Monday, May 13, 2013

Fire Breathing Toaster: Your Greatest Fear Is Real

by Bill Adler

It's not being out of toilet paper in a public restroom, because you check before you seal the door.

It's not taking a date out for dinner and having your credit card declined, because you were wise enough to bring cash, just in case.

It's not renting a car and getting billed for $1,500 four months later for damage, because you took pictures of the rental car first.

It's not even coming to the office one day and being fired, because it rarely happens unexpectedly.

No, your greatest fear is very real and true: Everyone else can do captchas on the first go-round. It's just you who is dazed and stunned by them, as if somebody thrust a Cyrillic crossword puzzle in front of you and told you, "solve this in a minute or die."

Those letters mixed in with random ink smudges; those letters that look like they were written by somebody in the middle of an earthquake; those letters that pretend that they're numbers -- they're simple to interpret. An r is an r and and e's an e. What's the problem? The are-you-a-human? captcha test is easy as pie for everyone else. Even people who are learning English find it easy. Even cats find it easy. It's just you.

But you can take comfort in the fact that there's something that you do well, even if you fail at captchas. You can open a soda can without liquid spraying all over. You can accurately program your DVR to record shows. You can remember where you put your keys all the time.

So please don't feel embarrassed or ashamed just because everyone else can solve captchas in less time than it takes to hit the snooze button on an alarm clock, but you can't.


Bill Adler is the co-publisher of the Cleveland Park Listserv, He is the author of "Boys and Their Toys: Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relationship with Gadgets," and "Outwitting Squirrels," He tweets at @billadler. Fire Breathing Toaster is published on Mondays.

1 comment:

  1. The cat can do it just by hocking a hairball on the right keys.

    Ah... to be able to produce a hairball on demand... *sigh*