Pitch Imperfect: In which I Waste Everyone’s Time Answering Spam Emails. AGAIN.

Posted on
Jul 27, 2015

I am kind of an asshole.

This should not be surprising for anyone familiar with the blog. I haven’t exactly done a great job of concealing it. But I feel that I should probably start off this post by stating it, plain and clear. I have several reasons for this:

  1. There is something wonderfully cathartic about confessing your flaws to the internet. I also hate sharing dessert and I try to get stuff out of my teeth with my fingers at the dinner table.
  2. Rather counterintuitively, I wish to be liked, and I feel like that might happen if I’m upfront about how I’m really unlikeable. (Like Oscar the Grouch or Andy Rooney.)
  3. I’m trying to preemptively stop you all from sending me hate mail. If I already know I’m an asshole, maybe I won’t receive a bunch of letters telling me that I am, in fact, an asshole.

But the biggest reason that I’m admitting to being one is that it explains my immature and asshole-like actions (ones which I will recount, in detail throughout this post).

Here’s the thing: because of this blog, I get a lot of email. Some are delightful, filled with links to Jeff Goldblum t-shirts, or stories about brain surgery and cupcakes.

But a large percentage of the mail I get is from some shady company that wants me to publish a guest post for their client, who specializes in something evil, like offshore gambling or clubbing baby seals or timeshares.

I get these emails, even though I make it clear on my About page that I don’t want to receive them. And that if you email me about this stuff, I will report you to Google and make fun of you on the blog. But I still get emails about EXACTLY those things I don’t want to hear about.

Usually, I just delete them. Unless I get a follow-up email, asking me what I thought of their infographic/press release/sketchy offer to buy my kidneys. And then the only reasonable response is to do exactly as I promised.

Here’s how I wasted my and other people’s time recently. Enjoy.


This guy sent me an email about joining their affiliate program, which I promptly deleted. Then he sent me a follow-up email in which he managed to sound offended and also really sarcastic.


IF I AM “RESPONSIVE”? Oh, hell no. Nobody out-sarcasms me.


Outcome: No reply, sadly.


This was from some herbal supplement place. The press release was long and rambling, and they kept talking about how their products aren’t drugs. Which automatically made me suspicious.



I decided to miss the point entirely:


Outcome: No reply. Worst drug-dealers, ever.


Jenny sent me an initial unsolicited spammy email that I deleted. Then she followed up.


A bigger person would have ignored the email.

I am not a bigger person.


I decided to just get really confused by what Jenny was asking for.


I love how she calls me dear, when she really means “crazy bitch.”


At this point, it became apparent that English is not Jenny’s first language, and I didn’t really want to mess with her much more, because that’s a shitty thing to do. She probably doesn’t live in a first world country and is making crap money sending out spammy emails.

My problem is that I usually can’t glean that from the first few emails, especially when they’re signed “Jenny Roberts” or “Katie Smith” or “Amy Jenkins.” And by the time I realize it, I’m already an asshole.

But you knew that about me already.


Outcome: No reply.


For those of you who don’t know, Turkish Delight is one of the worst candies on the planet. Remember how sometimes your mom or grandmother would get a Whitman’s Sampler box for Valentine’s Day, and you’d occasionally bite into a chocolate that was just weird jelly inside?

That’s Turkish Delight. EXCEPT WITHOUT THE CHOCOLATE COATING. I recommend giving it to someone you hate, as it’s actually worse than receiving no candy at all.


For reasons that hurt my brain, someone thought that:

  1. People actually like Turkish Delight.
  2. They would want to make it at home. (What?)
  3. This would require an infographic.




Poor Joe attempts to appeal to my conscience. Joke’s on him. I don’t have one.




Outcome: I didn’t have to eat Turkish Delight.


In my defense, I ignored Kate initially, but she KEPT EMAILING ME.


It’s pretty clear that I’m not interested, but Kate emailed me again. And I ignored her, again.




And I had no choice but to mess with her.



I don’t know what’s up with Kate, but she’s completely ignoring my emails and carrying on like this exchange is normal. Naturally, I’m elated.



I guess Kate sobers up by this point, but it’s too late, because I’m drunk.




I’m really proud of this. I was actually able to match up the fonts pretty well, and use the client’s logo, too.

Kate tries to reign rein things in, but it’s too late. I’ve gone full Microsoft Paint crazy.



Kate starts to lose patience with me.



Outcome: Iceman is the true hero of Top Gun.


I should probably go do laundry or something.

Leave a Comment

  • brilliantly funny as per usual.

  • Josephine Robertson

    You are my hero, this probably also means I’m not a very nice person, but that’s OK. Snark forever. 😉

  • Rikki Lear

    Surprised / disappointed the UK travel company featured above would stoop so low in their SEO efforts. I thought we were well past those days.

  • So funny!!! I cracked up with the Tom CRUISE design! 🙂

  • Crying. Crying. OMG. My brother had to leave the room where we were doing computer “work” together to “go do stuff in the basement” because my laughter was too raucous.

  • Ariana Adams

    I love snark too! Thank you for adding some more laughter to my day.

  • I would write to you only to read your emails and laugh. And then of course, be featured in here 😀

  • My husband doesn’t like to read blogs (any of them). At all. But every time you do one of these posts, he asks me to read your post out loud to him and show him the pictures. You know, like how you read a picture book to a kid with the right intonations and all…yes, they are THAT funny.

    I’m not sure how you always out do your last set, but that Cruise mockup really is one of the best yet.

  • I think Kate is either a robot or a cat walking on the keyboard

  • On behalf of bloggers everywhere, thank you for your service.

  • christy kunjumon

    Haahaaaa 😀 😀 lol.

  • creativenomad

    HAHHAHAHA Please keep these coming, they are hilarious!

  • Martin Harris

    Hahhaha superb

  • JonoAlderson

    Urgh. Why is it still taboo to name and shame people and brands who do / pay for this kind of thing? This only stops if we start pointing fingers at the agencies and organisations who are fueling this crap.

    • Scott Davis

      Every time I mention a Big brand in a blog post, they start sending cease & desist letters…

      • Claim that you thought that it was more link spam, and that you get so much from/for them that it’s hard to differentiate.

  • You have inspired me to start doing exactly the same thing.

  • Bridges and Balloons

    Ha! I got the exact same snarky email from Luke yesterday. Now I’ve had the pleasure of replying with a link to this blog post. Thank you!

  • Rosie

    Hahahaha MORE PLEASE!

  • HAHAHAHA, I am so glad I fall in the Jeff Goldblum email category. But now I know what to do the next time some jerkoff doesn’t take my silence as a hint!

    You’re an inspiration to us all, Geraldine! 😀

  • DUI_Maze

    Joe, please send me the info graphic on Turkish delight! The Turkish delight that I normally get as powdered sugar on the outside, and it makes a mess I am looking for a type of Turkish delight that does not have a powdered sugar on the exterior.

  • OMG, Geraldine, that’s hilarious. Switching from Jeff Goldblum to Tom Cruise when Kate asks for cruise-related content is GOLD. Yours is one of the few blogs that make me laugh out loud. Thank you. More please!

    • Right! At first I didn’t get why she switched away from Jeff, then it hit me. And I burst out laughing anew.

  • Anemone

    You’re my hero.

  • Claire-Emilie Lecocq

    My colleagues are wondering why I’m laughing so much. Thank you!

    • Bahaha I’m cracking up – was going to share in content circle actually. 😛

      • Claire-Emilie Lecocq

        You should! 🙂

  • Kate was definitely resilient, you have to give her that. Blue Ribbon for soldiering on through, Kate.

    I get these emails basically constantly. I’m like, all of 100 people MIGHT have EVER seen my blog. No I do not want tow rite a post about sunglasses for you.

  • Scott Davis

    ROFL. Priceless.

    And right up there with the spam that daily visits our generic SEO email at work:


    You got me very interested. I would really like to know
    you closer! I want to communicate with you and learn about your interests,

    I hope for mutual understanding and possible reciprocity.
    Actually, I would like to meet and talk with an interesting and nice man!”

    ~~ Reciprocity? Have we jumped into Clancy’s Clear & Present Danger?!?

  • Christine & Jan

    Love it! Maybe I’ll start to answer some of my spammy and inappropriate emails, too. You’re right that the poor person on the other end that’s having to write them would probably prefer to be doing something else, but I feel like my head might explode if another person asks me why I won’t link to a gambling/diet pill/something else that’s totally inappropriate site.

  • Right?? Thank you for making the point I have been trying to make for 20 years about Iceman.

    P.S., I think I love you.

  • Veena

    I always look forward to these posts. I especially love how Kate thought it appropriate to address you as “Deenie” in one of her emails. Fantastic.

  • Gregory

    I cracked up with the “Turkish delight” infographic 😀 😀

    But hey, is TUI involved in spammy link schemes?

  • I can’t take all the laughing at my desk in this quiet office. Apparently, my cube mates can’t either. Thanks for the midday giggle.

  • Literally laughing out loud. Sorry other people trying to work quietly nearby.

  • ronellsmith

    Geraldine, Geraldine, Geraldine…
    I’m going to be laughing about Kate all day. Your blog is my comedy.


  • I’m obsessed with you. As far as I’m concerned, this is the *only* way to handle these types of emails.

  • I loved this! Spoke to that snarky side of me that I often try to hide. Well, I kind of try. It was great meeting you at MozCon Ignite – You may recall I geeked out when I realized you sent the greeting cards to Chad at theBrainChancery. Couldn’t be helped. 🙂

  • THANK YOU. Funniest thing I’ve read all year. Turkish Delight? YUCK. I went to Turkey once for a summer and I also thought it was the nastiest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. This article is 100% genius. Love your style. Also, I have a blog I want you to publish if you would kindly review it and get back to me…?

  • geobeck

    Love the way you messed with Kate, but did you notice she asked you to do something illegal with the ‘article’ she wanted you to post?

    “2. not tag it as sponsored or guest post.”

    Of course, thousands of websites ignore that rule, and the cyber cops can’t hope to catch a fraction of the commercial/affiliate post spammers, but since 2008 (I think), any sponsored or affiliate content posted on a site hosted in the US* must be identified as such. And Kate conveniently sent you written evidence of an attempt at collusion in breaking this law. Unless of course it’s been repealed because enforcement was impossible.

    *I’m too lazy to check if your site is hosted in the US, but I’m sure other jurisdictions have similar laws.

  • Liz Greene

    I lost it when I saw your infographic on Turkish Delight. This entire article made my day.

  • Jennifer

    You are amazing! Thanks for sharing your wit with the world!

  • Emily Grossman

    So much snort-laughter! Love this post.

  • h3sean

    Definitely sharing this with my team. Thanks for all your hard work of sharing the greatness of Iceman, Tom Cruise and Jeff Goldblum to people who probably doesn’t live in a first world country and is making crap money sending out spammy emails to webmasters like you and me.

  • Laura Hansen

    Dear God, that woman is relentless. And I totally agree with you about Turkish Delight. There’s nothing delightful about it at all. It’s candy bait-and-switch.

    On a more delightful note, I was reading 1859 magazine tonight, and found Rand in it!

  • This was quite brilliant! 🙂 I only wish I had time like this to respond to the overwhelming amount of garbage we receive sometimes. Heh. Good on you Geraldine!

  • Amy

    This made me laugh so hard. Love your paintshop jobs on that famous package holiday website.

  • Geraldine,
    I so wish i could make more time to dabble in the small pleasures in life. Your mock-ups are fantastic, especially as that is a massive travel brand here in the UK. Shame on them.
    The synergy between the existing logo and the content piece was magic. Do you want to be my new Creative and Content Director please. As the say, “Loving your work.”

  • David Boutin

    By the time I got to the Tom Cruise site redesign I was laughing so hard I cried a little and a co-worker had to come check if I was alright. Thanks for sharing, asshole.

  • Daniel Rose

    Hi Geraldine. First time reader, first time commenter, first time applauder. I laughed, I cried, I admired how well Mr Goldblum has aged. At the risk of sounding like Dr. Evil, I hope you get many more emails like this, purely so we can see your replies. Gold, pure gold(blum). Thank you!

  • Lisa Myers

    Haha you are so freaking funny lady! I burnt my porridge this morning reading this, hope you are happy, I had to eat cornflakes (yuk). “Cruise with Jeff”, brilliant!

  • Lisa Myers

    ps: I love you
    ps ps: even though you posted that awesome photo of me gurning in Valencia.

  • I do this too! My favorite are the Skype dudes with horrid English skills that say they are in the officers in the UK Army and want to get to know me.

  • And this just made my day (mad props to Ash Ambirge for the retweet). <3.

  • You’ve got me snorting in the library. Too good.

  • Can you make me a Jeff Goldblum infographic? It’s probably the only one I’d ever consider posting.

  • Mr. Smith

    These people do not deserve you.

  • Rebecca and the World

    Every time I open one of your emails I end up pissing myself (Australian for laughing out loud and laughing a lot). Hilarious!

  • Craig Wagner

    One of the funniest things I’ve read in a while. I too enjoy messing with scammers and spammers. I find it quite amusing that they just don’t get they’re being f**ked with. I do find it unfortunate that you block out the sender’s names and email though, I’d like to strike up a conversation with some of them myself.

  • Ooh, and I thought I was the only person playing games with those people… But this is truly inspirational! 🙂

  • This is absolutely perfect. Too funny!

  • You’re my new favorite person.

    I’ll cut a bitch over Jeff Goldblum though. We might have to rumble.

  • Brittany Potter

    Geraldine, this is amazing. Laughed out loud the whole way through! They got exactly what they deserved.

  • I am hearing you… the ones I hate are the ones that I press delete and they keep following up…

  • James


  • Christina Goggi

    What a fun read =D

  • I shall start doing the same. Plus, I’ve got the particular flair of the mystery ficiton author which I’m sure will add the right creepiness I need to have more fun.
    Thanks for sharing, Geraldine, today you win the internet to me!

  • This is so great. I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets great pleasure in stirring up spammers. Awesome post, thanks for sharing.

  • Kelsey Ann Miller

    HAHAHA!!!!! I love this so much!!! Oh man. Made my day!

  • This post had me cracking up and I’m forever a fan of your blog! Especially since it made me feel a little better about some of my sarcastic replies, which are nothing compared to your masterpieces. Those website mockups are hilarious!

  • OMG, I am crying. Thank you, this is hilarious!

  • Amanda Yantos

    From a fellow blogger, this is absolutely amazing. I have no words. Laughing so hard, I’m crying!

  • This is the best article I’ve ever read and now I can’t WAIT for another unsolicited email.

  • Hilarious. I’m tempted to send you a faux-spammy email, just so you can sarcasm and shade the hell out of me.

  • This is so great! I hope you continue to share so I can live vicariously through you whenever I’m fed up with spam

  • Nice way of escaping from the spammers.

  • Dude,
    I secretly do this in my head, but don’t share it publicly because of fear that people won’t like me. Also, sarcasm is sadly misunderstood by most people.
    Obviously, you’re a braver woman than I am. 😉
    Keep writing!

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