Like Herb, I have always made it my habit to visit my Spam folder regularly in order to check whether anything ‘legitimate’ has erroneously fallen down into the bottomless cesspool of virtual doo-doo that fills it, so that I can, if necessary, retrieve it, reply appropriately and not feel like an ignorant slob. Unfortunately, I can’t do it any more: there are just too many of them. Over the last few weeks, my Spam has increased exponentially, from just a few per week to several hundred each day and I have no idea why. Last week my OCD tendencies drove me to empty the file – I like things neat and tidy. It took me HOURS. I can only seem to Bulk Edit twenty at a time. So tonight will be my last visit to the folder. In future I will try to ignore it. If, by some mischance of algorithmic nonsense you end up in it, I can only apologise.
What I am struggling to understand is just what, exactly, these people hope to achieve by sending me this junk. So, some of it is trying to push porn. I get that – not the bit where they have chosen me to bother, but the way it works. They mostly have a link which I suspect you only have to click in order to weld your laptop permanently to the KGB network in seconds… or perhaps you just get porn. Not sure which is worse really… Anyway, I understand how that could work, but what, for instance, is meant to happen with the one that says, ‘Would you be in favour of exchanging hyperlinks?’ What is a hyperlink? How do I exchange one? Presumably they want me to reply, although I can think of no rational reason for doing so outside of complete mental breakdown. Many are trying to sell me Amoxicillin. Why? Do I look ill? Many simply praise what I have written – although they do so from a position of blatantly not having read what I have written. Are they expecting me, perhaps, to reply, something along the lines of, ‘Many thanks for your kind comment, but I fear it has been misdirected. I have never written a post about Big Jim and his unusually endowed sister Natalia, and I do not understand the vagaries of trading Bitcoin. I hope that you are reunited with your preferred recipient soon. Yours etc etc’? And if they are, what do they hope to gain from it? A pen pal?
The most mystifying of all are what appear to be very long medical articles. They are very detailed and use approximately thirteen words per line that I do not understand. But why? What do they want me to do? Do they feel that my susceptibility to autosuggestion will be such that I think I may have caught whatever it is that they are describing? If that’s the case, surely all they need to do is offer me a link to the Amoxicillin website. In as much as I understand them – e.g. not at all – they appear to be snippets from a medical student’s dissertation. I fear that even extreme curiosity would not drive me on beyond the stages of putrefaction described at the foot of page one. Unless they are trying to peddle some kind of anti-nausea medication, I am at a loss to understand what they want to achieve, nor why they think they may achieve it with me. I don’t wish to give too much away, but just try me with free chocolate.
Finally, the comment that I get far more than any other – the one that comprises the title of this post. What on earth is that all about? It poses so many questions. I know – because I have Google – that it means ‘Thank you very much. How can I log in?’ but I have no idea what the very polite Spanish person wishes to log into. Even if I did, I would not be the kind of person that I would choose to ask how I should do so. And why Spanish? My blog is not Spanish – although, I admit, it is on occasions just as difficult for English speakers to understand – so why ask me a question in Spanish? Either they have not read my blog and do not know that it is in English or, probably more worrying, they have read my blog and think that English is my second language. Even then, what makes them suspect that Spanish is my first? I never get ‘Merci beaucoup. Comment puis-je me connecter?’. Presumably I am not sophisticated enough to be mistaken for French. In any case, even if they, themselves, do not understand English, they could do what I just did to get a translation. Mind you, it would still be double-dutch to me.
Anyway, all I really wanted to say is that, if you have sent me a comment to which I have not responded, it is probably becalmed in the Bermuda Pentagon of the Spam Folder and there, I’m afraid, it will remain. Please try again. As soon as I get it, I will respond – possibly in Spanish…