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updated 8/19/2004 1:23:00 PM ET 2004-08-19T17:23:00

Attention, ladies: If that guy hitting on you just won't quit until you surrender your e-mail address, feel free to call upon Paper Napkin.

Billed as an e-mail rejection service, Paper Napkin will tell your persistent suitor to buzz off when he comes calling electronically.

Here's how it works: Give out any e-mail address with "PaperNapkin.net" after the "at" sign. You don't need to register the address ahead of time. When your suitor tries to contact you for a date, he'll instead receive a form letter stating in part, "Maybe you're just out of your league here."

Josh Santangelo, a Web developer in Seattle, said he got the idea over lunch last week after a discussion on dating turned to the New York Rejection Line — a phone number women can give out to reach a generic recording of rejection.  He thought there ought to be something similar for e-mail, and he wrote the code for it that afternoon.

He said some 400 people have tried the service since a friend publicized it at the Web journal Metafilter. Most were tests, though about 30 appeared to be real rejects.

Santangelo, who is single, is waiting for a woman to use it on him, though he says he's not aggressive enough: "This sort of thing is for folks who don't take 'no' for an answer, and I tend to know when I'm not wanted."

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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