Now here's an irritation I could do without - a certain kind of spam. Emails offering me treatments to enlarge my penis. Both length and thickness.
My first (and abiding) question is: why do they think someone who calls herself Lucy Melford would have a penis?
Actually, looking closely at the latest batch of these emails, I see that I am addressed as 'Lucymelford' - as in my email address - and not as 'Lucy Melford'. Therein may lie a clue as to why I have been chosen as a recipient for these annoying messages. In other words, had my email address not been firstname.lastname@example.org but 96851102BL774Z@gmail.com, I would be left alone. I'm thinking that any email address that contains a proper name is assumed either to belong to someone with a penis, or to person in close contact with someone who has. So one's apparent gender does not matter.
Thus, even if the email shot is misplaced, and cannot be of interest to the email account holder, the thinking might be that he or she will very likely have a friend or lover cursed with a stunted willy, and obsessed by the fact. You can imagine the hoped-for conversation:
Lucy (to an obsessed male friend): What's up? You seem a bit deflated tonight.
Male friend (glumly): And no wonder! Cursed with a tiny tadger!
Lucy: Be of good cheer. I have just heard from Othilie Q. Trippany, who has emailed me, offering viagra so cheap he's practically giving it away. He claims it will turn your little chappie into an Incredible Hulk.
Male friend: How do you know this is a serious offer?
Lucy: Because I've recently had dozens of identical emails from sundry public-spirited persons such as Gipsy Shebby, Ilysa Arnspiger, Fayette J. Siske, Pamela A. Agnew, Mrs Carmon Breakfield, Dr Maxman, Lillie Rosencrans, Thalia Polfer, and Marianna L. Liffick, all recommending the same Viagra 25 100mg pills, and all saying the same thing about their amazing efficacy. So many people! All saying exactly the same thing! It must indicate that this is a Good Thing, not to be missed.
Male friend: But some of those names sound made up!
Lucy: Well, you know, you could say the same for Lucy Melford...
Male friend: True, true.
And by degrees it is hoped that my presumed male friend will make contact and place an order.
But in fact they face impossible odds. I don't have a penis. There is nobody in my life who possesses an example of the relevant member, and wants to use it as a man would, and is so desperately worried about its size and performance that they would even consider responding to such a message. I do have a strange mental disease that forces me to scorn such messages, and delete them at once.
But the machines haven't yet realised that I never place an order, that I never respond. And in their ignorance they just keep trying.
At least Gmail has (so far) correctly identified all such emails as spam, and has popped them in the Spam Box, for mass destruction as soon as I give the word. But I resent having to see them in the first place. Why can't I just block them, like I can set up my mobile phone to block all callers with (say) an 08- or 09- number? If I could, I'd block all emails containing the word 'penis', or variants thereof, for starters.
Some blocking tools, please, Gmail.
Two final thoughts.
One, it's a terribly sad thing that so many men have a neurosis about their penis size. Or that this is generally believed to be the case (otherwise nobody would be pushing these buy-viagra messages, and expecting a worthwhile response).
Two, that a good many of the emails seem to come from Canada, or at any rate suggest that they do. I can't decide whether this is because there is something about the drugs regime in Canada that makes it a good place to sell from, or whether 'Canada' is a premium selling point, in the sense that 'This product is of course of the very best quality, because it comes from Canada'.
Switching to my Gmail account after writing this post, I saw that I could set up a filter to delete (at once) any email received that contained the word 'penis' or 'p.e.n.i.s.' (which is the usual variant used by people touting viagra). It won't even reach the Spam Box. So that's now done.
Anyone emailing me had better take note that if they need to refer to male members, there are now two words they must avoid!