Jilted

A spam mail from “Lovette Pilley” with “Skit” in the subject line. This was the random text passage in the mail:

An adventurer named Adam is confronted by his fiancee Lovette, whom he recently jilted at the altar.

Jilted

Adam was in his element. Surrounded by a group of admirers in the centre of Pilley town, he was recounding his recent exploits in the Far East.

“In Malacca I met an acrobat and an athlete,” he said. “I decided to travel onward with the athlete, and after a while we reached Singapore. The Malaccans had been amusing objects of study, and in their polite ‘goodmornings’ and ‘hellos’, I had taken much comfort,”

As Adam was talking, a woman had sidled up to the edges of the crowd. It was his ex-fiancee Lovette, whom in the act of leaving at the altar in favour of travelling, Adam had scorned and greatly angered. She was here to demand an explanation for his abandoning their wedding. Her sister Hetty had told her that he had gone on some sort of adventure, but she wanted to hear it from him.

“Adam!” she yelled, barging through the crowd and interrupting his story.

“Holy mother of God!” Adam hissed. “Lovette!”

Lovette put her hands on her ample hips. “How happened you not to be at church?” she barked, anger glowing in her eyes.

“I- I-” Adam stuttered. “We- my brother and I, we heard of an attack!”

“An attack?” Lovette’s voice was shrill. The crowd watched with baited breath.

“Yes! The whole town of Pilley was in danger!” Adam said. “So we seized our magazine rifles and ran out, to see a terrible sight! Men on horseback came galloping towards us!”

“Why didn’t I hear of this?” Lovette eyed him distrustfully.

“Because before we could see them off, they kidnapped us!” Adam said, carried on the crest of his tale. “And Billa, my trusty guide – who studied pharmacy and dentistry combined, along with civil engineering – woke me several hours later, and told me were were at some sort of tourist camp,”

“And where were your kidnappers?” an eager young lad at the front of the crowd asked.

“Right there with us, where they had slept and breakfasted!” Adam told them. “When they saw that we were awake, they presented us with an itinerary-”

“Short lights of the world,” Lovette cursed under her breath, before turning on Adam and shouting at him. “Seven shillings and sixpence I paid for that wedding license, and for what? You never wanted to marry me!”

“I did!” Adam shouted back. “I gave a certificate, didn’t I? If I hadn’t wanted to go through with it, I wouldn’t have done that!”

Lovette had decided to leave Pilley for good, at least while she had money left to buy her ticket. She squared up to Adam one last time.

“I don’t believe you ever wanted to marry me,” she said. “Of course I cannot know it, but it is what I feel,”

“It seems I can do nothing to persuade you,” Adam was crestfallen.

“Nothing!” Lovette said. “I am going on some adventures, as you call them,”

“You intend to travel?” Adam was dumbfounded.

“Yes, and why not?” Lovette tossed her head. “I will take a boat down to the coast,”

“Miss, if I may suggest, you should ask Mr. Wood to take you,” piped up a man from the crowd. Lovette recognised him; his name was Ithulpo and he was of Mexican descent. She didn’t recall ever having noticed quite how attractive he was, with his dark hair and slender limbs.

“Mr. Wood?”

“Yes,” Ithulpo said. “I believe he always pays a guide to row his boat beyond the rapids and the usual troublesome whirlpools,”

“Does he indeed?” Lovette was interested. “Well, since I am a little tired with my exertion, perhaps you could help me find this Mr. Wood.”

“Certainly, Miss,” Ithulpo made his way over to Lovette and took her arm courteously. As they left the crowd, Lovette threw a haughty look back over her shoulder at Adam, who was utterly perplexed.

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To Bosket

Every so often, a spammer’s name stands out from the myriad. “Bosket Simeona” is particularly evocative. Presumably there’s a name generator similar to the Project Gutenberg masher. I wonder where they get the names to feed into it. Anyway, the aforementioned Bosket Simeona sent an email entitled “bedlamite”, which contained the following random text passage:

With a bit of Spam Story tweaking, it became the story of Adam, a railwayman, and his lover Simeona.


To Bosket

“You’re acting like a bedlamite!” Simeona giggled, as Adam swung her around in his arms.

“I’m mad indeed!” said Adam, laughing. “Mad about you!” As always, he turned the back of his hands to Simeona’s face tenderly.

Simeona said to herself: “It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t!

With an effort, she pulled away from him, whispering “Should we really be doing this?”

“I understood so,” he answered, somewhat perplexed at her rejection.

Simeona sighed inspite of herself. Adam was magnificent on that railway. She could think of little else – his skill in the engine room, his mastery of the vehicle. Trying to stop herself falling into temptation, she ran through all of his faults in her head. It was no good. Having gone through them again and again, Adam’s good points were worth them all!

“Come with me to Bosket,” Adam said into her ear.

“Bosket?”

“A small village on the coast. It used to be just like how Normanstand was,” Adam told her. “Now, however, it is a quiet seaside retreat – perfect for lovers,”

Simeona closed her eyes and shook her head.

“It isn’t proper for us to go away together,” she said. “We aren’t married, and your dear wife died only a month ago!”

“Nobody will know!” Adam urged.

“People would find out!” Simeona protested. “It would doubtless all come back – the amount of telegrams I’ve sent you,”

“It wouldn’t indeed,” Adam was growing impatient. The truth was that he had been to Bosket once before, with his late wife, and the village had rather fallen short of their expectation. Adam thought of the dead woman and buried his head in his hands. There, in Bosket, whatever pleasant new customs they might have had would always be tarnished with the memory of his wife.

“Besides, I oughtn’t leave Normanstand,” Simeona was saying. “You see, my father has come down with rather an unusual form of measles,”

“He’s a healthy man, your father,” Adam insisted. “He will recover.”

“I just mention it because my desire to see Bosket would be higher were it not that my father’s sermons have become rather odd…” Simeona confided.

“Odd? How so?”

“Odd in that everything has a connection with riding or horses, and-”

Adam cut her off abruptly. “Listen,” he snapped. Simeona was shocked into silence. “You think this isn’t hard for me too?” Adam blustered.

“I-”

“My dear Simeona, I have called myself a great many hard names,” he said sternly. Meantime, he withdrew a blade from his pocket. Simeone gasped, and watched as Adam raised it to his breast. “To be this knife!” he swooned.

“No!” she struck at him in order to make him stop. “I will come to Bosket! I don’t care what anyone thinks!”

Adam lowered the knife and smiled.

“We’ll have a marvellous time, I promise,”

Stephen’s Funny Ideas

Today’s dip into the spam archive yielded a mail from ‘Seawood Foradori’ with the title ‘trioecious’. (I looked trioecious up in the dictionary, and it means “a plant species that has individuals with staminate flowers, individuals with pistillate flowers, and individuals with perfect flowers”. Intriguing.)

Anyway, I decided to turn it into a story about a whimsical young gay man named Stephen Foradori. Stephen lives in a cottage close to the ocean with his friend Mrs. Ferrars. Despite his plans to be a fashion designer, he harbours controversial political beliefs about their town.

Stephen’s Funny Ideas

Stephen was sitting at the window gazing out at the ocean. The sea spread out as far as he could see, and there was a file of gray islets to the left. Across their endless links, Stephen mapped out his own life. He was going to become a fashion designer, and spent much of his time dreaming up new outfits.

His friend and living partner, Mrs Ferrars, appeared at his side wearing a red jacket, one of his latest creations.

“What do you think?” she asked, twirling a couple of times.

“It looks fantastic!” Stephen said. “Are you going to wear it to the banquet?”

“Yes, I think so,” Mrs Ferrars replied. The occasion referred to was a celebratory dinner for the town mayor, Raymond Seawood, who had recently been awarded an OBE. “You really think it suits me?” She brushed a speck of lint from the jacket’s lapel.

“Absolutely,” Stephen gushed. “It’s so you, Mrs Ferrars,”

“I want to make a good impression at the banquet,” she fussed. “Raymond can be so terse and blunt at times,”

“Don’t listen to him,” Stephen advised. He had no time for the notoriously grumpy village elder. However, it remained to be seen if Mrs Ferrars would ever truly stop admiring the man. “Darling, you have to remember…” he said. “This is, as yet, an incomplete society in decay,”

“Oh, you and your funny ideas!” Mrs Ferrars chuckled. “We hadn’t been here so very long before you started on your social theories!”

Suddenly, as she looked at Stephen, everything that had puzzled her became clear now in the light of the weak afternoon sun. Stephen, with his papers and files, and secretive behaviour… “He imagines governing this town and its masters!” she thought to herself. “He wants to step forward and become some sort of leader!

Stephen held out his coffee cup. “Make me another cup, would you?” He smiled innocently, and Mrs Ferrars wondered if she was mistaken. Maybe Stephen just wanted to get his picture in the paper. She went off to prepare his coffee without the addition of milk or sugar, which she knew he hated.

The Soprano’s Brother

Found a nice piece of Gutenberg mash in the archive tonight, in a spam mail from “Juen Staenglen” entitled “goitres”:

The scene it inspired takes place in a rehearsal room at June Staenglen’s amateur dramatics group. Miss Staenglen, the chorus master and the seamstress discuss a mysterious death.

The Soprano’s Brother

“Heyello!” cried Mr. Goitres, the chorus master, as he blustered into the rehearsal room. “I hope the scripts have been marked up!”

Miss Staenglen sighed, and prepared to deliver another lecture about nonproprietary and proprietary form. She was overburdened, and worried greatly about her tasks again. The last things she needed was Mr. Goitres’ sticking his oar in.

“The scripts have been marked up, sir,” she muttered. “I did it myself this afternoon,”

“Where is our new soprano?” Goitres asked, scanning the room.

“She has left the group,” Miss Staenglen told him.

“It’s awfully tragic,” piped up Miss Monro, the seamstress. “She has stopped singing! She suffered a terrible loss, you see. The very day her brother killed himself, she sang no more.”

“So that’s it?” Goitres barked. “We don’t have a lead soprano?”

“By the looks of it,” Miss Staenglen said.

“The looks of it,” Goitres chuckled to himself, then spread his arms melodramatically. “So looks the Shakespearean actor who is confronted!”

“Yes, indeed,” sighed  Miss Monro, turning back to her stitching. “Poor boy,”

“Who?” Goitres asked, sitting down at the piano.

“The soprano’s brother what died,” Miss Monro said. “Her family is Spanish, you know,”

“Then let’s do as the Inquisition had done, and banish them from our thoughts!” Goitres commanded. “We have a performance to rehearse. There’s no time for idle chit-chat,”

Miss Monro turned to Miss Staenglen. “And I imagine that they’ll leave England at once, for the disgrace of it!”

Goitres looked at the women, aghast.

“You can do no good here with your gossip!” he cried. “We have to rehearse the play!”

“Mr. Goitres, sir,” Miss Monro turned to him. “I don’t suppose you could recommend to them to improve their acquaintance with the church?”

“Raisins of the sun ston’d,” Goitres cursed, sighing in exasperation.

“If you couldn’t spare them just a small hundred pounds in money,” Miss Monro went on. “For them to pay for a funeral with,”

“I shan’t even consider it!” Goitres snapped. “I  hardly know this woman!”

“But she has something which will set you pleading,” said Miss Monro.

“And what might that be?” Goitres’ curiosity was piqued, but he tried not to show it.

“It’s been said that the brother was killed by a rival,” Miss Monro began. Miss Staenglen gasped.

“So it wasn’t a suicide?”

“No! A murder!” Miss Monro whispered. “And if the family remains here, you can help them bring their case before the Queen, sir!”

Goitres mulled it over. Since retiring from the Bar the previous year, he had often yearned to be back in court, fighting for justice. His eyes glazed for a moment. Then, with a curl of his lip, he rose.

“The wheel turns upon a pivot placed just so,” he proclaimed. “And just as raisins are put in a pipkin, I will take on this case,”

Just then, there was a knock at the door. It was a barrow boy carrying a sliced ham.

“Ah, supper has arrived!” Goitres marched over and opened the door.

“Mr. Peters has left instructions, sir,” the barrow boy said.

“Will you come in?” Goitres stepped aside. “There’s plenty to go around,”

“No, I oughtn’t, sir,” the boy made to retreat.

“Very well. Then, ladies,” Goitres laid the ham on the piano and beckoned to Miss Staenglen and Miss Monro. “Let us eat!”

The Siege of Areaaaepdapl

After an unforgiveably long hiatus due to WordPress being blocked in China, Spam Stories returns! Luckily the spammers are still spamming, and I have a massive archive, so there’s plenty of material knocking around.

To kick things off again, here’s a piece of spam from ‘Pomainville Rebholz’ entitled ‘Bronzer’:

I turned it into a dialogue between a woman named Rebecca Holz and the narrator. Rebecca’s brother has recently been killed in a siege near a tribal village where he was doing missionary work. Rebecca receives a posthumous letter from him.

The Siege of Areaaaepdapl

“We may have come from different wombs,” Rebecca said. “Yet my half-brother and I had all the same portions,”

“Is that the letter he sent you from Pomainville before he died?” I asked, gesturing to the sheet of paper she was reading.

“Yes,” she said, a little sadly. “I wish he were still here. He was sent to the regions of Yama, by me. It was me who sent him!”

“Why?” I asked.

“He had knowledge,” Rebecca said. “And he was about to give it to them, according to the statement of his old schoolmate who was with him,”

“What else was in the statement?” I pressed.

Rebecca lowered her eyes. “He wrote that my brother’s Indiana friends disliked him,”

“Don’t take it to heart,” I said. “Many people speak of me as a bad man. But you will do me the honour of noticing my high standard of living,”

“Of course,” Rebecca conceded. “But conditions in Yama during the dull season were worse,”

“For the Bioemoaenojs tribe, yes,” I said, feeling terrible for Rebecca. She would live her life to the very end and never forgive herself for what had happened. I tried to make her understand, but she clung to the same point, and usually to the same words.

“But do not believe that you cannot succeed as consequence of unforeseen circumstances,” I told her. “You cannot control the courses of the world,”

“Indeed,” Rebecca sighed, folding her brother’s letter and slipping it back into the envelope. “All I have seen at each meal is his face,”

“Reb, please-“ I touched her arm but she pulled it away. Then, as if to soften her rebuke, she smiled at me.

“I like English people very much,” she said, and finally raised her eyes.

“The siege of Areaaaepdapl was an unfortunate tragedy,” I reminded her.

“A considerable tragedy!” she cried. “Which has all the elements of nature’s forces,”

“If his death had been about money, there would be a motive,” I said. “But the fact remains that it wasn’t,”

As I watched, Rebecca’s face changed. It looked as if she was conserving something. I began to wonder if, possibly, she was not, in fact, so unhappy.

Scam Stories

The world of spam isn’t just inhabited by junk-mailers tapping away at Project Gutenberg crafting spam texts to legitimise their viagra ads. No. You’ve probably heard of the 419 scam, whereby crooks try and exhort folk out of thousands of pounds in money transfer ‘deals’. Some people, on receipt of such emails, try to play the scammers at their own game by replying and leading the crooks a merry dance. There are even websites dedicated to this ‘scam baiting’, like the highly entertaining 419Eater.

So the other day I decided to give it a go. I had received an email from a ‘Ken Bena’ asking me for money to fund a poetry scholarship. Interesting. I decided to write back asking to see a sample of his work, and he sent me this. Truly bizarre:

The Internet

The internet is a realm where a strangers smile
Precedes a panther strike
It is a place where dreams are wooed
And made pregnant
By the virile promises of con men and women
But if your heart could hold his breath like
An hiv postive, straining to hear the footsteps of death
She would  hear the tormented whispers
Of pregnant hopes
Held in death-throes of still-birth

The internet is a cul de sac
Where even trust get scared to  take a walk
For in the shadows they lurk
Perverts,fraudsters,and murderers
All dressed in the deceptive cloak
Of civilised words

I plead guilty to none
But one, i am a thief!
But i come not to steal things that glitters
But come to lay siege on the city of your heart
Though doubt and distrust
Stands sentry
Yet the soft lullably of my devotion
Shall lure them to sleep
For i come not to take your heart a prisoner
But to set it free.

Did he write that himself? It’s really quite profound. I particularly like his ‘hiv positive’ simile, and his rather cheeky allusion to ‘con men’.  He has talent, I’ll give him that.

The Jaffa Boatmen

A choice bit of spam this afternoon from ‘Carriaga Taran’:

A whimsical young man decides to help his friend avenge her attackers.

The Jaffa Boatmen

Taran sighed. He raised his thoughtful face to the stars, studying the galaxies that spread across the sky.

“I hope to become an astronomer one day.” he said dreamily.

Beside him, Miss Carriaga came to hope, to beg, that Lady Clonbrony had brought him no closer to this goal. At last, she spoke.
“Do you still have a tutor?” she asked.

“Yes. A worthy man.” Taran said. “He gave me a piece of cloth which I wore for a cap. I hold it between my cheek and my pillow when I sleep.”

“And do you still attend church?” Miss Carriaga asked.

“Indeed not!” Taran exclaimed, looking at her askance. “How, indeed, does one become possessed of religious fervour when one knows the intricacies of the skies?”

The two of them came to a small wooden bower and seated themselves on the several seats. Taran turned to Miss Carriaga with concern.

“And what of your suitors?” he asked.

“Suitors?” Miss Carriaga blustered. “I have none.”

“Have you no friend of your own?” Taran pressed.

“What need do I have for friends?” Miss Carriaga said. “I am happy with my horses. Excellent steeds.”

Endued with the speed of daring, Taran asked what he had been wondering for years.

“Miss, is it true that you were abused by the Jaffa boatmen?” he whispered.

Miss Carriaga gasped. “Such impertinence!”

“You must eschew fear and lies.” Taran told her. “The eternal curse in the insistence upon these two factors.”

“Those we may meet are Christ’s foes as well as ours.” Miss Carriaga snapped.

“Giving supremacy to fictional deities is against the rescissory act.” Taran declared.

“Not when you operate chiefly in the religious world, as I do.” Miss Carriaga shot back. She shook her head defiantly and one of her earrings fell down onto the deck. Cars dragged aloud on the road nearby.

“You must report the Jaffa boatmen to the authorities.” Taran said. “I dare you to do it!”

“I cannot!” Miss Carriaga said, close to tears.

“Let us make a bet.” Taran suggested.

“But we are in danger!” Miss Carriaga twisted her parasol handle nervously.

“He who casteth off what he the hours of darkness usher in, shall be a greater man!” Taran cried.  “Accompanied by my wife, I will help you bring the Jaffa boatmen to justice.”

“But it is winter here. The boatmen have gone up river now!” Miss Carriaga protested.

“Another young man would have given up by now, but I am determined to see justice done.” Taran said. “Did you ever meet my father, the exalted leader? We can ask him for assistance. Come on!” He grabbed Miss Carriaga by the hand and pulled her along in the direction of the town.