Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spam- Bon appetit!

nowadays, i often check my spam to see which emails from friends and family members have been rerouted. once upon a time you would receive a notice from a carrier letting you know that the email you had just sent had been aborted because of an incorrect address. so now when you do successfully send an email you have no real certainty that it actually made it to the inbox of the said address. when i don't get an immediate response from a loved one, i now suspect that it is lying dormant in their spam. does any computer maven out there know why they call it spam? i mean, why name unwanted emails after a can of pressed ham that is synonymous with a certain region of american cuisine. there is a kosher canned version of pressed chicken served in the israeli army called "loof". my son brought home a can once, and i must say that the dogs absolutely relished it. i don't know if my son actually ever had the nerve to taste it. i learned the truth about the computer spam the hard way, after tracking down the whereabouts of my son's father last november. after 18 years of his being missing in action from our lives, so to speak, we found an address overseas for him and i sent him a letter the old fashioned way. yes, i placed the said letter in an envelope and mailed it from the post office with a stamp. i believe this phenomenon is still referred to as "snail" mail. does anyone out there know exactly why this is called snail mail? i am sure that there are some younger readers out there who have probably never, ever, physically written a letter on a piece of stationery( it's like computer paper). anyway, my son had just finished the army and was getting married and he was finally ready to meet up with his father. my wonderfully, resourceful, sister ann from L.A ,was actually the one who found my son's father for us. since i pay bezek monthly, for the eye keeper computer block which prevents us from viewing gambling, drug and pornographic sites; i was rather limited in my search for the "dad". anyhow, i took up the challenge and sent the initial letter. of course, i made sure to include our email addresses as well as our telephone number. i never give out my cellphone number because i simply, do not know what it is. i believe that it is posted on the refrigerate door in case of an emergency. people of my generation from brooklyn still refer to the refrigerate as the "fridge", a throw back to one of the oldest leading refrigerater companies of that time called "Frigidaire". it is quite similar to the major companies like tadiran and amcor we know here in the holy land. i actually received a snail mail back from the delinquent father who was actually delighted at the prospect of a father and son reunion. and he also gave me his email address. *just a note to my readers that i am indeed, making good on my apology and am sitting here in front of the computer with 2 volumes of funk and wagnalls comprehensive leather bound dictionaries from 1980 on my lap. each one is easily 5 kilos.( kilo = 2.2 lbs) now if i could only raise up one and hold it in one arm; what a workout that could be! back to the spam, man. so after i sent a couple of intimate emails and didn't get any response i emailed once again and asked if he had received any of my emails. i received a rather sarcastic reply. he wrote that he had, of course, received the emails and added that,of course, if he hadn't received them ,that i would have,of course, received a notice from the carrier that they had been aborted. i was instantly reminded of why, of course, i had not been in any hurry to find this person in the first place. a couple of days later, as i was casually checking my inbox, i came across 2 messages in my spam. when i opened the file i discovered 2 messages from the "dad". it was right there and then that i had the revelation that sometimes non spam emails go into spam. since that time i always check my spam. what a relief to know that not all emails disappear into cyberspace like those lonely, soulless, unmatched, socks that come out of the dryer, never to be matched up again. speaking of being matched up; l just found a notice in my spam for the season opening of the frumster computer dating service for observant jews. do not even get me started!!!!!


  1. Loved the spam rant! Not being as conversant in Hebrew (or Yiddish) as I am in English, can you explain what "bezek" is? I gather it means something like a "fee," to block certain websites. I can't imagine you going there anyway...why would you need to block them?

    Oh, and "snail mail" means "slow mail"...hence the "snail" reference. Why spam is spam, is a mystery to me as well as you.

    Have a wonderful week...

  2. Dear Zelda:
    There are disputes as to how "spam" got to be in popular usage, but it was certainlky promulgated by computer "usenet" communities in the early days of electronic communication (aka known as the 1980s). As to "snail mail" this too goes back to the 1980s and the debut of e-mail. I know this because I worked for Xerox then in the research and development organization of new technologies and had "e-mail" in 1979 and could use the precursor to the internet--the arpanet. Becauae e-mail is practically immediate, the pace of a snail is imposed on the time it takes to write a letter that is sent through the Post Office until it is delivered, which was scoffed at during the time before e-mail and fax deliveries were in common usage. It is very interesting to note that it has been ALMOST 30 years since that time and although physical penmanship on missives has seriously declined, I still got a nice number of HAND WRITTEN birthday cards yesterday--HINT, HINT.

    Sign me,
    Chana Sosha