We Deeply Regret That This Incident Occurred

Got some cool mail today. Real cool mail. It starts out kind of exciting, right? Like, it’s almost like the hacker TARGETED ME SPECIFICALLY. If this was a movie, I would drop the letter, look into the distance, my eyes narrowing, and say, barely audible: “Mike Dang.”

But. They go on to say it wasn’t just me, it was a bunch of people, blahblahblah, they are giving me one free year of credit monitoring if I want. Which, I do not want. Let me tell you why.

I lost my license for a few weeks. It ended up being under my bed. But for a few weeks, I didn’t know that, and thought maybe it was gone. (I only got carded twice during those two weeks, once at a bar and when I said I didn’t have it, she said, basically, she was just carding me to be nice anyway, she knew I was obviously over 21, and the second time was when I used my debit card as a credit card and the girl was like, I.D.? And I was like, I don’t have it, and she was like, OK whatever.) I also can’t find my passport (not under bed).

So my first thoughts when I noticed these 2 forms of identification gone were of bureaucracy: How am I going to get a new license and new passport? The passport is going to be a million dollars and I’ll probably never leave the country again anyway, this clinches it. I’d have to get the license first. But it’s Oregon, and how would I do that? I’d have to lie about still living there, is that fraud? Is that the kind of fraud that they now can put you in jail for because, hey, that sounds like something a terrorist would do: say they live one place instead of another? Our post-9/11 world, you know, everyone is a suspect. Okay, so maybe I go back to Oregon, “move in” with my friend Jill, all in good conscience, you know, “Hi everyone I’m ‘moving back’” wink wink nudge nudge, then go to the DMV get a new license, not lying, I really am moving here, and then after a few days everything falls apart, but obviously not until I have my license in hand. As for the passport —

That was a enough of that thinking, much more fun to think about where my license and passport went, where could they be. Obviously lifted by a professional, either to be sold on the black market or used for herself. So then I’m thinking, okay. Fine. Okay. Someone shows up in Belgrade using my name and stays in a 2000 euro a night hotel, using a credit card they took out in my name — they’d have to fake it, I’m not good for that much credit anymore, totally worthless as a mark–but disregarding all that, what if I do get that phone call, or the next time I check my Free Credit Report Dot Com, see that I have all these credit cards out in my name, car loans, mortgages? Am I upset? How upset? Should I be worried that a spy of unknown allegiance has my identity?

No. I’m not upset. I have no pristine score to ruin. Never going to buy a house. Not getting a car loan ever again. It doesn’t matter. Can they put you in Gitmo if your credit report gets taken over by bad guys? Maybe they can. Maybe they can. But I’m not going to live my life worried about that.

I guess that’s why people sign up for credit monitoring, so they know when to be worried about that. But I’d rather have it be a surprise. Theatrical. A knock a 4 a.m., you know, the whole drama. Plus I’ve signed up for that credit monitoring thing before, you know, and I forgot to cancel. Cost me big time. (Cost me $35.90.)

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