have, thanks.
Do you want to reunite with a past lover and make him or her love you again?
Merciful heavens above, no.  My past lovers are past for a reason.
Do you need to bind a troublemaker from causing problems in your relationship?
Unless you count the fact that my dog takes up way more than his fair share of the bed, I think I'm fine in that regard.
With my spell casting service, I can cast a love spell on your behalf that will help all of your wishes and dreams come true.  I also do other custom spells, such as money spells, job spells, friendship spells, and good luck spells.
Versatile, that's you!  But you have to wonder why, if you can just cast money spells, you are trying to bilk cash from a poor struggling writer.
You may have already tried the power of spells and prayers to get what you want.
No, "hard work" and "a reasonable supply of brainpower" have always worked for me.
Although it is true that everyone has the ability to cast spells and perform magic, spell casting is like a muscle.  Everyone have this 'muscle' but the more you use it, the stronger it gets, and the more things you are able to do with it.
Well, that's a mighty fine sales pitch.  However, the muscle it mostly made me think of was the gluteus maximus, because you seem to be talking out of your ass.
If you are not an experienced spell caster, your spell may not be as strong, and the results not as quick as you may desire.  GET YOUR PROBLEMS SOLVE HERE AND BE FREE!!
Ooh, I can't wait for my problems to be solve!
Hello to people that want to be Great,
Hi there.
Note: This Spell casting do not have any effect on any one, But just to get your problem solve ok.
Ok.  But if it do not have any effect on any one, how the hell do it get my problem solve?
Get your problem solve in master... You can get the bellow problems solve here.
Yes, those bellow problems can be a bitch, it's true.
1. Bring back lost lover, even if lost for a long time
Cf. my previous comment about lost lovers.  They can stay lost, thanks.
2. Remove bad spells from homes, business & customer attraction etc.
Now you're talking.  If you could cast a spell that would make 9th graders less annoying, I'd be much obliged.
3. Get promotion you have desired for a long time at work or in your career.
Promotion?  To what, administrator?  That'd be a big "nope."  If I had to choose between becoming an administrator and receiving a colonoscopy from Edward Scissorhands, I'd have to think about it.
4. Remove the black pot that keeps on taking your money away
So that's where it's going!
5. Find out why you are not progressing in life and the solution
If you could progress one of my novels to "bestseller" status, I'd take back everything I said about you.
6. Ensure excellent school grades even for children with mental disabilities
Who needs the Common Core, when you have Dr. Shakes Spear?
7. I destroy and can send back the Nikolos if request
I'm not going to request, because I have no idea what the fuck that even means.
8. We heal barrenness in women and bad issue and disturbing menstruation
I'm disturbed just thinking about this one.
9. Get you marriage to the lover of your choice
Too late, because I got me marriage to her all by myself.  But it's a nice offer.
10. Guarantee you win the troubling court cases & divorce no matter how what stage
Shouldn't #10 come before #9?  Just saying, you know, as a pitch.  As is it seems like getting the cart before the horse.
11. Mental illness & bewitched
What about them?
12. Extreme protection for those doing dangerous jobs like security guards, Bank manager, cash transporters, etc
Not teachers, eh?  No "extreme protection" for us?  Just your ordinary, garden-variety protection?
Maybe you should work on a spell for getting your caps lock unstuck.

So, there you have it.  A tasty meal of spam, courtesy of Dr. Shakes Spear.  I strongly recommend against sending anything to the email addresses, because of course that only would alert Dr. Spear that (s)he has a fish on the line, and pretty likely result in your being inundated by further offers.  So unless you have a particular need for steroids or penis growth pills, or are feeling a sudden desire to help down-on-their-luck Nigerian princes, it's probably best just to press "delete" and forget about it.


I grew up going once a summer with my dad to southern New Mexico and southern Arizona, with the goal of... finding rocks.  It's an odd hobby for a kid to have, but I'd been fascinated by rocks and minerals since I was very young, and it was helped along by the fact that my dad did beautiful lapidary work.  So while he was poking around looking for turquoise and agates and gem-quality jade, I was using my little rock hammer to hack out chunks of sandstone and feldspar and quartzite and wondering how, why, and when they'd gotten there.

Turns out that part of the country has some seriously complicated geology, and I didn't really appreciate just how complicated until I read John McPhee's four-part series called Annals of the Former World.  Composed of Basin and Range, In Suspect Terrain, Rising from the Plains, and Assembling California, it describes a cross-country trip McPhee took on Interstate 80, accompanied along the way with various geologists, with whom he stops at every roadcut and outcrop along the way.  As usual with McPhee's books they concentrate on the personalities of the people he's with as much as the science.  But you'll come away with a good appreciation for Deep Time -- and how drastically our continent has changed during the past billion years.

[Note:  If you order this book using the image/link below, part of the proceeds will go to support Skeptophilia!]

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