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 "" 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments