Words & Stuff

yy: Minced Spam

(21 June 1998)

Arthur once received a piece of junk email with the subject line "Priceless Information - 200 Unusual Secrets." It was apparently an advertisement for a collection of "secret" methods of doing things; the spam listed the titles of the secrets, but of course not the secret contents. Some of the secrets turned out to be a little odd, such as "How to get rid of shiny pants" and "Trust poultry so it will stay." But what made the spam really entertaining was the two-column ASCII format with bad line breaks, which resulted in many secrets appearing to run together with the adjacent or subsequent secrets in the next column. Arthur derived this list of "How-to hints for the dada generation" from such overlaps.

How to remove a hot cake
Make dry cell batteries
Prevent kitchen stools

Keep fish hooks from rusting furniture
Get water out of your watch from china
Make your own silver

Prevent costume jewelry
Good dog & cat repellent furniture
Eliminate odors from disposal curtains

Easily reduced ashtray smell hangers
No mess painting from a bucket cushion
A needle-sharpening pin

A novel paint can cover pants
Destroy desire for nicotine yellowing
Famous diet formula plan sweaters

Make your guitar really shine shoes
Repair scuffed baby
Easy needle threading (NEAT) while cooking

Keep vegetables green
What to do if you over salt food substitute
How to make a fluffy egg

A fruit for constipation deodorizer
Reduce wilting of root
Get rid of all cooking

If you really want to, you can probably figure out what some of the original secrets were; for instance, a couple of the above items came from


Make your guitar really shine
Repair scuffed baby
shoes

and another pair are a combination of "No mess painting from a bucket" and "A needle-sharpening pin cushion." But it's probably not worth trying to reverse-engineer these; the results are more fun than the source.


Jed Hartman <logophilia@kith.org>