Relatively Speaking: I remember when hacking was just about phlegm


Does anyone remember when a hack was something we did to remove phlegm from our lungs after a nasty chest cold?

I remember those days with sweet fondness. That was back when hacking was ridding yourself of a virus. But today, getting hacked has a whole new meaning. No longer is it the satisfying production of bodily juices, it is the irritating experience of having your identity stolen, your social media accounts cloned, your credit cards compromised, and a plethora of other things that can make hacking up a loogie look like day at Disney Land.

“Honey,” I said to the wife, “did you just charge $479.29 for a Brazilian Jujitsu self-defense dojo membership?”

“Yes, Dear. Hope you don’t mind I used your credit card. I figured you’d want me to be safe.”


“Of course I’m kidding you! I did not charge anything to your credit card. I think you’ve been hacked,” she said seemingly unconcerned about my mental health.

So, I canceled my credit card, totally disgusted with humanity.

“Honey,” the wife said two days later, “Did you charge $67.99 for men’s adult diapers on our joint credit card? Are you having a problem I should know about?”

“I did not buy adult diapers. Are you serious? Someone charged adult diapers?”

“Look right here on my laptop, there’s our account and there’s the charge.

Honey, if you’re having a problem you don’t have to hide it from me. I do your laundry, remember?”

“I don’t have a problem! We’ve been hacked again! I can’t believe it! Twice in two days! I hate this! It is so darn infuriating being violated like this!”

“Now, don’t go getting your adult diapers up in a bunch. I’ll call the credit card company, cancel our card, and get this all straightened out.”

We forget how dependent we have become on our credit and debit cards. Most people don’t even carry cash anymore. We’ve become this plastic society at the mercy of those evil-doers who want free stuff at our expense!

Four days later the wife asked me, “Did you use my credit card to order a Mr. Stinky bathroom companion for $24.99?”

“No, but it sounds really awesome!” I said.

“DARN IT!” the wife shouted. “Someone used my credit card number. What is going on? I’ll have to cancel another credit card.”

So, there we were. All three of our credit cards were hacked and canceled in the matter of two weeks.

“Oh, my Garsh!” I realized. “We have no way to pay for anything for the next 5-7 business days. We are destitute, cardless, without credit! Whatever will we do?

“We could use cash, Dear,” the wife suggested.

“People don’t know what to do with cash anymore,” I said. “Maybe we should just stay home for the next week and survive on the snacks under the couch cushions. I sure miss the times when hacking was all about phlegm. But you know what? When we get our new credit cards, I think I’m going to order that Mr. Stinky bathroom companion. That seriously sounds like a must-have!”

Raul Ascunce is a freelance columnist for the Sentinel-Tribune. He may be contacted at [email protected].

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