Donald Phlegg, 50, made his discovery after attempting to purchase a pair of Michael Buble tickets online. Having entered the details of his order, he was taken to a Captcha form, designed to ensure that Mr Phlegg was a sentient being.
‘I think I got the first one pretty much correct: I knew the words ‘Bougainville’ and ‘Bulbous’ but must have spelt one of them wrongly,’ Phlegg said. ‘After that the so-called ‘words’ that popped up just became more an more ridiculous: ‘Encribulantical’ and ‘Stoorf&889 , what the buggery are they?’
After twelve futile attempts to read and replicate the jauntily-angled words, Phlegg says, the truth dawned on him. ‘Clearly I am in fact an automated spamming device, cunningly programmed to think that I was human. I mean whaat a piszEr!!! AMAZING DEALS SAVE $$$… sorry, what was I saying?’
Phlegg’s wife Deirdre, 47, has said she will stand by her email-harvesting husband, who is said to be ‘shaken but otherwise lacking any human emotions’ and has been tested for malicious viruses. But his employers have given in to public pressure and ‘retired’ him. ‘To be honest I feel terrible letting him go,’ admitted his former manager. ‘But only this morning, I got a personal Twitter message from him. He told me that he had ‘already made $970 this week, lol!’ so it sounds like he’s doing just fine.’