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You've Got Mail!

Updated on March 23, 2009

You've Got Mail!

By Wes J. Pimentel

This is an emergency bulletin. There is a malignant epidemic sweeping the internet. Far worse than any Trojan horse, twice as harmful to one’s computer as the most sinister hacker’s worm. I’m speaking, of course, of forwarded emails. I have one goal in writing this and one goal alone; to convince at least one person, just one, to forever forego the sadistic pleasure of redistributing one of these mortifyingly detestable bits of internet waste.

There is no lower form of communication than this. When one ant spits a chemical message into the mouth of one of its comrades, that ant is single-handedly putting to shame every email forwarder. When a fucking amoeba spews forth a pseudopod and nudges one of its neighbors, it has, in that very instant, attained heights of articulation email forwarders could not begin to approach.

When I think about how much of our American workforce chooses to waste precious time engaging in this absolutely reprehensible behavior, the emotional depths to which I descend are difficult to express, but I’ll give it a shot. It is unequalled disgust. It is having one’s face slammed hard into the dirtiest toilet of the busiest subway station in our largest metropolis. It is sickening heartbreak. It is walking in on your best friend sodomizing your wife to the never-before-heard-by-you soundtrack of her x-rated vocalizations. It is complete and utter disappointment. It is walking into a crack-house and finding one’s daughter, passed out, face-down, naked and bruised with a needle still stuck in her arm.

When I get an email from a “friend” or a loved one and the subject line is something like “Fwd:FWD:fwd…” I feel suicidal. I instantly look to the heavens and begin to pray out loud for an airplane to slam down on me and vaporize me, lest I experience even one more moment of this unforgivable betrayal. As God has not seen fit to answer my prayers as of yet, I am forced to combat this menace the only way I can; with my pen, which is desperately, much less mighty than a sword. In fact, I would gladly trade my pen for a sword at this point, so that the next time I receive one of these little gems, I can do the honorable thing and eviscerate myself. What a welcome relief it would be to only have to worry about which kimono to wear when I spill my intestines, rather than entertain the possibility of receiving even one more forward.

Stop fooling yourselves, America. There is no miracle story inspirational enough, no joke funny enough, no sob story sad enough, and no puppy picture cute enough to take precious time out of your day to subject any of us this malevolence.

There was a time when I did not feel this way. About thirteen years ago, before Google became the giant it is today and everyone’s grandparents had email addresses, I was new to the internet. I would surf in wide-eyed wonder from page to page, awash in the glee of this seemingly endless sea of information, interaction and porn. When I started trading emails with people, it was like Christmas every day. I would relish each moment of anticipation of my next batch of messages (in stark contrast, nowadays, every time I logon to my email, I feel a nervous tension in the pit of my stomach as I brace myself to be inspired). If someone forwarded me a few pages of jokes, I would actually read every one! Hell, sometimes I’d even print them out to share them. I read every angel, miracle, dying cancer patient story I was sent.

But like I said, that was thirteen fucking years ago! Give it a rest. It’s been done! I promise. If you’re looking at it, I guarantee several million people have already seen it. Don’t force our society to de-evolve any further than we already have. I ask you, I beg you, I IMPLORE you, please don’t make the same mistake the asshole who sent you that message just made. Fight the urge, dammit. Don’t click that “send” button. Instead, I would suggest, submitting some original content to the world-wide web.

The next time you feel the impulse to contribute to the constantly-renewing cycle of rehashed garbage on the internet, try something different. Grab a video camera and point it at yourself. Put something original on YouTube. I would suggest grabbing a large kitchen knife and cleaving your mouse hand right through the center. Now, there’s a video I would really appreciate having forwarded to me. Knowing that one of you email forwarders has turned your life around for the sake of originality would really help me sleep at night.

 

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    • Schwag profile imageAUTHOR

      Schwag 

      9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      Yes, stomps. See, the guy thinks that the elephant, like him, remembers their original meeting and has all these warm fuzzy feelings about it. It turns out the elephant is just an animal and doesn't welcome the guy's intrusion on his territory, aka the enclosure in which they are reunited. It's hilarious. It caught me off guard too.

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 

      9 years ago from USA

      Stomps the guy?! You caught me off guard on that one!

    • Schwag profile imageAUTHOR

      Schwag 

      9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      Amanda - I couldn't agree more. Judicious use, as you said, depends greatly on the judgement of the sender. I trust no one. Not even my mother has the clarity of thought to spare me, and she's getting worse. At this very moment I have three messages in my inbox from her; all power point; all in Spanish; all related to Catholicism/Santeria. AAAAaaaggahhhhh!!!

      Aya - You make an excellent point. In fact when I first published this piece I sent it to every email address I had (421 addresses), with the subject line "Pass It Along!" Not everyone got it. Also, I like how you're appealing to my narcissism. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to think of people forwarding my hubs all around the world to each other.

      Proud Mom - Right on. At least blind copy me on it, with a little blurb about why I would like it, or what makes it funny, or how it relates to my life. The slightest attempt to cover up the fact that you're sending it to 300 people, or that it has gone to 600 people already would at least make it easier to stomach.

      To all - Just picture this same behavior via hard-copy. Imagine receiving a piece of mail that you know has gone to millions of people before you, and that you know will continue to be circulated to thousands of others. There's a name for that - it's called junk mail.

      To be fair I have received a couple of forwards worthy of being passed along. One of them is a video of an eagle being used to hunt a small deer. Amazing. Another one is a satyre of all those inspirational stories about a man who befriends a baby elephant and then comes across the same elephant later in life. You think it ends all mushy, but the elephant stomps the guy. It's great.

    • Proud Mom profile image

      Proud Mom 

      9 years ago from USA

      I appreciate it when the sender takes the time to make it into a separate email. Copy and paste only the text before sending it on.

      But when the only thing they send are these types of emails, I tend to start glazing over them without realizing.

      This is the first of your hubs I have read, Schwag. You have a humorous way of writing something that is serious business to you!

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Schwag, I know how you feel. I've told all my friends, if it's something you wrote, then I want to see it. Otherwise, not so much. It was especially bad for me when I was in Taiwan in the aftermath of an earthquake, and when I finally got to my email, I had to wade through garbage to get to the important messages.

      However, not everyone has something original to say, nor in fact should they. There's a certain level of humility to those who think something someone else wrote is better than anything they could write. So let's not get too down on those people who might choose to forward your hub to their friends, rather than write one of their own. It's a compliment!

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      9 years ago from UK

      Schwag, originality is the best, but sometimes things are too funny or too important not to share them. The judicious use of the forward button is okay in my book, but of course, discrimination is key, and not everyone has the skill of discernment!

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 

      9 years ago

      I'll have to read that hub, thanks

    • Schwag profile imageAUTHOR

      Schwag 

      9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      C.C. - No problem, man. There's just some stuff out there You gotta make a stand about. I think you would probably like another one of my hubs, it's called "Disregard the Following..." It's about another very common, but very annoying behavior. Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 

      9 years ago

      I love it. I agree about not being able to tell Mom to stop it. It's the same with other persons that are just too endearing to my heart to hurt them like that. But I refuse to forward the damn shit too! Gawd I hate it! No body can effin' write anymore! All they wanna do is forward shit to you and fill you're inbox with trash. I don't even open it and just dump it with a grin, so long effer! thanks Schwag you made my day I feel better now

    • Schwag profile imageAUTHOR

      Schwag 

      9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      Thanks, homie. I will strive to instill humility in my girls, even though they'll be fabulous divas! Oops! I think I just let a little of my Dad out.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 

      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Beauties only skin deep is the title , you are not cursed you are blessed just raise her to be humble that is what our parents did. I look at people from the inside out.:)

    • Schwag profile imageAUTHOR

      Schwag 

      9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      Well, good. I'm glad you're in recovery. I'm also glad that's a real pic. I like communicating with attractive people. I got the hint that somewhere along the way you wrote a hub about women being taken seriously, or not being approved of based solely on their looks... Can you please tell me the title so that I may read it? Perhaps I'll share some of your wisdom with my daughter. I think God cursed me with a hottie daughter.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 

      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Schwag: Yes the pic is real and I didn't take your comment seriously , yes I FW:FW: and send Lol, but not as often as I used to many moons ago.:)

    • Schwag profile imageAUTHOR

      Schwag 

      9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      Cris - Of course I will spare my mother the pain of telling her to shove her santeria/catholic messages.

      Teresa - Thanks for the comment. I would suggest everyone print out this hub and place it somewhere in your workplace so that everyone knows just how terrible this habit is.

      AEvans - DIE SCUM!!! Just kidding. Thanks for standing up for the other side. I'll try not to hate you. Your looks help. Is that a real picture of you? Is this not that kind of site? Damn.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 

      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I happened to like forwarding mail on occassion especially something heartfelt, but I will agree as it can be painstakingly annoying at times. Enjoyed the hub.:)

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 

      9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      FW:fw:FW:Fw:great hub.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Of course you wouldn't tell her and you shouldn't and you know why! Just click on the box and delete. It's better that you suffer alone, it looks noble LOL

    • Schwag profile imageAUTHOR

      Schwag 

      9 years ago from Clarksville, TN

      No shit, man. I don't get it. RIght now my Mom is going through a forwarding phase. Her's are mostly religious/inspirational and my Mom is practically a saint, so it's almost impossible to tell her to stop. Damnit!

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      LOL i feel the same way - only more violent - everytime Fwd messages keep coming in, and the same is true with my cell phone, when I'm waiting for an important email/msg. Otherwise I just delete, I'm just not a fan of Chickensoup for the Soul and Anne Gedes.

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