Blog Archives


Sometimes I feel like the universe is trying to speak to me, and I am just too dense to figure out what it was trying to say.  I am not a huge believer in coincidence, so when randomly uncanny events occur, I try to translate them into the complicated messages that I am certain they are meant to convey. For example, my recent experience with Captcha on another person’s blog.   You know Captcha, right?  It’s that annoying spam buster you have probably encountered on Ticketmaster or some such website where you have to type in the words in the box. I hate that thing.  Half the time it doesn’t use real words, and it distorts the letters so that I am squinting and trying to turn the monitor upside to figure out what it says.  It probably doesn’t help that I need reading glasses and refuse to buy them.  When I do finally type in some letters, it usually tells me that I typed in the wrong letters.

This is the kind of Captcha that usually challenges me to a duel. One time, I lost tickets to a concert on Ticketmaster because I couldn't key in the right Captcha in the time limit. That was the moment I declared war on Captcha. photo credit: Stephen Rees via photo pin cc

The other day, though, I was commenting on someone’s blog, and when the Captcha came up, I paused in disbelief.  The Captcha had actually produced a word I knew quite well – the name of our bulldog, Wonderbutt. Believe it or not, Wonderbutt is not our dog’s true name.  And that is not what Captcha offered up this time.  Like some weird digital Carnac the Magnificent, this automated gadget that is supposed to weed out other automated gadgets randomly spit out the rather unusual moniker (yes, more unusual than Wonderbutt) that we have assigned to our beloved but destructive pet.

“What does this mean?” I asked myself.  Then I called in my daughter as a witness.  She did not find it particularly miraculous that Captcha spit out the name of our dog.  She is young, and has not yet had the pleasure of battling with Captcha on a daily basis.

I took a screen shot of the window, and then spent another 15 minutes trying to determine how this was supposed to effect the rest of my life.  (The other “word”, by the way, was “istrappl”.  Not any help.)  Finally, I submitted my blog comment.

After days of dwelling on this, I think that I now have it all figured out.  The mind behind Captcha is making it personal.  She is saying, “I’m not just here to annoy you.  I know everything about you.  And the next time you pound those letters on the keyboard, cussing me out for slowing you down, your precious dog will swirl away into oblivion – just like these letters. I’ll get you, my pretty, and your somewhat rotund dog too.”

Yep.  Captcha is the Wicked Witch of the West.    Next time she messes with me, a little bucket of water should take care of matters.

%d bloggers like this: