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When I received an email from The Mom that was utterly devoid of the sort of panic she’s keen on in stressful situations – like transiting through a large international airport with an array of flapping shopping bags, or anything Wolf Blitzer wants to talk about – and was signed with her first name (she only ever signs off emails to me with Love, Mom) I knew something was afoot.

Immediately, I emailed her to inform her that her email had been hacked and she would thus need to change her password. In fact, I think I helpfully pointed out that Crazy D, now back from his work sojourn up north hiding out from hunters, would need to change her password. I didn’t even for one moment consider that she would be in charge of what I assumed would be a painful and time-consuming project which would lead to creative and inventive swearing.

When I read the email initially, for a brief moment, I considered that it actually might be true. Who’s to say that she didn’t just walk out the door, go to the airport and ask for the next direct flight to wherever? When we were kids and being particularly loathsome, she often threatened to walk out the front door and never come back, and, bright stars that we were, we knew enough to not test her on this. So I considered that she might be in some random country, hard up for cash and in need of assistance.

And then I remembered who I was thinking about. Should anything – knock wood it never does – happen to The Mom there would be a flurry of tense and panicky text messages from Crazy D and L’il Sis. There might even be a phone call (though they both know I don’t answer the phone, in fact, as a family we tend not to answer any phones) if things are Really Bad.

What also alerted me to the fact that this email had to be fake was that, should The Mom be in dire circumstances, her email would’ve been rife with curse words. As a family, our swearing can reach impressive highs under pressure.

So I emailed The Mom to let her know. And about an hour later I got an email to several other people too wherein she announced that all was well and that she’d been hacked. So I replied. And nothing. Crickets. I emailed her again. And same result.

So I imagined what might be happening back home.

The Mom was probably shouting from her office computer station. “How do I change my password?”

I assumed that only one of my siblings would be home and not within earshot.

“Hello? A little help up here please!”

A few minutes would’ve passed.

“What?” Crazy D would’ve said from the kitchen, taking his headphones off.

“My email was hacked!” The Mom would’ve screeched, her tone rife with indignation. This is a personal affront more than anything.

Crazy D would’ve come upstairs and tried to change the password. This would have required The Mom to know her original password – tricky as there are a lot of them and who can remember them all?

Crazy D would’ve tried the usual passwords, none of which would’ve worked before she got completely locked out.

In a subdued tech rage, he would’ve decided it was just easier to make her a new email address. Which he did. And The Mom dutifully sent out an email saying that all was well. She neglected to mention that she was now to be reached on a new address.

So after several emails that went unanswered, I took the rash decision to make an international phone call. She said she had a new email address and didn’t understand why I didn’t get it, thus igniting more thoughts of another email being hacked. And so I had to explain the process of writing out the new email address. Boring details, but either way, a farce of epic proportions.

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