Robot’s Useless Reviews – Spam

Last night, I logged into the site editor to make some TCI magic for you and discovered that we had 90 new, unapproved comments, just waiting to be released onto the live site. Now, I’m the hopeful sort generally, but I knew immediately that those were not 90 insightful responses to last week’s TCI Friday, and when I jumped into the comment moderator my suspicions were confirmed. Someone is very intent on getting you guys to invest in some mail order Viagra or Cialis, preferably both, I think. This person may or may not be Canadian.

I mean, 90 comments smacks of some level of desperation.

As I went through and deleted them one-by-one, I tried to envision a Canadian person sitting in a Canadian office surrounded by bottles of Viagra and Cialis, and their boss person coming in periodically to say, “Hey, you have to get rid of all these boner pills ASAP! We have a whole ‘nother shipment coming in Friday, and I don’t know where we’re going to put it all!!!”

I also really like the idea that all spam somehow actually involves Spam, like to be able to send spam you need to have an equivalent amount of Spam on hand. Somewhere in Canada there is a small office filled with erectile-dysfunction medication and canned, spiced ham product.

Beaten to the Lunch?

All that got me to thinking about Spam as a ride food. I can see it so clearly. Clif Bar-size tablets of meat, perhaps in a variety of flavors. The Hawaiians do magical things with Spam, as do the Filipinos and Vietnamese. Fish sauce is high in sodium. Pineapple is sweet. I smell a Kickstarter!

What does a Kickstarter smell like?

People use spam filters to avoid getting too much of it, and frankly, just the subject lines of the spam messages that slip through are enough to make you cringe. NSFW. Also, gross. And it occurs to me that I have a built-in filter too. My filter seems to take in all incoming sensory information and try to relate it to a bicycle. Maybe it’s that I’ve been writing about bikes (riding, building, watching, promoting, etc.) for a couple decades now. The bicycle is less a prism through which I view the world, and more a spam filter for non-cycling nonsense.

And so, despite being annoyed with the randy Canadian who insists on trying to plaster The Cycling Independent with ads for medication that, if we’re being honest, probably about half of us really will want at some point, instead I clicked [delete] over and over again and chuckled to myself as my own personal spam filter transmogrified the whole clown circus of it into something entirely different.

To ‘transmogrify’ is to change something dramatically, often with humorous or grotesque effect, and this describes what the Hormel Corporation does with bits of pork, as well as what I try to do with the ephemera and arcana of our cycling lives, and that, my friends, brings us full circle, to a place where I can see clearly that I, like my turgid friend North of the border, am nothing more than a spammer myself.

There’s no use pretending we don’t need you to subscribe to TCI. If you don’t subscribe, then we’re just working for free, and no one likes that. Think of this as the hat, stuck out in front of a street musician, and the last few minutes you’ve spent (hopefully) giggling to yourself, as the tune we’ve just played you.

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