Maybe I watch too many shows like Lost and Prison Break, but I spent an inordinate amount of time staring at this e-mail message:

From: "paternity" <eqdjupiub@pacvideo.com>
To: [Redacted]
Subject: Fable Chapters Generated
Date:	Fri, 17 Nov 2006 15:56:06 -0000

30486714715576421    308260505074      52631266500576          230558                      43405371205       01723078257013
50254283058053411   85383665330180     7167348858551560        53211174                   53572773278625     880121134281836
28663        88042      46015    5115        2386      5830228286                  62460      62852    0762       3184
00672       21686        42644   8505        6075      8006   7573                17356        01577   5032       8433
36348       60721        24218   1361086415527022      6514   1075                88685        83037   25435001232280
72557       85031        02566   62222151326458      548101   02380               57462        25077   584667722524138
74541       86354        07307   676067466554        008366260246300              03620        77347   7626        2248
73052       75236        81207   5353      8561      1077456626518137             74751        23287   5363         823
43086        57032      66480    5206      87375    03564         8702    81657    11862      22517    8717        3672
68464         63268746757754     4267        7153  22366          0428    35316     37851833474114     876454520400323
41674          327150362810      8075        0712  11201          5035    62658      240062788176      64877677117072

(Sorry about the formatting. Here’s a plain text version.)

Unlike most of the spam I get, this doesn’t seem to be offering me a mortgage, a knockoff Rolex, or penis-enlargement drugs. Tora.ob is not a web site, as .ob is not a valid top-level domain. Pacvideo.com sells video equipment, although the sender address is almost certainly forged.

Is someone sending me a coded message? Did I unknowingly sign up to play an ARG? Is there something to the numbers, or in that evocative subject line? Sometimes spam is spam, and sometimes it’s a digital Rorschach blot, allowing us to read any number of meanings into an object that we know is meaningless.

And besides, it’s cheaper entertainment than a PS3, that’s for sure.

(It turns out that TORA.OB is a penny stock. How disappointing.)