Or maybe when I went to K-Mart wearing two entirely different shoes.
Without going into all the boring details, I need information to complete a task. It's nothing secretive, sensitive or even exciting really. But I still need the info. And the system I access to get it has been banned to me.
Locked down, in fact.
A full, "Flashing Warning, Call the Brute Squad, None Shall Pass" has gone into effect.
Because it appears the coincidental similarity between Yours Truly and a completely incompetent yet very persistent hacker is only the difference in that I won't try to blackmail myself with my own data-- if I ever get my grubby hands on it.
Yes, I caused the system to go into Red Alert Whooping Siren Lockdown Mode. And all because I couldn't remember my password.
It was one of those systems that feels that because a whole lunar cycle has passed and the planets are aligned differently and it's a month with an R in it, the password must be changed.
Every time I log on, they make me change the password. And every time I withdraw it from the lock-box in the windmill of my mind and get the information I need.
Until this time.
So I spent the better part of an hour trying to think what I would have called it if I were me.
Which, of course, I am most of the time. But I wasn't forthcoming.
Not to be deterred, I chose the option for "Forgot my password." This, I thought, would be my salvation.
But in the tradition of Sphinxes, and trolls under bridges, and Alex Trebek, the system decided that it would be a whole lot more fun to pose me an impossible riddle:
"What is your spouse's maiden name?"
"You're kidding right?" I asked it.
But it assured me, it was in a very serious font and meant business.
"But I'm not a man. Or gay. Or married," I shouted at it.
It didn't care about my personal life. It just wanted the answer.
"Couldn't you have just asked me what's the meaning of life and been done with it?"
"Cliché," it thought dismissively.
So I started guessing. Maybe it was my own last name.
Maybe I'd misread it when filling it out originally, and it was my mother's maiden name.
Maybe I'd left it blank.
It was having none of that. It just laughed.
I started putting down the last names of actors I liked, in an embarrassing, increasing panic.
"We are a computer system, we are not Entertainment Weekly," it informed me.
And then, having toyed with me to its satisfaction, it locked me out. No phone number for assistance. No support line. It told me to have a think about what I'd done here today, cool off for 24 hours, and come back to try in a second time.
They'd be waiting.
Oh... they'd be waiting.
I guess I should feel lucky, though. Trolls, sphinxes and Alex Trebek aren't so much into the second chances.