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When Secret Codes are USELESS

Normally, secret codes are awesome and exceptionally useful.My family has used codes forever. I have friends from middle school who still have their membership ID cards from all the secret clubs I invented…that I can’t tell you about, because they’re all SECRET.

You had some too. I know you did. Maybe you still do. Don’t tell me. It’s okay.

My parents have a secret code between them that they use at parties. Like me, EVERYONE knows my dad. And like me, Dad is horrible with remembering names sometimes. If Dad remembers the person, he’ll go up and say, “Hi, Daniel! You remember my wife, Marcy?” If Dad does not remember the name of the person, he’ll simply go up and say hello. This is the cue for Mom to walk up and say, “George is so rude. Hello, I’m Marcy. And you are…?”

It’s a brilliant strategy. Feel free to adopt it. You’re welcome.

People have all sorts of secret codes with their friends. And lovers. And agents.Some are spoken. Some are not. Some are there to let the other person know there’s an intruder in your house. Some are there to let the other person know if you’re being forced to do something against your will. Some are there to protect the innocent. Some are there to not bring attention to the guilty.

And then social networking comes along, where people start coming up with all sorts of secret codes so that they can communicate with their close circle of friends in public without having to write a mass email in which you inevitably forget someone. I have one of these codes. I instituted it almost two years ago, when a certain event was set in motion. If and when I was ever notified that said certain event ever came to fruition, I was going to post a particular word on Facebook and Twitter: UNICORN.

I posted the word this morning. Apart from a few humorous comments on Facebook, no one has said a thing. NO ONE. I called  Gypsy this morning.

Princess: Did you see my tweet this morning?
Gypsy: Um…I think so…
Princess: The one that said “unicorn?”
Gypsy: Oh, right. Yeah, I did.
Princess: Do you remember what that means?
Gypsy: Hold on. I’m thinking. “Unicorn” means something to B…
Princess: No, not that one.
Gypsy: The hippie and I have our own meaning for it…
Princess: *sigh* Obviously not that. MY unicorn. The original one. Before yours, before B’s. You really don’t remember?
Gypsy: Nope. Sorry, hon.

You know, I miss the days without smart phones and Google and social networking. I miss the days of secret club ID cards laminated in clear shelf paper. I miss the days when alphabetizing the periodic table to pass secret notes in class was a cool thing. I miss picking blackberries and lying in a field for hours looking for four-leaf clovers. I miss when people weren’t so distracted by a sensory-overloaded ADD world so much that they actually remembered things.

It’s a cool, crisp day today. I’m going to go find a field to run barefoot in. If any of you chuckleheads end up remembering why UNICORN is important, give me a call.

Until then, your ID card is officially revoked!!! :-p

5 Responses to “When Secret Codes are USELESS”

  1. DavidT Says:

    This is why I like gpg/pgp encryption. It’s like a secret code without having to personally remember the code key. Unfortunately, the sender has to explicitly encrypt the message using the receivers’ public-keys, so it’s just as easy to forget someone as when using email (and email is often the primary means of distribution, but a message could be posted to a webpage easily enough). You also have to teach the recipients how to use gpg.

  2. Princess Alethea Says:

    …or they could just remember what “unicorn” was supposed to mean.

  3. Gypsy Says:

    i love you!!!

  4. Dad Says:

    There’s another one that works: Whenever Mom and I are ready to leave any kind of event–one of us will say “‘N tayon” That is Ilocano, a Philippine dialect and simply means “let’s go.” Few know Ilocano,including us, so everybody else is clueless.

  5. Princess Alethea Says:

    My favorite is when it turns into “N’tayamos”. And then NO ONE knows what the heck is going on.

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