SecraTerri@ aol.com Has
As a matter of fact,
SecraTerri has 147 unread e-mails languishing in her AOL mailbox at the
moment. Some of them sound pretty darned critical, too.
haven't heard form you in a wile,"
bemoans email@example.com, while POOHBEAR112289 cuts right to the
chase with "why won't you
SNOOKZ101 is a
little less confrontational: he just wants to say "Sorry
bout that." (That's OK, SNOOKZ:
send me a CDNow gift certificate and all will be forgiven.)
firstname.lastname@example.org urgently needs SecraTerri's assistance.
"Is this Jasons addres???" his
Subject Title screams. Secra fervently hopes that the missing "Jason"
isn't uhotboy's long-lost dad or his kidney donor or his typing teacher
or something: it sounds like uhotboy needs all the help he can get.
There is opportunity
galore in SecraTerri's mailbox: home loans, credit repair, the
ubiquitous penis enlargers, Viagra for women, instant weight loss
plans, bridal stuff (left over from last year, no doubt), dating
services, prescription drugs without a prescription, hair loss
treatments, free tax advice, ways to earn money from home.
The invitations to view
porn sites are well represented, of course. The most vile of the bunch:
Scribe324 inviting SecraTerri to watch
INCEST..See Dad And Daughter Go At It.
Here is what all of
these messages have in common:
- They have all landed in
SecraTerri's AOL mailbox in the ten days since she lifted her Mail
Controls, as a *favor* to her pal EdmundKaz.
- Not a single one of them
is a personal message from a friend or acquaintance.
- Not a single one of them
will still be in SecraTerri's mailbox tomorrow.
In fact, SecraTerri
is going to go straight home from work tonight and flush all 147 unread
messages (plus any that have arrived today while she's been at work)
down the cyber john. She'll probably have to flush two or three times,
just to get rid of all the lingering *crap molecules* still floating
around at the top of the bowl. When she's finished flushing, she's
going to hose down her mailbox, spray it liberally with disinfectant,
and set out little Glade Air Fresheners all over the place.
And then she's going to
slap the goddamn MAIL CONTROLS back
on her e-mail account.
She'll sit in front of
her computer tonight and painstakingly type in the list of familiar
screen names and e-mail addresses: family, friends, Grillaz, Bobos,
Boomers, former co-workers, former classmates, former neighbors, former
lovers, former cyber rivals. (Might as well keep things
There will undoubtedly be oversights -- she's working
memory and five-year-old Buddy Lists -- but
SecraTerri hopes that anybody who really wants/needs/is determined to
get hold of her knows enough
to write to her at her incredibly groovy Internet address. Once the
friendly names are entered into the "Allowed To Live" column,
the Mail Controls will slam down once again on her e-mailbox, like
security gates slamming down on the hood of an unauthorized vehicle.
From this point forward, whenever SecraTerri signs onto the AOL account
she has maintained and loved since August 1995 -- which,
very often: mostly she just signs on to tinker with her profile and
annoy the Tots -- she can be assured that the only mail
waiting for her
will be mail she actually wants
(Or at least mail that doesn't
make her want to run and
antibacterialize her eyeballs immediately after she opens her mailbox.)
SecraTerri has finished flushing and disinfecting and tweaking and
twiddling and erecting the latest set of self-protective barriers,
she's going to take a good long look at the $4.95 she's still shelling
out every month, just to keep a screen name alive ... and she's going
to decide whether or not it's still worth it.
throw a rock