The joys of spam

You know what’s wrong with the world today? Spam doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

I first checked my spam comments folder because I’d read that legitimate comments sometimes get dumped there, and I found a few and dug them out. But I went back because the true spam comments were wonderful.

Take this one:

“I think about the some hobbits, its a close tie concerning Sam in addition to Pippin upon who changes one of the most.”

Sure. I think about that all the time. I don’t know what I mean by it either.

It rambles on about hobbits a bit longer before it says, with no transition, “This would be a great spot to send out free coupons and discounts, or if you’re just looking to promote your kids disco hall business, you can set up a basic advertisement without any charge.”

My kids? Oh my gawd, do I have kids? Where are they? What school are they in? And when did they go into this disco business? Are they old enough to go into business?

I’ve been a really irresponsible parent, haven’t I?

To make up for it, should I tell them disco’s pretty much over and they should try some other business instead?

Screamingly irrelevant photo: wall pennywort, which has no interest in disco–or business

After disco balls, or halls, or whatever that’s supposed to be, suddenly the comment starts talking about acidic blood blocks, then Hokaido and a Japanese right-hander (no, don’t’ ask me; I’m an innocent bystander here, even if I am an irresponsible parent) Then we’re back to hobbits, briefly, before we’re sitting on a beach making money for doing nothing and starting a business and rectifying complaints and, I think, wearing bright pink lipstick. It ends by saying, “tone down your eye makeup” (always good advice, except when it isn’t; are my kids listening?). The last words are, “visit my site.”

Now here’s what’s fascinating: Somebody—some human mind with set of fingers attached—put this together. What I want to know is how you make this stuff up.

A second comment went from keeping weeds away from the foundation to HR resources (the R in HR stands for resources, so that’s human resources resources) to antivirus software to oil heaters—which may use oil to heat air or heat the oil itself for some other purpose, like throwing off castle walls onto the heads of tourists to remind them what it was like way back when—to turning off your phone. It ended by trying to sell cheap jerseys. Presumably to me, but maybe through me to you. I couldn’t tell.

Is there a template for this stuff? Mention five hot Google search topics, then try to sell something unrelated?

Does it ever work?

A third comment said, “That is why there are different approaches too evalouate and assess the neerd for this therapy in men. love bracelet from cartier.”

A fourth read, “Thanks, Dixie Chick! Michael is indeed innocent. Not only that but he has been coerced by the court and IRS to commit perjury, crimes and frauds ON THEIR BEHALF! But at every turn he has said ‘NO!’ Watch for my next article. Mike is a true hero. hermes kelly 32 handbags imitation for women.”

Who the hell is Michael? Is the rest of the world watching some soap opera that I don’t know about? Does he neerd therapy? Would a bracelet or an imitation handbag help, and if so how? And is it really handbag or just an imitation of a handbag?

In a grocery store in Minneapolis once, I bought something labeled “imitation noodles.” It was kind of dismaying, but I cooked them and we ate them and couldn’t tell them from real noodles. I never did figure out what the difference was.

In case it’s relevant, it was an Asian grocery store and I put the strangeness of it down to translation problems. I’m not sure I’d have forked out money for imitation food that hadn’t been translated.

But back to the comment: Assuming I actually wanted to watch for the writer’s next article, how would I find it since the link is to a site that sells handbags? Or imitation handbags, which is to say bags that are passing themselves off as handbags but may in fact be footbags. Or feedbags. The internet’s a dangerous place and someone’s always trying to pass stuff off as other, more expensive stuff.

Furthermore, why am I being addressed as a Dixie Chick? I don’t sing as well as they do and I’m from New York. Or Minnesota, depending on how you want to count these things, but either way I’m a northerner.

And you start with that chick stuff with me at your peril.

Another comment (at this point we’ll stop counting; I’m not good with heights) asked if I made this website myself, so I’m going to confess: I didn’t. I found it at the back of the refrigerator. I’m not sure who brought it into the house or how long it had been there, but I hate to see stuff go to waste so I used it.

A lot of the comments start with some form of praise. Hell, we’ll almost all read on if someone tells us how clever we are. One of them said, “I thought this post was once great.”

Geez. How are the mighty fallen.

Okay, I had to google that quote because I realized I hadn’t a clue what it’s about or where it’s from. Turns out it’s from the bible and not exactly relevant. It has to do with falling in battle, although I suppose that’s one way of becoming no-longer-great. Kind of an extreme one, and not the one I’d choose, assuming I get a choice, but highly effective.

A final comment (I’ll stop after this; I promise) says, “I see your website needs some unique content. Writing manually is time consuming, but there is solution for this hard task.”

I know. I found that at the back of my refrigerator too. I just open the jar, scrape off the mold, and blog without having to write a word of my own. Or think a single troublesome thought.

Want to bet this is how the spam comments get written?

O brave new world…

(I didn’t need to google that. It is relevant.)

55 thoughts on “The joys of spam

  1. Joooj, joj, joj, I was unable to keep straight face through this, I burst into giggles so often that I had to explain myself to amore. Who says that spam is useless? I often read it through for the same giggling reason. And your commentary! :D As it is, the wording reminds me of the time when I let my phone write poetry. I started with “love” and then chose the next suggested word. I posted the result, if you’re interested: https://manjamaksimovic.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/i-am-not-responsible/ It was a humbling experience to see what a machine can do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, you’re the one. Your kids are trying to keep disco alive? Shame on you. Shame on your children. A pox upon both your houses (that’s from Shakespeare…I think). If you don’t have children, A pox upon the stuff in the back of your fridge.

    If we were inclined to take any of these comments seriously, I think the grammar, spelling and train-of-thought errors would alert us to an ulterior motive. I am amazed at how many people are selling Ugg boots.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Betcha Michael is Michael Flynn. Sounds about rant – I mean right. I mean correct.

    Also, the spam is probably computer-generated, like the robo-calls (are they as pervasive in the UK ? I hope not !)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robo calls. Arghh. We were getting two and three a day, generally in the afternoon, and they were driving me completely nuts. Then they stopped as neatly as if someone had turned off the faucet.

      I have no problem believing that the spam’s computer sent, but generated? I suppose it could be, but I kind of liked thinking someone was demented enough to actually patch that stuff together.

      Like

  4. I’ve had an absolute blitz of spam comments lately, all linked to some kind of car insurance thing. Most of them are along the lines of “I learned so much from this post” or are in a foreign language. But a lot of the others seem to be random bits stolen from posts and comments elsewhere on the web. Yesterday I deleted over 200 of the things, and there’s another fifty in my spambox this morning. With that kind of volume, I think somebody has probably automated this process, and has a bot just grabbing random sentences and stuffing them together.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Most of my spam centers around sex. Chat with hot Asian women, view some rather ‘unique’ porn, or the little pills designed to make things ‘longer and harder.’

    I guess the spambots think I’m male…but (looks down) nope. Those bumps are on the chest, not the groin.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello Ellen,
    I don’t ever open spam, unless by accident, but I really like some of the subject lines my browser shows me when I check my inbox. Some really make me smile, or even laugh.
    Have a wonerful weekend,
    Pit

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I never say the “S” word because I think it attracts it, but since this is your blog I will! I believe the purpose of many is simply to get you to visit the website to increase their SEO rating by giving them millions (?) of hits. That raises them up on the Google search pages. I also read that when you see long strings of jumbled letters like audgrfjeudhgebddyeh in a comment or address, this is code readable to spammers and probably says, “This is a sucker–spam harder!” I checked today and was suprised to see my spam comments % at 16%. Better than fifty I suppose. I get the last example you posted about “unique” content a lot. I only got dug one real comment from a regular poster out of the spambucket, and could not figure out the “trigger” for it. I get many telling me to buy gold. I admit, I do have a gold deficiency!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Why didn’t I think of this? I deleted a lot of spam last night. A few months ago I wrote a post in which I mentioned that I didn’t feel like showering, and now, in addition to the usual amusispam, I get comments from fascinating sites with titles that tend to include the letters S, E and X, in that order, with no space between. What can it all mean?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Someone posted the other day, “Your dog is pretty cute.”
    MY DOG IS AN INCREDIBLE EXAMPLE OF FELINE BEAUTY!
    Anyway, I didn’t approve that comment. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

    Today, I see several of us have all been spammed with the same lame, bad English comment. Some generic praise followed by “Come make me famous” or whatever. As if. Pfft.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pretty good summary of the comments there. I have, once or twice, let a spam comment through just for the joy of eviscerating it. Which is, I have to admit, a kind of pitiful way to have fun, but you take your fun where you find it, I guess.

      And, um, say hello to your dog for me.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. “I see your website needs some unique content.” That comment really made me smile. If anyone’s site has unique content already it’s yours! (And I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Silly Ellen. Michael is your long-lost innocent Hobbit child, remember? The one with the unstoppable eye shadow and the pure neerd for therapy and the dream of disco still thumping in his heart, all disco needs is one really good hall to make its comeback plus maybe some imitation handbags and a bowl or two of authentic noodles.

    Don’t you DARE tell Michael about disco being dead. Haven’t you crushed his spirit enough for one lifetime, what with not knowing about his existence and all??

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I just found the spam below on my blog and wished to share it with you. That’s why I wrote “Ellen Hawley” in my search engine. I forgot to add something funny, sorry. By the way, the results include some images with you without the sweater (on your face, that is). Good to see. This was the spam comment:

    “Eνeryone lauɡһed making an attempt to think about what kind of birthday celebration Mary and Joseph gave for Jesus wһen He was ѕix. Larry puzzled, ?I bet he favored the identical sort of toys
    we like.”

    Liked by 1 person

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