Just as certain (and unwelcome) as death and taxes is…spam. Not the mysterious meat product, but those bothersome — and entirely unsolicited — e-mails that clog your computer. We all get them. And we all automatically delete them. Well, not all of us. One man actually responds to them. A year and a half ago, Washington, D.C.’s Jonathan Land became so annoyed by these e-nnoying e-mails that he began writing back to spammers. His most surreal exchanges are now posted on TheSpamLetters.com. There you can read how Land berates a pornographer (”The naughty schoolgirl thing…just doesn’t cut it anymore”) and the mastermind behind a ”Work at Home in Your Underwear” scheme (”How dare you insist that I wear underwear while I work at home!”). But his masterwork is a 27-letter exchange with the infamous ”Nigerian” scammers, in which enterprising con artists offer you 25 percent of a fortune if you’ll help them smuggle it out of the country. (Land bargains them up to a 31 percent stake, only to get threatened with black voodoo when he reports them to the feds.) These days, he’s getting up to 50 spams a day: ”I think I’m one of the only people in the world who actually wants to get it.”
Posted April 12 2002 — 12:00 AM EDT
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