Manly House: Sending the gift of spam to the underachievers

It's always interesting to catch an unplanned glance at yourself in the mirror. I'm talking about one of those authentically candid shots reflected back from a store window before you have time to suck it in, straighten your back, affect your cool face... or at the very least, brace yourself.

The guy looking back is never the one looking back at you when you're shaving in the morning, and not in a good way. For all you young dreamers out there, this just in: Enjoy that slumping heap mouth-breathing back at you, because it doesn't get easier over time.

Of course, there are all sorts of new ways to check out your reflection in the miraculous age of the World Wide Web. Cyber profiling hits home in the same way that three-sided mirror at the department store gut-punched you with your first authentic glimpse at a nascent bald spot.

You can run from who your virtual paper trail says you are, but you cannot hide. Remember the Amazon.com personal shopping page, back when they used to offer a weird kind of Samuel Beckett monologue of clickable words reflective of your interests and purchases? They were presented in varying fonts and sizes, depending on the intensity of your cyber-pursuit. Mine looked like the bulletin board from that little backyard shack in "A Beautiful Mind." Unfortunately, instead of physics equations and spy plots, I was confronted by my own twisted mental gumbo:

SMOKED MEATS... "Sabrina the Teenage Witch:" Seasons 1-4... MEN'S UNDERPANTS... Inspirational sermons... Panasonic nose hair trimmer... BINOCULARS... The Very Best of Willie Hutch... Mommie's helper toilet seat lock... FILM NOIR... Apnea masks... BOUDREAUX'S BUTT PASTE... James Elroy... Kennedy assassination theory... Two-tier liquor bottle shelf... Vent dolls…

I know, I know -- if I moved in next door, you'd probably call ADT and beef up the home security. I wouldn't blame you, and as creepy as that list made me feel, I have found a whole new virtual funhouse mirror.

Having been an Apple computer guy dating back to the Macintosh Classic II, I have been relatively immune to truckloads of spam. Mac used to be fairly immune -- not anymore. Compounding the problem, my webmail provider's junk blocker has deleted too many valid missives. I had to disarm it, and now I am left wading through a valley of crap. Some of it is shot-in-the-dark stuff, but others craftily draft something I have searched or bought, and it paints yet another portrait I'm not entirely thrilled with.

What your spam tells you about yourself may not always be flattering, but then again I figure I could always forward some of it to some deserving NFL entities.

Canadian internet pharmacies offering drugs without a prescription!!!

How I got on their mailing list

In a moment of weakness, I used one of these operations to get some Propecia for my enormous, ginger, follicle-challenged dome. I'm not proud, but fat and bozo-bald is tough sledding. Little did I know I was opening up Pandora's box to a torrent of solicitations for everything an aging man may or may not need to keep deluding himself.

Who could use this, too:

Well, since they have handed me the keys to the inventory, this has many possibilities…

All that Percocet can, for a large surcharge, be shipped overnight to DeSean Jackson, Dunta Robinson, and everyone else who participated in last week's helmet-to-helmet contact telethon.

Erectile dysfunction? I'll ship the Cialis to 0-5 Carolina, the Viagra to 0-5 Buffalo, and even though they won this week, just to play it safe the Levitra goes to San Francisco.

As for Extenze, I'll let Jimmy Johnson hang on to the over the counter stuff.

Gentle, nightmare-free sleep comes from Ambien, so I think I'll ship that off to all my fellow fantasy football owners who drafted the following in no particular order:

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If you had the misfortune of drafting two or more of these YTD team killers, I'll also toss in a sample of Klonopin. That way you can Rip Van Winkle all the way until your drafts next year, and pretend 2010 never happened.

I am keeping the Oxycontin for myself. In the immortal words of Redd Foxx, "Can't a man relax?"

Restoration hardware

How I got on their mailing list

This one is less humiliating -- I bought some stuff there, and now I will never be free of reminders of their "20% off all the things I don't want" sales.

Who could use this, too:

I am going with Ken Whisenhunt, who must stroll these showrooms festooned with old-looking things that don't work and shed a single tear for Kurt Warner, and what might have been.

Teavana and The Container Store

How I got on their mailing list:

Again, innocent purchases have consigned me to database hell.

Who could use this, too:

Fantasy LIVE on Twitter

Do you have something to say about fantasy football? Tweet your questions, comments and concerns to NFL Fantasy LIVE. Your tweet could end up on the air.

I'm going to forward all my spam here to A.J. Smith. Mr. Hardball is looking at yet another abysmal start to the Chargers season. Hardball has it's place, but you alienated your best WR, you waited a quarter of the way through the season to get your left tackle signed and playing, and perhaps worst of all, you let LT split town in favor of every fantasy owner's worst nightmare, the aforementioned Ryan Mathews. Hmmm... I think someone needs to take all those truculent, inflexible feelings, place them in a nice air-tight food storage container, and bury them under the practice bubble.

Then you go back to your office, tell your secretary to hold all calls, and chillax with a soothing, contemplative cup of Teavana's Relaxation Tea Blend:

"This peaceful combination contains soothing herbs and three relaxing teas. It is a blend of Lavender Dreams white tea, Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls green tea and Peach Tranquility herbal tea. The combination of chamomile, jasmine and fruity deliciousness will permeate your mind and body to help you relax. A perfect tea for the end of a long day."

And breathe...

Replica watches

How I got on its mailing list:

Who isn't on this list?

Who could use this, too:

Reggie Bush. I gotta believe anyone who can knock off a believable fake Rolex can slap together a decent enough Heisman Trophy to convince Heidi Montag it's time to make Kim Kardashian jealous…

Investment gurus/Nigerian princes

How I got on their mailing list:

I'll admit there were times I subscribed to various investment newsletters to varying degrees of success. Now I know I should have simply purchased a Tim Horton's Donuts franchise. That explains the investor spam. As for this troubled prince who needs me to help him launder his money, well, if I take anything away from his sincere letter, I am just a good guy he can trust…

Who could use this, too:

Jim Kelly's investor group looking to buy the Buffalo Bills and keep the team there. That also goes for anyone worried their team is going to blow town. At the rates of return promised here, we can buy our favorite team, and do it right!

Living XL/Shoes XL/Fatty McButterpants' overalls warehouse

How I got on their mailing list:

This avalanche started the day my lovely wife decided to buy me a big-boy belt, and it wasn't long before I was buried under catalogues and spam offering me everything from tungsten-reinforced monster toilet seats to helper monkeys that can be trained to tie my shoe laces.

The ensuing panic also got me on the list for spam from every Acai Berry Diet and gastric bypass barn in the land.

Thank god I'm not alone…

Who could use this, too:

How about the Bills, Bucs, Raiders, Cardinals, Lions, Colts, Panthers and any other team that isn't stout enough to stop surrendering 130 or more yards per game on the ground?

If you're looking for some crash weight-gain help, I will personally forward you all my BevMo! coupons.

What can I tell you? At the end of the day, the cracked mirrors of the mind never cease to entertain! Of course, years of hard living mixed with years of reader comment forums and personally vindictive email scud missiles have forged me into an indestructible force. I have crossed over a magical poppy field I could never have imagined in my twenties -- knowing who you are and finally taking your own boot off your own throat. When you can laugh along with your spam, you are truly free.

Now if I could only find a way to bounce all that mail from Classmates.com...

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