Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lemme tell you how my dad and I outsmarted ourselves.

It was one of those government websites, like taxes or student loans or property claims or something crazy, and it needed a password, a really long one. Maybe some traffic ticket I got going through some other state. And that moment, when we created it, is the last either of us ever remember.

We hit upon the phrase "keyboard arizonas." And somewhere in that is the mythic password that we have never recovered. By now, I can't even really remember the website that it goes with. I do know that we forgot it pretty promptly, because we just needed a screenshot. The trick was that it was really, like, "4r1z0n4" or something. You know, keyboard arizonas man.

Except then I needed it a year later. And I couldn't get it. It wasn't 4r1z0n4. It wasn't 4r!z0n4. It wasn't 4r1zOn4. It wasn't arizona, ariz0na, ar1zona, any of 'em. Here I was, calling my dad, calling my mom, calling my brother, calling my girlfriend, and none of them knew the password. "Did you try with the numbers instead of letters?" "Yeah, that was the first thing I thought of."

The problem was, we thought of one trick, the numbers thing. But the website wouldn't take it, because it needed more symbols or characters or something, so we'd think of another trick, something we could describe to each other in the inevitable future where we'd forgotten it.

And I know exactly where we went wrong. I can actually hear myself saying, "The password contains the hint! That's genius!"


Sailormom said...

Reminds me of the time I signed up for Myspace. I thought I would be clever and use my name @ for the required email. Somehow that went through and I got my account. Fast forward a couple of years when I'm ready to delete my account. I fill out the form and of course they have to send me a confirmation email to close my account. An email I can't possibly receive.

Josh said...

Yeah, eBay won't let me change my email address to get rid of my student email, because of course I can't verify that from my student email…