Spam, Annotated

By Jeremy Resnick

Humor

“I got some cleats,” she said. “Yes!” Fred reached into the coffer and pulled out a team up free of underhanded size 21 Adidas cleats, ending the kind’s crave and frustrating moreover to find a two of a description of Chrsitian Louboutin shoes that could robust the women oversized feet. “Oh, this is vitriolic,” Fred said as sje held the shoes in façade of him. “I like this. I can’t meanwhile to nag them.” She smiled again as she tried on the shoes and as members of the coaching combine took photos.

*

No doubt whole dissertations will be written about this passage, the careers of spam scholars forged on the anvil of its impenetrability. It is the new art, in that it is the old art made new, the scene expanding and contracting like a funhouse mirror, and then shattering and putting itself back together like a video of the shattering of a funhouse mirror played forward and backward:

“I got some cleats,” she said. “Yes!” Fred reached into the coffer and pulled out a team up free of underhanded size 21 Adidas cleats, ending the kind’s crave and frustrating moreover to find a two of a description of Chrsitian Louboutin shoes that could robust the women oversized feet.

From the triumphant first line to Fred’s pulling from the shoe coffer these devious Bob-Lanier-sized shoes, we are thrown right into the action. (Or has Fred pulled not shoes, but a whole soccer team, none of whom wears the sinister cleats? Is Fred a god? The Chrsitian God? For sanity’s sake, let’s assume he pulls out the shoes.) The wealthy, generous Fred gives these shoes to “the kind.” But what sort of creature is “the kind”? Are “she” and the “the kind” the same entity? The best, largest-footed soccer player ever to come out of Humboldt County? It seems so. (Unless the shoes are “the kind,” and they are animated shoes capable of “craving.” But no, I don’t think so.)

We have no time to dwell on these questions, because in the same breath “the kind” is both sated and foiled in a word maze in which one suspects a pair or two pairs of shoes (or descriptions of shoes) either do or do not work.

Or both. Or all! As with Duchamp’s descending Nude, Pynchon’s Lot 49, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, quantum theory, and Hermaphroditism, in this spam there is yes and there is also no. These two-of-a-description shoes both fit and don’t fit.

Then, of course, the “already women oversized feet” could get robusted. (Robust: to enhance a body part’s size, as in “Oh, she definitely robusted those bazombas…. Definitely.”)

 Oh, this is vitriolic,” Fred said as sje held the shoes in façade of him.

In addition to playing with parallel universes of yes and no, the author plays with time. Only after we get Fred’s reaction do we find out what he’s reacting to. What he finds vitriolic is the sudden presence of his rival sje, the Norwegian architect/e.e. cummings disciple. sje immediately shows “the kind” what she can do with those shoes. Façade, anyone?

 “I like this. I can’t meanwhile to nag them.”

She appears to be pleased with sje. Being a truly negative “kind” though, she can’t think to say anything nicer than that she can’t “nag” them. (What? Are the shoes in fact animated? And if she didn’t like them, would it really be their fault? I mean, would they deserve to be nagged?) But she covers up her negativity for the cameras:

She smiled again as she tried on the shoes and as members of the coaching combine took photos.

And doesn’t that just encapsulate our entire age right there? Rich Fred, who put all his self-worth into his shoe coffer, is left empty-handed, a soul pauper. Even sje, the “artist,” is abandoned, left holding the enormous shoes in front of him like the house painter’s ladder-holder he used to be. Meanwhile, a whole combine of coaches fresh from talent-threshing has expanded their exploitation of athletes to include the photographing of them, thus stealing work from the struggling paparazzi, who may be forced to go back to their fast-food service jobs.

What of “the kind”? She hardens her heart and swallows her unhappiness so she can present a grinning face to the masses and keep her sponsors.

It’s a sad old story, but one has to admire the way it’s told.

 

TAGS: , , , , , ,

Jeremy Resnick has taught writing at NYU and UC Merced. He lives in Santa Monica.

16 responses to “Spam, Annotated”

  1. “in this spam there is yes and there is also no”

    This is a very funny piece. I sometimes miss the days when I had bad filters. Now all the happy absurdity is absent from my inbox (leaving only the regular, familiar absurdity). I always wondered who was behind these cryptic messages though. Glad you took the time for a deeper analysis.

  2. Aaron Dietz says:

    This piece of spam is pretty awesome! I love the accidental literary things that happen at times in spam. Sometimes they get close to something good. It reminds me of billions of monkeys typing on a typewriter, that sort of thing.

    Great idea for a post!

  3. Zara Potts says:

    “Oh, this is vitriolic,” just may become my new catch phrase!
    I love what you’ve done with this. Turning trash into treasure. I think spam may in fact be a goldmine.
    Or so Sje says.

    • Jeremy Resnick says:

      Thanks, Zara! It definitely helps to have some raw material to start with. A piece of trash is less daunting than a blank page.

  4. Lenore says:

    this is awesome, and only you would think of it. reminds me of sixty stories, one of my favorite books ever, which you gave to me. well done, merced.

  5. D.R. Haney says:

    Hilarious, Jeremy. Thanks. I was badly in need of a good laugh.

    (Notice, by the way, that I don’t refer to you as “Merced,” even though it’s something of a reflex by now, after hearing that handle as often as I have.)

    • Jeremy Resnick says:

      Duke, thanks for reading. You can call me Merced or Jeremy, I don’t care. Don’t call me “Resnick” though. That might trigger a sports-related flashback.

  6. Matt says:

    Man, I haven’t seen a piece of spam this majestically terrible in a long time. I think I might need to tune down my spam filters some!

  7. Joe Daly says:

    I’m threatened by that spam’s prose.

    There.

    I said it.

  8. Maurissa says:

    I found your writings… huzzah!
    I think you should teach a Spam Analysis/Criticism class at D-mouth. Would be brilliant.

  9. Cynthia Hawkins says:

    This is fantastic. In fact, I linked to this on Twitter with my personal favorite spam message: This was all styles fully wonderful!

    • Jeremy Resnick says:

      Thanks, Cynthia. “This was all styles fully wonderful!” is great. You know, they used to call me “All Styles” back in the stone-washed, twelve-pocket Guess jeans days….

  10. Good stuff, man. I might actually go take a look at my spam folder and see what I can find.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *