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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spam (not the meat) (11/03/11)

TITLE: A True Story of Spam
By Margaret McKinney


Beware the spam.

No, not the potted mystery meat, though surely it’s responsible for the downfall of many.

I’m talking about email. Gobs and gobs of it. The way it pours into your inbox with abandon, tempting you to shop, eat, and buy. It tampers with your contentment, makes you question your satisfaction with the life God gave you.

In the beginning I was unyielding. I was satisfied with my life, and needed nothing spam had to offer. I deleted it at will.

“45% off dim sum!”

I can’t stand Asian food. Delete.

“Download my new e-book Lose a Pants Size Overnight for only $5!”

My pants fit fine. Delete.

“Win a brand new 64MB IPod! Just buy a subscription to Terrafirming Gardening Today!”

Got an IPod, don’t like dirt. Delete.

The more time I spent on the computer, the less firm was my resolve. Did my upper lip need six months of waxing? Was a group discount on a Spanish tapas meal a worthwhile investment? What about a month-long roller skating pass?

These were important questions, and I wavered in uncertainty. My finger twitched as it hovered over the delete button, finally pressing down with determination.

Wait, should I have done that? I watched with regret as a set of steak knives slipped away. More and more I found myself interested in housecleaning services, window-washing, and a 17-day free trial to improve my typing speed.

One day, when I was in a particularly dejected mood, the spam hit me where it hurt.

“30 days free at TruLuv Dating Service!”

Considering Daisy Jean Miller had just dumped me, the temptation was strong. I signed up for TruLuv.

And then I got a facial, which I’m told is okay for guys my age.

And then I bought a group discount for a Brazilian steakhouse, in case I met anybody nice through the dating service.

And then I subscribed to Hot News Now! so that I would sound interesting and well-informed.

I considered the e-book on weight loss, just in case things got out of control at the steakhouse, but I thought it could wait.

After that first week of rash, spam-induced purchases, my self-control faded with every wonderfully-worded advertisement.

“Buy a case of organic dog food, receive three cans for free!”

What a deal! Spot will be thrilled with such high quality vittles. Click.

“Show your support for orphans in Timbuktu! For each $10 bracelet, $.37 goes directly to their aid!”

Those poor little tykes. I’ll do my part! Click.

“Amazing steam cleaner opens your pores with one use!”

My pores have felt tight lately. Click.

My contentment slipped along with my restraint. I’d always been satisfied with my looks, but one facial changed that as I constantly stroked my cheek in search of smoother skin. The flood of e-books forced me to question the need for self-help, self-motivation, or self-actualization.

What was I DOING? Faint echoes of a Sunday School lecture tugged at the corners of my brain. I’d completely forgotten the true source of satisfaction, according to Paul:

*I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

It was one month of spam-induced consumer bliss, and then the credit card statement arrived. I was caught with my spoils, and stripped of life as I knew it.

These days, I’m just a bum with no computer. No Internet access. No social life. No friends.

Spam has taken all of that away.

Spam, and my mom. She says I’m grounded for life.

*Phil: 4:11-13 NASB

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This article has been read 350 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 11/17/11
This was cute! It had me smiling from ear to ear. Nice job. God Bless~
Tracy Nunes 11/17/11
Loved the twist at the end and the quick pacing. It rolled smoothly along without being either too light or too heavy. Great message too.
Theresa Santy 11/18/11
I laughed the whole way through at this fun, delightful, and well-written piece.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/19/11
This is hysterical! I laughed so hard. You did a great job covering the topic while delivering a poignant message and a hearty laugh.
Robert Johnson11/21/11
You are definitely not a bum! This was great. Very funny and creative. Thanks for the good belly laugh!! It was actually similar to the direction I wanted to go, but couldn't quite pull it off this week. Keep writing, you have a very witty style and a great delivery. So be sure to sign up for "making $300 dollars a day from home" writing catchy spam slogans in your pajamas. Thanks!
annie keys11/25/11
LOL, this is SO cute; I chuckled all the way through it. You did great---I have much respect for your creativity. I didn't even enter this time because I had nooooo idea how to make 'spam' (it was the not the meat part that defeateed me) into a story--just saying. Well done!
Deborah Rampona Oliver 11/26/11
I especially enjoyed "my pores have been feeling tight lately." Funny! I loved that mom took about the computer privileges too. Well written and entertaining.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/01/11
Congratulations for ranking 8th in level 3!