Spam, Lovely Spam

Now that I’ve probably put the Monty Python song into your head, I feel I must come clean and admit that this piece is highly unlikely to be remotely as funny as that, or anything else the Pythons did. But it’s a good title, so I’m sticking with it.

If you’ve never checked your spam folder, you really should: WordPress may have had one of its occasional hissy fits and deposited a genuine comment in there. It can also be a source of amusement, especially if you think these might be the product of a real human, as opposed to a bot – which is probably what they are, though. I take screenshots of the ones that amuse me the most: they can be good fodder for a post, as I’ve found before. Having amassed a bit of a collection over the past few months, I thought it about time that you saw some of these pearls too – although I’m guessing you may have received some of them as well.

The most common comment type to find its way into the spam folder is the one where an offer is being made which would probably involve spending some of your cash on the dubious services of a ‘lady’ whose name bears no relation to her email address. Sorry, but I’ve no wish to run the risk of bankruptcy or of catching something nasty – I’m just not that desperate. Yet.

There are also a great many in Cyrillic writing, but as I don’t speak Cyrillic they are rather wasted on me. For all I know, they could be offers of incredible wealth, and I’m missing out big time. Or lots more of those ‘ladies’ – does anyone know the Russian for ‘hooker?’ Then again, they could be abusive and my delicate nature is being spared by not translating them. On balance, I think I’d rather stay in blissful ignorance. Sorry, Cyril, but it’s a ‘no’ from me.

Quite a few of these comments are attached to my About Me page, and I’ve often wondered why. I don’t have that many cousins who are likely to be going round telling everyone about me, but it appears these guys know of one (click on the images to enlarge them, if necessary):

Both of the cousins mention that they are seeking help for a problem. They don’t specify what it is, but perhaps I should introduce them to one of those ‘ladies’ who are helpfully offering their services? I’m also wondering if I should ask ‘Hairstyles’ and Vance which of my cousins snitched on me? Nice nickname, by the way – it’s a good thing s/he isn’t a proctologist…

The most recent comment came yesterday morning:

Generally, if you’re offering professional skills it is a good idea to display them in your sales pitch. I think Magdalena – who appears to have gender issues – forgot this, so he or she may not be the person I’d turn to if I needed help with my writing or if my nerves were shredded. But the claim that ‘only I can solve all their problems’ rings a bell: perhaps he’s seeking alternative employment after he loses the election in November? And where is ‘Old England’ anyway? Advice from residents of New England welcome…

Sometimes spam people say nice things – ta, Sha:

And sometimes they don’t. The comment from ‘Free Stuff’ in the second set from the top (the Vance one) is one such, and this is another, I think:

Sorry, Aurea, I’ll try to do better in future but, as you can see, I struggle to link things together. You might like to try simplifying your comments, too: that one took some understanding, for a simpleton such as I.

Others have commented on my ‘excellence,’ which is always good to see, even from an automaton:

Looking at the second of those comments, I’m still at a loss to explain the reference to brussels. Do they mean the city, or sprouts? I’ve never been to Belgium, and apart from the occasional PSA reminder in October that it’s time to put the sprouts on for Christmas, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned them, either. But it’s good to know that the Brown Duck will be watching my blog for more information on this – perhaps as an accompaniment when its time comes for roasting? Whichever way you take that comment, it’s weird. And I hope you read that as ‘duck’ in that last name: if you didn’t, it’s your mind, not mine!

The third comment in this one shows that even bots lack self-awareness, just like a lot of real people:

As if Lorinda needed to ask! I do hope she sees this piece, though, as it might answer her question, albeit not in the way she was expecting. I hadn’t noticed the comment above hers until now: does anyone know if we’re allowed to travel to Spain yet?

With that, I think I’ve had enough vicarious excitement for one day. I’ll keep the collection going and if enough weirdos provide further contributions I may do this again sometime. Keep looking at your spam folder too: I’d be interested to compare notes.

As a reward for getting this far I thought I’d end with a song. From where I began this piece there could only be one song, couldn’t there?

Wrong! Gotcha 😉

If you’re now trying to work out where you’ve heard that before, Weird Al ‘borrowed’ his parody from R.E.M.’s song Stand. It turned out well, I think 😉

I leave the last word to the mysteriously named XRumerTest:

22 thoughts on “Spam, Lovely Spam

  1. EsmeSalon (@EsmeSalon) August 3, 2020 / 4:04 pm

    Oh how I hate these spam comments – I check my spam at least 3 to 4 times a week and ALWAYS find a handful of garbage there. To be honest, I do not read them, as it’s so obviously spam that I just delete them immediately. Maybe I should start to make a spam folder as well as you did, but am sure that what I will will not be amusing spam. Thank you for your sharing on #Senisal and always sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 3, 2020 / 4:09 pm

      I only save the ones that amuse me, the rest are nuked with the ‘empty spam’ button.

      You’ve just blown my anonymity from your post for SS83 – does that mean that one of us has to kill the other now? 😉

      Like

  2. Ellen Hawley August 3, 2020 / 11:15 am

    I get a lot of spam in Russian as well. You’d think, if you were sending spam, that you’d want to send it to a website that uses the one you’re writing in. But, hell, what do I know?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive August 3, 2020 / 11:38 am

      Maybe the bots think we’re all super-intelligent polyglots? I’m getting a lot in Spanish at present – all of them the same, asking how they can log in. I think that shows their level of intelligence 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ellen Hawley August 3, 2020 / 3:03 pm

        I must’ve gotten some 70 identical spamments in Spanish. Or was it partially in Spanish? Mostly they said “gracias.” All from different people whose names were made up entirely of consonants. How do they have enough imagination to keep thinking of new names I don’t know.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive August 3, 2020 / 4:00 pm

        I’m kinda guessing that the spam generator creates the names for them. Either that or they’re all Welsh…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Stevie Turner July 31, 2020 / 11:45 am

    Lol! Yes, I’ve had some weird and wonderful messages in my spam folder too. Luckily for us there’s a ‘delete’ button…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 31, 2020 / 11:51 am

      I always use that – after I’ve taken a screenshot of the fun ones 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. msomerville2014 July 28, 2020 / 2:26 am

    Well, your post made me laugh, but it also made me think. I am still pretty new and can’t always tell when some comments are bots, or something else. i will check the spam folder more often. i get so caught up in writing and reading that I forget to do that. Thanks very much, Michele Somerville

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 28, 2020 / 8:33 am

      Thanks, Michele. I’m glad it made you laugh – that was the aim – but you make a good point about identifying bots. The rule of thumb I usually use is to assume that any comment assessed by WordPress to be spam probably is, but it is worth checking for the few genuine ones which slip through the net. If in doubt, don’t approve it – bin it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jean | Delightful Repast July 27, 2020 / 9:31 pm

    Clive, that was such fun. And I feel so much better knowing I am not the sole recipient of this stuff. I love the “comments” full of misspellings and typos that go on to tell me that my information is good but I really need to do something about all the misspellings and typos! 😀 So far I haven’t heard from Magdalena.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 27, 2020 / 10:03 pm

      Thank you, Jean, I’m glad you enjoyed it. There is a certain lack of self-awareness in many of these comments, isn’t there? It all adds to the fun, though. As for Magdalena, my guess is that s/he is in therapy 😉

      Like

  6. browney237 July 25, 2020 / 11:31 pm

    Clive,
    I never look at my Spam folder perhaps I should for a laugh.
    I certainly had a laugh at the ones you highlighted in your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 25, 2020 / 11:37 pm

      Just think what delights you might be missing! Glad you enjoyed my dredge through the depths 😊

      Like

  7. Jim Borden July 25, 2020 / 4:31 pm

    Fun stuff, Clive.

    I’ve never seen a comment like the ones that offer a bit of criticism. Who do these bots think they are anyway? And who know, perhaps Magdalena is Trump, trying a medium different than Twitter. Great close by XRunerTest…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 25, 2020 / 4:39 pm

      Thanks, Jim. I’m always open to constructive criticism but I’m really not sure about these! I alluded to the possibility of Magdalena being Trump but it’s a long name to spell and he can’t even get his wife’s name right…

      That final one is possibly my most favourite spam comment ever 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden July 26, 2020 / 3:09 am

        that would be a tough name for Trump to keep straight, and that last comment is a classic…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hugh W. Roberts July 25, 2020 / 2:54 pm

    I’ve been getting a lot of spam comments recently that don’t have any text. Not sure why anybody would want to send a comment that does not include any text. Then again, maybe it’s been written with invisible ink? Or has it been written by a spambot that is now a ghost?

    I’ve also get a lot that say, ‘Where is admin? It’s important.’ If it’s so important, why not contact me via my ‘Contact Hugh’ page? I guess it’s not important, after all?

    I agree that many of these spam messages can be fun, Clive. But they can also be annoying, especially when you open up your spam folder for the second time that day and see hundreds of new messages in there. That when the ‘delete all spam’ button comes in useful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive July 25, 2020 / 3:14 pm

      That’s weird, Hugh. I don’t think I’ve ever had one like that but now that you’ve mentioned it I’ll pay more attention. It has to be a badly-programmed bot, I guess. The invisible ink idea is good, though…

      I also get a fair few of those ‘whereas admin’ messages – if they don’t know, why should I tell them? I’m getting a lot in Spanish at present, for no apparent reason.

      That ‘empty spam’ button can be very useful on days when there are loads, none of which I want to make fun of 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hugh W. Roberts July 25, 2020 / 3:29 pm

        I generally do a quick check for any that have a picture on the gravatar first before I hit ‘delete all spam’, as they are usually genuine comments that have ended up in the spam folder by mistake. I rarely find any, though, Clive. I agree, though, that some of the spam messages can be funny. The ones I get from the ‘Ladies of the night’ obviously have not checked out my ‘about Hugh’ page, even though they say they want to meet me while their husbands are away. I get the same messages on Twitter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive July 25, 2020 / 3:37 pm

        I do the picture check too, just in case. And I think you’ve just proved that AI still has some way to go with bot technology 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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