Like most cool people, I have a GMail account. The weird thing about using GMail (over, say, Yahoo! Mail or HotMail or something) is that Google searches your emails and gives you a list of sponsored links alongside each email you open. It looks like this:
Most of the time, these links make sense. If you send an email about how much you love Jeff Buckley, you get a list of links to Jeff Buckley sites. But sometimes the lists make me wonder what the hell Google thinks I'm talking about. For example:
- An email exchange that contained the statement "flirty sparring is a good characterization" elicited a link to Catch Him and Keep Him, which promised to reveal "10 mistakes you are probably making to scare away Mr. Right!" Presumably, flirty sparring is one of them.
- When Steve sent me a link to a site about the Monkey Chant, Google gave me a bonus link to BetaMonkeyMusic.com, where I could find "insane drum loops" from Nikki Sixx. 'Cause, you know, Mötley Crüe is a lot like those Bali natives.
- As I read a nice long email from Patrick, a former student, I noticed a list of eight links to sites having to do with paper shredding simply because he'd described his summer job: "Basically, I am the Office Anything Boy. It rocks! I get to run all sorts of errands and edit a ton of paperwork, and shred classified documents and read all sorts of stuff I shouldn't!! OK, the last task I only got once because I let it slip that I had read what I was supposed to be shredding. Hey, at least I didn't make copies."
- An email from an excited Steve announcing that "C-SPAN now carries the Prime Minister's Questions on their website!" generated links to SpiritualHumanism.org and the Progressive Universal Life Church, both of which offer free instant ordination but have absolutely nothing to do with the British Prime Minister.
- I was invited by BasisTech.com to "extract meaningful intelligence from unstructured mulitilingual text" after a series of emails wherein Josh and I made fun of each other for A) being snobby about words and B) having attended rival institutes of higher learning. Me: (pointing out that Josh had spelled clique wrong) "I mean, really. . .surely they offer a course in remedial spelling at THE University." Josh: "In the hip-hop vernacular I am sure it is spelled click. I am sure they teach contextual interpretation at Mr. Jefferson's Institute for the fairer gender." (This is what you call flirty sparring.)
If you are currently using some lame-ass email account that refuses to provide you with such random and amusing solicitations, let me know. The little email gods are constantly asking me if I want to invite people to GMail. I can totally put you on the list.