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Smashing custards. June 8, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Do you remember when spam used to be fun? Our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders—your faithful bloggers here at Poor Richard’s Almanac—used to look forward to reading the day’s spam allotment and laughing hysterically. This is because, as writers, editors, and teachers, we found the comments, mangled as they were into anguished English by inept auto-translating services, hilarious. No one could invent such unintentionally, sublimely funny combinations of words. Ha!!!

Then, a year or so ago, this type of spam disappeared. It was replaced by perfectly straightforward, intelligible remarks that had absolutely nothing to do with the post in question. They were boring. We missed the old spam.

So you can imagine how our friend Ben’s day was brightened to discover this gem in our spam folder:

“When can the week day suffix not work ahead of a praise? A nine environment dons the need lure. A present sings powering the sigh! Before custard smashes a sustained bad luck. The fear requests the orientating hypocrisy.”

I have no idea what this poor person was trying to say, and I defy even Lewis Carroll or James Joyce to decipher it. But I hope it wasn’t a comment on my latest batch of lottery tickets, or a dire warning that I’ll soon be hit in the face by a custard-pie-throwing maniac. If the latter, though, please make a note: coconut custard is my favorite.

Spam, spam, spam, spam. May 2, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Here at Poor Richard’s Almanac, we blog on WordPress, which has an excellent spam filter, Akismet. Most of the time, it does a great job filtering out spam, but saves the comments until you choose to delete them just in case it’s mistakenly labeled a real comment as spam. (We only say “most of the time” because recently spammers have been slipping through Akismet’s net by posing as real people.)

Until the last few weeks, Silence Dogood and our friend Ben laboriously scanned every single spam comment to make sure we weren’t inadvertently deleting a reader’s comment by mistake. We love your comments, and love to respond to them, and would feel horrible if we inadvertently deleted one.

But these days we seem to be getting 65 to 100 spam messages a day. We really can’t take the time to scan all these messages, so we’ve reluctantly decided to just trust Akismet and hit the “delete all spam” button. If you’re a real, live reader—as opposed to some bizarre, self-serving scum—and have tried to respond to one of our posts but haven’t seen your comment listed or a response from us, please try again. We apologize, and would love to hear from you!

Justin Bieber is on board. April 16, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Gee, this morning Poor Richard’s Almanac received a commendation from Justin Bieber! We’re so thrilled and excited, we’re beside ourselves.

Actually, we’re just amazed at the lengths spammers will go to to get on our blog. We don’t care if you call yourself Justin Bieber, Dr. Jeffrey Smith, Adrianna, or whatever. We don’t understand what good it would do you to post a rote, irrelevant comment to our site, even if WordPress’s excellent Akismet spam filter didn’t pull you off, or why it’s worth taking the time to try. What’s in it for you?!

To us it just seems like a total waste of time. Enlightenment, please!

Oh la la! September 21, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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It’s time for another “best of the spammers” roundup here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. They’ve come up with some real gems lately, and of course we have to share them with you. As always, spam comments in bold, our friend Ben’s response following. Enjoy!

Oh la la! Hmmm… did someone discover that Silence Dogood was a French major as an undergraduate? For all the good it did her!

Your writing is fastidious. Fast, or tedious?

I’m wondering why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t understand this. I’m sorry, we don’t speak Klingon here.

And our favorite:

I’ll continue to look for brussels. It was still in Belgium last time I checked.

The most bizarre thing about spam comments is that they bear absolutely no relation to the posts they’re attempting to appear on, which makes the comments even funnier than when you read them as stand-alones. The Klingon-like comment could have appeared on a post about pizza. I guess I just don’t get spam.

 

 

Sexy single wives. August 22, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Good grief. Silence Dogood here. My Yahoo! spam filter is always pulling out bizarre e-mails informing me how I can “enlarge my manhood,” buy Viagra cheaply from Canada, get laid tonight via F***Book (and no, that wouldn’t be FaceBook), and the like. Mind you, I don’t think it’s too challenging to tell from my e-mail address that I’m not a man and am not in the market for these services, but apparently the spammers disagree.

Usually I’m just revolted to see all this filth in my spam folder. However, as a lover of language, this morning I saw that one inventive spammer had come up with a classic: “Young, Sexy Single Wives!” Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never encountered any single wives. Or single husbands, for that matter. This concept cheered me up enough to even forgive this particular spammer for contaminating my inbox. But I still deleted the message!

             ‘Til next time,

                      Silence

Spam, spam, spam, spam. July 19, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Poor Richard’s Almanac has been absolutely inundated with spam lately. Fortunately, our blog host, WordPress, has an excellent spam filter, Akismet, which catches the spammers’ comments. But they still have to be checked and deleted. Just yesterday, our friend Ben inadvertently deleted a legitimate comment that had found its way into the spam register, so we really do have to read every !@$#$%!! spam comment to make sure. Between last night and this morning, we’d managed to accumulate 35 spam comments; heaven knows how many more will pile up during the course of the day. This really isn’t the best use of my time.

These latter-day spammers all have the same agenda: self-promotion. They come up with a plausible comment that would be appropriate for most situations, such as “I love the depth of information in your posts. I’ve become a regular follower” or “My brother turned me on to your excellent blog and I can’t wait to read more.” Then they add a link to their website, which in every case appears to sell something. (Not that I’d know, I’d be afraid to open the link in case it was a porn site or virus or some other foul thing.) This is a pretty clever evolution of spam from just general worthlessness to a marketing tool. I guess it was inevitable that someone would think of it, and then it would spread like, well, spam.

Thank God for WordPress. Not only does it filter out spam, it doesn’t automatically put cheap, disgusting ads on people’s blogs that have nothing to do with the content and would cause any self-respecting blogger to die of shame. We can still hold our heads up here at PRA, even if it’s taking us more and more time to remove the spam deluge from its file.

Have you been getting much more spam recently on your blogs?

Best spam e-mail of 2011. December 30, 2011

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“Christmas is coming, buy Viagra!”

So that’s why the kid saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus…

A pleasing shame. December 14, 2011

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Here at Poor Richard’s Almanac, we blog thanks to WordPress, and to keep our posts clean, they provide us with the Akismet spam filter. Every day, we sort through the spam filter’s gleanings and, usually, delete them. Every now and then, they label something as spam that needs to be posted as a legitimate comment, so we keep an eye out for those. And occasionally, as today, they capture such preposterous spam comments that we simply can’t resist sharing them with you.

One comment noted that we “are just too magnificent.” Why thank you! And surely our magnificence is entirely warranted, wouldn’t you say? We just can’t help ourselves.

Then there was this: “It’s a pleasing shame you don’t apply a money switch!” Uh, say what?! All we could think of was a scene in the “Robin Hood” series we’ve been watching thanks to Netflix, where the Sheriff of Nottingham tosses sacks of gold coins down a shute, and Robin and his gang throw a switch that diverts them into the merry band’s coffers. Let’s just say that if anyone cares to throw bags of money in our direction, we’d be thrilled to follow suit.

Finally, we have this gem: “My Amish friendship turned green, why?” We, er, don’t know why anybody’s friendship would turn green, and whether that’s a good sign (environmentally) or a bad one (mold).

We suppose that, on the whole, a friendship turned green strikes us, in our magnificence, as a pleasing shame.

Unwell, indisputably. November 30, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac, received the following comment on our post “Perfect pecan pie.” For some reason, our Akismet spam filter consigned it to spam:

“I loved up to you will receive performed proper here. The caricature is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. however, your command get got an nervousness over that you would like be handing over the following. unwell indisputably come more before again as precisely the similar nearly a lot steadily inside case you shield this hike.”

We don’t know about you, but we think there seems to be something shady about this communication. An inside case? Handing something over? Shielding this heist, uh, hike?

Whatever we get got, however attractive our caricature, we’d feel indisputably unwell about responding to this one. And here we pride ourselves on answering every single reader query! We guess that, this time, our command just get got a little improperly performed.

Damning with faint praise. December 7, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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As faithful readers of our blog know, we get some pretty wacky blog searches (aka search engine queries) on our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac. We also get a fair amount of spam, which is usually auto-deleted by our blog host, WordPress’s, spam filter, Akismet. Thanks, WordPress!

Still, there are times when Akismet becomes confused. Is it spam, or a legitimate comment? In these cases, it’s marked as spam but filed so we can read it and see if we agree. Often, we can see the reason for the confusion. The comment seems reasonable, but on closer inspection, it bears no relation to the post it’s attached to. Most of these comments manage to be both generic and fawning, various versions of the “Love your blog!” category. We wish they did, but when they link back to a site selling discount drugs or foreclosures, somehow we doubt it.

Today, however, we received a priceless comment in our Akismet spam folder: “I’m happy to report this most recent posting is in reality somewhat good and extensively more desirable than 1/2 the various spam I read today.” 

Harrumph! What do you mean, “somewhat good”?!! And excuse us, we’re trying to write legitimate observations here, not spam, various or otherwise. Not to mention that half the spam you read was better than our post?!!! GRRRRRRRRR…

We actually loved this comment, since it embodied the very definition of “damning with faint praise.” (Well, actually, we think the bar was set for this when Dorothy Parker said that Katharine Hepburn’s emotional acting range ran the gamut from A to B.)

We were raised in households that measured accomplishment by expectation: If everyone knew you could make straight As, a B+ was every bit as humiliating as an F (which was, of course, unthinkable). No one handed out rewards for making As; it was simply expected. So a post of ours that’s “in reality somewhat good” lays the lash pretty heavily across our shoulders. We’ll try to do better, we promise. And maybe, if we work really, really hard at it, we could even beat the other 50% of the spam that you’re reading…