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Published:September 28th, 2009 19:15 EST
Idaho: the Spuds and Spam State

Idaho: the Spuds and Spam State

By Geoff Dean

 According to recent research of Symantec`s MessageLabs group, as reported by PC World, Idaho leads the nation in the percentage of mail that is spam. In a percentage that outstrips the world average of 86.4 pieces of spam per 100 e-mails, Idaho racked up a whopping 93.8. That is surely not small potatoes!

 In one year, in fact, Idaho leaped from 44th to 1st in the spammed rankings, although I doubt too many fireworks will be going off in Boise over the accomplishment. Strangely enough, neighboring Montana was one of the lowest in terms of spam. If, I wonder, someone lived in West Yellowstone, Montana and then moved a few miles over the border into Idaho, would they see a sudden spike in their spam quantity? And does it have anything to do with potatoes, about the only thing that comes to mind when Idaho is mentioned?

 The other heavily spammed states turn out to be Kentucky, New Jersey, Alabama, and Illinois, which just goes to show, more or less, nothing whatsoever. The scattershot geographical locations, the shift from near last to first in a year, the lack of any logical reason for Idaho to be the spam capital of America, it all seems to add up to one thing; this is merely a random development, as indeed, spam itself is. Idaho may well be 49th next year.

 But, not so fast. There is some logic to the Idaho-spam connection. After all, what goes better with spam than potatoes? Spam and fried chicken (Kentucky)? Not exactly a great combination. Spam and Moose (Alaska)? Don`t want to think about it! Spam and Steak (Texas)? No, thanks. Spam and potatoes (Idaho)? While not exactly delicious, it beats most other combinations, does it not? Perhaps, spam, the irritating Internet phenomenon behaves similarly to spam, the irritating food option.

 While I have been unable to confirm this, rumor has it (just started by me) that the Governor of Idaho (they must have one, right?) when asked to give an opinion about why Idaho was the most spammed, responded, "Idaho? I dunno!"