Wood that works

Orlando Soto is why spam exists

Ever wonder why there’s so much spam? Because people actually respond to the stuff. The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an excellent profile of Orlando Soto, a guy who buys a ton of stuff that he reads about in spam. Check it out:

Mr. Soto’s wife, Paula Kennedy, offered a tour of the results of Mr. Soto’s past spam sessions. On shelves in one bedroom were dozens of bottles of essential oils: clary sage, cinnamon, tea tree and carrot seed. Ms. Kennedy uses the oils in homemade soaps she sells via her aromatherapy business. Mr. Soto bought the oils via spam, she said, as well as ribbons, bags and other supplies for her business — all stored in boxes piled on chairs and around the dining-room table.

Next, there were the spam-bought vitamins. “Let me show you,” she said, retrieving a shoebox filled with plastic containers of bee-pollen complex, betaine hydrochloride and something called Oxy-Gen. Then Ms. Kennedy pointed to her doll and butterfly knick-knack collections, pieces of which Mr. Soto bought via spam. Elsewhere were other stacks of spam booty: a $220 computer server, computer parts and hundreds of software discs. A combination humidifier-air-conditioner that cost $650 sat unused on the living-room floor. The dining table was pushed against the china cabinet to make room for boxes that arrive almost daily.

Ms. Kennedy isn’t bothered by her husband’s fondness for spam. But for her part, she adds, “I don’t fall for those.”

(Thanks to Slashdot for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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