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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Junk Mail Junk....

Junk Mail Junk

I was sitting at my computer the other day minding my own business and surfing the net. In retrospect, I think maybe I had just read one too many junk emails that day, but the first thing you know I found my eyelids feeling a bit heavy.

I slowly drifted away and next thing I was aware of was being in cyberspace and somehow managing to become entangled in the new email filter on my computer, along with a month's supply of SPAM that had never been emptied.

I tried to maintain a sense of dignity, which was hard to do sitting in a mail bucket.

Now for those of you who might be so unenlightened you've never heard of SPAM, let me give you a quick definition. We are not talking about the unidentified mystery meat that comes in a can and goes by the same name. We are talking about unwanted email that comes from unknown sources.

In the snail mail world, they call it junk mail. In the cyber world, we call it SPAM. I don't know why. It just is.

At first I was a bit apprehensive, but after looking around I realized it might not be such a bad place. After all, where else can I get a prestigious university degree of my choice, just from my life
experience, without course work, or tests? In the world of SPAM, I can be a lawyer, a teacher, or a rocket scientist just by calling their toll free number today.

The SPAM messages were all very concerned about me and my interests, especially when it came to financial matters. They assured me that I could consolidate my debts and apply for a loan in spite of a bad credit history.

I could also apply for a guaranteed credit card at the bank of their choice with low, low interest for the first three days. I could open an online banking account, with a balance of $20 already in it, just
for filling out the application.

In the SPAM world I was encouraged to start an e-business and make money on the net working from home. I could be paid for my great ideas. I could market my products and advertise for free with
thousands of email addresses guaranteed to be valid and bring results, reaching others just the way they reached me.

While waiting for my low interest loan to go through, I can watch a free DVD movie or visit a casino and become a high roller, all without ever leaving the comfort of my own mailbox. I could also
dream about my free trip to the NFL All-Star Game, complete with airfare and hotel accommodations.

Life is good inside a SPAM filter.

Everything in the SPAM world is free, or at least half price. I could get home, auto, health or life insurance at 75% off, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I could lose 10 pounds in 5 weeks with an e-diet. I could look great, remove fat, increase my income, reduce my debts and sign on the line for a home equity loan.

Why is it that when something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is? We don't need a bachelor, masters, or Ph.D. in the field of our choice or any other to know when email is bunk.

And so with great reluctance I untangled myself from the promises, pressed the delete key and emptied the SPAM filter.

My new net buddies were sent back into cyberspace where they came from, but not for long, I'm afraid. They will merely mutate, change their subject line and email address, and reappear in my mailbox again one by one. They don't give up easily.

Meantime, I've got to quit spending so much time at the computer before my head hits the keyboard again. Maybe I need a cup of coffee.

Is that my email notification signal blinking? I've got to check my email again!

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss

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