When you have several different email accounts, you get different kinds of invasive email -- otherwise known on the Mac as Junk, and on most commercial email servers as Spam. I have also noticed, since returning from the Sunshine State, where I did a whirlwind four day tour of relatives, that several of my posts have been hit by something I am told is a Spambot -- something that trolls around looking for blogs to invade, and that leaves ambiguous posts that must be intended to entice people to click on the fake blog identity and give up their IP addresses. The spambot's comments say things like "Wonderful post!" and "Great blog!" Little do they know that on an academic blog, this gives them away immediately -- what academic do you know who can confine hirself to 3 words or less in a blog comment? Huh?
But the spam also differs from account to account. What I have noticed is that on my Zenith account, spam normally advertises fake journals. The other thing it notifies me about are international conferences, that are usually being held in Zagreb or Targovishte, conferences that I am being specially invited to attend for an immediate deposit of only a few hundred dollars (credit cards only, please. Or better yet, a money order!) On my Earthlink account, it is brand-name medications that are being offered by these kind strangers: Viagra, Xanax (Yeah, baby!), Ambien, Cialis. Little do these spammers know that right now, having just gotten off a plane (where I sat next to a woman in pink who sneezed a lot) and having just spent a lovely long weekend with several sick or recovering people (which included an otherwise darling three year old who had light green snot flying out of his nose periodically) what I would really like is a flu shot and some prophylactic erythromycin. And three more days to get ready to teach next week.
But it is on my Gmail account, possibly because of the sexual resonance of "gmail" (g-spot, g-string, gee whiz), that the spammers address me up front about what really troubles me. Hence, the following conversation, drawn from the subject lines of spam received in the last five days on Tenured Radical's account, and responded to in reverse order of its arrival.
Spammer: "Your new sexual world is waiting for it's leader."
TR (jolted from normal, slightly out of it state): "Huh?"
Spammer: "How's tricks? Come on, Tenured Radical, you need to beef up your cock a little."
TR: "Uh -- okaaaaaaaaaaay....But what will that do for global warming?"
Spammer: "Darling Tenured Radical, men everywhere are enlarging their dicks, so why don't you?"
TR (who loves to be called darling): "I dunno. Maybe because...I'm not a man?"
Spammer: "But now it's a snap with MegaDick!"
TR: "Well, if you say so. What's the advantage, though? As a lesbian, I've never been quite clear."
Spammer: "Tenured Radical, you can sweep her off her feet when you flop out your super dick!"
TR: "Huh. See, I always worried that a super dick would have the opposite effect - that she would run in horror. And I worry that larger dicks actually contribute to global warming because of the increased friction."
Spammer: "Hello hello, Tenured Radical, let's talk about the size of your cock. Small, ain't it?"
TR: "Which one? I mean -- hold on just a minute here, buster. What the hell business is it of yours, anyway?"
Spammer (with patience: clearly wants to begin all over again): "Sir Tenured Radical, be the center of attention among all the girls. Enlarge your cock."
Well, if they call me sir, that's another thing entirely, I guess. And like other academics, I love to be the center of attention.
OK. I'm all ears.
On my 20th Anniversary at the American Academy of Religion
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