2002-10-12 / Columnists

Boyle-ing Points

By Kevin Boyle

By Kevin Boyle

You've Got Spam!

I almost missed this week's deadline I was so tied up deleting email. Some joke or one liner triggered 63 replies from 47 people. Halfway through the messages stuffed in my cyber mailbox, I couldn't recall the joke so the replies and retorts were like spam---the name for unwanted, unsolicited email-not that spammers think anything is unwanted or unsolicited. The clever rats often attach little notices or tags to your email. This "email is a result of your feedback form" or you are receiving this email because you "opted in" to some list. Well, I swear on Bill Clinton's bible I never opted in for debt reduction or body part enhancement, yet somehow every huckster with a computer thinks I need one or the other or both. Grow this or that and get out of debt---sounds like a plan! I tell ya, though, you get enough of those emails and you start to feel...well, shortchanged in more ways than one. You start thinking, did someone give them my email address because, well, you know....uh, I might need the help?

The thing is, even if you're uhm, curious about how to, uh, get out of debt you really don't want to "click through" or respond to the email because then you know that'll trigger an avalanche of the same stuff---or stuff even more bizarre. Once you respond, your email address is validated---the spammers know they've got a live one and your legitimate email address is quickly circulated to every dirtball who perverts Old McDonald's Farm. It really is quite annoying, quite jarring to see some of that stuff in the subject line, prude that I am.

I don't know if there's a solution for spam but as a public service I will provide a couple of tips to you regular folk. Do not copy everyone on a joke---and especially do not copy everyone on the forty follow-ups. If they didn't jump in with a comment the first go around maybe they didn't find it funny, know what I mean?

And lastly, if I send an email "thank you" do not reply "you're welcome." That kind of junk has no place in my mailbox. "You're welcome" is just bad form and it puts you a rung below those pushing pyramid schemes.

As for these tips, you're welcome.

Boyle-ing Over:

**A dear friend, one of my favorite real estate people, was somewhat miffed that I essentially said we were in the middle of a real estate bubble because I said sellers were calling bungalows "ranches" and dilapidated shacks "retro" or "classic." She growled into my phone, "How 'bout I let my dog crap all over your lawn then you can call your house a farm." (Sheesh, take it easy. Growl at me again and I'll give your email address to a spammer).

**What time do the Yankees play on Sunday? Ooops. What a spanking they got. They looked like the Jets.

**People are crossing the street to avoid my mother these days. You'd think she was handing out her burnt pork chop recipe. Well, actually it's just as bad--she's shamelessly handing out business cards with information about my soon-to-be published book. I don't think she's proud of her son, the author, I think she just likes handing out business cards. Don't be surprised if she's seen sticking home repair cards in your mailbox or somewhere on your front door.

**I'd like the work to be finished on the streets of Rockaway some time before Andrew Cuomo gets elected, but I don't want to hear drilling at 7:15 in the morning (I can't hear the crows). Mr. Gaska of the Community Board do you address this sort of thing?

**There's a UPS commercial on TV in which a handsome delivery guy is admired by a bunch of women. Well, local females tell me that guy's got nothing on the FedEx man who covers most of the west end of the peninsula. I don't know the guy's name---though I've heard him referred to as "Valentino." Look for him to replace Pierce Brosnan as the new James Bond (and yes, he'll use the FedEx truck instead of that tired Aston Martin 007 has been using all these years). But ladies, back off, he's happily married.

**Just wondering. Is it against the law for our police officers who ticket cars and engage in traffic control to go down our streets the wrong way (and against traffic)?

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