So one of my clients had an employee leave a couple months ago, and last week I finally got permission to delete the user’s Exchange mailbox. My standard operating procedure in this situation is to export the mailbox to a PST (archive) file (in case the data is needed later), then delete the mailbox. But since this user had been gone for a couple months, the mailbox had several hundred unread messages. So I decided to go through it first, deleting anything that was obviously spam.
I deleted dozens of “CHEAP Vi@gr@!” and “PRESIDENT APPROVES MORTGAGE RATE SLASH!” emails before I noticed a few little poetic emails. There were no links in the emails, no mention of satisfying your woman or your credit score changing or new careers in interior design or the latest secret discovery by Dr. Oz. Just little bits of – what I assume are – test emails to see how spam filters work. I was struck by how these little emails sounded like something Ezra Pound would have written:
He was awful surprised
And away he went, Next day was auction day.
She was beautiful.
So gather around the drum circle, stroke your beard if you’ve got one, and enjoy the beatnik poetry of the spammers:
He looked surprised
I cleaned out the place, CHAPTER XXVIII.
Good! says the old gentleman.
Nice. Short, solid, and to the point.
I tried it
Thems the very words, CHAPTER XXV.
A southern twang, almost like Flannery O’Connor!
It was dreadful lonesome
So she hollered, But the king was cam.
You git it.
No wait… that’s Flannery O’Connor.
We are highwaymen
And Ive et worse pies, Hungry, too, I reckon.
Alan Ginsberg, for reals.