Don’t call it SPAM!

 I hate all the junk cluttering my inbox!

Spam.  That’s what people call it.  But I don’t like that, either.

I remember as a child sitting down to dinner and gasping with delight over a lovely pink mound bedecked with pineapple circles stuck on with toothpicks, and a couple of maraschino cherries to add a festive touch.  Ooh, that was so good!  Now, that’s what I call Spam.  Spam before the word was hijacked by the purveyors of computer junk. 

I used to know a family half a generation older than me who lived in Amsterdam during the Second World War.  They could tell the saddest, most harrowing stories of suffering and deprivation.  From lives of opulence they were reduced to digging up tulip bulbs to munch and boiling the bark off trees and calling it tea.  They once told of riding their bikes for hours on the metal wheel rims because the rubber tires had been confiscated by the invading army.  With hopeful hearts and growling stomachs, they went to a relative’s house to beg for bread.  The relative was a baker and he agreed to part with one precious loaf.  Just before my friends got back home, they were stopped by soldiers who took their bread away and ate it right in front of them.  A full day of riding bikes on metal rims, an entire day of stomachs growling in anticipation, only to get home after dark empty-handed.  Then my friend told me about the wonderful day that American planes flew over and dropped cans of Spam down to the starving people.  To this day, they say the word Spam with hushed reverence.

Spam.

I wish all that online junk was called haggis or liver or buttermilk.  Something that is yucky by nature.  I want my relationship with Spam to remain one of maraschino cherry delight or a meal of freedom raining down from the sky. 

I refuse to relinquish a good word that rolls off the lips and pulls up pleasant memories to the computer age trash heap!

Earth’s crammed with heaven.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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