Monday, July 24, 2006

A spammer in the works

Okay, now I know that I've moved to China.

First the government goes around blocking websites and wants me to show id at cybercafes. Now I'm getting Chinese spam.

No, seriously, for the last three days, all the mail in my Gmail spam folder has been in Chinese. Is this happening to anyone else? I'm starting to get a little worried here. There's something about the idea that one billion people out there might want me to buy cheaper prescription medication that makes me very afraid.

Not that I know what the mails say, of course. (For a script based on symbols, it's suprisingly hard to figure out the words for 'penis enlargement' in Mandarin) For all I know there is some desperate political dissident out there sending me top-secret military information at the risk of his / her life, and I just keep deleting it. Or, even more critically, it could be the recipe for the perfect egg salad.


As I've grown older, the spam I get has matured with me. At first, all I would get were mails promising to restore my virility. Then at some point those stopped coming and I started getting offers for mortgages and credit instead. Now all I seem to get are offers for cheaper prescription medication.

Do these spammers know something that I don't? Does the fact that I never get ads for viagra substitutes any more mean that even the spam community has figured out that I'm never going to get a date again?

I don't know what I resent most - the implication that I'm a sex-crazed maniac with really tiny equipment, the insinuation that I'm a financial deadbeat with a two digit credit rating and no conceivable hope of ever finding employment, or the suggestion that I'm a geriatric old man who's way past the point where he has to worry about either of the other two. [1]


And speaking of spam in Gmail, have you ever noticed how when you go to the spam folder you always get these links to food products made out of spam (my folder currently shows a link to a recipe for Spam Primavera)? Shouldn't someone have figured out by now that when people click on this folder they're talking about a different kind of spam[2]? Somewhere in outer Elbonia there are a bunch of marketing executives trying to figure out why nobody will buy their spam burgers, despite the fact that their ad gets 156,230,492 views a day.


[1] Needless to say, none of those are true.

[2] Alternatively, of course, there may be people who actually are so fond of eating spam that they have a seperate folder for it. I'm sure they must be wondering why people keep sending them all these messages for penile implants. We don't want a bigger c*ck, they probably reply, we like our meat canned and pre-cooked, thanks.


bongopondit said...

Wierd ! Maybe spam is being outsourced to China ?

I have noticed an increased spam-mail for diaper products lately.

As for spam, I will have the spam, spam, spam, egg, and spam, if you please.

ggop said...

Fun read. They are checking ids now? Big brother is really watching you.

Could not resist forwarding your observations on the spam folder in gmail to my friend in Google. :-)

Space Bar said...

my heart skipped a beat--thought you were making nasty ones about my blog!

spam fajitas, primavera--all there. i always thought they're a description of what gmail does to the spam. cooks the living daylights out of it.

wrong on two counts. bad start to the day.

confused said...

errr. why was footnote 1 required? :)

MockTurtle said...

The spam recipes are Google's attempt at humor.

Cheshire Cat said...

You are relentlessly entertaining.

Just Mohit said...

Since I started getting spam for geriatric products before "performance-boosters", i can only assume there's something wrong with me. ;-))
Although must admit there's something scary about searching for switzerland one day, and getting spam for travel to switzerland in gmail the next! Some connection!?!

Swathi said...


i haven't opened my gmail spam folder in ages, i shall do it on one of those boring days.(can someone please tell those spammers that girls don't need penile enhancements!!!)

n said...

i can spam recipes all the time too. and not just in my span folder. and despite changing the settings!! someone in gmail just loves their spam. ive cribben abt it before. here and here.

km said...


The Mandarin symbol for "penis enlargement" can easily be deduced by studying their other symbols.

For e.g., the character for "danger" also represents "opportunity". Similarly, "penis enlargement" is represented by the duality of "pleasure" and "phenomenon that robs us of intelligence".

Aishwarya said...

It is far worse to have one's small penis insulted in spam when one does not possess a penis of any size. Really.

Falstaff said...

bongopundit: Phew! at least I'm not getting those. I think the Chinese spammers have probably decided that there's no hope for eunuchs like me.

ggop: Right. So if the government doesn't get me, Google will.

space bar: :-). No, no, not my intention at all as you can see. It's okay - we all have our bad days, don't let it get you down. Alternatively, if you are really depressed, I know this store that will get you really cheap Prozac...

confused: You mean you still haven't figured out that I'm all about insecurity?

mockturtle: You think? I don't know. They've never struck me as being that humorless.

cat: thanks

just mohit: Wow! That's impressive. *cue ad* "Saath saal ke buddhe, ya saath saal ke jawaan?"

swathi: *resisting temptation to make several very sordid jokes* yes, I know, it's almost as silly as sending them to someone as, ahem, able bodied as me.

n: :-). I know. I'm almost tempted to try the stuff myself.

km: lol! I don't know. I think if we're talking about penis enlargement and loss of intelligence, the cause-effect relationship is open to question.

aishwarya: Disagree. See, if you don't have a penis at all, then you KNOW that they've made a mistake by sending it to you. If you have one, there's always that split-second of doubt while you reassure yourself that they couldn't possibly mean you.

It's like when you're in a theatre and someone comes in and wants to know who the green VW parked outside belongs to. If you don't own a car you just ignore it. If you did drive to the theatre, even if it was in a stretch limousine, there's this moment when you think - could it be me? See what I mean?

Just Mohit said...

lol, more like 30+ dude!
but i know what you mean (Sigh!)