Usually our blog (you’re here, so you know us, read us and love us!) gets a few comments each week – a few from readers and one or two that are “spam.” Imagine our surprise this week when we discovered 98 spam comments in our inbox. Why the sudden influx of spam?
A quick look at some of the return email addresses gave us a clue. There were 25 from “American Airways Free Tickets.” Evidently there are a lot of airline industry spammers out there, and our last post mentioned “walking down the aisle of a plane …” Aha! That was the keyword that unleashed the torrent.
We’re not used to an overflowing spam folder, because the subjects we usually write about – things like holiday cooking and summer vacations – don’t have such aggressive constituencies. Neither do knishes, another favorite topic of ours. But evidently, banana nut muffins have a vocal population because several of the spams originated from the email address: “recipe for banana nut muffins:”
“It’s always so pleasing and jam-packed to visit your blog at the least three times in one week to learn the fresh issues you have got. And definitely, we are actually fulfilled concerning the cool thoughts served by you.”
This is proof that we are right when we nag our kids to not rely on Google Translator. It’s never a good strategy, whether you are doing the Spanish homework or sending three million spams across the globe.
Then there was confused spammer we felt sorry for:
“You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated.”
What “matter” did he mean? Picking out a birthday cake isn’t hard. We just choose chocolate.
A closer look at our incoming spam boosted our ego. Many of them are so flattering that we wanted to believe them:
“Simply wish to say your article is astonishing. The clarity in your post is simply nice. Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.” – Harry Pill
Harry sounds so sincere! Of course we’ll continue our enjoyable work. But what does he want from us? What do all of them want from us? We used to warn our kids not to talk to strangers; now they warn us not to click on any strange links. We find ourselves asking our tech-savvy sons, “Why can’t we write back to Harry Pill? What’s the worst that could happen??
“I’m just commenting to make you be aware of what an awesome encounter our child went through reading the blog.” – Randell Purtlebaugh.
Thank you Randell, but we don’t know you. We also don’t know Emerita Millilo or Prudence Purcell or any of the 98 other people who took time from their busy days to send us lovely email notes. We hate to think that they are just randomly generated names, but we’re suspicious because Aaros Anaminster was first on the list.
We don’t know why discountviagraprescription thinks “You are great writers with many interesting things to say,” but we want to believe him.
Like the note from the Nigerian prince who wants to send us the $5 million dollars that was left in an account for us, the bad grammar of some of these messages gives them away. We got one that read:
“We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. Our entire community will be grateful to you.”
We think it’s fabulous that his entire community is grateful to us. But what kind of scheme are they opening? We suspect that when they plugged the Ukrainian word for “project” into Google Translator, the word scheme was suggested. We don’t want to be a part of any foreign schemes.
Latanya Spadafora, another cyber fan, wrote: “I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem.”
Against the advice of our counsel, we couldn’t resist advising Latanya:
“We hope you aren’t referring to last month’s blog about how we’re dreading bathing suit shopping. We didn’t know this was a sensitive issue for you, too. We’ll stop gossiping with your cousin about how bad you look in a bathing suit. Keep those cards and letters coming.”
We had a good time looking through the pile of recent spam, mainly because so many of them were complimentary and yet also gave us a chance to practice our editing skills. We’ve learned to proceed with caution when choosing out topics and keywords. We know that if we dare to write about our aging, wrinkled skin or kvetch about the high price of prescription drugs, we’ll get buried in an avalanche of spam.