Picking a password is easy. Really easy. All you have to do is turn your arms upside down, shut your eyes, raise your chin up to the ceiling and slap at the keyboard with your knuckles three times.
Whatever appears on the screen can be both your new password and, if you are expecting, your child’s name as well. Like Jsdowjfei4obyh8.w
It’s okay. A Ugandan child’s name isn’t that important these days. It is hardly ever used. The first couple of years the kid will be referred to by a cute endearment like “kabiskwiti”. Then for the school years the child will have a school nickname, like “Ragzo”. Then soon after graduation, in the twenties (aka fake adulthood) the child will be known by their social media handle, blog name or stage name, like “Spiker”. By the time they are above twenty five and are finally real human beings, they should have earned enough respect to be referred to by surname and honorific. Eg. Mister Bazanye.
No one has used my name Ernest since 2011.
We were talking about passwords:
But first a word from our sponsors:
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The problem is not generating the password, it is remembering the gibberish. See, the days of picking a password you can easily remember are gone– we got rid of them when hackers, phishers, and other deviants started attacking random Ugandans and stealing our email and social media accounts. You have heard the stories, unless it has happened to you. You suddenly get messages from someone claiming to be Lynda Kyomuhendo, saying she is stuck in Lagos and needs you to Western Union several hundred thousand shillings to her so she can get a plane back.
Except you know it is not Lynda Kyomuhendo because Lynda Kyomuhendo is not trapped in Lagos. She is in the bathroom. She just left the bed a minute ago and you are so addicted to your phone that the moment she was out of sight, you grabbed your phone to check notifications. You are such an addict that you check your mail in between bouts of fornication even though that is so weird and just nasty and a really bad habit. Please stop doing that. There are times for phones and times to leave the phone alone. If you need a list here is one.
Do not touch your phone:
- When you are naked because you are in the toilet doing the one which takes long. Don’t even look at my whatsapp DP in that state, much less communicate with me. My DP will smell the circumstances and I will mute you.
- When you are naked because you are in between bouts of lovemaking, or (since this is Kampala and many of you are, frankly, unloveable trash) ordinary fucking. Don’t weird things between us by chatting with me while you have been doing those nasty freak things you do. Come on. Have some class.
- When you are driving. Because obvious reasons. Don’t text and drive.
Now, let me tell you a story.
There was this guy we used to work with. He was a despicable human being: utterly, irredeemably horrible. The scum of the earth would go “yuck!” while scraping him off their shoes with thick wads of toilet paper. He was the kind of person so rotten that his corpse would not decompose because even the bacteria would vomit him back out if they tried to eat him.
He was spiteful and snobbish and meanspirited and selfish. He was filth. He was such a bad person that if Black Lives Matter was taking place at the time we would have added a caveat: #NotAllBlacks
Okay, to be fair, he wasn’t a bad person. He was just an irritating person. But this was an office environment and in offices, the difference is very slight.
One of the least repulsive of his many aggravating habits was playing Hillsong music on his computer during work.
What? You didn’t know wicked people play Hillsong? It’s good music. Even bad people like good music.
Now, if you know the power and beauty of Hillsong music you know better than to play it on the cheap, tinny, coughing-cockroach-sounding speakers built into an early 2000s CPU unit. If you are going to play Hillsong, play Hillsong on decent speakers. Make the noise joyful. Do not take beautiful things and put them in ugly places.
Those inbuilt speakers are made for chiming the arrival of emails, or for alerting you to the crashing of Windows. If you want to play music, there was a provision for you to attach headphones. It is sacrilege to play good music on bad speakers.
The only music you are allowed to play directly from your computer is very bad music. Like Sean Fucking Kingston. If the speakers are bad enough he almost sounds as if he is on key.
So this workmate, let’s call him Sean F. Kingston because names have been changed to protect the guilty, Sean Kingston would often have to go to the lavatory during work.
This may have been a result of all the laxative herbs I would slip into his tea, soda, coffee, groundnuts or whatever he was eating or drinking after he had done something annoying. May or may not, we can’t really tell because what a man does in the lavatory is his business and his business alone.
For all we know Sean may not have been going there to release shit. He may have been going there to replenish his soul with more shit to spew at his colleagues because, as I may have mentioned, he was a really shitty person.
He was odious, malignant and vile. He was the kind of person who never gets malaria because he is so toxic, if a mosquito bites him, the mosquito dies.
When he was in the toilet, he would leave his Hillsong sounding awful at his cubicle. Those of us, like myself and my other colleague, who is badass like me, then decided that enough was enough. We were not going to endure this debasement of Hillsong when the perpetrator himself is not even present. So we swiveled our office chairs over to his cubicle.
My badass colleague, who I shall call Natasha Romanov, if you know you know, didn’t just swivel. She had to do that thing where you kind of row the office chair down the aisle with your bulegs while propelling yourself– I can’t describe it, but you know it. It’s hilarious to watch. Aaaah. Offices were fun sometimes.
When we got to Sean Kingston’s computer, we could not just switch off his music, because the computer had gone to screen lock. We needed his password to remove the badly-cropped photo he used as a screensaver. It was just his chest from the chin to the belly that blocked access to his screen.
Natasha, my partner in crime, asked me, “Hawkeye, we need to bypass the security protocols to gain access to the main control centre.”
If she is going to get a superhero alias, so am I.
“Roger that, ten four,” I replied in my Bruce Willis voice.
Did we have to guess his password? Was it hard? No. This is why identity theft became a thing. Due to thinking like this: “If you need a password that you can easily remember. get an easy password. Which means a password that is easy to guess.”
First we tried his name. Then we tried the name of the intern he was always sexually harassing while pretending he was being flirtatious. Then we tried “Password123” and the screen lock fell away like petals in the wake of a nuclear blast, revealing the full computer to us, open and undefended. We were free to work whatever mischief we wished to.
And so we did.
People are not born evil. People are not cats. They become evil. And not all of a sudden, it is a slippery path down to wickedness, but so seductive. We started by muting the music player, then we figured, why stop there? It was not a question. We then deleted the Hillsong files uploaded files of Limp Bizkit mp3s and renamed each of them a hillsong title and put them in the Hillsong folder.
But that was not enough.
We got into his MS Word Shortcuts and tweaked his autocorrect so every time he spelled his name it would replace the first name with “no phallus” and the second name with “frail testes”.
We got into his email and subscribed to about fourteen racist dating sites.
The road to wickedness is a seductive one. It calls you. It is nectar, it is sweet, its sukaligulu is irresistible. Those things in the previous paragraph, we did them over the course of a whole week. Over and over again.
Next thing you know you are doing what we did every time Sean Kingston would go to the lavatory. We just kept making his computer worse and worse.
It was only when I suggested typing “goatse” into his search engine and leaving it there for him to press enter that Natasha made me pause to think:
What have we become?
Warning: Those of you who found the internet here when you were born will want to type that goatse word just to see what happens. Let me save you the trouble and tell you what will happen. What will happen is that you will learn that you don’t have to know every single thing means. Don’t look up that term. Do not.
I hung my head in shame. We had turned into monsters. We had become as beasts, engorged on the flesh of our victimes.
So we stopped.
No, we didn’t undo the damage. We just stopped doing more. Cos fukkim.
Now, let us make this post informative and constructive and educational with some password safety tips. Don’t use simple passwords. Get a random phrase that no cunning workmate, let alone Ukranian phisher or hacker, will be able to guess. For example, take the seventh tweet on your TL at this moment, flip the words as if you are shuffling cards for matatu, insert digits from the last fake phone number you gave or received, and then use that password to subscribe to WordPress and get notifications every time any of your favourite bloggers posts something new.
You guys, I am not going to be chasing trends so you won’t always see me being announced on Twitter, but I will be here every Friday trying to entertain you and I will appreciate it if you would join me.
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