Posts Tagged ‘internet’

VFTB humor blog owes success to worldwide spammers

Every now and then I dip into the View from the Bleachers Reader Mail Bag to check out reader comments. I like to hear what my loyal following has to say about my recent posts. It may surprise you to know that my humor blog is (hardly ever) read by people all over the world – from Melbourne to Moscow to Mogadishu, and everywhere in between.

Whenever I wonder whether anybody is paying any attention to my posts, I need look no further than the blog’s comments section to discover that spammers from around the world are regularly checking out my web site. How flattering, I must say. And they always have something positive to say.

As a professional humorist and three-time Golden Globe nominee, I have found that coming up with original, entertaining topics to write about each week is a formidable challenge. But when I stop to read the highly personal reader feedback of spammers from places like Istanbul, I am reminded that this labor of love is well worth it. One week I had over 800 comments from an eclectic collection of web sites, most of which, I sheepishly admit, I had never heard of. At the risk of sounding immodest, the feedback from these spammers has been almost universally effusive. Many times, the comments are surprisingly coherent, if you can just decipher the mangled spelling.

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  • Published On Oct. 07, 2011 by TEJ
  • New Inventions

    A guest post by Chris Scott from DeadCaterpillar.com.

    My friends may not know this about me but aside from being a humor blogger, I am also an inventor in my spare time. Today I would like to expose the designs for my two latest inventions and give the internet a peek into the future of technology.

    Invention #1: The no-go-telephono

    U.S. Patent No. 39992042

    People are always losing their phones. My previous phones have ended up in the oddest of places: the laundry wash, at the bottom of a dumpster, in a booth at some random off-highway diner. It seems phones are always going somewhere or on the go. I figure: why not invent a device that made it impossible for the phone to up and leave? A no-go-telephono.

    The no-go-telephone would consist of two parts: a receiver and a mouthpiece. The mouthpiece would only be semi-portable and would connect directly to the receiver via a string, wire or chord of some sort. The purpose of the chord is to prevent the mouthpiece and receiver from separating.

    Wait! I know what you’re thinking. So what if the chord keeps the mouthpiece attached to the receiver, what is to prevent the receiver from getting lost? The phone can still go.

    Herein lies the true genius of my design.

    The receiver connects directly into the wall and connects to lines outside which rest on the power lines.  Got electricity in your house? You will be able to use the no-go-telephono.

    I’m sure you’ve heard of cable television before. You might even have heard of cable internet before. Well, just think of what cable phone might be like. Ingenious!

    Invention #2: The paper email

    U.S. Patent No. 29102901

    Emails are sometimes more trouble than they are worth. You might spend hours pecking away at the keyboard, working on an email, only to have all of your work evaporate when the computer abruptly shuts down without even a second’s notice.

    Sometimes emails that are not spam get marked as spam and never make it to their respective inbox destinations. Inversely, unwanted spam gets treated like real emails and populates inboxes. Then there is the prospect of being infected by one of those awful computer viruses we hear so much about. The whole system is a convoluted mess if you ask me. That is why I would like to suggest a new system: paper emails.

    You know that white stuff that they make receipts and toilet paper with? People would write on that and send it in envelopes, as a means of communication. I’m pretty sure they sell blank sheets of that material at places like Office Max and Staples.

    But how, you ask, will the paper emails get to their destinations if not through the magical workings of the information superhighway?

    My first inclination was ponies. Men riding ponies will carry the envelopes (containing the writing on paper) to their respective destinations. Ponies are cheap because they use no gasoline.

    Then, after thinking about it for awhile, I deemed the pony approach would be impractical. Though ponies are indeed cheap, communication is so vital and important that money should not be an object. That is why I believe the government should be in charge of delivering the paper emails.

    The government would employ workers to drive around in large white trucks and would deliver the paper emails directly to your inbox. The paper email inbox is a physical box located somewhere on your front lawn.

    Just imagine. It’s Saturday morning. You are pacing to the front of your yard where your inbox sits. You’ve got your favorite bathrobe on, coffee is in hand, and the sun is shining. You reach into your inbox and take out the paper emails. Wa-lah! No spam! No viruses! It’s bliss. Pure bliss.


  • Published On Oct. 22, 2010 by TEJ
  • My fleeting friendship with an Internet Scammer (Part 2 of a 2-part post)

    Internet Scammer - mainWelcome back to the thrilling conclusion of my true, unedited story about my fleeting friendship with an Internet Scammer named Mr. Chris. If you missed the last week’s Part I, you can get caught up here.   If you were with us last week, you know that it all started when I received the following unusual email in my SPAM mail folder.

    From: kelvin chris

    To: (this field was left blank)

    Subject: Order Urgent

    Hello.  Am Mr. Kelvin Chris and will like to place an order regarding some bleachers from your company to Latvia. What is their price ranges, also your terms of payment as well. hope you answer to my request ASAP. Thank you very much and waiting for your prompt responds. God Bless You.

    Best Regards
    Mr. Chris

    ______________________________

    I would now like to let you in on a little secret – come in close…. closer… Psst: I don’t actually sell bleachers. It’s a humor blog. View from the Bleachers is a metaphor.

    But Mr. Chris wanted to engage me in a bit of Internet commerce with terms most favorable to him. So I could not help but have a little fun by playing along. I never thought he would actually respond back to me after my ridiculously satirical reply. But he did. Oh yes.

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    • Mr. Chris is back and is emailing my work! It was quite hilarious getting almost the exact same first email …
      Chelsie
  • Published On Jun. 18, 2010 by TEJ
  • My fleeting friendship with an Internet Scammer (Part 1 of a 2-part post)

    Internet Scammer - mainRecently, I made a new friend across Cyberspace: a very nice man named Mr. Chris. Well, at least I thought he was a friend. For a week, it looked like we were going to become best buddies. But sadly this story of fleeting friendship has a heart-breaking ending.

    You see, Mr. Chris is a documented Internet Scammer – listed on web sites for trying to con people out of their money by offering to overpay with a bad check or stolen credit card, and asking the victim to send back a check in return for the overpayment. Your classic Internet scam.

    What made me suspicious, you might ask? Well, I think it was his first email which I stumbled onto in my SPAM mail folder which lacked any name in the “to” field. His email asked about pricing for BLEACHERS.  

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  • Published On Jun. 12, 2010 by TEJ
  • Hey, this blogging thing is a snap!

    angryatcomputerFor ages friends have told me that I should start writing.  Other than the occasional annual holiday letter or a surprise 50th birthday tribute, I admit I’ve not done nearly as much writing as I know I should. So after years and years of annoying, relentless, “you’ll regret not having ever done this when you look back on your life” pain-in-the-ass nagging (author’s note to self: Be sure to change the preceding tosupportive encouragement” before you publish – Do NOT forget!) from my wife, I decided to finally try my hand at blogging.

    And all I have to say is what took me so long!! This blogging thing is a SNAP.  You do not need to have five years of html programming experience or be an expert in RSS feeds, tagging, and php.  And you don’t need to know about plug-ins, widgets or feed burners. You don’t need to understand the meaning of .css style sheets or header-footer dpi upload specifications. You don’t need to know ANY of that stuff -unless you want to have a blog site, that is. Then, yeah, it’s a pretty good idea to know what some of this stuff actually means.
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    • Umm, Tim? Shouldn't it be "View from the Parking Lot," or perhaps "View from the Traffic Jam on the …
      Seth Greenblatt
  • Published On Sep. 07, 2009 by TEJ