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While reading through my spam the other night (there was nothing on the TV) I found this comment from Sammie, at learnhowtolapdance.org:

“Remarkable material, but it could be slightly more descriptive. Not whining, but I hate going from blog to blog to blog just to learn a couple of answers; why can’t 1 site simply have all of them at once! I’m sorry, I’m rambling and exhausted….I tend to get cranky and I’m taking it out on your site. My bad.”

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Lap-dancing is an exhausting profession.

At first glance it’s hard to see why, its very job title implies it that involves a great deal of sitting down, but the dancing itself is only part of a lap-dancer’s day. During the afternoons Sammie had to teach classes (essentially wriggling on a chair the way you do when settling into your sofa) and in the mornings she had to send out emails trying to find a constant stream of new clients, since most people would turn up for just two lessons and reckon that they pretty well had it sussed.

The usual targets were bloggers, who Sammie’s boss said were sad, lonely individuals who needed to meet real people, or at least to fantasise about doing so. The boss reckoned that such souls would succumb to any form of flattery, so Sammie’s job was to find people who seemed pathetic and then butter them up, though this is apparently more useful in pole-dancing.

Sammie was from Greece, having fled the country when its economy fell apart, and unfortunately had only broken English, so she told blogger after blogger that “you work is very appreciated for me”, “doing well keep posting such stuffs” or “your work contains truly information”.

But Sammie had dreams. Like all other lap-dancers (as well as strippers, exotic dancers, and girls who lie on car-bonnets at motor shows) she was only doing it to pay her way through college (she came from Greece, she had a thirst for knowledge). She wanted to study ancient civilisations, and was very interested when she heard about the predicted 2012 end of the world. She Googled it and then studied a suggested blog. It told her only that a giant meteor was on the way. She read another, which said we were going to be swallowed by a black hole. She read another, which warned of the imminent arrival of the Four Postmen of the Apocalypse (Junkmail, Postcard, Readers-Digest and Bill).

Then she turned to a blog which came up with the far less likely idea that the Mayan doing the calendar had simply met a girl.

Sammie was exhausted and cranky, and had had enough. She had started, almost on auto-pilot, by saying that the blog contained remarkable material, but then thought more carefully about the post. What kind of paper had the Mayan used? Did he put in Friday 13ths, or Friday 12As? What did Ithixa and he get up to in bed that night?

She read what she had written and found that she had suggested that the blogger write something more descriptive. Originally she was horrified at having insulted a potential client, then thought “to with it hell” and launched into a scathing attack on blogging in general.

She thought about the poor lonely blogger and the impact that this would have upon what he laughingly called his self-esteem and typed the words “my bad”.

Then she sent it anyway.

The story ends happily for Sammie. The following day she discovered Wikipedia and got all of her information in the one article, even if that information was that we were about to vanish up the bum of a giant space-weevil.

And the blogger? Well, he was a bit startled and hurt, but he decided to comfort himself by reading the rest of his spam, confident that he would be told that he was “most topic knowingful” and “a bacon of light among such article”.

Which is how he read the comment of Lista De Email (I didn’t make that up, I couldn’t), who asked (I didn’t make this up either): “could you improve your way of writing?”.

Things are bad when even spammers think you write crap.