At the Swankforth Hotel in downtown Miami, professional spammer Ernie Beck was enjoying a tasty three cheese omelette as he listened to a speaker at the International Society of Junk E-Mail Senders.
Jason Newcomb, the President of the ISJES stood at a podium, lecturing the attendees on tried and true spamming techniques.
“I know folks,” Newcomb said. “It seems like a tired old cliche, but the Nigerian prince scam really works. You’d be surprised how many elderly white people are easily convinced that they are not only related to African royalty, but that turning over their bank account routing numbers to a total stranger in the hopes of procuring a hefty payout is a good idea.”
Justine Cosseau raised her hand.
“Yes,” Newcomb said. “Justine.”
“What about the boner pills scam?” Justine inquired. “I’ve found great success by convincing men that they can add ten inches or more to their length and that the ladies will love them.”
“It’s not bad,” Newcomb said. “But keep in mind you might actually have to mass produce some fake boner pills. That means outsourcing to a sweatshop full of third world child slaves who get whipped repeatedly while they manufacture sugar pills, put them into bottles and then ship them to men with inadequate boners. It’s a total hassle, whereas the Nigerian Prince scam requires very little overhead. All you need is a computer and the willingness to pretend that you are a representative of a Nigerian Prince who, for some inexplicable reason, is related to a plethora of doddering old American white ladies.”
Ernie put down his fork and chimed in. “People, am I crazy, or are we all forgetting about the old phish-a-roo? All you need to do is send someone a bogus e-mail designed to look like it’s from their bank. Write up a paragraph about how there was a security breach and the person needs to follow a link to put in their username and password and bam, you’ve got their dough.”
“My fellow spammers,” Newcomb said. “These are all wonderful spamming techniques and there’s a reason why they’ve been used for years – because they work. How you choose to fleece buffoons who don’t know the first thing about Internet safety is up to you as long as you’re doing it because, and let’s be honest here, if people are dumb enough to not protect their money, then they deserve to lose it and we deserve to take it.”
The ballroom erupted into a chorus of “Here, here!”
“Now,” Newcomb said. “Let’s break up into our brainstorming session groups and really focus on new ideas. I want to hear at least twenty new shakedown methods by noontime.”
The spammers milled about the room, discussing their preferred spamming methods, when suddenly, Beck’s stomach rumbled. There was something about his breakfast that wasn’t sitting well with him, so he made a beeline to the bathroom.
Beck walked into an empty stall, dropped his pants, and sat down on the toilet bowl. “Dang,” he said to himself. “With a hurricane coming and a toilet gator on the loose, I’m surprised they didn’t just cancel this thing.”
“We do not cancel,” came Newcomb’s voice from outside the stall. “We spammers are a proud lot. We may lie, cheat and steal but we never, ever, quit – hurricanes and toilet gators be damned.”
Newcomb entered the stall next to Beck.
“Breakfast got to you too?” Beck asked.
“Yeah,” Newcomb said. “I didn’t think my French toast tasted right.”
“Maybe the cook got cheated on boner pills,” Beck said.
“Justine and her stupid boner pills,” Newcomb said. “She’s such a one trick pony.”
Beck turned on his cell phone and began streaming NN1’s coverage of Hurricane Dakota Rothschild. A Hot Ass Blonde Chick was in downtown Miami holding onto a palm tree as an airborne car blew past her.
“Jason,” Beck said. “Maybe we really should postpone this thing.”
“Please,” Newcomb said. “You know the spammer’s code. Never give up. Never surrender. Always misspell all your spam e-mails so that the people who are defrauded by them end up looking that much dumber.”
“I guess,” Beck said. “But I just don’t want to be blown away by the wind or be eaten by a toilet gator. Is it even safe to be shitting right now?”
“Maybe not,” Newcomb said. “But I’m too proud to run around in one of those diapers.”
“Same here,” Beck said. “But I just…”
Skippy interrupted the conversation by bursting through the floor and crunching up the toilet with Beck still on it between his jaws. The walls and doors of every stall in the vicinity fell down, leaving Newcomb exposed and defenseless.
The alligator was feeling cocky and sure of himself, no longer concerned about hiding from humans. Convinced that he was invincible, he took his time as he crunched on what little remained of Beck.
Meanwhile, Beck’s phone, now lying on the floor, continued to stream NN1’s news coverage. Kurt Manley kicked it to a replay of Cole’s challenge to the alligator from the night before.
“You wouldn’t last three seconds against me, but if you want to prove me wrong, meet me in the men’s restroom of the Sitwell Park Mall and we’ll finish this once and for all. Man vs. Alligator, mano a mano, human vs. reptile combat. Fail to show, and I will return to the airwaves to tell the world that you are little more than a giant green pussy with teeth.”
Hearing this sent Skippy into a rage. He roared wildly, then turned and leered at Newcomb, who trembled as he remained still on the toilet with his pants around his ankles, completely petrified.
“Nice alligator,” Newcomb said. “Good boy. You wouldn’t eat a professional e-mail spammer, would you?”