The Password

September, 2012:

“I’m sorry,” my friend tells me. “That’s the one thing about this computer. It asks for a password that I don’t remember.” She sighs. “Okay. First try the basics. Welcome, user, admin. Stuff like that. If they don’t work, enter my initials, birthday, or house number. Fiddle with different combinations. Throw in some uppercase letters and the numeral 1. As in, Welcome1. cm2076ADMIN. Stuff like that.”

My computer is in the shop, where it could remain up to five days. My friend has lent me her old Mac.

Furiously, I’m writing this down.

“cm2076ADMIN. . .”

“Yes,” my friend assures me. “It’s something like that.” Then, “If you run out of ideas, give me a call.”

“Okay,” I reply. “But I’m sure I’ll figure it out.”

The interesting thing is, I believe this. I believe there is no permutation too complex or obscure to elude me. Not because I think myself clever — I prove otherwise as naturally as I breathe — but because I’m pathologically focused, batshit compulsive, and known for courting futility.

At this moment, my BlackBerry is my sole technological bridge to the world. There are messages I’m not receiving. Statistics to which I have no access. Facebook “likes” I’m not on top of. And, being unable to write posts or stories, my texts are becoming verbose.

A rat in a cage with a single lever, I press.

And press.

Could it be M1076welcomeuser1?


— USERadmin4129?


will figure this out.

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8 thoughts on “The Password”

  1. Passwords were invented to prevent computers from making things faster and easier. I say this as an engineer fully engaged in technology and its advancement: I HATE PASSWORDS!

  2. Donna, the itch to hurl the computer at a wall was overwhelming. Thank God I resisted!

    Kathy, OMG, I feel your pain. I have notebooks too, but it’s still hard to keep track of it all. My problem is, I generally recall my password, but are hazy on my username. Apostrophe? No apostrophe? It’s maddening. And it seems harder to recover a username than a password.

    One day I’ll get my shit together. I hope. At this point, you’re my username/password role model.

  3. I agree with the “great post” assessments of my colleagues.

    After having a couple of hacking scares, I went and changed almost all of my passwords to “strong” ones that nobody would guess, including me. I now have a little notebook on my home computer desk where I have written all these unguessable passwords. That way, when one of them is called for, I can look it up. Fortunately, I can read my own handwriting most of the time.

  4. Bill, oddly, I’m far more interested in the swear words than your passwords. Does that put us on the same page, or at least the same book?

    So glad you got a chuckle. Thanks!

  5. I know the swear words of most languages. I’m not telling you my passwords or anything so you can get that out of your head straight away. Are we on the same page?


    Great post.

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