Before I started my own blog, there were only two kinds of spam in my world: the kind pictured to the left; and the kind I got via email. But now a third kind has entered my life, courtesy of all the truly desperate marketers out there: blog spam.
For those of you who don’t yet have your own blog, blog spam is to comments what regular spam is to email. Most of it never appears on blogs, but plenty shows up in the blogger’s comment box. Prior to starting this blog, I was denied the privilege of deleting spam in more than one format. Sure, I had become adept, even speedy at deleting unwanted email promoting “hot eastern European girls,” “painless weight loss,” or letters from grammatically-challenged, but seemingly sincere Nigerians who promised me millions later if I’d only wire them a couple grand now.
But blog spam? That was a new and interesting twist. Initially, I didn’t pay it much attention. I just deleted and went on my way. WordPress conveniently has a filter that drops virtually all of it into its own little holding pen. But I began to notice certain patterns. For example, over Thanksgiving when I was in Mexico City, a wave of pornographic spam washed over my blog, like so many money-shots. Fortunately, Akismet (the filter) caught them all, leaving me with an unstained PG rating. I later ended their nasty, brutish, and short lives with a swift press of the “delete-all” button. Few if any were at all funny. And it would have been awkward to have them spill over on my Thanksgiving post. I’m grateful they didn’t.
About a week later, my spam folder was filled with sometimes-hilarious spam touting handbags, written in English by someone whose first language was Asian, probably Japanese as you’ll see below. Somehow, fashion tips in broken English are even more hilarious than when written by native speakers. At the time, I didn’t appreciate them, and just deleted them promptly.
Lately, I’ve gotten a raft of personal-sounding spam comments that are actually hawking car insurance. Specifically, car insurance in Texas. Don’t ask why they chose my blog. Maybe they don’t realize I’m writing about the other side of that border.Though this spam does appear to have been written by native speakers, let’s just say that they didn’t ace grammar in school. Nor spelling. Nor punctuation. And while they may not be able to tell you what a non-sequitur is, they are living, breathing examples of it. Unfortunately, most of this spam is pretty boring too.
But over the past few weeks, I’ve come to appreciate some of my spam, and have eagerly begun to check the spam box for gems. So for your reading pleasure, I’ve carefully culled some spam to share with you. You should know that this is only a very small, curated sample of the very best available. In fact, I’d put it into a gift box for you if I could. Interestingly, it’s all from Japan. After conquering the global markets for cameras, cars, electronics, copiers, fax machines, and many other things, it now seems that they are set to do the same thing again, only with spam this time.
Amusing Spam Comments
From a Japanese online retailer on BGay BProud – An Unexpected Invitation: “Variety of great approaches to discover more on women well before you are abandoned.” (Funny, the post made it pretty clear I wasn’t looking for women; I was about to be invited on a gay, male date.)
From a site selling athletic shoes in Japan on the same post: “Avoid Protesting and complaining And Commence your private men Marketing strategy As a substitute.” (Is it so obvious that even Japanese online retailers know I need help on my “private men marketing strategy?” And as a substitute? For what? Is this some super-polite, Japanese way of telling me I need to get a life? )
From another Japanese online retailer on Home is Where the Hearth Is – At Least After You’ve Remodeled It: “Uncover the facts who is discussing about bag and the particular reason why you should get worried.” Personally, I’ve never worried much about bags, but maybe I should start? God only knows I’ve got a ton of them around the house. Is this going to become “Night of the Living Bag?” Where they all come alive and suffocate me in my sleep? Many have just such a warning emblazoned on them. (Frankly, if they knew what they were doing, they would have struck Wednesday night when I was weak from surgery and woozy from painkillers.)
From perhaps the same Japanese online retailer on Adrián: No Show or My Next Adventure? post: “Scene Rumor : women Considered Essential At this time.” Now I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be inclined to leave that particular comment on a post where the author is eagerly awaiting his first gay date in Mexico City. And what’s with the “at this time?” Do women cycle into and out of being essential? Despite my orientation, I’ve always considered them to be pretty indispensable to life here on earth, not to mention that they make great friends too.
From yet another Japanese online retailer posted to Entry into Mexico – From Protestantism to Catholicism: “Selection of favourable practices to discover more regarding women before you are left behind.” Funny, by traveling to Mexico, I thought I was the one leaving other people behind, not vice versa. And I’ve always considered it “favourable practices” to be left behind anyway. At least when it comes to women. It’s called letting the lady go first. And I’ll even open the door for her.
From yet another Japanese retailer on the From Untranslatable to Indispensable – Twenty Three Interesting Spanish Words With No Good Translation*: “Basic principles of watch it is possible to reap the benefits of starting up today.” I can only conclude that that is a machine translation of “carpe diem” into Japanese and from there into English. What was lost in translation? Basically everything.
By the way, if you’re getting this blog via e-mail, you know what to do with this post.
* Amazingly, “From Untranslatable to Indispensable” gets 20-30 visits a day every single day. If you Google “cool Spanish words” or “untranslatable Spanish words” or something similar, that page is now in the top three or four search results. This astonishes me.