Comedy In My Inbox (Part 2)

You may recall our first adventure into the fat-fingered, confused and/or lazy folks that wormed their way into my email inbox because my address is too simple and obvious to really belong to someone. It’s been several months and I have another great batch to share, as apparently my email address continues to be the “party line” account for an entire community of people named Brian (or not). The transgressions span the scale from “innocuous typing mistake” to “borderline identity theft” although I’m not really sure it counts as identify theft when someone gives you their personal information by emailing it directly to your (apparently only semi-private) work address.

The source of many of these gems of modern communication is creating an account on some website, using my address as the contact email, and then needing to either confirm the address or recover a lost password. Both are activities that fundamentally require access to the email address provided to the site, so I’m confused why anyone would thrown down a bogus one yet still go to the trouble of completing the registration form.

For example, YouTube user brandonzeula is never going to upload any videos because all his account management messages come to me:


Also, “” user “panties1877” will not see his registration process completed. It is a shame that someone who is obviously such a classy guy – who likely listens to Brahms concertos in his Oxford-adjacent den, soaking in the aroma of fine cigars, leather-bound books and dark mahogany as he slowly pickles his liver in well-aged scotch with quiet dignity – will not successfully partake in the live XXX webcams of “” (which I have purposely not provided a link to as I doubt any of my readers are sufficiently high-caliber enough to be awarded a coveted invitation to this prestigious site).


Plant Bad Seeds, Reap A Poor Harvest

Further illustrating the issue is this message intended for Brian Berry of Decatur, Illinois, who apparently has the time and inclination to create a shopping account but would prefer not to receive any communication about his account or orders and instead directs that to me. Am I expected to call him with daily order tracking updates when he starts receiving garden irrigation supplies this spring?


What’s My Name Again?

These are selections from what must be thousands of websites where my address is used to create an account, one which probably never gets activated or used because, well, I get the important emails. People like “Brott66”, “chain the invinceble”, “Bribhoycelts”, “big red dogg” and Brian Seshabo might want to consider whether creating the account at all is worth their (obviously extremely valuable) time.

trackmill-big-red-dogg pokerstars personal-informer norton-password nexon inspiron-battleknight brott66-pogo brian-seshabo-yola

Proud (Yet Surprised) Father

I’m not sure if these are subtle hints about upcoming child custody cases I should expect subpeonas for, but I’ve also been receiving parenting-related emails from Sintia Domingues in Pennsauken, New Jersey (Google says it’s a suburb of Philadelphia). Our baby is currently the size of a pumpkin and our subscription to American Baby should begin arriving in 4-6 weeks.



Good Luck On Your Interview

Brian Dobson, who apparently lives within commuting distance of Tulsa, Oklahoma, must not have been very serious about this opening for a Fleet Mechanic at the local Pepsi Bottling facility, because he provided my email address in his contact information. I considered filling out the survey for him and sharing with Pepsi the details of his prison time and illegal immigrant status, or his sordid affair with a young heiress to the Coca Cola fortune, but unlike Mr. Dobson, I don’t wish to spend time filling out job applications for employers I want not to call me back.


Printer Ink Is A Scam Anyway

A little closer to home, Brian McNeill spent nearly $100 on inkjet cartridges for his Hewlett Packard 564XL, shipped to his door in Redmond, WA. While Mr. McNeill is a savvy enough shopper to have scored free next-day shipping and that $8.10 instant ink rebate, he falls squarely into the “noob” category for 1) ordering from the manufacturer instead of shopping the aftermarket, and 2) not having his own email address.


The Bill-Paying Adventures of Brian Hicks

Stretching closer to the creepy-stalker-slash-identity-thief area, several of my internet alter-egos have made me a recurring part of their lives by (thoughtfully, so thoughtfully!) sending me their bills. I’m able to learn a great deal about Mr. Hicks from his bills, notably that his Norton antivirus software is set to auto-renew annually and charge his credit card ending in x2788, that his Geico policy was canceled in October due to nonpayment, and that he signed a 2-year contract with Alltel to get a $100 rebate on his new Samsung Delve.




Brian Jones Gets An iPhone

I get Mr. Jones’s AT&T bill emails every month and have for the past 2 years, but I was excited in October to see he ponied up for a new iPhone 3GS. I’ve really been enjoying mine – maybe I should give him a call and we can compare apps.



Brian Parker Fails At Shopping

Somewhere in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area, Brian Parker is probably getting very frustrated that no one ever replies to his emails. As an electrical contractor, he used the email account provided by his ISP (Road Runner broadband) to create an account with Taurus Commercial, a Dallas-based contractor, but strangely sent my email address in the reply-to field, meaning Taurus replied to me, not to him. He requested support from Bluebeam Software when activating their software, but likely never received a reply as he 1) gave them my address as his own and 2) likely missed earlier communications from Bluebeam for the same reason and his order was never fulfilled in the first place.



Still shopping (and still failing), Brian Parker made some email offers on Craigslist items, but I’d guess they never led to successful transactions as he directed the seller’s replies to me. In the third one, he gave them not only a false email address, but also apparently an invalid phone number! I guess he didn’t want the bike that badly after all.




From Around The Globe

As though the antics of my fellow Americans weren’t ridiculous enough, let’s take a quick jump to some of the more exotic locales where my email address is getting play on Glasgow dating sites (sites who send me birthday wishes every year on September 19th), registering for Australian fantasy football, and taking a weekend holiday in Suffolk.




That’s all for today, but at the rate new random, misguided messages arrive in my inbox I’m sure it won’t be long before another batch becomes post-worthy. Until then, don’t email your bills to strangers, and check your reply-to fields, kids!

Comedy In My Inbox (Part 1)

I get a lot of weird email at work. I know that other people who worked here before me have had this email address (it’s *very* generic) and that does explain some of it, but there’s also apparently a lot of people who are purposely using my corporate email address as their “reply-to” or when signing up for things online. I’m not sure why you’d want to do that – there’s so many throwaway email services these days, and just because you don’t want email from some site doesn’t mean you’d want some stranger (me) to get messages about your account, does it? I know the internet brings out the stupid in people, so let’s take a trip through the “funny/random” folder in my inbox and see who’s using my email address. These are all real messages, directly from my corporate mailbox, and are not spam (strictly-speaking) – they are solicited, intentional messages meant for someone else, someone who provided my address to the sender as their own. Vietnam

Let’s begin with the one that started me on this journey today. I am quite sure I have never signed up for Vietnam, especially not with my work address. Also, is it just me or does “Nordjylland” not sound like a real region in Vietnam?

What a Scouser!

Here’s one of many gems from overseas – and one that was actually in english. I appreciate that Colin was so inspired by Subway’s new promotion that he thought to forward it along to me. I, too, am very excited about a different 6″ sub every day for only 1 pound and 99 pence. I don’t appreciate, however, that he refers to me as a scouser – I am not from the Liverpool area nor do I cheer for their rugby team.


DSM Tuner dood

I’m really glad brian97gs created an account for me on the forums, so I can post mad pics of my sick 97 Eclipse GS for all the homies to be jealous of. Too bad his account activation process is now stalled – just like his Mitsubishi!

The Fabled Dragon of Forgotten Passwords

Johnny12333 used my address to sign up for his DragonFable account and hasn’t used it in quite some time, such that he’s forgotten his password. DragonFable efficiently emailed it to me when Johnny requested it – if only he could remember that tricky extra “3”, he’d be slaying virtual dragons already!

P.S. My rent is going to be late arriving this month

Apparently I’m a landlord for this nice couple, and although I’m attentive enough to their concerns, I’m not particularly choosy when hiring repair vendors. That doesn’t sound like me, but I also don’t have children or a Pug. According to google, Jane and Roy are an upstanding pair who donate their time at polling centers, so I’m not going to bother them about how my address got into their gmail addressbook.


Real Estate Professional

Here’s a local one, from associate Windermere broker Shane. This is not the only message I have from him, and considering he’s freely sharing with me all the details of this couple’s home buying process, I’m not sure he’s the kind of detail-oriented realtor that will make senior broker. Or maybe this is just his roundabout way of securing those all-important referrals?


Error: this seller’s account has been suspended.

Of course, what kind of good email scam would be complete without an entry related to Ebay? Ever wonder where those shady sellers get new, valid email address to sign up another fly-by-night account? Here’s your answer: they’re using mine.


Sorry Missed Address

Sheila felt it was important I not forget Chloe’s birthday. She used her Paxway “filtered internet service” to drop me a line, which I can only assume charges her by the word, necessitating that she omit any non-essential prepositions and pronouns. My question for her – if she’s the “Owner/Office Manager” of this excavating business, why is Norm’s name on the door?


The Gooch

These next two are a couple of my favorites, mostly because I love her name. Gooch. Don’t mess with The Gooch. Hey, The Gooch wants to see you. You went to prom with The Gooch? One more outburst like that and I’m calling The Gooch. Deep in the remote Himalayan mountains lives a creature called The Gooch. Hey, The Gooch emailed pictures of her kids to some stranger on the internet.



Meet the Gooches!

Wow, you just shared a link to your family photos with a total stranger. It’s only because I’m such a nice guy that I didn’t repost that link in the Something Awful forums on Photoshop Phriday.


My Secret Habbo Fetish

Everyone expects teenagers to be sneaky, so it’s no big surprise that “paromon” here used my email address under false pretenses to sign up for Habbo. The thing is, Habbo is like the tamest, most non-threatening thing your 19-year-old can be signing up for on the internet. Maybe he’s just embarrassed to be a closet Habbo-phile?


Go to the YMCA. Turn right at the basketball court.

Araksya here mistakenly believes that I know anything about Henry’s basketball schedule. From the myriad of other youth-basketball-related emails I receive, I’ve deduced that one of my many alter-egos coaches (or at least is responsible for scheduling) YMCA basketball. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to help little Henry find his b-ball games. There’s always soccer, kiddo!


Political AND witty!

I’ve got so many more great ones that I’ll have to save for another day, but let me finish with a real classic. Now I know I’m pretty net-savvy and all, but I had no idea that the Governor of Massachusetts was aware of my previous work and was considering me for a gubernatorial appointment. How flattering! If it hadn’t seemed like such a difficult commute, I might have taken them up on it. The best part? I love her clever pun – “looking forward to connecting with you”… the broadband institute… LOL!


I’ll save the rest for another day. I hope you’ve enjoyed trolling through my mailbox with me, looking for scammers, confused people and lazy typers. Remember to check your “To:” lines!

I am teh stoopid

I have been so stupid this whole week. I can’t even begin. It’s a real miracle i’m still able to type, as my brain seems to have failed me in everything else lately. I guess typing is half muscle memory, though… not that those are extremely reliable, either. For a very self-reliant person such as myself, it can be very disturbing and outright frightening when the only person you ever really put any trust in – yourself – suddenly becomes undependable. At least someday when i get old and go crazy it won’t be a totally unfamiliar feeling.

So, you want examples, huh? Humorous anecdotes allowing you to laugh at my expense? Well, i guess that is why you’re here, after all, so i’ll indulge you. There have been lots of little things this week that just keep tightening the straighjacket one lace at a time:

I headed to opening day baseball monday without the two things i really needed: an umbrella for the drenching walk through south Seattle, and sunglasses for the inevitable roof opening. Now i pondered both these things before i left home, but somehow decided it wouldn’t rain and also wouldn’t not rain, so i would need neither. In Seattle you always need one of those, usually both. I chose none. Stupid.

Bought my parking pass for April on friday, and put it “somewhere safe” until i was in the truck again. Promptly forgot about it. Remembered this morning, and then couldn’t find it. Looked in my work bag, then tore the house apart, then found it in the work bag 20 minutes later, suddenly no longer invisible. Set it on the counter so i wouldn’t forget it… and walked out of the house without it. Left my truck running in the driveway, door open, heater on, while i searched the house for it once again. Surprise…it was on the counter. Stupid.

Monday’s iPod fiasco. Ugh. I’m still mad at myself for this one. So – in case you forgot – it’s half worked for the last year. Plays music, charges battery, but won’t talk to Powerbook. So no changing the music collection or playlists. But still usable. Apple store techs said it needed a new logic board, and i found one on ebay last week for $35 – sweet! It came on monday. This is where the story goes briefly uphill, and then plummets straight back down. Installed new logic board, wasn’t that hard. It worked! I couldn’t believe it. I was giddy with joy! Synced right up to the Powerbook, was all set to slap some new songs on there, so exciting! Then i got greedy… and this is where the regret starts. Makes me sick just thinking about it. I thought maybe i should install that update (iPod software update 2005-03-23); probably cool features i didn’t have, and other goodies! I mean it’s working perfectly and requires no update, but i can’t miss out on free features! Right? Stupid. The update totally busted it, now it’s hung in a boot loop with a fried OS. No syncing, no charging, no music… 100% less iPod than before. So stupid. Ugh. I hate myself for this one.

You think i’m done? Ha. Tuesday is errand day, and as it’s officially spring now the skis are headed to storage, and the summer gear is coming out. Plus the stock rims/tires from the Z need a better home than my itty bitty garage. Loaded the Pathy all up with junk. Yes, i did remember to loosen the ski bindings, thanx to Gabe for that. Word to the fellow stupid-heads out there: if you’re going to be an idiot at least have friends that are willing to nag you about taking proper care of your stuff. Anyway, i haul my sorry self and a big pile of gear down to Renton (30 miles) and just as i reach the exit, i realize the key to my storage unit padlock is still at home in Edmonds. U-turn, an hour in traffic back home. Retrieved key from counter where i left it so i wouldn’t forget it (perhaps i need a new “don’t forget this” spot?) and spent an hour in traffic driving back down there. Oh, and 30 dollars in gas, too. Yeah, that was awesome. I am so stupid.

So we’ve concluded that i’m stupid. Yes, standardized test scores cannot compete with this kind of emperical data. Anyone who was counting on me growing up to be a nuclear physicist might want to invest their stock in someone a little more likely to succeed, like or that guy.

Some days have all the luck.

The strange little lego freddie-looking alien guy on top of my monitor is staring at me today. Normally i’d stare back, but i’m really tired right now and i just don’t think i’d win. Here’s a funny story for you. Last nite when i got home i noticed there is condensation inside my right light bulb, probably a result of my changing all the bulbs this week and cleaning the engine bay in preparation for selling it (the car, not just the engine bay). So i took the bulb out, along with the rubber seal around it, and set them on top of a nearby fuse box, so the bulb housing could air out last nite. This morning, because i’m stupid, i got in the car and headed for work. About 6 blocks from home i remembered the carefully-balanced parts under the hood, and pulled over. Of course, the bulb was totally gone. At least the rubber seal was still there. I poked around in the splash guards and whatnot, but no bulb. Closed the hood and drove two more blocks before i decided it would be a good idea to grab the rubber seal out of there before it, too, fell thru the cracks. Again, reference my stupidity. Pull over, open hood, grab rubber seal, back in car… people on sidewalk rather curious. Got home, of course bulb is not in the street in front of my house. I had a few spares (at least i didn’t have to go buy one!) and after testing a couple found one that worked. Assembled and ready… oh, wait… rubber seal is still sitting in the cupholder. Okay, re-assembled and ready. Head back to work. Two blocks from home, shiny metal thing catches the sunlight at an intersection. Like a mad person i jump out of my car to rescue it and… it’s an empty pack of dentyne. No, just kidding, it’s the bulb, and no one’s driven over it yet. But i felt pretty weird picking up shiny garbage in the street with cars behind me, it might as well have been a pack of gum. So moral of the story is… if you take your car apart and then go to bed, put a post-it on the dash first so you don’t drive off in a disassembled car in the morning. There is now a pack of post-its in my car.

At least it’s friday, so i only have a few more hours of being behind the wheel or around sharp objects where i risk injuring myself at the hands of my own stupidity. This weekend is Bumbershoot and i have tickets for two days, saturday and monday. There’s several bands i want to see saturday, but i couldn’t get anyone else to commit to going, so i just bought the ticket anyway and i’m gonna go regardless. They’re only 15 bucks, for a full 16-hour day of concerts on a half-dozen different stages. Not exactly a bank-breaker, don’t know what people’s excuse is. But i’m gonna go see Macy Gray and Kinky and REM, and if no one else wants to, well, they can fall through the splash guards too for all i care…

I almost dare not speak its name

Oooh, it’s Monday! A day for staying in bed, pulling the covers over your head and pretending the world does not exist outside the boundaries of your flannel sheets. A day for snoozing the alarm, falling asleep in the shower, nicking yourself shaving and staring, dumbfounded, at the closet with not the slightest inclination of what to wear. A day for shuddering at the touch of the cold bathroom floor. For gagging on your multivitamins at breakfast. For spilling milk on yourself, and the fridge, and the floor. A day for missing your exit, hitting the curb when you park, closing your jacket in the car door and tripping on a loose flap of industrial, office carpet. A day so wrought with perils and pitfalls that it can only be described with one word, a word that strikes fear in the hearts of the working class, a word that summons up all that is wrong about selling your time and talents (or maybe just your time) for money, a word such as “Monday.”