They’re Watching Me

My last illusion of privacy has been shattered. I knew government agencies watch us online and our phone companies track our whereabouts and aliens (or possibly my friends) are monitoring my bathroom habits… but I could always depend on the utter cluelessness of spammers.

Back in the good old days, I could count on getting all sorts of random and irrelevant spam promising to enlarge body parts I don’t even possess or to deposit vast sums of money in my bank account. (Who knew there were that many dead millionaires in Nigeria?)

But no more. Lately the spammers have been getting so uncannily accurate, I can’t help thinking they’re watching me.

Case in point: A few years ago I posted A Dave By Any Other Name, in which I noted that I spent several years of my office life christened Dave. Imagine my surprise when I received this email a while ago:

They got my name right in the subject line… and then they addressed me as “Mr. Dave”.

At the time, I dismissed it as a bizarre coincidence. What are the chances, right? But lately I’ve been receiving spam that makes me think the spammers are actually paying attention… and they have a twisted sense of humour.

For example, they send me ads for food and recipes and then follow up with ads for the ‘20-Minute Flat Belly Workout’.

And a few days after I researched insanely expensive women’s shoes for my fashion-conscious character Nichele, I received an email kindly offering me ‘red arses’. That may seem completely unrelated, but wait:  The designer brand I researched was Louboutin. Their signature design feature is red soles… or red ‘bottoms’. Obviously my creative spammer was using a slightly less refined translation program to produce ‘red arses’.

(Or maybe I’m completely off-base with the Louboutin theory and the spammer in question actually has a baboon fetish, in which case I don’t really want to know.)

Anyway, they’ve apparently figured out that I’m a writer, because I get popup ads like this one:

Ummm… Isn’t that a spelling correction?

Ummm… Isn’t that a spelling correction?

Last time I checked, misspelling ‘grammar’ wasn’t a grammatical error, but I’m willing to overlook that technicality. After all, there are larger issues at stake: the fact that the spammers are now collaborating.

The ones who know I’m a writer must be sharing information with the ones who know I love to eat. The result was this email gem:

“Imagine losing pound after pound by doing literary nothing!”

I’m not quite sure how to do literary nothing. I guess as a literary-type person, theoretically any ‘nothing’ I do would be literary nothing; but I can’t help thinking there must be more to it than that.

Maybe I have to sit staring at a blank page and steadfastly resist the urge to write. Or perhaps ‘literary nothing’ is the act of spewing pages of pointless drivel, in which case I should be losing pound after pound just from writing this blog.

But at least they’re onboard with my sense of humour, and they’re generous with their jokes. They gave me this one with no strings attached, not even a spammy link:

“Have you heard about the Scottish drag queen? He wore pants.”

I guess I’ll get used to the idea that they’re watching me.  And (unlike the government and the phone company) at least the spammers give me some laughs. 😀