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April 13, 2008

Spammers' delight

Every once in a while, it's amusing to check your spam filter to see what you're missing. And by "your" I mean "mine," of course.

While a lot of the spam has to do with Rolexes and cheap prescription drugs, an increasing amount offers male enhancement products, usually spelled in funny ways in an unsuccessful effort to elude those same spam filters (\/1@ g-r/\, for example).

At my office, our filtering software sends us an email every morning that lists the blocked spam by sender and subject line, just in case something was blocked that wasn't supposed to be. If there was a false positive, we can click a link to move the mail to our in box and allow the sender's address in the future. (I once found a message from my wife in the list. Never figured out how that happened.)

I've been looking at the subject lines for the past two weeks or so, and for some reason, very few of the enhancement emails fall into the category of deliberate misspellings of product names. I've noticed that there are several other approaches these spammers use in their subject lines.

1. The simple and direct approach.

* Enlarge
* Girls like big
* Size is very important
* Your measurement calls for improvement
* 9 massive inches in weeks

2. The slightly, but only slightly, elliptical approach.

* Don't be looser lengthenn your banana [that's how it was spelled]
* Don't satisfy your wife. Here is the solution
* Increasement of your baby-maker length is not a dream [increasement?]
* Gain valuable growth on your package [not malignant growth, I'd hope]

3. The polygamous approach.

* Enlarge your baby-maker and you will have sex with any wife you want

4. The New Age approach.

* Define your masculine identity

5. The dramatic approach.

* Be the superman she always wanted

But I think my favorite approach -- the one that actually made me laugh -- would have to be called . . .

6. The "even lions will fear you" approach.

* Even lions will fear you

The amazing thing is that these pitches seem to work for some people. There are actually dupes out there who open these spam emails, and some of them even order the pills or creams or whatever it is these folks are selling.

But I believe in Truth in Advertising, and if you advertise that even lions will fear you, we should certainly hold you to it. Just stride confidently right in to that lions' cage at the zoo. Because I'm selling tickets to the event.