Friday, August 31, 2018

Heads we win, tails we win.

My mother-in-law is not in the best of health and is living in a care home. On her behalf, Mrs. C and I opened a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions concerning her entitlement to Attendance Allowance. One of the sections is about changes to personal circumstances that they need to know and included in the list is the following (and remember this is addressed directly to my M-I-L, not to us):

If you become incapable of managing your own affairs
This has to be a classic example of Joseph Heller's Catch-22*. For if one is not capable of managing one's affairs then one is hardly likely to be able to digest a long Government letter let alone send a reply. And if one does make a reply to say that one is not capable, this surely would be deemed proof of capability.

We aim to sidestep this conundrum by explaining that she is not capable of managing her affairs, but that we are.

* For those unfamiliar with the origin of this now well-known phrase, it was the trap that ensnared Heller's protagonist - an air force pilot in the second world war desperate to avoid going on another, extremely dangerous, mission. The only outlet was to plead insanity but since only a sane man would make such a plea, it was automatically rejected.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

The Virus On My Computer

I am so used to receiving calls from liars, claiming that there is a problem on my computer and would I kindly let them have unlimited access to it, (such as this one), that it gives me great pleasure to think up ways to baffle and irritate them. Today I made a breakthrough. The phone rang and there was the customary silence before someone with a distinctly foreign accent asked if I was the "principal user of the computer" and then, ignoring my answer, began his spiel about my computer having been hacked and being a source of viruses.

At this point I had one of those lightbulb moments. "Yes" I untruthfully replied "I am the one who hacked it and filled it full of viruses".  I was about to launch into a detailed list of some of them and the awful things that they would do his systems if he was foolish enough to attempt to connect to mine but he panicked and rang off at once. I think he might have thought that I could send a virus down the phone.

I think it not a bad idea to have a ready made list of fictitious malware that one can quote back at these people so here are a few to get going with:
  • Slicer
  • Destructo-B
  • Moneygrab
  • Bye-bye Bytes
  • Tharg triple-tested
  • Deathstrangler
  • Boaty McBoat Face
  • Atahualpa's Revenge
  • Heavy Roller
  • Krusher2018
And no doubt you can come up with some of your own. Happy inventing.