Previous “In My Inbox” posts

Unsolicited Link Requests

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

I’ve been publishing One Foot Tsunami for over a decade, with a new post every single weekday. That’s led to an archive of close to 3,000 posts covering a broad range of topics. The site also does fairly well in search engines, appearing high in all manner of search results.

As a result, I frequently receive spam from folks who’d like me to link to their sites on the web. This generally takes the form of some sort of non-sequitur, such as when I wrote a post joking about setting up an online dating profile for a mobster, and a spammer wanted me to link to their tips for online dating.

Here’s another recent example:

  • While browsing your site, I noticed you have an amazing article from this page:

    My team actually just published a comprehensive article on “How to Pick A Mattress – A Step by Step Guide For Choosing The Perfect One” which I think your visitors would truly appreciate and add value to your awesome article.

If you visit that OFT post, you’ll see it was about a herd of air mattresses that were blown through a neighborhood in comical fashion. It’s not likely anyone is even going to read a post from so many months ago, but if they do, it’s probably not because they’re mattress shopping.

These unsolicited link requests often amuse me, but the one I received yesterday was really something. Have a look:

A spam request to link to “The Ultimate Pet Nutrition Guide”.

Let’s break this down:

While researching on your website (, I saw that you linked to a website about pet nutrition.

That URL alone should tip you off that I definitely did not “link to a website about pet nutrition”. If you’ve got a strong stomach, give that post a read. The archived video is still available, and still awful.

I wanted to share The Ultimate Pet Nutrition Guide , since it’s clear you want to help pet parents, too!

Actually, I really don’t think that is clear.

Do you think it would be possible to add a link to this guide on your site in order to share this valuable knowledge with even more pet parents? If you share it on your social media pages, even better!

Would it be possible? Absolutely. Am I going to do it? No I am not. I will, however, mine this stupid spam for a bit of new content on the site. Does that help?

The Dream Remains Alive

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Since 2012, I’ve been hoping Mike Carp would make his way to the Los Angeles Angels, joining an elite school group of players who share a last name with a type of fish. In 2015, a minor league contract brought Carp close to the right city, but the wrong team. In 2016, he fell out of pro baseball entirely, before his 30th birthday.

However, Google Alerts never say die. A recent email showed me that Carp is now playing for the New Britain Bees, an independent league team, as he attempts a return to the majors.

A Google Alert with news on Mike Carp

Better still, the Alert included news of recent Bees game, where Carp had an RBI base hit. Keep it up, Mike, and hopefully the Angels will come calling soon.

Please, No Double-Dipping

Monday, June 24th, 2019

Earlier this month, I noted a goofy email I received from vegan restaurant chain byChloe. The email arrived on June 1st, and declared “Summer is here!”. As June 21st was the first day of summer for the Northern Hemisphere in 2019, I pointed out that this email was almost three weeks early.

About 10 days later, I learned of the concept of meteorological seasons, as opposed to astronomical seasons. I took the time to add an update to my original post, giving byChloe a pass for this.

However, I’ve now received a second email from byChloe. This one came on June 21st, the astronomical start of summer, which is certainly the most common “start of summer” date in use. Its subject declared “Summer Starts Now!” and the body again said “Summer is here!”.

This email is correct, but come on! The byChloe marketing team is clearly trying to double-dip, and that’s just lazy. It’s especially gross behavior for a restaurant.

Stop, I Don’t Collaborate. Listen.

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

As the owner of a website with a decent Google PageRank, I frequently received unsolicited emails asking if I’ll post various content to this site. For the most part, I ignore these solicitiations completely, and hope in vain that they’ll stop showing up. However, I recently saw an email in my inbox that gave me a good laugh:

Email asking if I would accept a sponsored post from Papa John's

I am, in fact, not “[i]nterested in collaborating on a sponsored post with Papa John’s”.

I’m not sure if Paige is aware of several past posts about Papa John’s or not. Those who are will likely realize this would not be a very good fit.

Demonstrably False

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Earlier this year, I saw something referring to Memorial Day weekend as “the unofficial start of summer in America”. I was amused by this, because of course there is an official start to summer. In 2019, summer starts in the Northern Hemisphere on Friday, June 21st. Three weeks before that is of course late spring, but perhaps this can slide thanks to the word “unofficial”.

However, this is some real nonsense:

No it’s not! Your email is three weeks early! Why lie about it?

Update (June 11th, 2019): Today, thanks to a random bar trivia question, I learned about meteorological seasons. If this was taught in school, I have no memory of it, and it’s certainly not what society tends to talk about as “the first day of summer”. Nevertheless, June 1st is the first day of the meteorological summer. As such, I need to at least give byChloe a pass on this one.

Update (June 24th, 2019): After sending a second marketing email in which they used the more traditional definition of summer, byChloe once again gets a wag of the finger.

This Is Not Helpful, Amazon

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Last week, I received the following email in my inbox:

An email from Amazon reading (in part): Hello, Were contacting you to let you know that our website inadvertently disclosed your email address due to a technical error.

The generic nature of this message struck me as bizarre, as did the supposed issue. My email address, and only my email address, was “inadvertently disclosed”, and this is “important information”? My initial thought was that it was a scam of some sort, though I couldn’t figure out what.

Despite the assurances that I did not need to change my password, I thought that perhaps the Amazon link lead to a bogus website. Nope! Apparently, Amazon really was alerting folks to the fact that their account email addresses may have been exposed, to someone, somewhere. This isn’t actionable information in any way. This wasn’t the world’s worst scam, it was the world’s least helpful security alert.

What Do You Want, a Medal or a Cookie?

Monday, November 12th, 2018

I’ve ripped on Potbelly’s before, but I still enjoy both good sandwiches and a good deal. As such, I remain on their mailing list, and so it was that I received this absurd mailing yesterday:

A free cookie for military veterans seems like an alright promotion, and that’s a nice big cookie too. But they really spoiled the whole thing with that subject line:

  • Vets, we can’t repay you, but how about a free cookie?

“We know you sacrificed years of your life for the good of the country, and that you may be suffering from wounds both visible and invisible. Hey, have a cookie, on us!”

It’s as if they realized they needed to acknowledge how utterly insufficient this gesture is, but only wound up making the whole thing worse. Maybe next time, just skip it entirely.

Wine Personalized to My Tastes Is Actually Just Called “Beer”

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

Last week, I received a spammy come-on to purchase some wine via the internet. The ad had more than a few issues.

An add that says 'Wine personalized to your tastes', with a swimsuit-clad woman lounging on a pool float holding a glass of wine she can't even drink.


  • Is that woman lying down on balloons? Ah, no, I see. That’s actually a rather cool-looking pool float.

  • Do you folks sell pool floats? I’d buy that pool float.

  • Did they change the calendar recently? This email arrived on Friday, August 3rd, which was not part of any three day weekend to my knowledge. While I too enjoy three day weekends, a month ahead of time seems a bit premature to celebrate Labor Day.

  • Oh jeez, is that a cactus behind the pool float? Don’t put an inflatable pool float near cacti!

  • Say, you mention wine, but I don’t see any. Am I missing it? I see ass. Legs and ass. Definitely no face though, and also, no wine.

  • Oh, there the wine is, all the way on the left. Did anyone on the marketing team notice that there’s literally no way this ridiculously-posed woman can drink wine in that position?1

  • In closing, I’d like to know where I can buy that pool float.


    1. Perhaps she could use some sort of straw, but only if she’s some kind of anti-environmental monster. ↩︎

I’m Not Even Sure How Many That Is, but I Know It’s Not One

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Whenever national politics in America hit a new low, my inbox gets extra depressing. This one really got me though:

An email with text reading t helps to remember this one simple sentence: “Don’t despair. Mobilize.”

Great. Now I’m despondent about both the state of affairs in America, and our inability to properly count sentences.

1 Out Of 5 Dentists Recommend

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

I didn’t go to dental school, but I’m pretty sure drinking soda is not a recommended method of whitening your teeth.

An email with the subject line 'Brighten your smile with a $1 Coke'.

Still, if it can get rust off metal, maybe Coke really can brighten your smile as well.