Sunday, November 27, 2011
The 4:00 AM Rube
When I am coherent and my brain has all two cylinders churning their normal 200 RPM's, I don't fall for those gotcha moments that lurk behind every website waiting to pounce on naive and stupid Internet travelers. But half awake, my guard was down and when the flashing large font "You have been chosen to receive a $250 gift card from Walmart - Just fill out our short survey" page opened, almost on automatic or maybe seduced by the flashing lights and weakened financial situation I find myself in most days of the week, I punched it up.
So I just lost 30 minutes of my life answering questions and refusing to take part in the "special offers". For a buck or less, I could lose weight, whiten my teeth, get my credit score sent to me daily, join any number of shopping clubs, get repair insurance, car insurance, life insurance, and pet insurance. There were offers for free pet vitamins, human vitamins, and pills to keep me hard now that Life was getting soft. For free I could sign up to replace hair where it no longer grew, remove hair where it grew now and never did before, or just get some chemical stripper that would remove hair with some kind of hygenic "scorched earth" process.
Like a stroll down the midway of a second rate carnival, I had hawkers and snake oil salesmen assaulting me from every side. All of them promised me a life free from drudgery, toil, and shame. I assume the ladies would once again find me attractive, the men would stand in awe, and animals of all kinds would heel and obey once I had paid for the secret commands.
That first cup of coffee finally settled into my system. I woke up enough to understand what was going on. All of these free offers were only free for a short "time trial" and please give us your credit card number so that in 30 days, we can charge you umpteen dollars a month for something you didn't want or need but because you were a bonehead at 4:00 AM, we now own your sorry ass.
I quickly closed all windows and hunkered down behind the desk..................Let me know when they're gone.