Nobody likes to work, especially not yours truly, which is why I spend most of the business day looking for ways to procrastinate and otherwise entertain myself without risking any accidental productivity. This is why I was so pleased yesterday afternoon to discover the all-too-useful InSPOT. InSPOT is a free online service that allows you to send anonymous e-cards to former sexual partners to inform them when you are diagnosed with an STD.
Brilliant! Who wants to have that conversation? The cards even take the sting (burn?) out of the bad news by presenting it in jovial manner. With light-hearted messages like, “ :-) Got laid, was happy. :-( Got tested, wasn’t healthy,” and, “It’s not what you brought to the party, it’s what you left with. I left with an STD” you can chuckle your way right to the clinic. The only thing missing is a feature that lets you automatically forward the message to all of your other recent partners like a diseased chain letter.
My joy didn’t come from a sense of relief that I no longer had to work my way down the list making excruciating phone calls like some twelve-stepper making amends. Instead it came from the realization that this technology provided a perfect way to waste time by fucking with my friends. Before you log onto www.inspot.org and start firing off emails to your entire address book, heed my advice; there is a right way and there is a wrong way to give your friend a fake STD.
Know your target, this is crucial. In order to make the notification believable, you must be in possession of some intimate specifics. No one is going to run crying to the doctor based on some vague and anonymous email. Think about your close friends. Have any of them told you about a recent drunken one-night stand with a perfect stranger? Did he/she mention some little detail about the encounter that would add to the validity of the claim? Remember, you have to sell it. Personalizing the message is the best way to convince your close comrade that he/she has been playing in crab-infested waters.
It might seem mean or cruel or even downright evil, but remember that you are doing a service to society. By forcing your filthy friend to get tested, you could be preventing an outbreak that would echo throughout society, leaving no one untouched (aside from Rob Ford, who can’t even get laid on Sherbourne). That is what InSPOT is really for, scaring everyone into getting tested; a noble cause… and so much better than condoms.