Bob enjoys a spam-free lifestyle

Bob enjoys a spam-free lifestyle by Bob Karolevitz Spam (with a small "s") continues to give the meat product a bad name.

Spam (with a small "s") is the unsolicited junk you get on e-mail, which can make telemarketers lily white by comparison.

The latter continue to bedevil me, though, because I have a phone (albeit the old-fashioned rotary type), but the spammers can't reach me because I don't have a computer.

It's one more reason why I'm a dot.com dinosaur.

I'm not deluged with e-mail "get rich quick" schemes, gimmicks which tell you how to lose pounds in a hurry and even porno marketing scams. I also don't get all of those lousy jokes.

On the other hand, I'm not anti-computer either. I just don't want one, that's all!

Actually what has caused all of this spam business is that folks are buying more and more over the Internet these days. They never come face-to-face with real people, unless they happen to be around when the UPS or FedEx drivers arrive with their purchases.

Me? I like to chat with the clerks at the store. And I go to the friendly telers at the bank instead of the ATM. When it comes right down to it, I guess I'm just an old-fashioned flesh-and-blood guy myself.

Getting back to spam (with a small "s"), there is even a registry of those who send out millions of sales pitches each day. They sell cigars, cruise trips, miracle diet offers, mortgages, over-the-counter medicines and even Viagra. They don't want to be confused with con artists and charlatans who are also involved in the system.

They are all reviled by those who expectantly read "you've got mail" on their screens, only to find lots of unwanted stuff where legitimate correspondence ought to be. Still, apparently there are enough consumers who are caught up in the program to keep the practitioners alive and profiting.

Of course I'm not affected by the spammers � good or bad � because I don't have a modem. My Smith-Corona simply

doesn't go on-line.

I can sit back and watch the anti-spam vigilantes do their darnedest to stop what they call a plague worse than computer viruses (what ever they are). The warfare goes on as the bulk e-mailers fight back.

Congress has even got into the act, and members of the Senate are debating a measure which would put some restrictions on spamming. It gives them something to talk about besides arguing about Iraq, Afghanistan, weapons of mass destruction, tax breaks for the wealthy, the national deficit, ad infinitum.

Spam (with a small "s") isn't in my Webster's Dictionary, but I'm sure it will be in future editions, if it isn't already there. It's a word that stands for electronic junk mail and has nothing to do with the delicacy which the U.S. Army provided for us soldiers during World War II.

Most likely the folks at Hormel in Austin, MN, are not happy that the name of their spiced ham (which still sells world-wide) has been usurped by the cyber space marketers.

They don't seem to mind though, and they go on spelling Spam with a capital "S".

© 2003 Robert F. Karolevitz

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