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Splatters of spam weird enough without adding Black Friday shopping

November 17, 2011 - Burton Cole (humor columnist)

“Dad, do you realize it’s one week until Thanksgiving? That means one week and one day until Black Friday. And 37 days until Christmas. It’s going to be crazy!”

My daughter Melissa manages a store in one of the busiest malls in Virginia Beach. She no longer gets to shop until she drops; she sells at her post while all around her, shoppers drop, get carted away, and replacements are bused in. “Hmm, Black Friday,” I said. “I seem to recall thinking, ‘Nope, not doing that,’ and then didn’t think about it anymore.”

She growled.

Still, thanks to technology, I am living in a spam-splattering of my own personal Black Friday. And I’m ready to drop something.

I still hear from the usual array of surviving Nigerian royals, diplomats waiting at JFK airport, and parcel services needing my Social Security and bank account numbers to deliver packages worth millions. They’re being crowded out by barrages of some of the oddest and most poorly aimed cyber marketing to ever burst my spam filter.

This is only a small example, but with a click of the mouse, I can buy:

Body jewelry. There’s an image for you, a gleaming topaz poked into the navel of a guy with white whiskers and belly as, uh, jolly as Santa’s.

Skull caps to show off my style. Probably would go good with the gut gem, don’t you think?

Hair removal with the latest techniques. Look, I’m in my 50s. If I remove hair, it might not come back. What do you have in techniques to remove belly button baubles?

Portable toilets. Um, why?

Fantastic Plus Size Fashions for Fantastic Women. Nope. Not going there. In this case, my wife is a minus – just right, in fact – and not even a plus-sized bargain is going to get me to say otherwise.

Security cameras that tell on everyone. It’s enough work keeping up with my life without nosing into theirs, too.

Arthritis medicines. Psoriasis treatments. Wart removals. Dudes, I think you aimed your spy camera at the wrong house.

The Pimsleur Approach to trick my brain into learning a new language. I guess that’s better than the marketer offering to train me as a garage door technician. Obviously never seen my garage doors. “Handyman” is a foreign language to me.

Nope, there’s no need to go anywhere for Black Friday. The shopping weirdness is too busy coming to me.


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Santa Burt and the Christmas loot.


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