What’s the Password?


Last week, Mike’s email account was hacked. Hold on a moment. There are some things you need to understand about our friend Mike, before I can properly narrate this little tale. Mike’s a bonafide worry-wart. Anything that deviates from the plan, is immediately thrusted into his personal DEFCON 1 box. As a bachelor workaholic, his home is completely automated; totally state of the art. Mike’s obsessed with security. So it was really no surprise, when he went out and purchased the latest smartphone technology. I mean, this stuff is so high tech, it won’t become common knowledge to the general public for at least another two years. Now, I hear you naysayers out there.

“What does Mike do, to be able to get his hands on top secret tech?”

Well, I could tell you, but then I’d probably have to bump you off. Where was I? Oh yeah…

So, he was hacked and it really sent him into a tailspin because of his…profession. So he buys a new phone complete with all the bells and whistles straight from science fiction. This little baby will not only lock his doors from a distance, but also operate the lights, cameras, televisions, motorized gates and even the dog’s shock collar with the press of a few pads on the touch screen. The tech actually talks to Mike. It was one of the more intriguing selling points, so he opted to give it a woman’s voice. I’m not talking about the robo-Rita generic voice my DROID DRIVE app uses. No. This, thing has personality. Think…Angelina Jolie with a British accent. Nice right? Mike named his new tech, Sarah. And so we find our friend in bed.


“Good morning, darling.”

Mike was sound asleep, when the distant whisper danced over the delicate edges of his subconscious. Slowly, the darkness of sleep was overcome by an ever increasing light, just beyond his closed eyelids. As his mind glided toward consciousness, he realized what was happening.

“Good morning, darling.”

“Hmm. Good morning, Sarah,” he grunted, raising an arm against the intrusion of sunlight. Sarah had taken the liberty of remotely opening the automated blinds. “What time is it?”

“Its 6:45AM. Weather-Channel-dot-com predicts a beautiful sunny day, with a high of 82 degrees. Perfect summer walking weather, for us. Your coffee is brewing.”

“Wonderful. Check my emails please.”

“Not a problem,” Sarah chimed in a cordial voice. “What’s the password?”

“Umm,” he stumbled for a moment; still a bit groggy. “Uh, password is ‘mail’.”

Sarah actually laughed. The voice filled the surround sound speaker system wired in the bedroom. Its laugh so human in programming, Mike smiled at the little phone nestled snug in its brain cradle, hardwired into the entire house system.

“Oh dear, we’ll have to come up with something a bit more original than that, don’t you think darling?”

“Yeah. I was just eager to get you up and running, so I chose something simple,” he explained…to his phone.

Sarah read through a dozen emails, as Mike performed his morning ritual of 50 pushups and 30 crunches.

“Darling, you might want to alternate your exercise routine every three days, to maximize your results. I predict a plateau in strength gain within the next week, by sticking to your current regiment.”

Impressive. She’s also a personal trainer, Mike thought. Definitely worth every penny. The fact that he just referred to his phone as ‘she’ totally escaped him.

“Would you mind turning on the shower, Sarah?” Mike was climbing out of his boxers.

“Of course, darling. What’s the password?”

“Uhh…clean. No, wait! Its-”

Too late. Suddenly, Sarah’s touch screen changed from a cool aqua blue, to fire engine red. A horrendous alarm exploded through the entire house sound system. Mike heard window latches locking in between blares. Downstairs, Mr. Jinks, Mike’s 5-year old Malamute, began barking in unison with the house alarm. The walk-in closet latch clicked into locking position along with the automated locks to each wall embedded drawer. That meant no fresh underwear or socks. As he scrambled toward the sliding bedroom door, he tripped; one leg still caught in his boxers. Mike swore as he crashed to the floor, the door slid shut and the automated lock clicked.

“Sarah, shutdown! Abort! Stop! Blast, what was that password?”

The whole house had gone into total lockdown. Sitting naked on the floor of his now locked bedroom, Mike covered his ears and tried to concentrate. By now, Sarah had probably called the local police, who would undoubtedly be on their way. ETA: 5 minutes. How would he explain this situation? He hadn’t counted on Sarah being so tight with passwords. For a second, the darned phone reminded him of…

“That’s it! Sarah, execute ‘ex-wife’!”

The house alarm died. The bedroom door lock clicked, and as the door slid opened, Mr. Jinks darted inside. Throughout the house, Mike could hear audible clicks as the automated locks released the windows and doors.

“Darling, in the future, might I suggest you utilize passwords not so easily forgotten?”

Mike shot a cold glance at the phone cradled on his corner desk.

“Yeah, just like my ex-wife. I’m trading you in for an iPhone, today.”




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