A few days ago, I posted some musings on winning a lottery. A few of you read it, and fewer still made some comments - nothing unusual.
Then came a comment from someone identifying himself as "Michael". It read:
"There are smarter ways of playing the lottery. I would like to point out a very cool program that I am a member of. Basically, you can get paid to play the lottery which is VERY cool. If you check out (link deleted) and click on “Income” it explains everything. To be a captain sounds expensive ($50 a month) but with just two team captain referrals you are already getting paid to play the lottery every month. Plus, since you are on a team, you increase your odds of winning. I’m not saying you have to join, or that you even have to give it the time of day. I’m just letting you know that there are options out there for playing the lottery smartly."
It irked me - I hate comment spam. So I responded, calling him something along the lines of "a spamming prick" ... which he is. I figured that would be the end of it, because spam is usually generated by a computer and computers don't mind being called "pricks".
But no. "Michael" took umbrage, and responded to my comment by telling me to go easy, that all he wanted to do was tell people about this wonderful new "system" for winning the lottery.
I contemplated responding to that ... but by now I was bored with the little prick and unwilling to give him any more of my time - or yours. So, since I was posting today anyway, I went into my comments and deleted his and a few other spam comments I've received over time.
A little while later, I get this:
"First off, I was accused of spamming for participating in the conversation and trying to offer a better way of playing the lottery. Then, I must've hurt Nils' feelings because I told him to calm down. Now my posts have been deleted so that you can't see how much he overreacted. It must be nice to censor what everybody see's on your website Mr. Nils. This way, you always look good in their eyes... but like I said before, good luck on that lottery win. BTW, don't forget to delete this post too."
Well. How rare is this, when a comment spammer actually sticks around for a chat? And since I am proud to be the Number One Google Result for the phrase "Miserable Old Fart", I'm not only going to avail myself of this rare opportunity, I'll give you faithful readers out there a chance to have a go as well.
We're adults, you and I. Please don't insult my intelligence - and that of the people who read this blog - by pretending you just happened upon this corner of the internet and decided that "participating in a conversation" was just the ticket for brightening up your day.
You're a spamming prick. Admit it, and we can proceed.
You know how I know you're a spamming prick? Because earlier, I deleted your comments - and Typepad, of course, told me that these changes would be irreversible. So how did I manage to quote your first comment with such stunning accuracy? Could it be my eidetic memory? Well, yes - my memory is really quite amazing, but in fact, I didn't have to search my brain. All I did was Google your company's name (which will not be mentioned here), and Presto! A whole bunch of blogs from all around North America, unrelated to one another in any way except that in some way the lottery was mentioned - and all having received a friendly visit from "Michael".
I'm impressed, by the way. In an uncanny feat of memory, you were able to reproduce precisely the same comment for each one. Ah, good old "Michael", always the helpful, if somewhat repetitive guy.
You're a spammer, "Michael". You're one of the most ubiquitous and despised denizens of the World Wide Web, a sleazy, persistent weasel who takes something that other people use for their own entertainment and amusement and tries to turn it into profit for himself.
You say "It must be nice to censor what everybody see's (sic) on your website, Mr. Nils". Well, "Michael", I have to say it's more than "nice". It's also a responsibility. Because this is my home on the World Wide Web, and I hope people who come here see it as a reflection of me. So if some half-assed Florida snake-oil salesman drops by with a friendly tone and a pyramid scheme to peddle, I will sure as hell make sure nobody is fooled by it, and I will toss him out on his ear. Incidentally, I'd do the same if I had some folks come by for a party and you appeared on my doorstep.
"This way, you always look good in their eyes.", you say. Umm. No. I don't always look good. Sometimes I look downright goofy. But that's OK. I don't try to hide who I am. You know, like some bottom-feeding spam peddlers we could name, "Michael".
So, "Michael", why don't you stick to defrauding pensioners and bilking gullible trailer trash out of their welfare money? You are the embodiment of everything bad about the internet. You are a waste of skin, and not only not worthy of our time, you're not worthy of your own. Everybody who reads this blog knows exactly who you are, and what you do ... and we loathe you for it.
Now, run along, you tiny-brained spamming asshole. Don't make me get annoyed with you.
Please feel free to add to my thoughts about "Michael". It won't change who he is, and won't make him feel any shame - I suspect that ship has long since sailed for "Michael", and he is either incapable of shame or so amoral that others' thoughts about him have no impact.
But I already feel better for calling him on his shit, and you will, too.