Thursday, June 28, 2012

#opinion Releasing my inner cow

If this bugs you,
then too bad. :D

This morning I got an e-mail from some chick who wants to sell me lead pig and zinc ingots. Apparently she specialises in metal. There’s a nasty little voice in the back of my mind that urges me to send her the response that has helped me avoid getting any more Nigerian scam artists – a copy/ paste of the Nine Satanic Statements as per the Church of Satan website. I can’t think of anything more contentious with which to respond to folks I’m assuming are basically your average Joe who’s looking to find a way to make a quick buck.

And I’m not making this stuff up. I haven’t had any letters from anyone wishing to deposit money in my bank account for more than a year now. I’m starting to think I need to apply the same tactic to the folks who keep telling me I’ve won the UK Lottery. No. Really.

But getting back to Yolanda from China who wants me to buy her metal: I responded to her e-mail and enquired whether she had any progressive funeral, sludge or doom metal, since those are the only types of metal in which I’m really interested. But no black metal, thank you.

I’m not all that into the way Danny Filth sings. He sounds like he’s gargling razor blades. I don’t have much of a taste for the Norwegian bands either.

In my opinion, black metal is just a bunch of long-haired dudes wearing too-tight leather trousers who run around in pine forests looking for trolls.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have this colleague, the kind I’m sure many of us have. I have come to the conclusion that she’s not really bright because she keeps mailing me Bible verses with those little motivationals and cutesy pictures of flowers and butterflies and little fuzzy lambs and praying hands and other vomitous stuff. She also gave me a pink floral print shopping bag for my birthday. I think she’s trying to tell me something.

To be honest, I’d be happier if she just ignored me like I try to ignore her in the hopes that she’ll go away and leave me alone.

Numerous times I’ve asked her to stop including me in the mails she sends to everyone in the building. But yeah, I guess I should start copy/pasting the Nine Satanic Statements to her, too. It worked on the Nigerians and the Arab spammers. I’m sure it’s going to work on her. I’m dead certain she’s already including me in her daily prayers. My supervisor told me making little voodoo dolls to pin to my cubicle might be a wee bit inappropriate. She might have a point.

On the bright side, I can hit the delete button with these annoying e-mails, happy for once that these idiots aren’t killing trees. Not like those bulky sweepstakes letters my parents used to get in the mail that usually required a lifetime subscription to condensed books packages. With all the different envelopes for replies, you needed to complete an undergraduate course in logistics to figure out how to respond.

But let’s not get started on our friends who forward every last conspiracy theory to all and sundry in their address book; like the woman who got parasites in her breast from some larvae she picked up her bra in the Bahamas or some weird gangster initiation ritual involving flashing lights late at night. Or our old favourites of “forward this mail and Bill Gates will donate 5c to little Jenny who’s dying of cancer”.

They’re the same people who’ll turn around and say is run by a government agency in cahoots with the Bavarian Illuminati*, and is trying to suppress all the conspiracy theories because they must be true because they can’t be disproved. These are also the same people who believe the moon landings were fake, and the US government is in regular contact with space aliens.

I sometimes despair for the human race, but as that wonderful cliché goes, there’s a sucker born every minute. I’m sure there are stats for the percentage of people who buy into some of these scams or mindlessly forward junk mail.

Don’t get me started on Facebook. Cute pictures of cats I can deal with (hey, I’m a big fan of Basement Cat, OK?), but my new rule is that each slacktivist who pastes images of mutilated rhinos, starving dogs or abused children on their timeline is unfriended.

Does that make me a cow? If so, then hear me say “moo”.

This column originally appeared in the Sunday Independent Life supplement, June 24, 2012.

* Yes, I am a paid-up member of the Bavarian Illuminati. 


  1. I had someone on my timeline who continually kept posting stuff about "ending abuse of *insert appropriate suffering minority here*" and it got to the point I didn't want to check Facebook while I was having my breakfast. Luckily she earned a spot on my shitlist by bitching about me with someone else (conveniently forgetting that I could read what she was saying) so both got unfriended and I haven't once missed the attempted guilt trips through horrid photos!