Stupidity and Mass E-mail Forwarding

I’m trying to set a world’s record for fastest deleter of unwanted, annoying, highly irritating forwarded mass e-mails sent by a stuper (short, once more, for an earnestly stupid person). So far, I’m deleting each forwarded message at a rate of .08 seconds. Not quite fast enough.

My cousin, Penny, is a serial e-mail forwarder. I’ve been receiving moronic missives from her daily for a very long time. Years, in fact. She averages four per day. Most are of an extremely, one-sided political, cultural and/or social nature.  They contain soul-diminishing subject matter: the depressing state of the economy, latest illnesses and statistics for catching them, petitions to sign critiquing politicians, threatening chain letters that ensure the attainment of love, luck and friendship in life only if forwarded to at least ten unsuspecting people, and finally, my least favorite: prayer requests for non-existent children suffering from lethal diseases. Thanks to, I’ve discovered most of these e-mails are figments of careless imaginations with far too much time to waste.

I accidentally opened one of Penny’s e-mails today because it was addressed to only me. I incorrectly assumed it was not a mass forward.  But it was just my very own personal, individualized version, asking me in capital letters to forward it to one and all.

I was disgusted, and my face displayed an unattractive grimace for quite some time afterward. So long in fact, that I found my usually stalwart, guard dog quality German Shepherd, Barbie, (this is the real Barbie, by the way, at seven months) staring at me, puzzled and slightly fearful that my face had undergone a sudden, drastic and very unbecoming change. Fortunately, I managed to completely wipe away all traces of said grimace.

Why do stupers spread untruths? Is this yet another case of looking outward so they don’t have to search within a mind that is out of whack anyway? I think a better question would be what can we, as intelligent, thinking beings do when stupidity raises its wobbly head in this manner?

If you’re like me, your first inclination may be to send each and every one of your 1486 pieces of spam mail (including the 459 “urgent and confidential” notifications from the Netherlands and Nigeria informing you that you’ve miraculously won the lottery despite never having purchased a ticket) to Penny. That ought to keep her occupied for a while. Calling her and screaming might give me some temporary satisfaction, but I know it would leave Penny feeling, well…none too happy. Hurt feelings would be guaranteed.

I informed her that I don’t have the time to read her forwards. She replied,

“No problem. I’ll send them just in case.”

I’ve known Penny for most of my life, so I have access to the potential reasons for her inane forwarding habit.  Her own reality is problem ridden. I’m not making excuses; but I am seeking understanding so that I can leave her be and shed my annoyance at the same time.

Some of us jog, smoke, paint, meditate, read or talk to a therapist to relieve ourselves (at least momentarily) of unwanted baggage or issues. Penny forwards mass e-mails.  And I will continue to ignore them to maintain my sanity.

Thinking is an effort.


7 Responses to “Stupidity and Mass E-mail Forwarding”

  1. MC says:

    I have a serial email forwarder among my relatives too and she drives me crazy! Her’s are mostly religious in nature and it’s enough to make anyone an atheist. I’ve shot some back to her about the importance of not being so judgmental, intolerant, blah, blah, but she goes right on doing her thing. I think I’m going to have to spam her.

  2. Suzie says:

    My pet peeves are when they send me chain letters. I just hate that. They want you to forward it to 7 to 10 or more people.
    If you send this you will receive money, good luck , and if you don’t, be ready for consequences. I always delete them.

  3. Onedia says:

    Keli, I had an aunt (not one of my favorites) who got my email address and started sending me those. Usually I just hit delete. A couple of times I caught a subject and read just how ridiculous it was. Usually some off the wall thing or some prayer or such. Almost two years ago I received one of those messages that went viral about Obama being this or that . I had to respond. I wrote a very lucid email refuting all that she had forwarded and nailed it home by implying that it was an attack on my son-in-law who was raised in a Muslim country. I sent it to everyone on the list. I got great pleasure in getting a follow-up email from her apologizing and so on and so forth. I also have Not received another email from her of any kind. I find that delightful.

  4. Keli says:

    Sometimes we’ve got to do whatever it takes to regain our sanity from these people. If you think spamming would work, by all means go ahead.
    Deleting is the quickest and most painless remedy.
    It does sound quite delightful and even cause for celebration. I think I have this same aunt in my family. I once took the identical road many years ago, replying to one of her idiotic emails and including everyone on her list. You might think (as I know you do) this would impact her. It did not. She continued her emails…but just excluded the addresses on her list. I still get emails from her. Stupidity can be relentless.

  5. Ferd says:

    “No problem. I’ll send them just in case.”
    Ha! That is hilarious! She totally missed the point!

    She’s your cousin, and you probably love her for many reasons. I’m guessing you feel a bit sorry that her mind is only a Penny, when yours is a Dollar. You are very nice to just keep deleting her emails and not making too big a deal out of it. Yes, it probably meets some sort of need for her. I think you’re right.

    I have a distant relative in Mexico that sends me endless jokes. I hate getting them, but I haven’t said anything to him yet. Maybe I’ll just try to beat your 0.8 second record. Impressive!!!

  6. Annie T says:

    Is it worth marking her address as spam or blocking her as a contact?

    Or could you inform her that your email address is changing, give her a spurious one and then, if she needs to contact you, she just has to pick up the phone? Luckily, landline phones cannot forward…yet!

    I am with you on these things. I refuse point blank to countenance them. I have never yet come across a genuine forward – from what I can gather, they are purely to get into the Guinness Book of Records for chain emails, but prey on your emotions to galvanise you into action.

    They make me feel quite nauseated, too. Give me Swine Flu any day…

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