…spam of the dead

When I used to live in an Army barracks overseas there was a very colorful character who lived next door to my roommates and I. He used to burst into our room in only brown Military issue briefs and yell, “Carolina!” Although I wasn’t much of a Tar Heels fan myself, these interruptions were rarely unwelcomed. I met Dan White, whom even the NCOs referred to as ‘Cracker’, when I first arrived in Iraq. He was one of the only guys in my unit who didn’t treat me like a new guy, and was immediately welcoming. Falling out of touch with people you really like is a sad fact of life, and I would welcome correspondence from my old friend were it possible. And I was sure it wasn’t possible, because he died a couple years ago, until I received an email from cracker32@hotmail.com yesterday.
I am at first immediately confused, then angry, “What kind of sick shit is this?” I wasn’t the only one to receive this spam, checking the cc line I recognized other members of our former unit and what must be his entire posthumous contact list. I’m sure even his parents and siblings had to deal with this insensitive junk mail reminder of their semi-recent loss.

The world is definitely changing – 10 years ago nobody had to worry about telemarketers calling them from past relatives phone numbers. Today our digital accounts essentially last forever by default, and security breaches of giant databases are more and more frequent for a number of reasons. This kind of thing is only going to happen more and more.

I get reminded of my old friend all the time. Whenever I hear a song from the Donnie Darko soundtrack, or when somebody shouts “Yeah!” in their best Little Jon impression. Now I get to look forward to spam bot generated emails from a dude who went before his time, but I think he would have found the humor in it himself.



1 comment so far

  1. Sean Booth on

    What a strange part of your day. I hope that this brightens the day of his friends and family. The way you describe him makes this seem even more likely to happen with his living email.

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