Don’t you hate answering those internet “password hint” security questions?
Actually, you probably don’t. You probably think they’re easy.
But I always find myself second guessing. For instance:
Who was your favorite teacher?
I can’t decide on just one, so I know I won’t remember which one I put down for my answer. Was it the 8th grade English teacher who taught me to write, always had a perfect manicure, and narrowly missed being killed by a hit man? (Her husband hired a gunman with bad aim.)
Or was my favorite the kindergarten teacher who taught me everything I know about snack time and Elmer’s Glue? You can’t help but make an impact when you give out graham crackers.
What street did you live on growing up?
It’s an avenue, not a street, so I never trust that my answer will fly. Also, growing up when? Aren’t we always growing up? Ah, life, it’s such a journey.
What was the name of your first pet?
My first pet was a set of gerbils I accidentally killed before I got to name them. It really was an accident. I was trying too hard to make them enjoy their water bottle. I was all, “Drink, drink!” It was kind of like a college fraternity hazing. Or water boarding. Didn’t end well.
What is your mother’s maiden name?
Anyone can look up my mother’s maiden name. That one’s dumb. Why not ask her high school nickname? My mother wasn’t a slut, so it isn’t something easy to guess, like “Hot Lips”, or “Slut.”
What was the name of your best childhood friend?
Well, if that isn’t a can of worms.
Again, I’m supposed to have just one? Childhood is all about switching best friends. And adulthood is about wondering why you picked those friends, and whether they even deserve to be the answer to a stupid password hint.
If I narrow it down, there are two main choices, and neither is a real winner.
Beth, my best friend in 5th grade, dropped me in 6th.
We’d had some good times: making up a secret dork language…rollerskating in terrycloth jumpsuits… peeking into the “Pet Cock” and “Pet Pussy” boxes at the novelty shop in Times Square…lowering a bucket from her apartment’s 2nd floor window with dirty notes in it for passersby (I think the notes just said “cock” or “pussy.” No one bit.)
But all that fun doesn’t make up for the fact that she dumped me for a new best friend who was also named Beth, so they could be “Beth Squared”, and elected to take French precisely because I’d chosen Spanish. Screw her, she doesn’t get to be my security answer.
Then there’s my first best friend, Paul.
He’d be the natural answer, because you never forget your first. But here’s what I can’t forget about Paul:
He alternately convinced me that he was Superman and Jesus Christ. Sometimes it was one, sometimes the other, sometimes both alter egos rolled into one — which I now realize was a pretty sophisticated concept.
As Jesus, he told me I was going to go to hell, where I’d get in trouble for being Jewish and not Catholic. Once you’re in hell, I don’t think you worry about “getting in trouble”, but I wasn’t smart enough to make that point. I wasn’t even smart enough to say, “Dude, I don’t think you’re Jesus.”
As Superman, Paul informed me that every night, while I slept, he used a key to unlock my bellybutton, climbed in, and controlled my dreams. I must have missed that episode of Superman.
When Paul wasn’t being Jesus or Superman, he ran around our kindergarten classroom with his penis out, yelling, “Chicken noodle soup!”
And, at his 6-year-old school birthday party, his tooth came out in his cupcake. I saw a bunch of other junk come out of his mouth — probably cupcake and blood — and asked, “what is that stuff?” The friend next to me said, “that’s his gums.”
Other nuggets about Paul: his mother always wore a wide, stretchy headband; his sister walked funny and plied even funnier — she was in my sister’s ballet class; and his family’s Christmas tree was the Charlie Brown kind: a sad mini-tree. Which is what some Jews get when they can’t resist Christmas, but they call it a “Chanukah bush.” Come to think of it, Paul’s dad was Jewish, which means they’ll all be getting in trouble when they go to hell.
And that’s the answer to my security question. Can I retrieve my password?
Your turn. Which security questions always stump you? And are you afraid, like I am, that they’ll turn out to be case sensitive? Did you have bad taste in best friends? Did they ruin chicken noodle soup for you? Tell me in the comments.