i.e., Mail That Makes You Go "Huh??"
More and more these days, I get weird email from complete
strangers -- induhviduals, mostly. Sometimes I can explain it: I
maintain several variously popular and well-known pages on the
world-wide web. Sometimes I'm just profoundly baffled. But even when
there is an explanation, some of the messages rise above the crowd.
NOTE: Except that I've deleted most of the email
addresses, URLs, names, and uninteresting headers, every one of these
messages has been reproduced here in its entirety.
- Mom and Dad
- Neither of my parents, and neither of my parents-in-law, has
ever had an email account anywhere.
- Help wanted
- What could I say?
- Bic Pens
- This is the one that finally made me think "Geez. I really gotta
start saving this stuff."
- Ok, so I put up an index page of
Monopoly game piece pages. So how should I respond to queries
- HTML editors
- What kills me on this one is the last line.
- Some dumb ad
- Lots of people probably got this one. I like how they suggest
that it will actually save trees.
- Monopoly again
- A real puzzler. I have posted to the alt.sport.darts newsgroup
once or twice. Maybe that's the reason.
- Still more Monopoly fan mail
- Yow! This one looks like it came from Zippy the Pinhead.
- Add HTTP
- A riddle
- Not only do I not know the answer to the riddle, I don't know
why they suspected that I would. (Later note:
Robert knows the answer.)
- The riddle again, 4 minutes later
- In case I didn't read it the first time, I guess.
- Another Monopoly request
- And another poor soul I was unable to help.
- Your point...?
- Monopoly-related, apparently.
- (no subject)
- In fact, no nothing.
- Global Computer Disablement??
- This one wasn't sent to me, it was sent to a friend of mine, but
it's a real beauty.
- Junk, funk, whatever
- At least they could have told me what page they were talking
- ftp.vi.com maybe?
HTML editors list has gotten so popular that I had to add a note
explaining that I don't have time to do reviews, haven't used most of
the editors, and don't know which one is best for you. I added
parenthetically that I use vi.
- Sure, it may be amusing
- Basically "look at my page, whereupon you might want to send me
money". No thanks.
- What list??
- This list of weird email, I guess.
- How to put your picture
- I get a lot of email about my
list, but not much of it shines like this one.
- Busy person
- Another one of those ones that defies not only comment but
- A fun response to my
McDisney Trivia thing
- Someone apparently laboring under the impression that I had some
sort of *obligation* to provide answers.
- Is there a game?
- Yeah, sure, there's a game.
- More HTML editor feedback
- For "kwel", read "kewl".
- McDisney again
- This person apparently thinks I'm a search engine. I think.
- A 3-message series:
My response; and
- This person would probably never have made my "weird email" page,
but for the second email I received from them. I wonder what they'd
have had to say if they had guessed wrong?
- More help wanted
- Some of my own advice: No need to shout...
- Still more help wanted
- Is it just a coincidence that most of the people who plead for
help are using outdated browser software and/or operating systems?
- An editor query?
- In the previous paragraph, where I said "plead for help", pretend
I said "send me weird email".
- Huh (Huh?) ?
- I'm well familiar (from Usenet) with the concept of including an
entire article and then failing to say anything else. This one takes
the idea one step farther.
- Yeah, me, too
- This may very well be the first email I've ever received that
could serve as its own response.
- Seems unlikely
- Another classic in the "help me" genre. Interestingly, the name
in the second sentence of the message did not remotely match the name
in the "From" line.
- Another ad-like thing
- At least I think this is some sort of ad.
- Identity crisis
- Uh, what's your name again? (Note that neither of the two names
here match the "DELETED" one from the "From:" line.) Also, just what
was it you wanted to know?
- Yet another ad-like thing
- These may need a category of their own soon. My favorite thing
about this one is the email address they have for me: an account
which had not existed for about 3 years (at the time of the message).
- It may be time to add a "junk mail" category. Oh wait, I already
said that. I responded to this one with a polite request to remove me
from the mailing list, and got a bounce from email@example.com saying
that the account had been removed. I assumed it was removed because
"becky" is an idiot, and quietly said "hooray" to myself.
- A request, I think
- Same guy, three seconds later
- Gee, I'm sorry, and I feel terrible. (This is another one of
those ones that could kind of work as a response to itself.)
- I'm not sure what this has to do with Macintosh HTML editors, but
who am I to second-guess my correspondents.
- Mistaken identity
- I admit I did play a pastor in a role-playing murder mystery game
once, but I didn't think I was that convincing.
- I give up. Where?
- Delicatessen? Golf pro shop? Playing card store?
- That's nice
- But why with me?
- Uh, sorry
- That's just not my kind of game, thanks.
- Okay, you may now
- Will there be anything else?
- Timing models?
- This one seems to be an innocent mistake, and I actually
responded politely to the author (a rare event for email featured on
this page) but it was just such a weird thing for someone to ask me
that I had to include it.
- And it shows
- Another self-evident message.
- Seeking web sited[sic]
- Why, yes. I find the following site to be neverending fun:
- Need help on the net
- I'll say. Yet another one of those messages that speaks
for itself. Or rather, two messages this time. The From: and
Subject: headers are the most fun here.
- It causes them to become clueless
- I feel bad displaying weird email when faulty English is part of
the problem. But sometimes the utter weirdness of the request makes
it worth it anyway.
- Oh great
- I'm so happy that there is a new way for clueless people the
world over to access the net.
- A test
- ...to see how many people he could annoy with a single email
- Eutheran Looniversity
- No, and why on earth would you think I might be??
- What are you talking about
- Some of the truly weirdest email comes from fans of my McDonald's
pages. This one seemed relatively tame, in the Grand Scheme of
- But wait...
- I replied to the previous one with "I could ask you the same
question", and it just got weirder.
- Start with the basics
- Kinda like getting 3/4 of the way through the Holy
Bible and pausing to remark "Good story. Who's Jesus?"
- Basics II
- Free business advice: Do not hire this guy. (Same guy as in
the previous message.)
- Sometimes I'm too baffled even to have a witty response.
- Who gives
- Well, the next guy does, for one...
- I LOVE McDonald's
- You should talk to the previous guy...
- But I seem to be managing all right on my own. (Besides, that'd be a
- Uh, you're welcome, I guess
- Glad I could be of service.
- Just another friendly chatty person. I get lots of these. Don't
know what motivates people sometimes, but I suppose most probably mean
- Oh. Okay.
- Thanks for the tip. And, um, moo to you, too.
- Tables wanted
- Yeah, like I would send you URLs for free. Be serious. It's
hard work, finding pages on the web that contain tables.
- No, you're not sorry
- Frankly, I think the confusion runs in your family.
- Yeah, right.
- A polite request like this sure makes me just get right out there
and respond favorably. Yup, sure does. I left this person's name in,
because it appears she can't even spell that right.
- Unfortunately, the 8-bit characters in this one have now had
their 8th bits dropped. (Every character in the message body except
for the spaces and numerals had its 8th bit set.) You'll just have to
trust me that when I got it in my email client, which is 8-bit
capable, it looked even wackier than it does here.
- Jimmy crack corn
- This one kinda reminds me of "Need help on the net" (above).
(It's the From: line, I think.) Sometimes I really think some of you
psychos out there send me these things just to get on my list.
- Very inquisitive
- This person apparently (1) comes from a part of Canada where they
do not speak English, and (2) has a stuck '?' key.
These two scare me
- But not exactly for the reason that the author was thinking.
- Input for my editors list
- And in case you didn't hear me the first time, then
let me tell you again, 2 seconds later.
- We all stink
- And some of us have way too much time on our hands. (Same guy as
the previous two, by the way.)
- Yippee, I'm rich!
- Or maybe not. I replied, asking "what program?", and they never
- Critical praise
- Unless he's referring a bit unconventionally to writing and/or
web pages as "art work", the only bits of (my own) art that I have on
my web pages are some of the
Am I missing something here?
- Yugo art fallout
- My Yugo
Art page got listed in Yahoo
(not by me). I thought this was kinda cool. Shows what I know.
- But I've got a family to feed!
- How will we ever survive?
- Missed it by that much
- I suppose this is a submission for my
McDonald's Disney Trivia
page, but my goodness, that promotion ended 14 months ago!
- Thanks for the update
- But why update me?
- Maybe. Weird? Definitely.
- Now we all know where we're coming from.
- More wisdom from WebTV-land.
- If I knew, I couldn't tell you
- Still more wisdom from WebTV-land.
- Another unhappy reader
- Unfortunately he neglects to say which page, exactly, he was
- Ore Mamed?
- The entire body of the message was a misspelling of the sender's
own name, preceded by a '!'.
- McDonalds again
- I'm about to wonder if I need a special category for people who
think I might have the slightest clue about McDonalds.
- An ironic thing about this one is it immediately followed in my
mailbox a message with the subject line "enigma" that was not
puzzling in any way.
- Debtors prison
- Some people must think anyone with an email address is an
Tom Magliery O-