I love silly things, and one of the sillier books I’ve read is Idiot Letters by Paul Rosa. I think it’s out of print, but it’s well worth the read if you can find it. Essentially, the author initiates conversations via postal mail (!) with corporate America, offering up fine, well-reasoned suggestions for their products and services. Needless to say, most of the suggestions are a little … bizarre … and aren’t things a company would really wanna do. As funny as his letters are, the bewilderment from those whose job it is to respond to the public is every bit as entertaining!
Recently, I had one of those moments.
I got a bit of spam from someone named Robert Powers representing a company named Ocoos. I like playing with the spam telemarketers that call the house, and I thought this was an opportunity to have a little fun along those lines. Here was Robert’s email:
Obviously, this website ain’t a business! With that in mind, and tongue in cheek, I set about to reply to the kind offer of help for my business website…
Hi Robert (Bob?) —
Did you even look at my website? You should. It’s pretty awesome, using the latest technology and plenty of industry-leading tools and secrets.
If you had, you’d realize pretty quickly it’s *not* a business. I mean… Canapeel? Really? Who would come up with a nonsense word for a business!!! (No offense!)
Nope, I have no customers, no referrals, and no advertising (mine or anyone else’s). Pretty plain jane website, lived like a hermit lives, including a stream o’ consciousness about life, the universe and everything. Sometimes, there’s even something useful there! (I try to minimize those flashes of brilliance in order to curb expectations, however.)
And most of all, not being a business means I have no real need for spammy-spam-spam-and-spam like this. (Did you notice the Python reference?) Whoever sold/rented you the mailing list that included my website fed you a load of bull-squirt, and you should try to get your money back! I mean, if it included my non-business-website-that-you-never-vetted-before-sending-out-an-email-blast, there are probably other non-business-websites-that-you-never-vetted-before-sending-out-an-email-blast included in the list that you paid for. Your kind offer to do… something… fell on deaf ears with me, and it probably did with many others on your rented/purchased list of contacts. I hate to see our economy impacted by peddlers of bad goods, and it looks like you just paid for a big one!!!
But, me being a good guy, and seeing you’re interested in doing the neighborly “business” to “business” thing for my benefit, I thought I should return the favor, and offer up my advice above, free of charge! Yep, I’m not gonna send you a bill for my awesome suggestion. I sure hope you recoup a load o’ dough from that list. Maybe you’ll donate a little bit of that to some deserving business — like a microbrew! — this weekend.
Have a great, and prosperous Thursday! (Or, if you’re across the international dateline in Ceylon or Burma, or some other far off land, Happy Friday! [And yes, I know, those should be Sri Lanka and Myanmar, but I’m an old fashioned kinda guy!])
(not a business)
P.S. Ocoos is a cool business name. How do you pronounce that? I kinda think it oughta sound like an owl… “ocoo”. (And you’d be lying if you told me you didn’t just hear an owl’s voice in your head!) Of course there’d have to be more than one owl in order for it to be “Ocoos”, hence the trailing “s”. I guess that’s a flock of owls. Or would that be a herd?
P.P.S. BTW, while Flock of Owls isn’t a band I’m aware of, I am a big fan of Flock of Seagulls. How much hairspray do you think Mike Score had to use to get his hair to stand up like that?
I fully thought this would land in some spambot’s lap, and I wouldn’t hear anything back. I was wrong! Apparently, the real Robert Powers responded with a simple answer:
Thank you for the kind suggestions
Of course, being a fine correspondent, I had to have the last word:
You’re very welcome Robert! Enjoy that microbrew!
Yes, I now have my own Idiot Letter!