bigfool vs. bigfoot

or, Carl's on-going war with his e-mail

Please note: As of early 2003, I've changed how this site is hosted, and went from the infinite mailboxes described below to a much more manageable core of 10 addresses. Mail sent to other addresses at will get bounced as undeliverable. As such, the mailbag described here has ceased to exist. I'm leaving this page up because it still gets some hits. I would still like to discourage people from signing up for mailing lists with a address, because that traffic still hits my server account, even if the mail doesn't actually get passed on to me. Thanks.

Hi. If you've reached this page, you've probably received an e-mail from me telling you to be careful about an e-mail address, yours or someone else's. You're probably wondering how the heck I got anything from you or for you in the first place. This will explain.

A while back, I decided to grab my hunk of cyber-real estate while the grabbing was good: I bought a domain name. After some deliberating, I picked up, since my home page had been called "Home of the Big Fool" for some time (why it's called that is another story altogether).

If you have a domain, you have to have someone host it (if you don't have a server in your basement, which I don't). So at the recommendation of a friend, I signed up with a service called NameSecure. They will redirect URL requests for your domain to whatever URL you specify (in my case, my home page actually resides on Earthlink). And they will also forward ALL mail to your domain to whatever address you specify. This means you can put ANYTHING in front of, and I'll get it.,,, all of these are valid e-mail addresses for yours truly.

What I did not know at the time, but quickly became evident, is that there is a major web-mail/mail forwarding service at Which is only one letter different from

Soon I started to receive a lot of strange e-mails. It's been fascinating, in a way. I've received mail from all over the world: Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, Australia, you name it. I've received love notes, urban legends, homework assignments, and requests to do business. Plus the occasional naked picture. Even someone's mail-order bride candidate.

There are various types of offenders. Most I figure are just typos, or maybe someone wrote down an address wrong, forgot to cross the T in bigfoot. A lot of these come from countries that don't use the English alphabet, and I guess I can't blame them--shoot, like I could tell the difference between any two Chinese characters. Anyway, I can forgive this; just please go into your address books and change it.

A few people have intentionally distributed a address in an effort to fool spam-bots. This was a good idea until I bought this domain. Fortunately, these people have been understanding and ceased the practice when I got in touch with them.

Now, the people who really make me mad are those who sign up for mailing lists and on-line services using I mean, hello, you should know your own address when you go signing up for these things. It's not like the L and the T are right next to each other on the keyboard and your fingers just slipped. One guy even signed up for a Fidelity brokerage account with a address. He's lucky they didn't send me his password! When you're signing up for something like that, I'd think you'd want to double-check that address. Sometimes I get repeat offenders, like they actually think their address is If you're using a address because you don't want to get the e-mail, DON'T SIGN UP FOR IT. Or get a throwaway Hotmail or Yahoo Mail address and use that.

My arch-enemy is the Anchortex company, based in South Carolina, who imports car seat fabrics from Korea. They continue to use the address, despite numerous e-mails from me to, and I even tracked down their phone number once and called them (I left a voice mail message). Once they wrote back and asked me to continue forwarding stuff. NO! I'm not a forwarding service! If you'd like to pay me 25 cents per message I forward, sure, but I don't have time to do that as a service to you. Now anything with "Anchortex" in the To line goes directly into the trash and I don't even see it, so if anyone from Anchortex is reading this, how about you start using the right address, OK?

So the bottom line is this. Please check your address book, forwarding addresses, whatever, and if any of them say, they are probably incorrect. Please change them to Thanks for listening. Now, as long as you're here, why not check out the rest of