Previous “In My Inbox” posts

Come On, Spammers

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Yesterday, I received this email:

For my foreign readers, America marked Memorial Day on Monday, just a day before this spam was sent. It is now just about the longest possible time until Memorial Day! Does this snake oil take an entire year to work? Or will it work in mere days, to satisfy the promise of “By June”?

This is just shoddy. Have some pride in your work, spammers.

X IS the Roman Numeral for 10

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

Recently, I received a message from Credit Karma. Credit Karma is a useful service for watching over your credit and finances, but this email was really something.

  • Hey Paul,

    Guess what!

Oh boy, Credit Karma! What?!

  • We’ve expanded coverage for our free identity monitoring service.

Oh. I see.

  • Not only can we spot your info in another company’s public data breach, but we can also pinpoint specific passwords that were compromised.

I fear I know where you’re going with this.

  • Based on findings that go back as far as 2007, we’ve found your info in an additional 3 breaches and identified 1 password that should be changed.

This is decidedly less fun than your opening indicated.

  • Sign in to review your report!

Well, I was annoyed to learn about these latest data breaches, but that final exclamation point has really lightened the mood. Let’s do this!

Logging in…

Hey, look at that, everyone! I just earned my 10 Breach badge. Gosh, this is exciting. It’s really a lot of fun how they’ve gamified my possible identity theft.

But please, please; don’t be jealous. Given the seriousness with which most sites treat the security of our data, I’m sure you’ll be a part of double-digit breaches soon enough.

AAnd You Can Keep Waiting

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Requests for me to spend my time filling out surveys, leaving reviews, and giving feedback come more and more frequently of late. This, however, is a new low. It wasn’t even the first nudge I’d received to leave a review for some damned gelato I bought in New York City, but the subject was certainly the most presumptuous.

Presumptious email with subject 'Paul, we're waiting'

I don’t know why the American Airlines AAdvantage Dining Program only allows reviews within 30 days, but at least it means they’ll stop bugging me now.

The Quality of Their Work Is Matched Only by the Quality of Their Slogan

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

My company re-did our brand identity recently. But if any of you are looking for a new logo, I’ll be happy to forward this spam on.

A terribly designed design pitch

CNET, This Is Just Sad

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

I recently received the following email in my inbox.

Obvious, CNET is looking to boost their traffic numbers. Begging me to come back via email is fairly pitiful, but it’s the subject line that really gets me.

Subject: We miss you please come back

The lack of any punctuation really just makes it more pathetic. I almost felt bad about immediately clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. Almost.

Iceland Airwaves Is Apparently NOT the Onboard Music Station for IcelandAir

Friday, October 7th, 2016

I recently visited Iceland for the first time, and my Instagram is looking fresh as hell1. My inbox, however, is not looking quite so gorgeous. That’s due to an email I received from IcelandAir, the airline that transported me across the Atlantic. With the apparent hope that I’ll fly with them again, they sent me this:

Six Questions for This Email From IcelandAir

  • Is Björk wearing Nickelodeon™ Floam® on her face?

  • You remember Floam, right?

  • Hang on, is Björk wearing a garbage bag on her head?

  • Those aren’t earrings, are they? They’re totally the drawstrings on a goddamned garbage bag!

  • Who books travel based on a marketing email received from an airline?

  • Is the answer to the previous question “Björk fans”?

In closing, “Björk” is a funny word.


  1. Here’s a small sample:









    In a word, Iceland is stunning.↩︎

Explain Yourself, Groupon

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

I just got this in my inbox today, and I feel like I’m going insane. It’s July 19th, a Tuesday:


Cyber Monday is another sales holiday, one that follows Black Friday. It’s in November or early December, and as its name implies, it’s on a Monday (not a Monday and a Tuesday). What the hell are they on over at the Groupon offices? No matter what Donald Trump might lead you to believe, repeating a lie does not eventually make it true, goddammit.

Previously in Groupon Insanity: Only 163 Days Until Christmas

Very Sorry Indeed

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Almost exactly five years ago, I wrote about what I then believed was Pete Rose’s nadir. I discovered that he was signing baseballs which included the inscription “I’m sorry I bet on baseball”, and worse, that these balls were being heavily discounted by Walmart. At the time, they had been marked down 37%, from $299.99 to just $189.99.

However, my inbox recently showed that it’s always possible to sink even lower, especially when Groupon is involved. The same ball now lists for just $159, and can be purchased on Groupon for just $129.99 (or from Walmart at just $125.78).


As if all this didn’t make it painfully obvious, Pete Rose himself “wants you to know that he’s very sorry”.

A 13-Email Delay

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Thanks in part to American Airlines’ exceedingly old fleet, I recently had a rather arduous journey down to Florida. At least the airline’s cocktail napkins provide a link to information on their new planes which are surely coming any day now. Anyhow, this trip produced a wondrous collection of automated crap in my inbox. Allow me to present a new piece of art, just added to this museum’s collection:

13 AA Travel Emails“Impact” by Paul Kafasis, 2015. Mixed media.

Future American trips will now be measured by the raw number of emails they cause the airline’s mindless algorithm to spit out. For instance, my flight home was only somewhat delayed, resulting in “just” a three-email delay.

A hat-tip is required to the slightly-imitable Neven Mrgan, whose wonderful collection far surpasses this museum’s.

The Stuff of Nightmares

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Ultimately, this is all the fault of the Blue Man Group. That’s who I immediately blamed, anyway, when the following offer arrived in my inbox:

Voca People Offer

Yes, it’s the “Voca People”, for half price! Oh…boy. Naturally, I had to revel in my distaste, which led to viewing a larger cast photo:

Voca People Cast

I…I just want to punch so many of them. All of them, really, but especially that hammy cheeseball front and center:

Hammy Cheeseball
Right in the big, red mouth

Irrational anger aside, this really does look awful to me. And if the picture weren’t enough to scare me away, the description sure is:

Featuring more than 70 hit songs from just about every era, hilarious slapstick comedy, and vocal acrobatics unlike anything you’ve heard (think: beat box and extreme notes), Voca People is an interactive musical experience that takes a capella to a whole new level.

Say what you will about the Blue Man Group, but at least they’re not singing a cappella.