IN RESPONSE TO A SPAM RECEIVED 12/9/2000 ANNOUNCING THE ONLINE APPEARANCE OF
INCIDENTS OF EGOTOURISM IN THE
BY STEPHEN J. RHOMBUS, ESQ.
Please remove me immediately from any and all mailing lists. I do not wish to receive further mass mailings, solicitations, and/or chain letters from you. You see, I know what you are doing. I know all about spam. The first three emails I ever received, the morning after my inaugural night online, promised a cream guaranteed to produce rock-hard abdominal muscles without a single sit-up, an inexpensive, completely legal herbal concoction mimicking the effects of ecstasy, and free pictures of “hot naked teen sluts.” I responded to all three immediately; what red-blooded American male wouldn’t be excited by the concept of washboard abbs, cheap powerful hallucinogens, and free pornography?
The cream caused my stomach to break out in oozing pustules. It cost $9.95 a month to access pictures depicting remarkably unattractive women who may have been teenagers during the Reagan administration. I’m hanging on to the herbal ecstasy though: after the gut-wrenching diarrhea it gave me I figure I can use it as a potent laxative, should the need ever arise.
In short, your email does not fool me. There are only three things that I know, for sure, to be true: (1) Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors” is a vastly overrated album, (2) Willie Mays was far better than Ted Williams, and (3) your message is a most egregious and blatant example of spam. Ultimately, that you claim that your email is not an elaborate attempt to coax me into buying a self-help book suggests that it is, in fact, just that and much, much more. If I follow the enclosed link to your website I know I will find some sort of turn-of-the-century CyberDianetics.
Incidents of Egotourism in the Temporary World is probably a new-age manifesto of touchy-feely hatred that reads like the bastard child of Mien Kampf and Chicken Soup for the Soul, promising eternal peace and contentment for the small price of devoting my life, soul, and income to your “movement.” Unless, of course I work for the government. Then, if I come within 200 yards of your North Dakota compound I will face Viet Cong-style tiger pits filled with sharpened bamboo and the business end of a spring-loaded shotgun trap which, if tripped, will fire enough buckshot into my shins to turn everything below my knees into so much steak tartar.
I’m afraid to read even once page of Incidents of Egotourism in the Temporary World. A single click of the mouse and a few seconds of glancing at your paranoid screed is all it will take. Within hours I will hear a knock on my door heralding the arrival of two or three members of your little “group.” Wearing the cultist’s mask of incalculable rage wrapped in a sheath of brainwashed serenity, they will promise a similar face to me, if I just give them my ATM code and get into the van. Well, I’m no confused street urchin with a head full of oven-cleaner, I’m gonna ask a few questions before I climb into that van.
What’s so “temporary” about this “world?”
Why are we “Egotourists,” who by definition are just passing through for a visit, and not permanent “Egoresidents?”
It sounds to me like your exigesis is just another load of dangerous post-millennial, suicidal nonsense. Listen up, Jimbo; I’M NOT INTERESTED! Eric von Daniken is a useless crackpot, those guys in the Church of the Subgenius are only kidding, and faux-satin purple tracksuits make my ass look fat. In sum, I do not want to escape this veil of tears and ride the comet’s tail with you to an eternity of joy and splendor on a planet in the Alpha Centauri star system. You can keep your cyanide-laced Kool-Aid to yourself, Mr. Jones.
You may try to defend your work, claiming that Incidents of Egotourism in the Temporary World and the people who read and follow its teachings are completely harmless. Yet, they said the exact same thing about John Wayne Gacy for years, until one too many pale, effeminate teenage boys disappeared from town and the reek of death emanating from under his house became too powerful for the neighbors to ignore any longer. Take this to heart Jeffrey, the cops aren’t gonna find any of MY internal organs wrapped in tin-foil in your freezer!
But as hard as this may be to believe, I’m not your enemy “Egotourist.” I actually want to help you. However to do so I must tell you that your worst fears are, in fact, all too true. That buzzing you hear every time you call the party line is not a poor telephone connection; it's an ATF wiretap. The government has bugged all your phones, they know about the guns, and a state-of-the-art Aegis spy satellite that can read the headlines on a newspaper in Baghdad from geosynchronous high earth orbit is watching you right now, so put your pants back on.
It gets worse. The 15-year-old runaway waif you “recruited” last week is actually a bioprogrammed, deep-cover CIA assassin, trained to kill a man three times her size with her bare hands and made to forget everything about that training through a vigorous regimen of LSD-25 injections and electroconvulsive shock treatments. Yet, once given the proper code word, she will remember every lesson. She will slam the heel of her hand into your nose, driving a five-inch shard of bone into your forebrain like a dagger, leaving you dead or, at best, a drooling spastic with the cognitive ability of a houseplant. The CIA has had the requisite technology since the mid-1960s. That hollow, dead-eyed stare you find so attractive, the one that adorns the face of your latest recruit, people say that Sirhan Sirhan had the exact same vacant look in his eyes right before he drew his pistol and laid Robert Kennedy down to die in the arms of that Cuban bus-boy. You better cover your ass Lee Harvey!
You’re not paranoid, Egotourist, it’s all true. They’ve got you surrounded: hope fails and time grows short. The end is indeed nigh, and you have little time to prepare. Soon the ATF, DEA, FBI, and local law enforcement will swoop down on your compound with a throbbing desire for vengeance unseen since the siege at Waco. Trust me David, quit now and get out while you still can. Shut down your website, take a fire-axe to your PC, burn all existing hard copies of Incidents of Egotourism in the Temporary World, dye your hair, and move back in with your parents before it’s too late. They’re coming, mark my words.
Finally, if I may leave you with one final piece of advice, remember that it's cold out now. Tinfoil hats may block government mind control rays, but they do a lousy job of preventing frostbite. Go buy yourself some earmuffs.