Global spam alert!

February 21, 2015 § 46 Comments

I have done a lot of things in my life. When I was five I sold fudge at the Bolivar Ferry Landing in Galveston for “Y” Indian Guides. I didn’t make a lot of money because I ate most of the fudge.

When I was eight I sold newspapers and mowed lawns. I also sold Christmas candles door-to-door year round, but I never made much money because I liked to keep the candles and fill up my room with them. Also, I had to stop that job when I caught the curtains on fire. “What are you doing with fifty-eight lit candles in your room?” my mother yelled as she beat out the flames with the New York Times.

Dad came up, looked at the charred remnants, and said, “Give me the business section when you’re done with it.”

I did telephone surveys for Houston Interviewing, a hole-in-the-wall place where I first heard a woman say the words “suck cock.” She was the assistant manager. I expected the god I didn’t believe in to strike her with lightning, but when he didn’t I borrowed fifty dollars from her to buy an O’Neill wetsuit.

I sacked groceries at the Kroger around the corner. I was too weird to be a checker and too prone to thievery, so I bagged groceries and pushed the mop bucket over to Aisle 9 where people always broke the ketchup bottles. Clifford Zataratus and I smoked dope out on the loading docks and tossed stuff into the dumpster that we’d retrieve after closing hours.

One night he took me to Sloopy’s Pool Hall and got in a fight. They beat him up good. I hid underneath his car. When the beating stopped the other guys walked off. They were men, actually. Clifford opened the trunk of his Monte Carlo, took out a baseball bat, and beat up all three. I heard my first leg snap and heard my first grown man beg not to be killed while blood gushed out of his mouth and he lay on the ground spitting teeth and writhing on his shattered knee.

My junior year of high school I sold subscriptions to the Houston Post over the phone. There was a punk who started after me who sold a lot of stuff. His name was Michael Dell. Even then he was a douchebag, and we hated him because he outsold the entire sales team.

I worked for the Gap and I worked for Naughty Niceties, a clothing shop at Sharpstown Mall that sold nasty underwear. That job only lasted for two weeks. These greasy looking men would come in leering at their drunken girlfriends and ask them to “model the crotchless.” I left when one of the women asked me to go into the changing room to “model the crotchless” and her skinny, pimply boyfriend asked if he could watch.

In college I typed papers because I had a Selectric. Some freak in Dobie Mall had his own fuggin’ personal computer. “Everyone will use these in five years,” he said.

“Sure,” I sneered. “And I bet they won’t use IBM Selectrics, either.”

I cooked burgers at Chili’s, worked as an oyster shucker at the Capitol Oyster Company, moved pianos, and organized books at the Texas Civil Rights Project. Later on I worked as a translator, an interpreter, an English teacher, a consultant, a birding trail mapmaker, a butterfly counter, a web site designer, a photographer, a community development advocate, a marketing director for the Cherokee Heritage Center, and a johnny-on-the-spot maker of windmill trails, rural museum tourism guides, and copywriter for a guy who transferred embryos from quarterhorses to surrogate mares by sticking his entire arm up the horse’s you-know-what.

I worked as a web site marketer, the campaign manager for a U.S. Senate campaign, an art importer, a water advocate who called T. Boone Pickens an asshole, and a lawyer. I’ve written a column in a country newspaper and I’ve been paid for writing blogs and writing books, one about cycling and the other about finding birds on the Texas Gulf Coast.

But it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I hit rock bottom.

You see, every couple of days I send out a little email that has local cycling news in it. Mostly it consists of “I’m doing the x-Ride tomorrow, come if you want to.” It kind of lets people in the South Bay know what’s going on and it goes out to about 110 people.

Then two weeks ago all of the messages bounced. I trolled around on the Internet and learned that the Galactic Monitor Against Spammers, something called Spamhaus, had labeled me a global spammer. Henceforth I wouldn’t be able to send emails to people who had asked to receive them.

So I subscribed to Constant Contact, which lets you spam up to 500 people for $15/month. Now, everyone who asks to be on the list will receive a very spammy looking piece of cycling spam mail. Better than that, I can add this to my resume: GLOBAL SPAMMER.

Not just “winning.” That’s “won.”



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§ 46 Responses to Global spam alert!

  • bart says:

    What, no decaling work with the Dickson boys?!? My image of you as dumpster diving bike vermin has been totally shattered…

  • Cynicmeister says:

    Good Lord!

  • bart says:

    Or glands, being able to sweat for cooling can be a good thing for the human condition. Along that thread it has been debated who is actually the father of the living biopsy’s daughter.

  • Winemaker says:

    It would be very strange and cool if every Wanky reader sent in a one line note with the oddest job in their own personal history.
    I worked 4-6 AM delivering the LA Times for two years in high school and Mom never knew.

  • Trailer Park says:

    I once worked shoveling excess ceramic sludge outside the kiln room of a toilet factory. It was a constant 100 degrees and that shit was heavy.

  • Tamar T. says:

    When I was 11-13 I worked weekends at Ponyland on Beverly and La Cienega (where the Bev Center is now). I shoveled pony poop. I also groomed the ponies, saddled them, walked them over to the ring, put kids on them, and led them to the track to have them run around. I think it was 25 cents for two times around the track. I rode there from home on a pink Stingray three speed.

  • Ken says:

    During college I spent 2 summers staking mining claims in remote parts of Alaska. Every morning I would get dropped off in the middle of nowhere, tens of miles from camp, and walk 1/4 mile grids putting posts in the corners of the claims. At the end of the day you had to contact the helicopter by radio and find a place to get picked up. Kind of cool, kind of creepy when you ran across fresh bear sign, really buggy. One day as I traversed a shallow creek a 2 foot long salmon shot between my feet. Having grown up fishing in CO, and never having seen a fish over 14″, it scared the hell out of me. Crazy days, big money, good memories.

    • fsethd says:

      Any story that involves, bears, bear shit, and giant things dangling between a man’s legs is a good story. And big money.

  • A-Trav says:

    I couldn’t make enough to eat as a bike messenger in NYC so nights I modeled nude for figure drawing classes at Cooper Union. You don’t realize exactly how drafty those old building are until you’re lying naked on a table in one of them. I’ll have to show you my oyster knife trophy-scars sometime…

  • Brian says:

    Sold roses on the by the old Chuck Connor karate studio,Redondo Beach ,ducking in there to avoid beat downs from the carnation guys!

  • Michelle Landes says:


  • BigBug says:

    Satisfyingly exhausting.

  • LesB says:

    17 years old, went to the IBEW union hall next to the sugar refinery where my father worked. They sent me to the dock where I was sent down to the hold of a ship. Inside was mountains of raw sugar, and me being the only white guy amongst all the old black stevadores. Never a better bunch of guys, relegated to the #hit job of the ship.

  • channel_zero says:


    Unless you have a static IP address, it’s a false positive.

    Jump through the spamhaus hoops here to get off their blacklist.

  • I use Constant Contact. There are many many recipients that still consider my emails SPAM strictly because of Constant Contact. There is always a down-side, but at least you’ll be “compliant”. I hate that word, its so close so subservient.

    Past jobs? Taking those samples that KEN took in Alaska and dissolving them in very corrosive acids to determine their gold content. And ironically, due to an accident, I left my grannies gold wedding at the sink over night…. and it disappeared.

  • Jim Bangs says:

    I don’t have much for this. I have worked the same job, same place for 29 years.
    But I have four bikes!! No carbon though

  • dangerstu says:

    I hate spam hous, most of the time they flag you for pretty bogus reasons.

    Worked at Horse Riding stables when I was 12 or 13. That’s where I found out several things, one being that mature manure is better the fresh manure. Basically all the horses were brought into a big covered compound during the day and product allowed to accumulate over sever months, guess which idiot had to dig up 3 months worth of rotting horse shit.

  • Brian in VA says:

    Awesome job list which explains why you’re so wise and funny! My job list is not dissimilar.

    Worst job was, as a painter, was painting the bathrooms in an old bowling alley/pool hall. First, we had to clean em. Yeah……good times.

    • fsethd says:

      Cleaning bathroom walls in a bowling alley? I bet you got pretty good at estimating people’s height.

  • Jon Landes says:

    When I was 12-15 I was a gofer in the South Arkansas oil fields for a welder, then I packed chickeys at Hudson Chicken in Hope, Arkansas from 16-17.. The chickens were the worst..

  • 900aero says:

    Well I’ve had a few shit jobs (bagging chicken manure from under their cages – 15,000 chickens….), cleaning the holding tanks of a cement carrier, tansferring industrial-sized skip loads of garbage by shovel, cleaning oil drill pipe threads with a wire brush, chipping cotton plantation weeds with a hoe….I think you’ve got me aced Wanky.

    However, my brother probably tops us all: held a marker torch for crop-dusters flying at night when the air is stiller. He wore overalls and a mask but the pilot told him when they finished:
    “don’t let your mum wash those overalls with any other clothes.”
    He didn’t go back for night two.

    This coming from pilots who flew under the powerlines on one side of the road and over them on the other while turning at the end of each run. Whole different level of OH&S.

  • G says:

    When I was an undergrad I was the UNIX system administrator and I occasionally read all the faculty email.

    When I got out of grad school and joined a startup in the dot-com bubble of the last millenium, the software engineering staff periodically did the same thing. You wouldn’t believe it, but we discovered that the CEO was banging his secretary.

    • fsethd says:

      I’ve heard a lot of ridiculous stuff but that is just unbelievable. Please. What do you take us for, maroons?

  • GT says:

    Taking the layer of green pork off the pallecon full of pork to get to the good stuff underneath so you can make value added meat products for purveyors of pizza.

  • Usta BeFit says:

    Hmmm…you will always be Global Fapper to me.

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