Email Troll: “Riddle me this…”

The thing about spammy email marketers is that they work from a script. They’re like a parrot with a few memorised phrases. No matter what you say to them, they’ll reply with their prepackaged spiel. Well, not all of them, it turns out. Sometimes, a marketer comes along that truly engages with you. A marketer who responds to your questions, who is willing to play by your rules. When that happens, it’s beautiful! You make a connection. You exchange ideas. You laugh. You cry. You share a moment. And then, just as suddenly as it had started, it’s all over. Yet the memory lives on.

Without further ado, here’s another real-life email exchange from yesterday, (almost) unfiltered and uncut. Enjoy:

Kyra:
I certainly hope you’re doing well today.

My name is Kyra – I am an account manager at sovrn Holdings, formerly Lijit Netwroks/Federated Media Publishing, based in Boulder, Colo. I’m reaching out to talk with you about your site’s advertising, specifically the unsold ad space. We have strengthened our network greatly in the past few months, and I would love you to be a part of it; we’ve created a network that focuses on creating mutually beneficial financial relationships between advertisers and publishers- creators of websites.

Would you be able to talk this week about working together? If so, you may reach me via e-mail or at (XXX)XXX-XXXX.

Thanks for your time,
Kyra

Me:
Hi Kyra,

Creating mutually beneficial financial relationships is, like, my third favourite thing. The first two are oranges and Persian rugs from the 1872–1874 era.

When do we start?

Kyra:
Hey Daniel;

Would you care to set up a call to further discuss this? Or are there any questions that I can answer for you now?

Kyra

Me:
Hi Kyra,

That depends. What is your level of expertise on Persian rugs from the late 1800s? On a scale of 1 to 16.5?

Also, I don’t believe you have given me your name yet.

Kyra:
Hello Daniel;

My name is Kyra and I work for a company called sovrn – formerly lijit.

As far as Persian Rugs, unfortunately I do not know much about them, though I could discuss their aesthetic importance with you.

Regards,

kyra

Me:
Hi again Karla,

Lijit? Sounds legit!

Persian rugs are the best, aren’t they? I could just sit all day watching the patterns. So mesmerising. The depth of the colours. The nuances of their design. It really makes life worth living.

How can I help you, Kira?

Kyra:
Hello Daniel;

Are you on Skype so that we might further discuss this vocally?

Kyra

Me:
Sure thing, Kathrine. Vocal discussions are the best type of audible communication. Tapping your fingers against a steel pipe is a much worse way to get your message across.

Skype? Is that the evil computer from Terminator 2? I’m afraid I can’t let you do that, Kyle.

But enough about me, let’s talk about you!

Kyra:
What is the best way to reach you to discuss?

Kyra

Me:
Alright, let’s do it this way: Are you familiar with Microsoft Messenger?

Kyra:
Unfortunately I do not have Microsoft Messenger. I do have access to either Skype or FaceTime through Apple.

Kyra

Me:
What a coincidence, I don’t have Microsoft Messenger either! Phew, what a relief!

Karen, I believe you and I are soulmates. Do you believe in destiny, Kat?

Kyra:
Have you ever considered monetizing your site before? It looks as though you could make the profit if you did.

Me:
Monetizing things usually results in more profit than NOT monetizing them. That’s typically true. Unless you lose everything, that is.

I’ll tell you a story. There was once a girl in my class, she was about yay high. Blond hair. Green eyes. Bald. She always talked about wanting to see a zebra. But we didn’t have any zebras available, so somebody tried to steal one from the zoo and sell it to a guy named David. For profit. You could say they were trying to monetize that zebra. To make a long story short, they’re all in jail now.

Kyra:
It’s certainly I good thing that what we are doing is completely legal, and would only require you place our ad tags on your site so that you may receive a profit based on ad impressions made to your readers. You see, Daniel, the Median is the Message. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_medium_is_the_message

Regards,
Kyra

Me:
It’s certainly a good thing that you are not a bot, Kiki. I enjoy partaking in legal activities that result in exponential monetization of financial liquidity.

Let us start the process of creating profitable revenues. But first, a test! I shall reveal my contact number to you, two digits at a time. To reveal each pair of digits, you have to answer a riddle.

First riddle: What’s blue and has no arms?

Kyra:
Fair enough.

Answer one: water

Me:
Actually, the correct answer was “tuna sandwich.” It’s like you’re not even trying!

Kyra:
Forgive me, I didn’t realize we were throwing Dadaistic answers out.

At any rate, if you are interested in working with my company and I, please do let me know. If you are I can send the onboarding survey your way and we can create tags for your site. If not, I will certainly stop contacting you.

Kyra

Me:
Question four: What sings but isn’t Beyonce?

Kyra:
Every other person ever.

Me:
A person cannot be a “what”!

How much do you earn from spamming people, Karla?

Kyra:
As I said, please do let me know if you change your mind. I will leave you alone if this is considered spamming to you and you are not interested in working with us.

Me:
I’ve changed my mind. The answer’s no longer “tuna sandwich,” it’s “Norway.”

Do you know any good riddles?

Kyra:
Consider the following two sentences:

(1) Hesperus is Hesperus.

(2) Hesperus is Phosphorus.

We can begin by noting that each of these sentences is true, and that ‘Hesperus’ refers to the same object as ‘Phosphorus’ (the planet Venus). Nonetheless, (1) and (2) seem to differ in what Frege called cognitive value. One way of analyzing this notion is to say that a person could rationally believe (1) while denying (2). The problem, however, is that proper names are often taken to have no meaning beyond their reference (a view often associated with John Stuart Mill). But this seems to imply that if a person knows the meanings of the words in (1) and (2), he cannot rationally believe one and deny the other: (1) and (2) are synonymous.

Me:
I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, so tell me what you want what you really really want. I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I really really really wanna zig a zig ah!

Question: What’s a “zig a zig ah”?

______________________________________________________________________________

Unfortunately, it’s at this point that Kyra finally decided to give up on me. And we were so close! Guess we’ll never solve the mystery of zig a zig ah, after all.

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16 thoughts on “Email Troll: “Riddle me this…”

  1. Kyra was so persistent! She hung right in there with you. Makes me wonder what her email inbox must look like.
    I only wish she had continued. The two of you could do a whole humor series. Maybe you could sell ad space or something.

    Like

  2. To think she gave up on you right when she was getting all deep and philosophical with that Hesperus stuff. I feel so cheated!

    I read this aloud to my 17-year-old son while he was eating lunch. He thought it was hilarious. But now I’m worried I’ve unleashed another Daniel into the world. I could so see him doing this to a spammer.

    Like

  3. You have way more fun with spammers…I just delete them…I must rethink this as I approach retirement and have the time to mess with them for fun and maybe a bit of profit!

    Like

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