Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fun With Spam

It's been a good while since one of these emails snuck through the spam filter, so I thought I'd have a little fun with it.

Here's the email from, uh, "Mary."

You are an exquisite looking man. So stunning. You captured my attention.
But then I imagine you have that affect on all women. Would you be interested in corresponding? If you would like to know more about me, please reply to my email.

I couldn't just leave the poor gal hanging, so I promptly replied.

Dear Mary,
It's true: tall, middle-aged, somewhat overweight balding men such as me are often burdened by the need to fend off young, alluring women such as you.

That said, I do appreciate the accolade. I'll try to keep it in mind when I shave in the morning, when I'm prone to talk to myself: "Whoa man, what the hell happened to you?"

However, my wife is a passionate Italian woman who happens to be quite proficient with firearms. So, even if I were inclined to let the little Eskimo explore strange igloos, my strong sense of self-preservation would preclude such (mis)adventures.

I sincerely hope I've let you down gently. And please, quit skipping meals.

Hal Johnson

Thursday, November 24, 2011


It's been a long time since I've thought of someone as "my bartender." I don't frequent taverns much nowadays, but for the last few months, on my break night before flying home, I've stayed at a hotel in New Orleans with a bar and restaurant I like.

The first night I met K as my bartender, I was talking to a British waterworks engineer who'd recently lost his wife. K mentioned that she'd lost her husband a few years ago to cancer. He was only in his forties.

The last time I saw K on the night before flying back home, the restaurant was busy, but the bar deserted. Being the nosy guy I am, I asked how she met her husband. She told me that they met during Mardi Gras, and started dating. She then told me how they came to be married.
"Marry me," she said to him.
"I don't want to get married," he said.
"Then I'm going back to California," she said.
"Okay then, I'll marry you," he said.
They were married for twenty-five years before cancer took him away. She followed the ambulance with her oldest son and daughter in the car. Her youngest son rode with his dad in the ambulance.
The dad looked at his son. "I'm not going home again. You know that, don't you?"
The youngest son couldn't accept such a proclamation. "Sure you will, Dad."
The dad looked at his youngest again. "Your mom is the love of my life."
And indeed, the dad never went home again, although his message did make it back to the woman who would soon carry on as a single parent, making a living in a bar, pouring beer for nosy guys like me.