Years ago, when I ran an email-based anagram server, I used to get a lot of misdirected email from people who would reply to the server thinking the reply was going to their friend who made the request (and typed their email address into the form). I would promptly reply with a standard paragraph suggesting they forward the message to the correct recipient. Usually the content was fairly innoccuous. On one occasion (at least) it was profoundly embarrassing to the sender. I also made one extremely good friend this way.
Recently, my diet of misdirected emails is limited to the tiny numbers of people who manage to (1) watch Channel Four’s Countdown television show; (2) go to a search engine to find an email address for the show; (3) find and visit crosswordtools.com (4) somehow manage to think that crosswordtools.com is the official Countdown website despite it very obviously not being; (5) miss all the disclaimers explicitly saying that we have nothing to do with the show; (6) find and navigate to the feedback page; (7) somehow miss once again the prominent text on the page saying “We have no affiliation with the Countdown television programme. If your feedback is about the show, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org” and then (7) Write and submit their message still in the belief that it will find its way to Channel 4.
Needless-to-say, navigating all these tests, requires a particularly “special” kind of person…
Today I received a classic which I’m reproducing here (with all personally identifiable information removed). The message gives a tiny glimpse into the kind of correspondence that Countdown receives (and the abuse that poor Carol Vorderman gets from time to time):
I admire your programme and I think you are doing a great job. But it is a pity that it is spoilt by
Carol Vordemans laugh. Aften there are jokes and funny stories told during the programme and they
are interrupted by a false hee hee from Carol, if you watch tapes of the programme you will notce,
She is there to put up the letters and try and do the numbers which lateley she finds this difficult..
(name removed) of pershore Worc’s