Saturday, May 21, 2022

Dear Spam,

I know you’ve been trying to reach me. People will start talking about all those phone calIs and emails. I have to admire your persistence, but it’s time we put an end to this one-sided relationship. How can I say it any clearer? To quote Bob Dylan, It ain’t me you’re looking for, Babe. Whatever it is you are selling, I am not buying.

Do you think your mother would be proud of you working in the broom closet of a subterranean boiler room at an abandoned warehouse on the wrong side of town? Why not go back to school like your kid sister? I know everyone needs a hobby. Have you considered building model airplanes? If that’s not a take you could always sniff the glue.

Does one graduate from a night job as a hacker to a day job as a purveyor of spam or can you hold down both jobs as evidence of multitasking? I know you might think that being unanswered or hung up upon is a step up from your previous job as a hacker in the bowels of Uzbekistan. I grant you that.

I recall the feeling of being hacked. Nothing like the Texas Chainsaw but still I imagined pieces of me turning up in a moo-shu or bouillabaisse. But that was a different hack as I drove in for a behind-the-back-double-windmill slam dunk on the basketball court. (dream on, Norm)

Strange, the hours words keep as they morph and pop-up years later in new guises. SPAM used to be an acronym standing for Specially Processed American Meat, a mash-up of pork, potatoes and enough excipients to pass for an edible. It gained some sort of maligned afterlife in the hands of Monty Python, which loses too much in translation to make any sense. If you don’t already know, look it up. I expect it will live in infamy forevermore.

Let me propose we meet at some equidistant bistro over a bottle of kvass and discuss what it would take to remove me from your sucker list? Since you probably have my credit card already, I’ll let you pick the tab. After all, my paternal grandparents were from Mother Russia or was it my maternal grandparents from the Fatherland? We may be related. Is that you Cousin Igor? 

Why spam me? Maybe, you have mistaken me for someone important. My bank account isn’t worth the trouble. Wait till your boss finds out I do my shopping at the 99 Cent Store and I live on day-old bread and dented cans.

Tell me something, Igor : may I call you Iggi? I can understand if you were a descendant of Jean Valjean, stealing my loaf to feed your ailing brood particularly if you have a booming voice deserving of a standing ovation. One man’s Les Miz meager table is another man’s banquet. But why do hackers hack and spammers scam? Just for the hack of it? Fun, is it?  

I have never understood that other breed, the harmless hacker. It must be the Mt. Everest Syndrome. They do it because it is there and they can. O.K., I’m here and possibly at this very moment I’m being climbed and the adventurers and Sherpa tribesman are having a peak experience.

Must I live out my days with a firewall, whatever that is? Must I change my password as often as I change my mind over a menu in a Chinese restaurant? What about those secret questions about my first pet? If I forget what I wrote can I count on you for the answers?





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