Sometimes UNC's system of "listservs," that is, mailing lists, can produce hilarious results.
Today, I got an email that consisted of:
DRINK COLD ONES FOR THE KIDS
AT TOP OF THE HILL!
-Sponsored by Start for the Heart
On Tuesday, December 4 ALL DAY LONG at Top of the Hill $1 of their charity beers will go towards helping children with congenital heart disease in North Carolina.
Start for the Heart is a UNC student organization that raises money for underprivileged patients at the North Carolina Children's Heart Center at UNC Hospitals.
So grab your friends, family, and coworkers and head to Top of the Hill to drink a cold one for the kids!
Check out start4theheart.unc.edu for more information about us and upcoming events!
Nothing wrong with that. In case people didn't want to hear about charity events, there were instructions to unsubscribe from the mailing list at the top of the email, above the message, so there's no way you could have missed them.
You are currently subscribed to unc-charity-event axsd: [email protected]
To unsubscribe send a blank email to [email protected].unc.edu
Nevertheless, people immediately started hitting "Reply All" and sent emails to the entire mailing list with "Take me off this distribution;" "Please take me off your list.Thanks;" and a thousand variations of "unsubscribe me plz." Naturally, some people haven't experienced the "Idiots on a Listserv" phenomenon before and began replying (to everyone, of course) with "YOU ARE SENDING THIS TO THE WRONG PERSON - I DO NOT WORK WITH UNC CHARITY EVENTS;" "Why are you sending the email to me to take you off a list? I do not have access to that. Sorry. I did not even send this email out;" "These emails are driving me crazy..... I have gotten like 17 so far. It must be a virus of sorts......... People are so clever and funny, NOT!" etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
At present, I have forty-three emails that are either "unsubscribe" or "stop sending me emails! I didn't send anything to you!"
Fortunately there were some people who knew what was going on and told everyone what to do. That failed to stem the tide. Some guy got mad and called everybody an idiot, and my personal favorite email was from a guy named Andy:
Does anyone know where I can buy a pet alpaca? My dad wants one for Christmas! Thanks!
I told him he'd have better luck finding one in South America.