Thursday, March 08, 2007

On getting weird emails

On getting weird emails

I used to get a lot of weird emails. This mainly had something to do with the email account I had a few years ago.

Back in the day when British Telecom were new to the whole intarweb business and slightly crap at it, they had a ropey email service called It's not there any more - they sold the site to Yahoo and it has since been eaten up by its larger rival. However, I got in there on the first day and signed up with my initials for a spiffily short email address:

What I didn't realise at the time - and bear with me on this - that any other talk21 user who wasn't entirely web savvy and used, say, commas instead of full stops in email addresses would find their mails defaulting to other users.

Me, for example.

So, anyone who might have been badgered into signing up for an email account in order to email their kids at university might find their mails going to my account simply because they couldn't work email. I'd get loads of rejected emails directed at the likes of 'HM1122, @, durham, ac, uk' which never got through to their intended targets, and, good God, what fun they were.

Edited highlights:

* "Don't be gay! What about the grandchildren?"

* "Don't ever bring that girl to our house, ever again. AM I CLEAR ENOUGH?"

* "Remember to do your laundry. It never hurts to make an impression in this world."

* Several dozen refusals from the same parent for further money because "I never had any money when I was at university. You'd only spend it on drink."

* The to-the-point: "Your cat got run over."

* And the enigmatic: "I shall be at Alton railway station at ten o'clock Saturday morning. I drive a white Ford Fiesta, and have a beard. Bring own condoms and lube."

Actually, I was tempted to reply to the last one, suggesting that he might like to have a shave.

After a while, impressed by the quality of this email wrongness, I stopped telling them that a complete stranger was reading their personal guff. Then I forgot all about it for a year, talk21 closed my account and that was the end of it. Bastards.

Still, fun while it lasted. And we'll always have Alton.

Post Script: The day after I wrote this, I got a wrong number voicemail on my mobile that wins the prize of King of All Wrongness. "Andy? It's Vince. The tranny orgy is tonight at [address in London]. Bring your own condoms and lube."

I now appreciate that "condoms and lube" play a very big part in the lives of rather more people than I realise; and that I am destined to receive this kind of smut for many years to come. Long may it continue.

I didn't go, by the way.

Post Post Script: Due to circumstances beyond my control (involving a useless workshy cunt of a builder, a council inspector, condoms and lube) I will be unable to administer a Thursday vote-o today. Instead, Misty, armed with a two foot length of tyre inner tube with a knot in the end and a gallon of axle grease, will instead do the choose-o for you.

Instead of voting, tell us your wrong number wrongness.

So mote it be.

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