Flyboy

by Berck

Some time ago, Google started a webmail service. I managed to get an invite pretty early on as a result of knowing Jonah, and I was excited to be able to sign up for berck@gmail.com before any one else grabbed it. (Hey, you never know!) It turns out that Google, for some reason they have not disclosed, decided to limit e-mail addresses to a a minimum of 6 characters. It suggested Berck.Nachzen@gmail.com. I figured I might as well get something that someone else would want one day, and picked flyboy.

Boy was that a mistake.

Within a couple of years the flood of mis-addressed email started. There are, I estimate, hundreds of people with e-mail addresses that are some variation on flyboy. It turns out there are two main subsets of people who have decided to go by flyboy (I’m not suggesting these groups are mutually exclusive): African American Men and Military Aviators. (For what it’s worth: These groups appear to be equally stupid and equally interested in pornography.)

You’d think that most of the misdirected email would come from people who simply forgot to add the numbers to flyboy314159@gmail.com. Much of it, however, seems to come from people who simply don’t know what their own e-mail address is. Google sends me “click here to recover your forgotten password” e-mails several times a week–all requested by someone who is surprised they can’t log in to their g-mail account. I’m sure they remember the password, they’ve just forgotten that they’re not really flyboy.

I’ve also been signed up for countless email promotions from JC Penny to mail for expecting dads.

Totally unrelated: the following email just showed up in my UCCS inbox:

Hello UCCS Students,

Please be aware of these upcoming career opportunities:

1) Have you ever wanted to be a pilot??

Yes, yes, I want to be a pilot! How do I do it?

Anyway, people have paid for things like wifi internet accounts and pornography subscriptions using my account. A couple of years ago, someone signed up for Blockbuster video rentals with my e-mail address. I changed the account password, then filled their queue with things like “Manos the Hand of Fat” and “High School Musical”. Doing things like this insures that no only will the moron who doesn’t know his own e-mail address will be harassed, but also the company that fails to verify e-mail addresses.

Have you ever been annoyed by something that requires you to verify receipt of an e-mail before your account can be activated? These things used to annoy me, now I realize that all good sites should implement them. When I get one of those, all I have to do to avoid being further harassed by the site is delete the e-mail. (Frequently, though, such an e-mail is often followed by a Google password change request.)

Lots of e-mail I get as a result tends to be personal. For instance, a few weeks ago a prostitute negotiating a “party” got confused about an e-mail address and sent me the entire exchange. A few years ago, I managed to get on the forward list of a Jewish grandmother. It’s bad enough to get forwards from your own Jewish grandmother–no one should have to deal with those from someone else’s. When I told her that I didn’t know her and asked her to stop sending me e-mail, she said, “I’ll send e-mail to whomever I want.”

The niceness/nastiness of my response often depends on what I’m being forwarded. If you’re a right-wing moron, I’m probably going to be pretty mean. Often, I get aviation related forwards that I’m interested in. I usually don’t respond to those.

A couple weeks ago, I got an annoying forward about how Jane Fonda is a traitor. I responded with, “I won’t know who you are, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t send me email.” Response: “Its Uncle Howard. I’ll stop. Sorry”

People like to argue with me. Often they tell me that they don’t know how I get their e-mail, but they e-mailed someone that wasn’t me, and it’s obviously not their fault.

The latest is the mother of a person who is obviously a member of one of the aforementioned groups. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine which:

Hi aaron

i,m doing fine tring to get back to sending you some mail

glad to know that you are getting a little better each day you know that

all our help come from the good Lord we must keep our trust in him.

Love alway

Mamma (..) (..)

Ps Hi to all

I responded rather politely that she’d gotten the wrong e-mail address. I got another today.

O.give Thank to the Lord for he is good and his mercy indureth forever Psalm136

hi aaron ihope your day and nite will get better,dont let the devil put doubt in

your mind that no one care about you i believe Lisa does she just dont know how to deal with it she hurt just like you do some it hard for her to understand

but we all must keep on beliveing.sometime our hard trail come just when

God is getting to bless us.

Remember the children of Isreal just before the cross the red sea no where to go

and GOD derliver them and then did not have the Holyghost ha had dont gve up.

Loveyou

Mamma (..) (..)(..)

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