Thursday, September 26, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: Re: supply sinochem PE / PVC resin

Hey I recognize some of those words! One of those words!

Dear Sirs:

I am ... but one man. But yeah, sometimes it feels like I do the work of three sirs, LOL. Thanks for recognizing my work ethic, uh ... I'm sorry - I didn't catch your name ...

This is Helen from " DAER POLYMERS GROUP " in China.

Oh word? Helen, like Jack, is a very common Chinese name, so thank you for specifying you are Helen from " DAER POLYMERS GROUP, " which is another thing I understand. Everything is adding up nicely here.

We export SINOCHEM and Recycled plastic materials nearly 10 years :

Is that a colon or an emotionless emoticon?

We export SINOCHEM : (feeling "eh" about exporting SINOCHEM)

and Recycled plastic materials : (feeling "eh" about exporting Recycled plastic materials)

nearly 10 years : (feeling "eh" about being in business nine years)

and also we are traveling to Chinese water park tomorrow for field day :/ (feeling anxious about riding the log floam)

 Titanium Dioxide / PVC resin

 HDPE / LDPE / LLDPE / PP ( Injection and film grade )


Welp, I'm sold. At first I thought you just exported sinochem and recycled plastic materials, but all these other letters too? I am so excited I feel like someone just injected me with film grade PP. #sinochenjokes

Please share your order with us, we do better than others !

" DAER POLYMERS GROUP ": we do better than others !

Helen, that motto is the Kendrick Lamar verse of plastic material exporting company mottos. Other plastic material exporting companies be like, "Wait - what'd that b*tch say?" But hey, sorry other plastic material exporting companies - the proof is in the pudding: Check yo self:

Daaaaaaaaaaaaang. The realness. Check the sticky note popping out of blob No. 1 - ain't NOBODY else be getting sticky notes to pop out of their sinochem like that. Just ordered 28 of those, plus some marbles and PET resin. 'Bout to make it RAIN up in herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

No sense harping on the past, unless you’re tagged in it

Not too long ago I got the email notification that everyone dreads: “(Person you are ‘friends’ with but haven’t spoken to, seen, or even thought about in more than 10 years) tagged a photo of you on Facebook!”

“What the … ”

(immediately logs on to Facebook, heart beating fast in chest)


And there it was, in all its pre-digital camera resolution glory. Me, about a dozen or so years ago, standing next to a co-worker from my second job out of college, during what appeared to be some sort of super-lame, themed office function. Lord only knows what the theme was, but I was wearing an oversized Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts, and a sombrero (Mexico meets Hawaii meets Old Navy?). One could assume that such a wild, untamed outfit in an otherwise professional atmosphere would have led to some semblance of joy, but I looked very sad. Somewhere off in the distance was a plate of homemade spinach dip resting on a copy machine. Most importantly for the purposes of my embarrassment, I was carrying about 40 pounds of extra post-college beer weight that seemed unhidden despite the flow-y nature of the aforementioned Hawaiian shirt.

My former co-worker had added the comment, “Was going through some old photos and found this! LOL!”

Yeah, lol, I’LL GIVE YOU LOL!

I immediately deleted the photo while on my phone, but I needed to cover all my bases and wanted to get on the computer to make sure it was deleted accordingly. Unfortunately my wife, who was finding my dilemma increasingly hilarious, was doing actual work on the computer and would not let me on. I pleaded with her, “You need to let me on, this is a CODE RED emergency!” But she just laughed and laughed and laughed, adding that it serves me right, noting one of the handful of instances where I apparently embarrassed her. Such is her sense of justice.

I stewed about it until I was able to get on the computer, and when I did it seemed as though the photo had indeed been deleted. This was a close call—I could go hours without checking my email or Facebook, but it just so happened I became aware of this within 10 minutes or so of it posting. Adding to my concern was the fact that I had recently become involved in a good natured “meme war” with my friends from back east, where we’d find somewhat unflattering pictures of each other on Facebook
or, in their case, the same unflattering pictureadd silly captions, and share them. Ya' know, sort of like this:

For my birthday
For National Tequilla Day, obvs

These are fine, but had my friends gotten a hold of this other one, I just … I’d rather not even think about it. (It should be mentioned that I somewhat raised the stakes on the meme war by re-posting an old high school photo of my friends in which they looked like Crockett and Tubbs, and titling it after the Jay-Z/Kanye West album. I REGRET NOTHING.) Friendships may have lost. Just goes to show you—never get involved in a land war in Asia, and never get involved in a meme war on Facebook.

I also changed my privacy settings. Now if someone wants to tag me in something on Facebook, they must first fill out an application at the Library of Congress.

Honestly though, what are people thinking? If I found an old picture of someone I don’t really speak to anymore, and in the picture that person looked like an overweight, confused tourist, I wouldn’t post it on social media for everyone to see. But such is the age in which we live.

Which reminds me: old timers? Yeah, maybe you walked uphill both ways to school and like, fought valiantly for our freedom and stuff. But thank your lucky stars you didn’t live in an age where your unflattering past can resurface at any time as public information. These days, your past can find you out of nowhere, and when it does, it will look you in the face and condescendingly say, “Aloha.”

Note: This column appears in the 9/26 issue of The Glendale Star and the 9/27 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: Fund Release Confirmation .,

The subject header of this email is "Fund Release Confirmation (space) (period) (comma)"


With that subject header? YOU HAVE IT.

I wish to remind you that after many attempts to reach you through our correspondence in your country which proved abortive,

Hold up, wait ... wait for a second, hold on, stop. Stop. STOP. First of all, there are like several hundred ways I can be reached. I have 38 Internet profile pages, plus a phone, plus email. Not to mention the mother freakin' U.S. of A. postal service, which can be trusted to deliver anything, anytime, sometimes, maybe. Did you even try to send one of your country's singing telegramists to my home or office? That is usually how the other countries that owe me money do it. I mean, how has your correspondence not reached me? I am going to kill my secretary. Oh, my bad - ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT.

Also, kudos on "proved abortive." Great phrasing, although it makes me regret we ever got drunk and metaphorically released our funds in the first place. I never thought it would lead to correspondence. I was only out to have a good time.

I am delighted to write you concerning your fund which is floating in our Transfer Hard Disk component.

Do you mean my fund is floating around like, digitally? Or is your Transfer Hard Disk component (!) in outer space, and I have a wad of cash with my name on it that is floating around up there? I am going to assume it is the latter, so please have your best astronaut grab it and then rocket himself back down to Earth to give it to me, thanks.

Based on this, you are requested to get back to me confirming your availability

I am available to receive random wads of cash Monday through Friday, 12 a.m. - 12 p.m., and Saturdays, same time. Also Sundays.

and your readiness to comply with our transfer proceeding so that we can pass an instruction to our corresponding bank in your country to recognize your Hard Disk Transfer Code and credit your account through Reserve Bank.

Me: Hello?

Blocked call: Michael Eduardo Kenneth Kenny?

Me: Close.

Blocked call: This is Bank of America, American affiliate of Bombay Republic Bank of Swiss Fundage. Have you readied yourself to comply with transfer proceeding? If yes, please grab nearby Bible or Koran and raise your right hand and say "yes."

Me: Yes.

Blocked call: Please now ready yourself for your Hard Disk transfer code by grabbing a ball point pen, writing down the code, and bringing it to any participating Bank of America to receive your funds. Ask for Hank and make air quotes when you do it. Confirm your readiness.

Me: Ready.

Blocked call: Your Hard Disk Transfer Code is: three ... eighty-nine ... "T" as in "shrimp tempura" ... a picture of a red barn ... quatro ... Smells Like Teen Spirit ... dollar sign ... emoticon for "feeling frisky" ... Beware of Dog sign ... seven ... Harry Belafonte's home telephone number, which you are responsible for retrieving ... rhombus ... all of Kobe Bryant's jersey numbers, including Olympics, listed in reverse order ... twelve ... "B" as in "bee" ... backspace.

Me: Got it.

Blocked call: This line of communication will self destruct in (slow voice) SIX SECONDS ...

Accept Our Esteem Gratitude while we awaits your prompt reply.

You are a cool writer. Any chance you have two first names?
Mr.Gerald N. Scott

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Birth of a salesman

To my great surprise and delight, my wife finally relented and agreed that we should purge some stuff from our house. Of course, this backfired immediately, and rather than being able to get rid of one of the thousand awkward-shaped and space-eating children’s toys we have somehow acquired which our children never actually use, I was instead asked to purge something of my own: my beloved Pro Form Fusion 1.5 “Power Tower.”

The Power Tower—God bless it—was the best. I had used it frequently (approximately .001 percent of its standing existence) to do pushups, pull-ups and ab-thingees. The rest of the time (99.99 percent) it was also useful, as I was able to hang things from it, namely, my mom’s “Arizona pocketbooks,” which she keeps here and which hold things like golf balls (?), loose change, and her Advil for when she gets migraines. I had hung the pocketbooks from the top pull-up bar of the Power Tower to keep them out of reach from our children because I am a great and resourceful parent.

Although I was sad to part with the Power Tower, I was happy to purge; however, I was still left with the dilemma of what to actually do with it. You can’t just make a seven-foot tall Power Tower disappear, as the saying goes.

Now, it is always my preference to give something away rather than try and sell it. This is not because I am nice; it is because I am lazy.

I mean, really—who has the time? What am I supposed to do, use Craigslist? Oh, redneckChuck231 from Goodyear is interested in my Pro Form Fusion Power Tower? Sure, why don’t you come to my house where I live and have a look, redneckChuck231. Come on inside … would you like to meet my daughters? Or maybe we should meet at Jack N’ the Box or something? How does this work? Also, do you have a pickup truck to get this dang thing out of here? Because I do not. You want to give me half the money now and the other half when you get paid next Friday? Is that normal? Is this a traveler’s check?

No thank you. I had planned to just give it away. I was going to do what I always do—call St. Vincent de Paul and have their truck come pick it up. Besides, it’d be going to a good cause, and it would be comforting to know that someone who is less fortunate would finally get the six pack abs they have always dreamed of.

But then a thought occurred to me—our community has a “garage sale”-type Facebook page where residents can post things to gauge interest. I would feel better selling to a pseudo neighbor than a complete stranger, I thought. I had actually been a member of the Facebook group for like a week, until I could no longer take my news feed blowing up with pictures of Hello Kitty play tables and baby name books. I would shamefully submit to rejoin the group for the sole purpose of selling my Power Tower.

I began disassembling it, intrigued by the idea of becoming an actual salesman. My wife walked in after I had removed several parts already and condescendingly said, “Did you take a picture of it first?” She totally thought I had not, and under normal circumstances I definitely would have forgotten to do that. But I had taken a picture because I had thought ahead. Like a salesman.

I rejoined the Facebook group. I posted the picture. WHO WANTS MY POWER TOWER? Guess what? Several people were interested. Bidding war! One of them had a pickup truck. They won.

I helped load the Power Tower into the truck, then waved goodbye as it pulled away while a tear rolled down my cheek. Then I looked down at the cold, hard cash in my hand and I felt better. I haven’t left the Facebook group yet because I have more stuff to sell, namely a couple pocketbooks and some expired, over-the-counter drugs.

See you at the crossroads, Power Tower

Note: It should be mentioned that the Power Tower was originally given to me by my buddy Rashad, who won it for some reason when he used to work for Neilsen Ratings but needed to get rid of it when he had to move. I texted him about splitting the profits, and he responded, referring to Neilsen, a company he hates, "still making money off those b*tches."

Note2: This column appears in the 9/19 issue of The Glendale Star and the 9/20 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: Shooters Revolution


I hope this message finds you well. I am  reaching out to you in hopes of support.

Let me guess - your parents were killed in the Shooters Revolution but they left behind $9.8 million in life insurance money that you'd like to transfer to my American account so that I can hold it for you while you make your way to America, where you will set up an orphanage for the less fortunate.

Myself and partners residence of Arizona have launched a new product, the Evo Basketball.


The first smart basketball, the ball is equipped with a built in micro sensor that emits audible feedback when shot correctly.

Me: (shoots Evo Basketball)

Evo Basketball: Bad shot dumbaaaasssssss ... (emits fart sound) (clanks off rim)

Me: (gets rebound, trys a layup with Evo Basketball)

Evo Basketball: (emits sound of crowd cheering) (ball swishes through hoop) Nice shot! Why don't you get a little closer next time, Jimmy (laugh track) ...

When the sensor is removed the ball turns into a traditional playing basketball, making it the "do it all basketball",

What kind of ball is the Evo Basketball when the sensor is IN - a football? I don't know what this is about. Nevertheless, my whole life I have been searching for the "do it all basketball." I don't like it when the basketball I am playing basketball with is just being a regular basketball and just like, surrendering to the physics of my bodily movements. I'm always like, "MOTIVATE ME YOU STUPID BALL."

We have launched a campaign on kick starter  in order to raise money to create the molds that make the ball.

I want to contribute one thousand dollars to your Kickstarter campaign to create molding for talking basketballs. Will that help?

our goal is to raise $45,


in just 10 days we have already reached 42% of our goal.

You have raised $18.90 so far to buy the molding for your talking basketballs? I am sad. This is making me very sad. Forget Kickstarter, I have a better idea ...

(travels back in time)

Albert Spalding: La la di da, just creating another one of my cool basketballs ...

Me: Albert, wait!

Spalding: Who are you?

Me: I am Mike, from the future. Listen, why don't you add a sensor so the ball can provide feedback to the player instead of just being a stupid ball?

Spalding: Well, we don't have that kind of technology here in 1894.

Me: Here you go. (hands him Evo Basketball sensor)

Sensor: Y'all doin' it wrong, homeboy! Gotta create the molding like THIS ... (explodes)

Spalding: Uh, not sure what that was all about. Also, the "feedback" will be whether or not the ball goes in the basket.

Me: ...

Spalding: ...

Me: ...

Spalding: ...

Me: That is stupid. You are stupid. (travels back to present day, contributes life savings to Evo basketball Kickstarter fund, becomes famous investor and also goes to the NBA and dunks on LeBron James with Evo Basketball and the Evo Basketball talks trash to LeBron James and then LeBron James cries and never plays basketball again)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Get your sleep on: New eyewear to make us a better family

I opened my email and found this exciting message: “Confirmation of Amazon order of 4 X Uvex S1933X Skyper Safety Eyewear.”

Well, I thought, she did it. She ordered them.

The previous evening, as I was trying to drift off to sleep in bed while my lovely wife sat next to me alert and on her iPad, she explained to me the details of our daughters’ annual checkups from that morning. The pediatrician had asked my wife if our older daughter was continuing to have sleep issues, and indeed she was, my wife told her. The pediatrician had a recommendation.

Maybe we should try having her wear these special glasses that reduce the impact of blue light and naturally produce melatonin in the body! My wife was on the sun sleep glasses website doing important research.
“It says here the glasses will help you sleep through the night and even help prevent obesity,” she said excitedly. “What do you think?”

“Sure, yeah, whatever,” I said because I was trying to sleep.

“Please look!” she said. “THIS IS ABOUT YOUR DAUGHTER.”

I groggily opened my eyes to look at my wife’s iPad screen and was greeted by a picture of a mom who was wearing orange-tinted glasses and appeared not as if she were about to go to sleep, but instead like she was going to play third base during a day game.

“Those are … interesting,” I said, and plopped back on my pillow.

“The only problem is they’re $79,” my wife said. “And I think we should all wear them … ”

Those were the last words I heard as I, somehow without the aid of specialty orange glasses, drifted off to sleep.  I think we should all wear them … all wear them … all wear themALL WEAR THEM

I dreamed of us, as a family, getting ready for bed, each rocking our orange specialty sleep glasses. “These cool glasses really block out the blue light,” I say as I happily brush my teeth. Also I am brushing my teeth in the closet and knocking things over because I can’t see where I am. “And I feel at least three pounds lighter than yesterday!”

“I haven’t slept this well in ages, father,” says our 4-year-old daughter, “and teacher says my focus in the classroom is second-to-none!”

“The natural increase in melatonin has made me well-rested and quite frisky,” says my wife with a smile as she winks at me, although I don’t notice her winking because she is wearing huge orange glasses and also I am wearing the glasses, too.

“These glasses don’t work,” says our 3-year-old, who is wearing the glasses backwards.

“Ha, ha,” I say, “I love you, family.” And we all move in for a big family hug before retiring to our respective, uninterrupted eight to 10 hours of blissful sleep.

Was it all a dream, or my new reality? The glasses are the $8 Amazon knock-offs and not the exact ones that cool mom was wearing in the picture. (That Amazon describes them as "safety glasses" with an "anti-fog lens" makes me wonder if they're meant for something other than sleeping, but ... whatever!) They arrived last week.

The orange glasses were way too big for the girls, but it was very enjoyable to watch them try in vain to hold their heads up and keep their preparing-for-sleep glasses on while eating at the dinner table. So instead of returning them my wife ordered wraparound bands, which also did not fit. I returned everything. Except, that is, for our his and hers sleep glasses which, luckily for me, fit great! My wife wears them every night before bed, which is one way of her saying to me, "Nope, not tonight."

I wear them, too ... sometimes. Not really. Only if I don't want my wife to make a snide comment about how I'm not wearing my sleep glasses that she bought for me and also, "Good luck producing natural melatonin with all that blue light!" So yeah, sometimes I'll just put them on. For my own safety.

Picture me rollin' sleeping.

Note: This column appears in the 9/12 issue of The Glendale Star and the 9/13 issue of the Peoria Times.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Spam email of the week

Subject: seek a Godly heart

This is powerful advice because it's one thing to hear this in church, quiet another to get it from the unlikely source of a terrible spam email. Kind of stops you in your tracks. It's like, I know the Ten Commandments, but if I were to walk into Spencer's Gifts and see an animatronic monkey toy robotically repeating, "HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER," it would really drive that point home, you know?

Anyway, what is your name, wise nonperson?

good day,i am mrs daras virginie.

Cool name! I like what you did with all the letters there.

im 82years,

YOUNG! Ha, ha, j/k that is mad old. That's cool how you are 82 and on email. Some of my best friends are 82-year-old email users. Always interfacing about the hottest trends. Anyway, how are you? Good health?

i just survived the 2nd heart attack in less than 2 years

Oh sh*t that sucks re: heart attack. Good to see you're up and running, back on email and everything. This was you in the hospital:

Daras Virginie: (barely conscious on hospital bed, gasping) Doctor, please fix my heart attack problem. My life is not yet complete. I have ... I have many emails to send. (faints)

i lost my husband a few years ago and God didn't bless us with a child, so i don't have a beneficiary for my life assurance.

What is life assurance? I guess your husband didn't have it because he died and stuff. Also, this is you, praying:

Dear God, please bless me and farffll virginie, my husband, with a child so we have a beneficiary for my life insurance policy. That is the reason I want a child, thanks. Daras, out.

i seek for a Godly person to assit me in my last days and accomplish my last will.

Holla atcha boy.

i have a life assurance of two million eight hundred thousand and fifty dollars.i wish to help the house of God,motherless homes and few organisation that help the poor.

Do you know how life insurance works? Nevermind. Just list me as your beneficiary and when you die I will send the money to all the motherless homes. What are motherless homes? Are they those homes that just have kids living inside doing whatevs? Is it okay if dads are there? Please advise.

please reply me GOD BLESS YOU.

So I should "reply you" at that and not directly to this email, which came from:

Or maybe I should reply you at

Why not

Or how about not_quite_a_virgin.daras.but_no_child:(

Okay I'm done.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

My accounts and time, apparently not at a premium

With a full-time job and two kids under 5, I have a lot of free time on my hands. One of my favorite things to do with all that free time is to call my bank to find out why they have been charging a $25 monthly “premium” fee on my account for the past several months. Picture me sitting by a pool, drink in hand, my well-behaved children playing quietly nearby, and me on the phone having a lighthearted conversation with a bank representative about why they have been stealing my hard-earned money, and you have a good idea of how this conversation played out.

I would have noticed this unwelcome charge the very first month it was assessed but, again, kids. It’s as if the bank knew the exact time to strike—while I was getting my “hair done” by two adolescent hairdressers while simultaneously trying to text my wife, who was upstairs, to please bring down my phone charger.

One thing I’ve always done when calling customer service is to make sure I get the name of the rep to whom I am speaking. That way, when I inevitably have to call back because the issue has not been satisfactorily resolved, I can say, “Yes I was speaking to Heather …” and someone can tell me, “I’m sorry sir, but this is the Delaware branch … is there something I can help you with?”

Nevertheless, I was intent on getting a name. Here is how that went (after I machete'd my way through various prompts by yelling "OPERATOR" into the phone):

Person: Yes, this is Bank of America Hypothetical Bank, my name is (unintelligible), how can I help you today, Mr. Kenny?

Me: I’m sorry, what did you say your name was again?

Person: Blcvxczv.

Me: I’m sorry, I just … what?

Person: Oh no problem, sir, my name is Bleeeehhhh.

Me: Bleeehhh? Your name is Bleeehh?

Person: My name is Blen.

Me: Your name is Blen?

Blen: Exactly, sir.


Long story short—although it only took 45 minutes to figure out over the phone—when the accounts transferred to our trust, the technical change in ownership affected the status, and our no-charge premium accounts began getting charged.

And hey, listen—I get it. With premium status comes premium responsibility. Being able to order a free set of checks every two years and not having to maintain a minimum balance is an absolute drain on this multi-zillion dollar company’s resources, and $25 per month seems like an adequate compromise. THIS $300 I PAY ANNUALLY WILL REALLY PAY OFF WHEN I ORDER THOSE FREE $15 CHECKS NEXT YEAR! That quote right there was what a regular premium person would say, but we—my wife and I—are premium premium customers. Yeah, not to brag but we have like 10 accounts plus our mortgage with this bank. Pretty sure they talk about us at board meetings and stuff.

Anyway, Jared—Blen had to transfer me to Jared, obviously—refunded the money back into our account. Unfortunately, I had to temporarily forfeit our premium status because I will have to work those details out at our local branch.

“No problem, Jared!” I said. “I have plenty of time for that …” as I hung up the phone, leaned back in my lounge chair, and looked out across the pool.

Note: This column appears in the 9/5 issue of The Glendale Star and the 9/6 issue of the Peoria Times.