Starting last Monday, my office has been getting lots and lots of phone calls for Ken Park. There is no one here by that name.
At first, we were all taking calls separately and didn’t notice. But there were so many calls that by the end of the day on Monday we had figured it out. Before hanging up on the callers as wrong numbers, we would ask where they were calling from (IT companies, online universities, questionably small insurance companies, internet providers we’d never heard of, etc etc etc). It became clear that the same email address was associated with all of these “requests for information about our products and services.” Someone–whose name is probably not Ken Park–had gone out of their way to send our phone number to tons of spam companies. Hm.
Naturally we started stalking this Ken Park. The email address was a Tagalog word (according to Google), which fired off some other connections for us. We’ve also been receiving spam physical mail addressed to someone named Tangina Bobo (uh-huh). Now, you can Google that name if you like (as I did), although I’ll warn you in advance it’s not nice. The name sounded a bell in my head when I first saw it, and you need add only one syllable at the beginning (“pu”) to create one of Tagalog’s nastiest swears. (Why do I know this? Well, F is Filipino, but the only Tagalog he really knows or has bothered to teach me have been offensive, disgusting, or otherwise unrepeatable things.)
Are Tangina Bobo and Ken Park the same person? But more importantly, why would someone commit so much of their time to causing us minor inconveniences? (At this point it’s still pretty funny–perhaps there will come a time in the future where we won’t find it quite as humorous.) My publisher speculates it is a slush author whose manuscript we turned down, but even for the craziest unsolicited authors I’ve ever dealt with, this is a pretty immature stunt. And one that must suck away a lot of writing time!
Anyway. My thought for today.