Some of the spam I receive on a regular basis is for products that I can’t mention in this column. But recently, I’ve had a few emails about unmentionables, and I’d like to mention those: Bra Wonder, Super Bra and my favorite, Bra Genie.
It struck me as odd that I would get so many of these in a week. Manufacturers nowadays have all kinds of ways to target their message to the appropriate market. So why was a regular guy like me getting stuff like this? I tried red flagging key words so this type of advertising would go directly to my spam folder, but all it did was block a really good coupon for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Sadly, while discussing this issue with friends, I found it impossible to avoid immature plays on words. I would say things like: who are the boobs sending me this junk? I was very disappointed in myself, but there is nothing more alluring than easy puns, and I am weak.
I did want to know why these ads were flooding my inbox, so I called my techie friend and told him I had this problem that was staring me smack in the face. (See? I can’t help myself.) He responded, “Okay, Dick, it sounds like you need some support.”
“Oh no, Kevin, now you’re doing it.” I hung up. It was time to figure this out myself. And I finally did.
Two months ago I wrote an essay about taking up weightlifting late in life. Here’s what I said: “My wife mentioned to me the other night that I had a pathetic looking chest…She thinks my body lacks definition, but I disagree. You can look it up in the dictionary under scrawny.”
The column appeared in this newspaper and in my blog, and then probably ended up in the search engines at Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Do you know what algorithms are? Me either. But apparently my wife’s observation about my “decrepit looking chest” found its way to brassiere makers the world over, who selected me from a database of everyone unhappy with their upper half.
Before I wrote this column, I printed out all the spam ads so I could read them more carefully. When Mary Ellen was poking around my office looking for an envelope she saw the material on my desk and assumed that either I thought she needed a Bra Genie or I wanted to wear one myself. You can see that neither alternative was going to lead to a conversation a husband was eager to have.
Then to make matters worse, some computer software programs couldn’t distinguish between “dissatisfied with your upper half” and “unhappy with your better half,” which meant I got a slew of ads for do-it-yourself divorce kits. How much ’splainin’ can a guy do?
When I explained to Mary Ellen why I was getting spammed, I admitted that I had looked at several of the bra ads, but at least I had stopped making childish puns and double entendres. It was good to get all that off my chest.