This is not what I'm talking about. However, it still reigns as the most mysterious of the mystery meats.
Ever since I started working for Something Awful, I've been inundated with spam. Those of you who think I'm talking about a lunch meat of questionable origins are way off. Those of you who think I'm talking about junk email are right, but you're also nerds. Each day, I get dozens of important-sounding business messages telling me I can start making money from my computer. These are typically rife with testimonials from real live people who have turned their financial situations around, such as:
"I wasn't making money from my computer, but now I am. Making money from my computer, that is." - Bob Actual
"I have turned my financial situation around." - Mary Notfake
"Forward this letter to ten friends, or you will have bad luck. Also, your financial situation will not turn around." - Sam Reallyexists
Obviously, moneymaking schemes such as these are geared toward people whose last names are words, so count me out. The rest of the spam is primarily made up of letters that want nothing more than to increase the traffic to my web site.
Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. Greasnin,
I have visited your web site(s) many times. I think others could benefit from your product/service. Would you like to spam the hell out of a billion people a day? Now it's possible! Just follow these simple steps.1. Send me money.
2. No really, send me money.
It's that easy!
They know about my product/service! They must have done their homework. It doesn't get much more on the level than that, unless it's the new one I've been getting. I've now received two separate and distinct emails from the princess of Nigeria. It seems she and her family are in trouble, and can't get out of the country. Luckily, she's been monitoring my "business history" and she's knows that I'm the trustworthy type. I'm so trustworthy, in fact, that she wants me, of all people, to help her smuggle millions out of her wacky, war-torn nation. All I have to do to get twelve million bucks (American money, no less!) is send her my bank account number. Oh, and then I'm supposed to transfer the bulk of the money back to her when she finally makes it to the States. Pretty sweet deal, huh? Well, it gets even better. The princess in the second email is a totally different princess from the first email. I can tell, because they have different names, and because one of them types in all caps, while the other one saves her all caps for the really important bits, like "BUSINESS," "DOLLARS," and "NIGERIA." Can you believe it? Not only does Nigeria have princesses up the wazoo, but two of them singled me out for this unique opportunity! I must be the luckiest guy on Earth. I bet when they come to America, they'll both want to track me down to repay my kindness with hot princess loving. Sure, you laugh now, but when I'm up to my ears in money and Nigerian princesses, you'll be sorry.
The point is, I get a fair amount of spam on a daily basis. What I want, though, is to hear from you, the SA readers. It doesn't matter if it's good or bad, I just love the attention. In the twenty-four hours after I post an article, I usually get twelve to twenty emails from readers, which is nice, but it means that there are thousands of you out there who aren't writing to me. I wracked my brain for what seemed like four minutes, and I came up with a clear explanation. You want to write to me, but you just don't know what to say. You're afraid of embarrassing yourself in front of such a witty, urbane, and well-dressed individual as myself. Well, fear no more, for help has arrived! It is my pleasure to present the following assistance:
Ben "Greasnin" Platt's Guide to Emailing Ben "Greasnin" Platt
This guide is designed to give every person the tools he or she needs to write an email to me, regardless of gender, religion, or race (no sand people, please). I have carefully gleaned five basic email archetypes from the letters I have received thus far. Each archetype is presented with a brief description followed by a fictional example based upon real emails. Simply choose the archetype that works best for you, and start writing! (Author's note: you'll notice I use male-specific pronouns in all of the following descriptions. This is because I'm so ecstatic when I'm contacted by an actual woman that she could threaten me with acid scaldings, and I'd still cherish every word.)
"Now kids, let's all give thanks for Greasnin""THANKS SATAN"
The Overzealous Worshipper
Nothing is more important to the Overzealous Worshipper than me. He firmly believes that I am the greatest writer on the face of the planet, because I write about porn. He loves everything about me, from my occasional witticisms to my cute little heiney. I could mash my keyboard with a dead rabbit, and the Overzealous Worshipper would still think it's solid gold. He always writes in full sentences, and only occasionally uses l33t computer lingo, which is nice, because I'm easily confused by that crap. The Overzealous Worshipper doesn't hesitate to point out his favorite lines from my latest article, then elaborate on precisely how hard he laughed. Unfortunately, his favorites lines are unfailingly the cheapest laughs in the entire piece. Still, what he lacks in taste and proper spelling, he more than makes up for in flattering and frightening enthusiasm.
Ex: Dearest Ben "Greasnin" Platt,
Your soo funny! I couldn't even believe how hilarious your peice about eating animals was! When you said sharks can kill you so you "get to turn it into poop" I laughed so hard my left eyeball ruptured and dribbled eyejuice on my lucky green shirt. I told all my friends to read it. One of them wouldn't read it, so I killed him with a claw hammer in your name. Speaking of which, your name rocks! Omg! Greasnin is such a funny name to have in quotes. How did you come up with somethign like that?? You should write an update about your naem. That would be so cool!
You, sir, are the best writer in teh world. . You make me laugh so much, even though you'ev only been writing for a few weeks. I hope you keep it up for years to coem! The other writers on your site are good, but your are so much better I can't take it. You make me feel happy all over. Ben "Greasnin" Platt forever! Oh yea! Woo! Oh! Oh God! Oh sweet God, yes! Thats teh spot! Oh!
The Good Doctor
The Good Doctor is a busy fellow. He barely has enough time in the day to read Something Awful. He believes in professional courtesy, though, and always gives credit where credit is due. Immediately after reading an update, he'll fire off a one line email. It's just a quick compliment, and usually not a particularly creative one. The Good Doctor cuts through all the pleasantries and gets right to the heart of the matter. He doesn't have time for fancy little extras like his name or punctuation. He works with the precision and the efficiency of a surgeon who is highly praised for his high levels of precision and efficiency. Due to the brevity of the messages, I'll provide multiple examples.
Ex: excellent work
Ex: You were funny
The Ambiguous Pat
I realize that some of you may be tempted to write me an email in the style of this site. I also realize that a good deal of the humor here at Something Awful relies upon sarcasm and contradiction. For example, I could say "'Mr. Ice Cream Man' is horrendous. I love it" (note how I used the word "could." I would never say I love "Mr. Ice Cream Man"). An email from Ambiguous Pat is rife with this sort of humor, but it's either unintentional or just incredibly poorly done. The end result is that I have no idea whatsoever if the email is intended to be complimentary or insulting. The Ambiguous Pat enjoys using unclear analogies, odd turns of phrase, irrelevant references, and confusing paragraph breaks as tools to ensure that I have absolutely no idea what is going on.
Ex: O Greased One,
I hope you check your mail, because I want you to know that your writing is terrible. Terribly good! And by good, I mean something else. Your last update had me in stitches of pain. It was great (I'm a masochist, but that does not pertain to anything I've said). You suck a camel's ass, which is something I enjoy doing. Frankly, I hope you die
many, many years from now in a peaceful fashion. That's the only way for people like you to go. Yes, I mean that as a compliment. Or do I? Every time I read your work, I can't stop thinking that you're just like this guy I saw one time. So what I'm trying to say is, I admire your good grooming. Keep it up (not that, the other thing).
The Reluctant Critic
He's never written to me before, and chances are he never will again. Normally, he's not one to complain, but there was some error, some tiny mistake, some inscrutable flaw in my last update that he just couldn't ignore. It was eating away at him like an intestinal parasite that would eventually spread throughout his entire digestive system until he died on the toilet, bloated like a complaint-writing Elvis. He just couldn't live with himself if he didn't bring my error to my attention. However, he doesn't want to seem mean or cruel, so he balances his complaint out with a compliment that probably sounds a lot more flattering in his head than it does in his email. There's no predicting what will set off the Reluctant Critic. It could be a typo, a joke that he didn't quite get, or some little bit of misinformation. A number of incestuous porno fans, cat lovers, "Star Wars" nuts, vegetarians, economics students, and Maori Tribesmen fall into this category."You're mine, Greasnin, you gut-addled strump-ducker."
Ex: Dear Ben "Greasnin" Platt
Your article today was amusing. You should check your facts a little more carefully, though. Most wookies are not nine feet tall. I just thought you should know.
Please continue your normally fine level of performance.
The Demon Hunter
So, it seems I'm the antichrist. It's a big promotion for me, and I have to say I'm pleased about it. I wouldn't have even known about it if not for the ceaseless efforts of the Demon Hunter. He has made it his sole purpose in life to destroy me through long, rambling, angry emails. My writing makes the Demon Hunter weep in his forty-seven triple tall mochafrappachocacinnaspressos. He despises everything about me, but he adamantly refuses to stop reading my work. It's possible that he's afraid that if he misses even one update, I'll convince all the readers to join my suicide cult. It's possible he's in dire need of psychiatric help. His emails contain numerous threats to me and to my family, as well as dozens of insults and insinuations, but never actually address anything specific in my writing. His carefully-worded missives are designed to show off his vocabulary and are unusually eloquent for a raving lunatic. Ultimately, though, his efforts are thwarted by typos at critical moments.
Ex: To Ben "Greasnin" Platt:
Once again, you've chosen to spread your blight to the masses through the intellectual constipation you call an update. In the week since we last heard your yammering, I found myself filled with elation at the prospect that you could have potentially ceased breathing. Alas, my hope was in vain, as I found myself assaulted by more nonsensical blathering courtesy of you.
Apparently you failed to learn your lesson from my last email, you hog-teated louse-wrankle. A blind pheasant with diphtheria could create sentences that offend the English language less by defecating on a keyboard. You'll see what I mean when I break in through your window, seal your oral cavity with a collapsible, stench-laden foot garment, and drag you kicking, but not screaming (because there's a sock in your mouth) to my pheasant farm. There, I will beat you with a cudgel until your coccyx is bruised and bloody. I'll have my vengeance upon you, my weak-spermed, flange-grouting, vestibule-trotting friend.
This is the part where I would tell you never to write again, but you have no doubt come to that decision on your own already, in light of my power over you. If not, you will once I douse your next meal with a spurt of nitrous tetrahydroxylate. I certainly hope you have no attachment to cuticles, for when they shrivel like grapes (notice that I didn't say they'd shrivel like raisins, as you would, because raisins are already shriveled, you sack-fed muck-wompet), you'll beg me for merciful death. I will not provide you with such a grace, though, nor will I for your dog. Use your last few hours well, "Greasnin," for the time of reckoning is at hdan.
Well, there you have it - five perfectly viable formats for emailing me. By now, I'm sure you are bursting with ideas. I look forward to hearing from, and laughing at each and every one of you.
Finally: an advice column for the rest of us! (Who seek to eliminate the plague that is humanity.)
A Goon outs himself as a wizard and gets a warm reception from the rogues/rangers/paladins gallery!
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