Mr. Wrong By Joe MacLeod

Mr. Wrong: The IRS government is throttling my passwords

City Paper

I am cutting back on Cable Television for a while in order to save money, so if anybody watches the “Game of Thrones” and wants to let me come over and watch it on Sunday nights so I don’t get Spoilered by all the people doing “recaps” the next day on the Internet, or if anybody has an organized group someplace where they watch the Thrones Game someplace please to inform me, I will bring a covered dish to share, or really, if anybody has that thing on Home Box where you can just put in a Password, the “GO” thing, please to share it with me, I won’t give it to anybody else, I promise.

Meanwhile, I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut, right? I’m just Out There, doing stuff, for money, and I get this one little gig at this one place and in order to even start to Get Paid, it says I have to have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), so I’m like, OK, I mean, I dunno, why do I even bother to have a Social Security Number anymore? I mean, I thought that was my Identification Number or whatever? To Get Paid? As far as The Government is concerned? By which I mean: Taxes? You know, so they (The Government) can Get Paid?

But no, this place says for Security Reasons, I need to get this EIN thing going, because they don’t want my Social Security Number (SSN), for Security Reasons, and yeah, c’mon, you gotta be thinking the same thing I’m thinking, and that’s disturbing enough, for us to be tracking mentally, on this level, together, but you see it, right? I mean, what’s the fucking difference between my EIN and my SSN, and if somebody hacks my Internets and gets mine, what’s gonna stop ’em from hacking those very same Internets and getting this EIN when they get my SSN? Now I have another Number for somebody to get! It’s all just numbers, flying around out there, with all my stupid passwords.

How many fucking Passwords do you have? I have so many fucking Passfuckingwords I had to start writing ’em down in a notebook, because otherwise when I go to some stupid Web thing I haven’t been to in a year, like the place I click on in order to buy another filter for the water that goes into the icemaker in my refrigerator, I have to put in my Password, and the stupid Google thing that asks me all the time if I want to save my Password, so I don’t have to remember it? Why would I want to do that? What’s the fucking point of Password if it’s just in there, in the computer, and I don’t have to know it? What if somebody takes my computer? Then they have all my automatic Passwords! Don’t do that!

And the Password just can’t just be a word, no, it has to be a Number, and some Letters, and some UPPERCASE Letters, and maybe a “Wildcard” character like “@” or “#” or even “!,” unless it’s a site that won’t let you use “Wild Card” characters, so forget about doing that really good Password you had like “P@%%W0rd,” which was super easy to remember, but now you gotta make it like “Pa55Word,” because of the no-“Wild Card” thing, and now you just don’t have the one Password, now you have one that’s like it, but not the same, so the next time you go to some other stupid site, you are like “Hmm, OK, now is this site one where I can put my Original Password ‘P@%%W0rd,’ or is this a place that won’t let me use the ‘Wild Card’ characters, so then maybe it’s ‘Pa55Word,’ or shit, OK, is this site the one where you can’t have two characters the same in a row, so maybe it’s that other Password I made, ‘Pas5W0rd,’ or wait, was it ‘Pa5sW0rd,’ shit, I can’t fucking remember.”

So then what happens is I’m pecking away at all these Passwords, and with each one, I’m always not 100 percent sure I typed it correctly, so then I try the same one two or three times, because I figure I know the Password but I’m just not typing it accurately, and then the Website tells me I tried too many times, and now I need to get an email, or answer a Secret Question, or make a new goddamn stupid fucking Password! Then I try and make a new Password and it tells me the Password I just put in is one of my old stupid fucking Passwords, which means I actually remembered the Password, but not in a way that pleased the Internet, so now I have to punish my brain with more Password. My head hurts.

So now I am gonna count up all the passwords I have, for all kinds of stuff, written down in my notebook, made out of paper, with marks of writing on the slices of paper, in ink, but also sometimes in pencil, and disturbingly-more-than-sometimes in crayon, and I have counted them all and I have 67 fucking passwords, and those are just the ones I wrote down. I don’t know how many more I have floating around out there in my mind, which is a terrible place to leave anything, seriously, you have no idea. Meanwhile, I have to have a password to get a new filter for the water that goes into the icemaker in the refrigerator, jeez. And then what if somebody steals my notebook? 


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Twitter: @MRWRONGCOLUMN

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