You Or Another Person

By: David Jaggard

“This is not spam. You have received this message because at one time or another you or another person entered this e-mail address at one of our websites, or this e-mail address was part of a mailing list which we regularly buy from third parties.” — Actual disclaimer at the bottom of a spam e-mail that I received last month.

This is not assault and battery. You have received this punch in the nose because at one time or another you or another person moved your head into the path of my fist, or because your face appeared on a list of third parties whose looks I don’t like.

This is not a robbery. I am waving a handgun in your face and screaming “All of it! In the bag! Now!” because at some time you or another person entered banknotes into your cash register that I want and possibly need for drugs, or because your store’s address was part of a list of places that sell watches and jewelry, which I regularly sell to third parties.

I am not stalking you. I spend every waking moment outside your building, following you everywhere you go and leaving creepy notes in your mailbox because you or another person, perhaps someone you know, or someone you really should get to know, has informed me that only the enveloping warmth of my love can fill the emptiness in your life, even though you already have a fiancé, dozens of friends and two jobs, or because you are part of a list of women I have never actually met but find hot, and whose physical and imagined attributes are my sole topic of conversation with third parties, many of whom are in my head.

I am not drunk. I am slurring my speech, staggering and knocking things over because at one time and then another, like at that reception after work and then at dinner, I, or another person, or at least it seemed like another person, entered eight or nine gin and tonics into one of my digestive orifices. Maybe more. Maybe even more than one orifice. But who’s counting? Anyway, in order to maintain a regular blood alcohol level I shall now move on to a third party.

I am not having an affair. You have received credit card bills listing unexpected charges to local motels on dates that coincide with my frequent “business trips” because at one time and many others you or another person, possibly your prim-looking but surprisingly slutty cousin, have met me in those places to engage in a whole list of mind-blowing sex acts that regularly include third parties.

I am not breaking up with you. You have received this message, your last from me, because at some time you or another person resembling you in every way, wearing your clothes and addressing me by your pet name for me, did something, or more likely a series of small and individually not so significant things, that eroded my former affection for you, or because you really fucked up royally on one specific occasion that I don’t think I even have to remind you about. As a result, your e-mail address, street address, phone number and Facebook page are no longer part of any of my lists anywhere, and I shall now regularly date third parties.

This is not spam. We have sent you this message because we really want your money and have no honest way of getting it, or because we just felt like hassling you. Oh wait — come to think of it, you specifically asked to receive messages from us. Yes, you did. Keep in mind that you may have been sleepwalking at the time. To remove your address from our list, please click the link shown below, which will not take you to a dark website in Moldova (trust us!). We scrupulously honor all requests for removal. Please allow ten years for processing. During that time you may continue to receive notifications from us, but they will not be spam.


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