By Jim Bray
If you're harboring a grudge, there's a Web site that can help you balance
InsultPro is an on-line un-greeting card site that gives
wronged people a way to strike back and feel smugly superior for their
blazing, store-bought wit.
Yes, friends, you too can send an anonymous and confidential message
to the people who done you wrong. Isn't life grand?
Of course, such a tactic brings the sender right down to the level of
the sendee in the process, but why let logic rear its ugly
head when you're keen to inflict some virtual wounds onto a perceived
InsultPros on-line disservice - er, I mean service - works very
much like those other on-line greeting companies you may have experienced
except, of course, that this one represents the ugly dark side the beast.
According to a company flack, speaking anonymously in a press release
I received recently, the InsultPro service is appropriate for anyone who
feels that a face-to-face meeting with the recipient might be ill-advised.
No kidding! The company also claims there's no way the un-greetings can
be traced back to the sender.
Sending your insult is easy. Just surf by www.insultpro.com, and you
can partake of a wizard-based system to design your surf-by
Once you've decided upon whom you're going to unleash your attack, you
can choose whether the assault will be by e-mail, including an optional
delivery confirmation feature, by snail mail, or even by second
day delivery air mail. Prices range from $5.99 to $22.99, depending upon
which delivery method you choose.
There's also a $24.99 insult-pack that gives you a two pronged
attack that uses both e-mail and air mail. It's undoubtedly for those
who really want to beat their victims over the head.
For those who have a modicum of creativity, InsultPro lets you write
your own slur. The rest of us can choose from the company's fairly wide
selection of pre-made smears, which include such classics as Sexist
Pig and the Adolph Award, which recognizes bosses who
behave like little Hitlers toward their staff.
One of my favorites is the one that says Ahoy Matey, Stop Pirating
I tried to figure out a way to send that particular one without paying,
but InsultPro was a step ahead of me all the way.
Some of the insults are actually pretty choice and would be quite appropriate
for corporate situations in which I've found myself over the years, like
Thanks for sacrificing the careers of others only to advance your
Naturally, the site isn't totally dedicated to insulting bosses and co-workers.
You can also hurl virtual venom at philandering spouses, secret admirers,
stupid and/or trashy and/or ugly people.
Some of the digs are actually quite funny, such as You buy cosmetics
for a make-up exam! but most of them are your most basic insults,
and some are quite rude.
They even give you a chance to customize their sample abuse so it draws
even more blood.
Okay, politically correct it ain't, but I daresay it isn't meant to be,
Once you've written or chosen your insult, you can couple it with a cartoon
guaranteed to make even more subtle - like the venerable proffering of
a pair of bare buttocks with an invitation to kiss.
The whole thing is pretty tasteless - and gutless.
When your card is ready to go you're taken to the most painful part of
the exercise: paying for your dastardly deed. You can use your credit
card or type in the code from an InsultPro voucher if you're
lucky enough to have received one.
InsultPro bills itself as a proud affiliate of Amazon.com, and offers
you a link from its InsultPro store page to the rest of that
on-line store's products. I don't know if Amazon.com proudly proclaims
its affiliation with InsultPro, but I wouldn't be surprised either way.
InsultPro prides itself on protecting its users anonymity, and
I suppose that's a plus. I wonder, however, what the point is in sending
such a thing anonymously. Isn't the whole purpose behind such assaults
having your victim know who's twisting the knife?
Unless you just want the recipient to view his or her entire circle of
acquaintances with suspicion...
Just what we need - more paranoia.
Oh well, this is the new e-commerce world we hear so much about.
Jim Bray's technology columns are distributed by the TechnoFILE and Mochila Syndicates. Copyright Jim Bray.