On the subject of inspiration – and where to find it – there are many variations on the idea that, “If I knew where ideas came from, I’d go and live there.” But I think every writer has their own source, or sources, of inspiration; one of mine is my email spam folder.
I used to get many more unsolicited offers, but now they just get filtered off and I seldom even see them. I checked the other day, though, and it was just as much fun as I remembered.
During the previous week or so, alongside the usual notifications from the widows of Nigerian businessmen, bankers and foreign potentates, and desperate pleas from vague acquaintances who had had their credit cards stolen while travelling, I found the following:
An invitation to join the dollar shave club… As Groucho Marx said, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member,” although there may be something to be said for one with 3.2 million members, 80% of whom are – presumably well kempt and clean-shaven – men.
Health insurance – with 50€ Amazon coupon… If I did suffer with hirsuitism, perhaps I’d see if it was covered by health insurance.
Lottery tickets… It’d be fun to win the lottery… I wonder what I’d buy…
Ferrero Rocher… Well, yes, no doubt I’d buy chocolate.
Cut price wine… Until I win the lottery, I shall probably continue looking in the bargain barrel.
Loans and more loans… If I don’t win the lottery, I suppose a loan is a fall-back option.
Instant loan with easy online application process and no paperwork… That sounds more like it.
Mortgage… But if it’s a house I want, I’d better go straight for this loan.
A BMW… Ah, now I could choose a house off the beaten track.
Car insurance… Definitely useful if I get the beamer.
Home security system… And if I get a mortgage and buy a house in the country, I suppose I might need a security system.
A year’s free electricity… Unless I won the lottery, I can see this as a very attractive offer – though I’ll admit it was from a Spanish company and I don’t think their cabling runs out to this hypothetical house in the country, nor even to where I am now.
Free estimate for pest control… I guess that rural property may have mice; I hope it’s nothing worse.
Veterinarian insurance… Perhaps this will be useful in case my pets are exposed to the pest control chemicals.
A date with the Hottest Asian Beauties… This one I’m not at all sure about…
Unlimited free consultations and all criminal trial defence representation free…
…but perhaps any crimes or misdemeanors associated with those hotties would be covered by this.
As I said, the spam folder is full of inspiration.
Physical junk mail is usually a lot less inspiring, although yesterday did bring a leaflet inviting me to a “plan your funeral” workshop, which conjures all sorts of options for writing projects.