This week in My Favorite Mistake, newlywed Andy Borowitz talks about how he regrets giving away his email address too early in a (political) relationship, and the perils of trying to break it off.
Andy Borowitz: So my biggest mistake actually does involve politics.
Seema Kalia: How so?
AB: My biggest mistake was, in 2004, I supported John Kerry - which was not a mistake, I'm proud of supporting John Kerry, but the mistake I made was that I gave John Kerry my email address. As a result, like many John Kerry supporters, I still receive emails periodically from JohnKerry.com. And I sort of feel like John Kerry is like a bad ex.
I just feel like I want to reach out to him and say; "You know, I really feel like we need to start seeing other people." Because I just feel like he's stalking me. And if that weren't bad enough -- if I just had to field these emails from John Kerry, but I also suspect that he gave my email address to Dennis Kucinich because I'm now also getting emails from DennisKucinich.com, and I'm pretty sure that I never supported Dennis Kucinich in any way.
SK: Is it at all politically probable that they would have sold your email address to Dennis Kucinich's people?
Yes, I think so, because I think the way these things work, is that they develop these databases and when the campaign closes down, the databases are either sold to other political movements or an unscrupulous member of the campaign might, for money, share your emails with others, because, with God as my witness, I have never given Dennis Kucinich my email address. I might have given it to his wife, but I really don't think I gave Dennis my email address.
SK: You and the entire male press corps may have given an email address to his wife.
AB: We love that tongue piercing. But I'm a newly married man; I shouldn't be speaking like that. But I think my wife also thinks Mrs. Kucinich is hot.
SK: Yes, I think that's been universally noted and accepted.
AB: Dennis Kucinich used to be my Mayor. When I was a little boy he used to be Mayor of Cleveland, so I have nothing against him personally.
I just feel that now when I open my junk mail, I get three kinds: it's either something from the widow of a deposed African dictator who wants me to deposit money in a bank account, or it's a notification from the Irish lottery that I've won, and the third kind is some email that derives either from John Kerry or Dennis Kucinich. And in terms of all those streams of emails, I would say the only one I take any responsibility for as a mistake that I made was the John Kerry stuff. Because I've never entered the Irish Lottery, and I've had absolutely no communication with any widows of deposed African dictators. So the only thing I can kick myself over is this whole email relationship with John Kerry, which I just want to bring to an end.
You know, if it was on Facebook, I could just "de-friend" him.
SK: That's true.
AB: I could block him, I guess on Hotmail as well, but I guess I just feel the guy has been kicked enough. He has that whole Swift Boat thing, and I just feel that if my emails came bouncing back to him, I sort of worry that would be the last straw and that might just push him over the edge. He seems fragile to me.
SK: You're painting this picture of John Kerry huddled in front of his Macbook, sending these emails with a cup of hot cocoa, and a box of Kleenex, hoping people respond personally to him.
AB: I think that's pretty on the mark.
SK: The other spooky thing about getting emails from a candidate who no longer exists as such, it's a bit surreal. He's not a candidate any more, but you're getting this correspondence and it's almost like you're thinking "Well, I would vote for you if you existed as a candidate, maybe, but you don't, so why are we having this exchange" kind of thing? Shouldn't you really only be getting email from people in the race?
AB: Yeah, I think so. I mean, what does it say that an email from Dennis Kucinich is slightly more credible than an email from John Kerry at this point? I just feel like there ought to be some way to tell John Kerry to stop emailing me without hurting his feelings. Like if I could say "It's me, not you." You know there's nothing wrong with him, it's just that I've moved on, and I'm looking for something different now and I'm sort of having an existential crisis. I still have feelings for him, it's just they're not the feelings I used to have. I have more of those feelings for Barack Obama.
SK: So you've moved on. Let's talk about that.
AB: Well that's the weird thing, because (Kerry's) apparently moved on to Barack Obama too because he's endorsed him. But then I'm thinking, is he just stalking me? Because he knows I'm with Barack, so now he's with Barack? I don't know. It's weird. It's just weird.
SK: So what do you like about Barack?
AB: He's just dreamy.
SK: Do YOU really think he's dreamy or do you just think he's dreamy because Oprah told you he's dreamy?
AB: No, no, no I really like Barack Obama. And I do get e-mails now from not just Barack Obama, but also Michelle Obama.
SK: Yes. Well, she's dreamy too.
AB: She's very dreamy. But again you know I sort of feel like he's running for President so there's nothing pathetic about Barack Obama e-mailing me. He can e-mail me all he wants. And if he gets elected president he can continue to e-mail me. Although, I suspect then the e-mails will stop if that happens.
SK: Do you think it's a scam to get my e-mail and number again for other people?
AB: That's the thing. Now you don't want to send your e-mail to anyone. When my wife writes me, I'm not even sure if it's my wife anymore. It might just be somebody who wants to clone my computer for all I know. Even though my wife's over in the next room, I suppose I could just ask her. That is suspicious, though, because if she is in the next room, then why is she e-mailing me? Why didn't she just come in and ask me what she's going to ask me?
SK: What have you learned from this mistake? What have you learned about how to handle your e-mail address now?
AB: Well, now whenever anybody wants me to sign up for anything and they ask "What's your e-mail address?" or even if I'm making a reservation online and they want an e-mail for confirmation, I type in John Kerry's e-mail address. John@JohnKerry.com. And that way all the e-mail will go to him and you know what? It's a taste of his own medicine. That's all I can say.