Tuesday, 18 October 2011

In disarray

Palimpsest has lost all sense of routine and habit, dear Readers. The regularity of the weekly posts has been thrown out of the window, as the expression goes. Palimpsest and its trading section, Inklinks, and Mrs Palimpsest's family as well, have moved house. "I can't be very coherent (we are breaking up our household here, now reduced really to complete disarray and I'm writing with a fountain pen I'm not yet used to.") Well, I'm actually marking cardboard boxes with a WHSmith marker to be exact.

-"You have to choose to answer two security questions for future checks", said the lady in HM Customs where I called to notify them of my change of address. 
-OK. 
-Where were you born?
-That's easy, I'll remember the answer to that. 
-Right. Second one."What is your favourite animal?" 
-Hmm, many. Can I choose another one? 
-Certainly. "What is your main hobby?"
-Um, I don't know. I don't really have a main hobby. Another one?
-"What was your favourite pastime as a child?"
-What? I don't remember. What is that? What happened to "mother's maiden name" as a security question?
-Oh, we don't do "maiden name" anymore, it is too obvious.
-Well, if I give you my mum's maiden name you'll have a hard time writing it down.
-Yes, but we don't do maiden names anymore. Look, I run out of questions. Just leave it and next time you call the system would have generated some more.

I'm sure that by the time I move again (and I hope it won't be very soon) the System would have devised even more interesting security questions for me to ponder on. "What is your favourite ink" or "What's the best writing instrument you've ever written with" or more likely "When did you buy your first iPad?" And I wouldn't be able to give one definite answer to those either.

I'm no good with giving one definite answer. I don't have "best" films and "favourite" colours and I like many inks. And by the time you ask I'll have different ones. I'm in disarray.

12 comments:

  1. Just as well you're not an adoptee too!!!Then you really would be in disarrary over mother's name!!And place of birth!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I learned of "authentication" questions when I was in the military years ago. Pilots were asked their favorite food, etc. Somehow I think it's sort of rotten to see "authentication" intrude into ordinary life, but I suppose there's good reason for it.

    Anyway, have a good move. Looking forward to your next post when you're settled in.

    Jack/Ohio USA

    ReplyDelete
  3. I forgot the questions for HMRC and had to attend an interview to prove I'm me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Exactly! "What was yr favourite pastime as a child?" - "Reading. No, wait. War games. No, cycling, it was cycling". *fail*

    ReplyDelete
  5. Might I suggest Walter Benjamin's 'Unpacking My Library' for comfort?:

    http://townsendlab.berkeley.edu/sites/all/files/Benjamin%20Unpacking%20My%20Library.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ignore my last comment: I can see from Twitter that you've taken refuge in Barthes' Camera Lucida (which, coincidentally, I've been rereading this week). Everything that we need is in there and in the Mourning Diary

    ReplyDelete
  7. But I shall read Mr Benjamin's Unpacking too. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Polycarpist, I just took a quick glance at your blog. I like it. Somebody's got to do the world's heavy lifting, bro'.:)

    Jack/Ohio USA

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't think you really have to answer the authentication questions with correct answers, just answers that you will remember when you need to answer them again that won't be easily guessed by someone else.

    ReplyDelete
  10. But that's the point! I *won't* remember the answers!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous, take this as an observation, not a criticism. I'm trying to imagine real persons confirming genuine identities by offering fake answers to questions posed by government officials for some security reasons. Well, I can't really do it. Most people I know feel uneasy about offering up straightforward truth under official questioning.

    Jack/Ohio USA

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fine here lots of writing pen with different-2 Varity and its unique style in a affordable price. We are one of major supplier of Fine Writing Instruments

    ReplyDelete