60-Something: Unsolicited Forwards

2013-09-23T17:30:00Z 60-Something: Unsolicited ForwardsBy Denise DeClue nwitimes.com
September 23, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

Got a couple more this morning: Unsolicited Forwarded Emails. These rotten screeds, forwarded from I've-Found-The-Truth-Central, depress me. My problem is that I think I should read them. What if this family member is ill? What if someone sprained an ankle? What if a long-lost cousin got a great job?

When I tried to respond to the latest missive, saying I didn't care for the parable, but liked the sender, I only fanned the flames that blew up the grain elevator.

Going through old family letters, I see people writing about their children, their gardens, war, the local mayor's race, a new road, the latest sheet music, as well as marriages, sicknesses, and deaths. Actually I also found some threatening post cards from the K.K.K. to an uncle-doctor in Tennessee. Remind you of anything?

My RRT is about charging certain people a whole lot of money when they forward emails: especially those with creepy spiteful undertones. These emails are not necessarily vile on the surface--but they make me feel like I just emerged from a big mud puddle and have chunks of gunk all over me.

None of these emails originated from any person I know--they're all forwarded from some hateful person who must know somebody who somebody knows. But if you are a forwarder you should pay me to send those emails: $975 for each email with political content (you know what I'm talking about); $950 for those with religious content; and $350 for any email containing photos or drawings of a puppy, a kitten, or a goat.

Send them if you must, but through the miracle of modern data tracking, corrections will occur to our bank accounts simultaneously. I will be able to afford a reasonable retirement. Senders, on the other hand, may be forced to sell their email-forwarding devices.

My son, in his thirties, says there's an epidemic of "mainly older people" flooding email boxes with these messages which he calls "firebrand crazy talk." "Basically," he said, "they misunderstand the function of email and think it's a megaphone."

I'm old enough to remember Bughouse Square across from the Newberry Library in Chicago, where sometimes crazy, but always earnest, folk really did stand on soapboxes and proclaim their positions to anyone who would stop and listen. You could walk away from them.

My son says the 30-Somethings he knows reply to these unsolicited forwarded screeds with one word: "UNSUSCRIBE." I'm pretty sure this would cause discord in my life, so I've sworn to just hit "DELETE" when I see the forwarder has a mean-spirited message. But . . . what is . . . "THE GERIATRIC TRAFFIC JAM?" and why are "…NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE?"


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