TURN ON COMPUTER, check e-mail, another sunny day in Spam Country.
Wade through usual dozen ads for male enhancement products.
Promises of incredible growth, renewed vigor, sustained activity - what are we talking about here, the stock market?
Uh, maybe not.
"Experience hours and hours of primal, mind-blowing sex!" one ad screams.
Geez, sounds absolutely terrifying.
Where's the delete key?
Oh, look. Another e-mail from my Nigerian friends.
These guys are terrific. Former government officials, widows of high-ranking military officers, prominent scientists on the lam - but they always take time out of their busy schedules to stay in touch.
And they're true humanitarians, too.
They're all loaded - 50, 60, 70 million bucks - but they always want to share it with me.
If I'd just send along a little info - name of my bank, account number, that sort of thing - so they can move the cash out of their country, why, they'll throw 10 mil my way for my trouble.
Boy, that's tempting.
Look, my wife and I have been thinking of screening in the back deck.
Ten million would probably cover that, wouldn't it?
What else is in the ol' inbox? ...
OK, the requisite offers to send me vast supplies of Super Viagra, Vicodin, Oxycontin, anything I want.
And as much as I want, too.
All at 70 percent off!
And here's the best part: Each supplier promises to be "discreet."
So I guess when that jar filled with 500 Percodan arrives at my door, it'll come in an L.L. Bean box.
Or maybe it'll be delivered by someone dressed up as the lawn-care guy.
Apparently it wouldn't do to have the neighbors see a black Escalade with tinted windows pull up to the house.
Wow, here's an e-mail that'll get your attention: "Maharishi pledges to create invincibility for every nation."
Wait a second. It's from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi!
This guy is still around?
The creepy guy who used to hang out with the Beatles back in the '60s? The Transcendental Meditation dude?
How old is he now, 140? He was about 80 when he was hanging with the Beatles, wasn't he?
Well, maybe. But apparently he hasn't slowed down too much because, according to the e-mail, the Maharishi now "invites four people from every city in every country to step forward who desire to free their nation from problems.
"We will awaken invincibility in any government - no matter how dilapidated or helpless it may be."
Wow. Maybe the Maharishi could drop in on the city school board.
So much junk e-mail, so little time to wade through it ...
This one promises "A Genuine College Degree in 2 Weeks!"
"Have you ever thought that the only thing stopping you from a great job and better pay was a few letters behind your name?" it asks. "Well, now you can get them!"
A Bachelor of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Science, an MBA, a Ph.D. - any or all can be mine, the ad says.
"No study required! Completely verifiable!" the ad says.
Hmmm, Doctor Cowherd ... kind of has a nice ring to it.
On the other hand, now I'm kinda bummed, too.
Four years of college back in the '70s, the tuition payments, the late nights in the library cramming for exams, all those drunken keg parties in the dorms - and for what?
Hell, I might order up a master's in cultural anthropology right now.
Here's another e-mail telling me I now qualify for a new mortgage: "You could get $300,000 for as little as $700 a month!"
All right, party time!
And another that screams: "Don't miss this investment opportunity! [This] is another h.o.t. publicly traded company that is set to soar ... "
But how can you keep your mind on h.o.t. investments when there's this message right below it: "Meet Hot Singles in Your Area!"
Sure. Where would you find the time?
There's 600 more e-mails to wade through.