The Impersonator

Someone is impersonating me. This person has created a fake account using my name. They’re going around asking for money on Facebook. And worse: they’re using bad grammar.

And I just think that’s tacky.

For starters, I don’t ask for money. The last time I asked for money I was 16. I was trying to get to Miami Beach for spring break along with my friends Ed Lee and Tater Log.

We told our mothers we wanted to attend a very special Bible camp in Coconut Grove.

“Bible camp?” Tater Log’s mother remarked, doubtfully. “And does this Bible camp also have wet T-shirt contests?”

So we tried my mother next.

I asked Mama for a modest $1,200, which I thought was an honest estimate for travel expenses and gas. Mama laughed so hard she had to be calmed with buttered Saltines.

So anyway, my wife was the first to bring this Facebook scammer to my attention. She thought this person was hysterical. She located the imposter’s Facebook profile and howled with laughter.

“He isn’t even cute!” my wife announced, cackling at the computer screen. “Look at his cheap haircut and that idiot grin.”

The impersonator, as it happens, is using my actual photo. And it’s a recent photo, too, which features my current haircut and my current grin.

Moreover, it turns out this hoaxer is trying to sweet talk innocent people into giving them personal information and account passwords.

Well, let me reassure you, publicly, I do not want your passwords. I can’t even remember my own passwords, and I have thousands. In fact, remembering all my passwords has become a full-time job.

Whenever my wife and I try to watch TV, for example, our streaming service requires us to re-enter our password each time.

And since I am the tech-guy in our house, it’s up to me to remember this password. At which point I have to don reading glasses and concentrate very intently.

Then, using my remote, I painstakingly enter my password via televised keyboard. A process which requires you to look at your remote, then at the screen, then at your remote, then at the screen.

This process takes about as long to complete as earning your real estate license.

Also, my passwords are never simple. Oh, sure, at one time all my passwords were straightforward and easy to remember. But today, most services make you use phone numbers, multiple emails, and complicated letter combinations that make the U.S. nuclear launch codes look like “Fun with Dick and Jane.”

Modern passwords must also contain 24 characters, four capital letters, one symbol, one underscore, one ampersand, eight numerals, one hieroglyph, the blood of a nanny goat, and at least one reference to Proust.

The problem is, these passwords are impossible for anyone to remember. Which is why you must be careful to WRITE YOUR PASSWORD DOWN.

And please, whatever you do, write your password somewhere safe so you WON’T LOSE IT. I find that writing a new password on past-due electric bills works best.

Once you’ve gone through the agonizing process of creating your long, arduous, comical and nonsensical password, you’re almost there.

Because NOW you must enter your password without a single mistake. And good luck because you will be entering this password blindly, unable to see anything inasmuch as the characters are all represented by tiny, classified black dots.

But if you’ve been patient and diligent, congratulations. You’ve finished half the battle.

After entering your new password you will be greeted with a cheerful notification informing you that (a) your password is incorrect, (b) there are no accounts associated with your email, and (c) your account has been locked due to too many password attempts.

So believe me, I don’t want your password. I don’t want your personal information. And I don’t want your money, either.

Unless, of course, you’re offering to send me to Miami Beach.

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