Hey Hey Curtis Lemay

I hacked into the Defense Department’s computer server today. I didn’t want to, but it was the only way I could get my e-mail. As the whole world apparently knows, their password is a simple “heyheycurtislemay.” It’s easy and they have a great server.
The password to my system, however, is more of a problem. My computer changes it every night, so when I log onto the system I have to click on the box “I don’t remember my password.” I then get a series of eight to ten simple security questions that I had someone set up for me about 15 years ago. They start with “what is your favorite color,” and move on to stuff like “what is the maiden name of your mother-in-law’s second dog?” I am smart enough to have all the answers to these questions written down, but not quite smart enough to have written it on something other than a small yellow sticky that is probably buried under twelve layers of papers. If at this point, the computer had a little box with, “I can’t find the stupid sticky with the answers” to check—followed by a list of suggestions of where to look, that would be great, but it doesn’t. My average search time is 43 minutes. I know you’re thinking that I should put my answer list on my smartphone, but my smartphone has two modes—“lost” or “out of power.” The average charge time is 43 minutes. The average “search for phone” time is 44 minutes.
Once I’ve managed to answer the security questions, I get to reset my password. It has to be exactly seven numbers or letters in non-alphabetical or numerical order, can never have been used before by any sentient being on the planet, is case sensitive, can have no vowels nor any of the “pointier” letters. I get a bit stuck here. It seems to me, that a password is still a word. How many words do you know without vowels?
On most days, I get through with a new password, which I hastily scribble on a little yellow sticky and hide in the stack. After confirming the password, I get a jumbled drawing, clearly written by a team of three year olds in crayon and strawberry jam, that represents a collection of letters. “Type these letters,” my computer commands, “or ask for another grouping if you cannot read this.” If you type it in wrong, you get to start all over. That’s when I quit trying.
My choices are pretty clear. I can ask someone under the age of 12 to move into my computer room to help me get on my machine. But I would have to feed that person, and as my brand new refrigerator has a anti-theft door that requires a password, I don’t use it anymore. Ordering in could get expensive. I guess I’ll just go with the defense department—“hey hey Curtis Lemay.”

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