Thursday, January 31, 2008


As we wander mindlessly through our daily lives, oblivious to the mortal perils that wait eagerly to befall us, we are often reminded how important our petty little concerns are. And nothing tells us we are the center of the universe more than personal security passwords. Special codes to keep hostile forces from stealing our precious intellectual property and prevent our invaluable personal data from falling into the wrong hands.

My advances toward my girlfriend were rejected last night because my user name and password didn't match. I was redeemed when we realized I had "remember me" clicked and it had been unclicked by an alternate user. But I still had to wait for an email with my new password before I could access her “inbox” if you know what I mean.

My laptop makes me verify my identity before it will give me administrative privileges. I guess that's so when underprivileged children break into my house to steal my emails they'll have to settle for the price of a laptop on the black market. At least they didn't abscond with my notification of a certified bank draft from Mrs. Julian Roy who hopes her email finds me in perfect health. And quite frankly if someone goes to all the trouble to steal my car radio, I want them to be able to use it rather than have it create more non-biodegradable waste.

Security passwords on PCs are as ludicrous as a terrorist president warning us about the threat of terrorism, but some things just go too far.

I was on the freeway the other day and I get a call. The phone is at the bottom of my pocket, under my cash, my cigarettes, my nicorette gum, a bogus citation for indecent exposure, of all things... and my underwear. By the time I get the damn thing out, it's gone to voicemail. So I open the phone, press star 86 and hold it to my ear. meanwhile I've inadvertantly changed two lanes and made a little clearing in traffic which is nice because the flashing highbeams and fingers are just out of my viewing range. But before I can hear the message, that voice comes on:

"Welcome to the Verizon Wireless Voice Mail System! Please wait while we access your Verizon Wireless Voice Mail System Messages Thank you for accessing your Verizon Wireless Voice Mail System! Did you know that you can pay your bill directly from your cellphone at anytime?; 1:00 am, 2:00 am, 3:00 am..."

At this point I had fallen asleep but I was awakened by honking just as she was saying: ..."even at 12:00 pm! That's the speed and convenience of using the Verizon Wireless Voice Mail System. Please enter your Verizon Wireless Voice Mail System security password to access your Verizon Wireless Voice Mail System Security protected messages, safe from theft, tampering or terrorists, now! BEEEP!"

I sit there for a few seconds wondering how the terrorists get my phone out of my pocket so easily? I pry the phone off my ear to look at the keypad which has long since gone dark. As my eyes are trying to adjust I take a guess at where the numbers are and start poking away, put it back up to my ear and hear:

"You've pressed an incorrect key, I'm sorry your having trouble, Please hang up and try your call again later when you can take the time to properly access your instant message retrieval system by pressing the correct key, not the one you pressed which was incorrect. goodbye!"

I'm so pissed, I'm thinking: this isn't the right freeway, I was heading south! Then she says "Are you still there?" Okay now I'm beside myself. I'm just about to give her a piece of my mind when she says: "Are you sure you're all there?"...