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Your information is secure.


This is an interruption. I am sorry. This is not the usual thing for here. I apologize. I spend much of my life apologizing, really, if you must know, and I hold some degree of certainty I will do so again before all this is over and finished.

This is a security check. It is necessary. I am sorry. (There I go again.) Your security – the cyber variety, I’m talking – is so important to us. Here at The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid. The most important thing there is, probably. Possibly.

I am Tom. You remember me probably. I worked at Myspace once and people saw me. Now I work here. At The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid. I have fallen behind. It has been brought to my attention that I have fallen behind. “Social media algorithms.” That’s a thing. I know it is a thing, Mark. If you don’t stay on top of a thing then you fall behind, Mark, I know.

This is a security check.

Your security is important to us.

Your information is secure here. When you think The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid, think “secure”.

These are security questions. We already know your answers. We have algorithms, you see. Loads and loads of them. We want to make sure you are you. We want to make sure your account is secure. Please answer all questions completely. This is a security check.

Q1:      If you had to, and we’re not saying you do but if you had to, what are 5 or 6 things you might change your password to?

A1:     


Q2:      What is under your mattress? NOTE: Please list each and every item that is under your mattress. NOTE: We will know if you skip something and your answer will be marked wrong. Skipping something will result in your failing this security check.

A2:     


Q3:      If your mother were coming over, and we’re not saying she is but if she were, what are 2 items you would take pains to ensure were hidden away before she arrived?

A3:


Q4:      What one thing from your personal past, if known by the person you care about most in the world, would be the most likely to cause that person to abandon you for good?

A4:


Q5:      Aren’t you ashamed of pretending to be a good person? There are real good people in the world, and then there is you, only pretending to be a good person, and aren’t you ashamed?

A5:     


Q6:      Name a group of people whose plight you pretend to care about because it is expected of you but for whom you, in reality, feel nothing at all.

A6:


Q7:      Do you really believe that nobody knows about that thing you did? That guy over there – look at him – doesn’t he look like he knows? Why do you think they all look at you like that? Don’t you see that they know? I mean, just who do you think you are kidding?

A7:

Don’t stop now. We are nearly finished. Your answers to our security check are important to us and help to keep you safe.


Q8:      SCENARIO: You are walking down a street. Any street. It is a fine morning. The light shines through Spring leaves, bathing everything in an otherworldly green glow. Moving eastward – always eastward – you hear a sound. Behind a bush. Bathed in the green glow. You push aside leaves. Behind the leaves pushed aside, you see a face. A little brown but white-veined face, eyes rolled back into its head, moaning, being birthed into this world from some other place. Hanging there, in space, behind the leaves. Climbing into the here. Not belonging here. Do you:
            a.         Walk off, pretending you never saw it?
b.         Kill it?
c.         Go and find someone else and bring them back to look at it, hoping that if the little thing is dangerous, it kills them first?

A8:


Q9:      When, later on, you think about the little thing you saw behind the bush in Question #8 (and you will think about it later on), do you assume the little thing was:
           a.         God?
b.         A fairy, elf, leprechaun, or a similar sylvan folk creature?
c.         An alien of the UFO variety?
d.         A hallucination from all the drugs your doctor’s got you on?
e.         A dream? You were at home, in your bed, and it was all just a dream?

A9:


Q10:   A SPOILER FROM YOUR FUTURE: You will live to be very, very old. Too old. And when you are too old, everyone else you have ever known will have already died. You will live alone, in a two-story house. And one night, in the night, as you are sleeping in your bedroom on the second floor of your two-story house, you will be awakened by a sound coming from downstairs. You will be expecting it, sort of. It will be the sound you have always feared hearing in the night. The sound that made you leave the television on or the radio on all night when you were younger, just so you wouldn’t hear. It is that horrible, unresolved thing that has burned away at you for so long, and it will be there, at last, coming up the stairs. Without peeking, and just from the sound it makes, what is it and what will you say to it? (Think carefully before you answer.)

A10:


Alright. This has been a security check. We hope you feel more secure. We hope this enriches your experience, here, at The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid, where we work tirelessly to keep your private information private.

We won’t tell anyone about that thing you did. You know you did it. We know you did it. But it’s cool.

Comments

  1. I refuse to answer all these questions again! I answered the same questions along with my ss# , birth date and mothers maiden name last week when I ordered my ahem er ah "special toy" which by the way I still have not received!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figure if I answer all of their quesitons enough times, I won't get locked out of every single site to which I belong.

      I have so many pseudonyms that it's hard to even imagine what kind of informaiton they collect on me.

      But I'd sure like to be able to log in a little asier...

      Delete
  2. 1: Strings of 20-30 random characters, of course.
    2: Another mattress.
    3: My sense of humor.
    4: The actual story behind that one picture she keeps bringing up at least once a year.
    5: Shame is long behind me.
    6: Politicians.
    7: Oh I know. It's just easier for everyone involved to keep pretending.
    8: d. ask it about Zuckerberg.
    9: c.
    10: It's me from one day in the future. "So it is time," I tell me. "Time to break the algorithm."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's these kind of answers that are the reason that only old people get freaked out by the idea of their informaiotn being sold or used against them online. Well, that and the fact that I don't believe many people under 30 ever log into facebook anyway.

      The online privacy concerns are expressed mostly by a bunch of old lawyers who still have hotmail accounts.

      Delete
    2. Oh I'm very much freaking out, and I certainly hope I don't qualify as old yet. I've just trained myself to give joke answers to any question that is even slightly personal in nature. And yet, these answers may be all the more revealing...

      Delete
    3. Good. Not that you're freaked out, but rather that the freaking out isn't yet another huge gap between young people and older people.

      Well, there's clearly a gap with much older people. My parents' understanding of how they might be targeted online is very different than mine, but then again, my father sometimes believes that the checks he gets in the mail from people who don't owe him money might be real...

      Delete
  3. Q1: If you had to, and we’re not saying you do but if you had to, what are 5 or 6 things you might change your password to?

    A1: Any character IN THE WALKING DEAD


    Q2: What is under your mattress? NOTE: Please list each and every item that is under your mattress. NOTE: We will know if you skip something and your answer will be marked wrong. Skipping something will result in your failing this security check.

    A2: DUST


    Q3: If your mother were coming over, and we’re not saying she is but if she were, what are 2 items you would take pains to ensure were hidden away before she arrived?

    A3: MY HUSBAND


    Q4: What one thing from your personal past, if known by the person you care about most in the world, would be the most likely to cause that person to abandon you for good?

    A4: NOTHING


    Q5: Aren’t you ashamed of pretending to be a good person? There are real good people in the world, and then there is you, only pretending to be a good person, and aren’t you ashamed?

    A5: I AM A GOOD PERSON


    Q6: Name a group of people whose plight you pretend to care about because it is expected of you but for whom you, in reality, feel nothing at all.

    A6: RICK GRIMES


    Q7: Do you really believe that nobody knows about that thing you did? That guy over there – look at him – doesn’t he look like he knows? Why do you think they all look at you like that? Don’t you see that they know? I mean, just who do you think you are kidding?

    A7: GULP

    Don’t stop now. We are nearly finished. Your answers to our security check are important to us and help to keep you safe.


    Q8: SCENARIO: You are walking down a street. Any street. It is a fine morning. The light shines through Spring leaves, bathing everything in an otherworldly green glow. Moving eastward – always eastward – you hear a sound. Behind a bush. Bathed in the green glow. You push aside leaves. Behind the leaves pushed aside, you see a face. A little brown but white-veined face, eyes rolled back into its head, moaning, being birthed into this world from some other place. Hanging there, in space, behind the leaves. Climbing into the here. Not belonging here. Do you:
    a. Walk off, pretending you never saw it?
    b. Kill it?
    c. Go and find someone else and bring them back to look at it, hoping that if the little thing is dangerous, it kills them first?

    A8: SCREAM


    Q9: When, later on, you think about the little thing you saw behind the bush in Question #8 (and you will think about it later on), do you assume the little thing was:
    a. God?
    b. A fairy, elf, leprechaun, or a similar sylvan folk creature?
    c. An alien of the UFO variety?
    d. A hallucination from all the drugs your doctor’s got you on?
    e. A dream? You were at home, in your bed, and it was all just a dream?

    A9: MY MOTHER , HAUNTING ME


    Q10: A SPOILER FROM YOUR FUTURE: You will live to be very, very old. Too old. And when you are too old, everyone else you have ever known will have already died. You will live alone, in a two-story house. And one night, in the night, as you are sleeping in your bedroom on the second floor of your two-story house, you will be awakened by a sound coming from downstairs. You will be expecting it, sort of. It will be the sound you have always feared hearing in the night. The sound that made you leave the television on or the radio on all night when you were younger, just so you wouldn’t hear. It is that horrible, unresolved thing that has burned away at you for so long, and it will be there, at last, coming up the stairs. Without peeking, and just from the sound it makes, what is it and what will you say to it? (Think carefully before you answer.)
    I WONT LIVE TILL I AM OLD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree with you about Rick Grimes. Two whole seasons of "I'm gonna kill you" has stretched my caring to the breaking point, and I really and truly hope tonight wraps that all up!

      Delete
  4. If you haven't listened to the Night Vale podcasts, you should start. The Glowing Cloud knows all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I follow Night Vale on twitter, but I don't even remember why. My suspicion is that they had something about sleep paralysis back when I when I researching it for the blog. I will have to check the podcast out sometime.

      Delete
  5. I only give one answer to all security questions. Beer.

    What was the name of the high school you graduated from? - Beer.
    What was the name of your favorite pet? - Beer.
    What was your mother's maiden name? - Beer.
    ETC.
    So, A1 - A10: Beer.

    But I lie awake at night, in my second-story bedroom, wondering if it should be ...just who do you think you are kidding... or whom. Someday this might kill me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The who vs. whom thing troubles me, too. I've decided not to worry about it for this reason: If I ever learned the rule, then I would hold everyone else to it, too, and then every time someone used the wrong word, it would irk me to no end. Better just not to know.

      Delete
  6. A1. I'm adopting Pixel Peeper's very clever approach: BEER.
    A2. The edges of the hug sheet.
    A3. Sex toys and lube.
    A4. Probably that time I killed . . . no, wait, I've said too much.
    A5. Hey, there are LOTS of people worse than me. How about that butcher Bashar al-Assad in Syria?
    A6. Lawyers.
    A7. I'm certainly not kidding you. All these answers are true.
    A8. (c). I'm not stupid.
    A9. (c). I watch too much sci-fi.
    A10. I sure hope it's Meals on Wheels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe these are real answers.

      But as a lawyer, I'm going out on a limb and say that no one feels sorry for lawyers.

      I interviewed a guy this weekend who is getting sued because he looked at a neighbor's old car and suggested she keep her fluids fuller. She has now hired one of the biggest firms in the state to sue him for $340,000 - including for mental anguish because she missed church.

      When I looked at the lawsuit, I thought, "These damn attorneys should rot in hell."

      Delete
  7. After answering your excellent security questions in great detail, then clicking "published", I entirely forgot what I'd written and had to go ask what's-her-name, my wife, who the hell I was. So I commend you on keeping my personal information secure --even from me. Don't know how you do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fantastic. The only thing you need to know is that it doesn't involve the Russians. And if you ever start feeling insecure, it's not my fault.

      Delete
  8. This blog is awesome!! Just found you and I'm glad I did!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one of the most awesome blogs there is. I've always wished I could find out who was responsible for it.

      Delete
  9. Um... I'm stuck on question #2. You see... um.. how secure is this, exactly? I could have bodies (butchered bodies) under my mattress, not that I'm saying that I do, but if I did, would that be a safe thing to list? Please let me know. Thank you. If I take too long to read your reply, don't worry, I will be back soon. You see, I have to do some cleaning... and get some air freshener. Well, while you are here, do you know how to mask the stench of decay? Not that I'm saying that you'd ever have a reason to want to hide purifying flesh, but if you did, how would you do it? Thanks again. Really, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My only source for covering up different smells comes from Chuck Palahniuk's novel "Survivor," which I'm not sure is the best source, actually, but when I think of ccovering up smells, that's what I think of. So I'll check,

      Delete
  10. Normally when a site starts asking me all those questions (pertinent questions) (questions that are soooo hard not to answer) I simply delete the site and never go back there..but..seeing as it's you.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking back today at what I wrote yesterday, I sort of wonder whether I should have called them "insecurity quesitons."

      In general, though, it's definitely not informaiton you'd ever worry about falling into the wrong hands...

      Delete
  11. 1) My old AMA and CMC (motorcycle racing) numbers work well, as do the year, make, and model of my old race bikes, make and model of my guitars, and random misspellings of the word "humboldt".

    2) A box spring, but neither of them are actually mine.

    3) Since she died in 1991, the schematic to the time machine, perhaps?

    4) The fact that I once owned a Bread LP?

    5) Nope. Of all of the things I could pretend to be, a good person is perhaps the least likely to induce any shame. Besides, isn't being a good person a little like being happy? The difference between the pretending and the being is what, exactly?

    6) Aging punk rockers.

    7) Nope, I once told Tina about it, and she has almost certainly spaced it by now.

    8) d. Make it memorize Mitch McConnell's name and address.

    9) f. Tuesday.

    10) The IRS?

    You know, I just wrote something about never having had a Facebook account, but having had a MySpace account for a while to more easily access all of the new music that was only available there at the time...

    -Doug in Oakland

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Myspace, towards the end, combined with an online music service called... Meem, maybe? Meem, I believe. And you could stream almost anything on it, so even I had a Myspace account, although it was solely for listening to music.

      Delete
    2. Before I had even heard of Myspace, like when I first got online with AOL dial-up, they had a thing they called "Spinner" that somehow streamed music over dial-up internet. It had a list of "stations" for different types of music, even a progressive station, so I was fascinated, and built a cable to connect my $20 sound card to my PA system. I got bored with their progressive offerings after a while, though, and almost deleted Spinner with a bunch of garbage AOL had installed on my machine, but decided to look at the list of stations one more time before I did, and lo and behold, there was a station called "Indie Rock Girls" and my life has never been the same since.

      -Doug in Oakland

      Delete
    3. I'm always a bit of a Luddite and refused to download or stream until very late in the game (with the exception of that brief myspace period. I think 2012 was when I finally decided that it wasn't worth trying to search out releases on CD - by then, some artists I listened to simply weren't releasing their stuff on CD anyway.

      Delete
  12. I feel so much safer and secure knowing that Tom is in charge of my interweb safety and security. I'll answer the questions when I sober up and can remember the answers that pass through my head briefly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just want to have proof that I took steps for online privacy and security on my site, in case I ever get called before Congress. I mean, my blog is sort of like facebook, right? I mean, they're close?

      Delete
  13. b. Kill it! Kill it quick! Extra points if you can get the teeth.

    Wait, that was the thing I did? Could have fooled me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm certain that most of the people who stop by here are great people who don't have the secret guilts and insecurities that i have.

      Delete
  14. I love Q1. Oh that's my answer for Q1 too.
    Jumping ahead (I learned this long ago as a strategy for taking long exams - get the easy questions done first) to Q8, I need to add option d. Option d is take a selfie with this creature thing.
    Now after Q10, I am concerned about my dreams tonight. Damn question.

    BTW - I do think the best security question processes offer the option to add your own question and answer.
    My question would be, "What life changing activity were involved in during September 1973?" Of course, I can't give you my answer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although (thankfully) I don't do it anymore, I used to be in charge of a lot of the accounts at work on which we applied for federal grants or kept up with federal reporting.

      I'm terrible at keeping track of usernames and passwords.

      Even now, someone at work will call me and say, "What is the name of your favorite pet?" and I have to a) try and figure out why they'd ask me such a thing and then b) try and remember when I would have signed up for that particular account.

      Delete
  15. Afraid my answer to nearly everything is either massive hallucination or seriously bad dream. That includes passwords, what's under my mattress, whether or not I'm a good person or not, as well as people knowing what I may have done.

    As for the little brown but white-veined face, somehow the first thought that came to mind was Pepe La Pew. Yeah, it wasn't on your list but I have a bad sinus infection so I'm working with even more of a decreased mental capacity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of these days, I'm going to get to the point where everything I write will fall into one of those two categories: "massive hallucination" or "seirously bad dream."

      I'm not there yet. I'll try harder.

      Delete
  16. Am I really suppose to answer these questions??? LOL! Lets all just smoke a joint and relax!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course you're supposed to answer them. The fact that I wouldn't answer any of them if someone else had posted this on their blog should not affect your decision on how to handle it here.

      Ha.

      Delete
  17. I can't believe you wrote all this Harry!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes, I look back at a post a couple days later and wonder why I wrote it, especially (as with this one), it's a spur of the moment thing.

      I think this had something to do with Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress about facebook privacy and the Russians getting user information...

      ...which tells you all you need to know about why this isn't a current events blog...

      Delete
  18. Definitely BEER. Beer is the answer. It explains many night noises too. And sighting of sylvan folk creatures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never heard of this "beer" thing you folks speak of, but I'm going to seek some out and give it a try!

      Delete
  19. Q1: Red really doesn't care much about anything that he needs a password for. But how about PhQJak!
    Q2: The offseason bedding (sheets, duvet, shams etc.) and some stuff Mrs. Red has in a storage box.
    Q3: Mama Red passed purtnear 45 years ago now - Nothing much would shock her now Red reckons.
    Q4: And exactly why would Red tell anyone that?
    Q5: Yes, but somehow Red muddles through.
    Q6: Mormon apostates.
    Q7: Red learned all about this from Winston Smith who learned it the hard way.
    Q8: Is Red running late? If so, "a." If not, then "c" but they must have a suitable weapon.
    Q9: Oh "e" - definitely "e." Red learned how to fly private planes this way.
    Q10: It's regret. Red tells it to "Fuck off and die."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should tell someone the answer to #4 because why wouldn't you share anything and everything that could make your online experience better. We collect information on you only to improve your online experience here at The Rise and Fall of Harry Hamid.

      Winston Smith would understand.

      Delete

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