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Why I like some spam in my e-mail

Without it, how would I know about those 'imitation' Rolex watches?

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The spam filter on my e-mail system works great. It turns away about 97 percent of junk messages, which is perfect for my world. If the filter blocked all the mass mailings, I'd feel isolated from one of the most vibrant sectors of the cyber-universe.

Maybe I'm just an easy mark, but since childhood I've always been interested in what the salesmen knocking on the door wanted to show me. Lately I've been receiving three or four unsolicited messages every few days. "Wholesale Prices on Printer Ink and Toner" is a typical come-on. So is "Never Have A Slow PC Again" and "Turbo Charged Grass Seed."

I never actually open these messages just in case they're harboring some awful computer virus that will erase the hard drive, melt the telephone lines, and wire the money in my checking account to a secret vault in the Canary Islands.

There's one message, however, that almost has me reeled in. So far I've been able to resist, but they keep coming about once every three weeks. They promote an item that's always intrigued me. The key words in the subject line are "Imitation Rolex."

If the line read "Fake Rolex," I wouldn't be the slightest bit interested because "fake" sounds tawdry and shameless. That's not my style. The word "imitation" contains at least a hint of respectability, a sense that the imitator is trying to uphold minimal standards.

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