It was a dark and stormy night (literally) when I set off to go pick up a friend. I’d forgotten to get gas after work so I pulled into the station right on the edge of town to fill up. The geniuses who work at this gas station (and they are geniuses, they told me they have “genius level IQs”) had not left all the lights on and it wasn’t until I’d got out of the car that I realized there wasn’t any on on the side I’d pulled up to. The light on the other side of the pump threw my side into shadow so all I could see was that stupid flashing green light where the credit card slot is. That green light is useless if you want actually see anything as it blinks madly, searing spots into your retina. I fumbled, trying to feel for the card slot, too stupid to, you know, drive the car to the other side where the light was, as the icy wind and rain is lashing in my face.
But finding the slot wasn’t the end of my fun because then it had to ask me a question: “Is this a debit card?” No, but I couldn’t see the buttons. I got lucky and hit the right one. “Enter your zip code.”
My mind went blank. Never mind that I’ve lived in this zip code for years, that I’ve written it thousands of times, no, it was just gone. Then I remembered that my social security number has a five in it (like Tony Stark) and that my zip code also has a five. Then I remember what the last digit of the zip code, then the second to last… That’s right I remember the whole thing BACKWARDS.
Ironically this very same day, I’d logged into a gmail account that I use occasionally but since I’d cleared the cache and cookies, gmail didn’t recognize my computer so it demanded to know what my phone number was. Numbers, they’re out to get me. Well, that ought to easy, just look at your phone right? Except that I’d forgotten to change the phone number on this account after my old phone turned into a brick months ago, a phone number which I had never memorized. Thankfully in addition to being dumb, I have a terrible habit of writing notes on scraps of paper and then throwing them away about once a year. My old number happened to be a post-it-note at the bottom of some pile.
Back at the gas station, having remember my zip code, I punched it in wrong and had to start over again. Look, it’s really nice that these companies are trying to nanny us and keep us safe from all those bad people but the simple fact is, you can’t protect people from themselves. For every protection that you add, some dumbass like myself will screw up. Eventually everything will be so safe I won’t be able to function. Might as well wrap me up in bubblewrap so I can’t bump into things and replace my brain with a computer. Maybe then I can remember what numbers are.