Thursday, February 17, 2005

New and Used Sandwiches

I recently got a gmail account (mostly for the name, reminiscent of G-spot, G-force, G-string, and other sexy things) and am intrigued by one of its features: the ad links placed in the right-hand margin next to your e-mail messages. These are chosen using the same technology that Google uses to select ads to place alongside search results. As an example, take my recent correspondence with a friend involving the word “sandwich” (actually it was a code word, but we won’t go into that now). One of the links enticingly promised “New and Used Sandwiches,” available on eBay. Naturally I clicked on it. I am a penniless writer desperate for money, and if people are making money by selling used sandwiches on eBay, then I certainly want in on it. (As some people know, I used to be a phone sex worker, so there is no limit to how low I will sink.)

Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that there were no “used sandwiches” to be had, and in fact there were not even any actual sandwiches. However, I whiled away a good twenty minutes perusing the pages of sandwich-related products, such as a 1974 copy of Allen Ginsberg’s work, Reality Sandwiches and some charming “Handmade Dollhouse Miniature Egg Salad Sandwiches.” At first I was annoyed not to have discovered a new source of income (if people are selling panties, then why not sandwiches?). But it is pleasing to discover that the people at Google have such a delightful absurdist sense of fun.


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