Thursday, December 3, 2015


My name is Camille.

French origin. In the past, typically a man's name. In modern day America, more often a woman's name.

I am guessing it is my name that serves as a cue for internet businesses that send out bulk spam-mails, because it's certainly not my internet usage.

Based on the subject bars of my email junk box, the greatest challenges confronting middle-aged men in America right now are: hair loss, erectile dysfunction, a shortage of young leggy Russian internet brides, and the high cost of divorce.


I always delete these messages without reading them. "Empty Junk" is such a wonderful tool. But secretly, I wish I had some way of responding that actually punched back, that knocked the wind out of the spamming sails.

Maybe I feel this way because I have some of Great-grandmother's blood running in my veins.

Great-grandmother gave birth to and raised six children. Her husband died when their oldest child - my grandmother - was only sixteen, and Great-grandmother was left to manage and provide for that big family on her own. She was smart, tough, resourceful, and direct, and she didn't take nonsense off of anyone.

I remember visiting Great-grandmother when she was on up into her 90's. She still kept up her own house and yard, she maintained a flock of chickens for eggs and meat, and she cultivated a huge vegetable garden. She made the best fried peach pies and cornbread I ever ate.

Great-grandmother lived in the day before internet and home computers and cell phones. She did, however, have one of those old black rotary phones - you know, the kind with a thick black cord, that connected to a land-line. That rotary phone, the local newspaper, and the beauty shop were her windows to the world.

One day, Great-grandmother got an obscene phone call. That's the old-school equivalent of today's trashy spam. Obscene phone calls were less common and vulgar than the garbage dumped into our email junk boxes today, but they were still offensive and a nuisance.

The phone rang. Great-grandmother answered it, but heard only heavy breathing coming from the earpiece. She simply placed the handset back on its cradle, which disconnected the call.

Some time later, the phone rang again. Great-grandmother answered it. Once again, she heard only heavy breathing from the caller, so she simply hung up the phone without saying a word.

The third time this happened, Great-grandmother held the handset to her ear for a minute, and then she addressed the caller:  "I don't know who you are, or what kind of jollies you're getting from calling this number, but listen here young man," she snapped, "I am a 92-year-old great-great-grandmother. My tits are so long I can tuck them into the waistband of my skirt without even leaning over. I'd sure like to know what kind of a buzz you're getting from calling a 92-year-old woman, mister."

Well, this time, it was the prankster who terminated the phone call. And he never called back again. Ever.

If Great-grandmother were still alive today, I'm sure she'd find a way to put a stop to the trash in my email junk box. If Great-grandmother were alive today, she'd probably know how to take care of this so effectively that I wouldn't even need a junk box at all.

No comments: