I’ve pretty well given up on New Year’s resolutions because I found myself vowing to do — or stop doing — the same things year after year. Still, I can’t altogether shake the hopes of improving myself that surface as we ring in the new.
Thankfully, I’ve no need to engage in deep self-scrutiny or seek out a self-help program. My inbox receives an overwhelming (literally) amount of spam.* I see major themes in the messages — most pointing to things wrong with me and my life and offering quick fixes.
My Sex Life. I’m impotent, according to the spammers — or at least, unable to maintain an erection. I’m constantly offered opportunities to buy Viagra at a discount. Several similar products also. I’m invited to buy something else that will actually enlarge my penis. “Power in your pants!”
On the other hand, maybe I’m just bored. No problem. I can meet some “cheating wives” in my local area. Or I can get a “mistress for Christmas.” The Russian girls who used to write me seem to have given up.
But I’m invited to “CONNECT … with charming Mrs. Celestia Betterton” — obviously a classy British type. “Click bellow [stet],” she says, to view her private photos.
My Health. My body is riddled with health problems, judging from the spam. High blood sugar level, high cholesterol level too, ringing in the ears, dimming vision and more. I’m especially sensitive about my loss of brain function and expanding waistline.
Fortunately, there are remedies for these, as well as all the other conditions. And if I don’t altogether trust them, I can get a great deal on burial insurance.
My Finances. My investment portfolio is apparently too conservative. I get opportunities to buy some bargain-basement stock that’s about to take off, usually at least one a day.
But she who hesitates, as conservative investors do, loses. So I’m not going to get in on “the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century,” which I could have owned “a piece” of for only about 21 cents.
The real solution, as I learn from another spammer, is to “reprogram … [my] mind and stick the enter Wealth Code into … [my] brain.” Presto, the Millionaire Mindset — “the secret of becoming wealthy.”
My Career Path. My earning power isn’t what it could be either. I should increase it by taking an online doctoral degree. “Invest in your future,” the spammers urge.
Or I could effortlessly learn a new language in a mere 10 days. All I need is a CD to activate some “wired part” of my brain — assuming, of course, that the part isn’t one of those that’s degenerating.
There’s a remedy for that, however. No less a leading light than Pope Francis has increased his brain power by taking some pills. “I use these to keep my intelligence about 150,” he reportedly says.
On the other hand, maybe my professional life is in good shape, since I’ve been chosen for inclusion in a Global Who’s Who.
Things Beyond My Control. We’re well advised to accept the things we cannot change. There are surely many of those, but several I’d never have heard of without the benefits of spam.
For example, there’s a “massive war on U.S. soil” — or soon will be. I could sign up for a new home security system or buy a flag. Steady spam streams for both. But they seem pretty futile defenses in the face of the war.
More insidious because clearly underway is a “secret conspiracy between the U.S. government and some food producers — so shocking that Fox News wouldn’t report it.” But since word has leaked out, the President could face impeachment. “This could be the one that finally brings him down.”
Grant me the serenity to accept these terrifying threats — and the lack of curiosity to click.
And grant us all faith that the violence, suffering and social injustices we witness are within our collective control, though not swiftly banished with a click.
* The spam-flooded email box is for an account I no longer use, but check to make sure I don’t miss any must-read messages. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether these are among them.