Friday, November 17, 2017

Private parts


"Bubzy, come here immediately! All is lost, my reputation is in shreds!". I went charging towards the wailing sounds emanating from under the bedroom door. Beyond the door was Sid staring at the computer screen, with his mouth wide open and his coffee mug dangling precariously from his pinky. On the screen, I saw a familiar bald head gleaming to perfection. South of said head was a well oiled muscular body enrobed in what could only be described as a lion cloth (it was a beige lion's mane'ish shaggy piece of cloth to gird the loins). One leg was perched at ninety degrees atop a small table. A single red rose was positioned between the model's lips, which were smiling rakishly at the camera while the eyes said "Come hither". I kept staring at it. "Bubz, it is me!". I looked at him and back at the screen, "No it's not". He snorted back, "Yes, it is you daft thing". I glared at him, he looked immediately apologetic and mumbled "Sorry, sorry. But it's me, love. What do I do?!"

I reassured him that though it was definitely the face that we all knew at home and loved very much, it was obvious that the body and other bits were fictitious. He looked confused, "Yes, I know it's not mine, but how will the others who see it know that it is not me". I could see I was treading on sensitive ground here. "Well, isn't it obvious? It's rather bulky don't you think?" He puffed himself up to blow fish proportions and hissed "What do you mean?". I hurriedly proceeded, "Well the legs for example. I think I recognize them from sculptures of Greek heroes, you know like the calves have inhaled a grape fruit?" My explanation didn't help as he looked absolutely livid, "Are you saying I don't have grapefruit legs? I have great legs". I tried to make up for my tactless ways with a soothing "Of course love, of course. Wonderful legs. Strong and all. Great physique. But anyone who has seen you in shorts, which is everyone, will know that the legs in the picture are really no match on yours". He looked at me suspiciously, trying to figure out if there was more to my ambiguous remarks, but decided to whistle on. "But bubz, it is out on the world wide web now! Someone has hacked my Facebook account and put this as my profile pic. I now have friend requests from at least 50 women, at least 85 men, and a fur label, which sent me a message asking if I would model their line of products!"

I was quite amused by the whole thing, but decided to be more supportive. "Just put in a complaint with Facebook, and in the meantime stop sharing your contact details with every single person, store, restaurant and app you come across". He stared indignantly at me, "I NEVER! How dare you? I am as private as they come". I rolled my eyes and reminded him that he had given his details out to the person on the street doing a survey at the traffic signal last week. "He said I could win a Mercedes Benz! Or a personalized coffee mug"! I went on to remind him that he had filled in a feedback card at a restaurant with not just his name, but his mobile phone number, the landline for backup, his email address and a backup email address, as well as a note on all his social media handles where they could message him in case he didn't respond at any of the above. "Bubz, we could get called in for their events and specials and a free drink on my birthday!" He obviously wasn't getting where I was going. "And what about the Game of Thrones quiz you were taking on Facebook the other day. You do know they take all your details if you agree to do the quiz?" He snorted, "It revealed that I was just like Cersei! It's good to understand your inner self. You should try it!" I reminded him that he didn't even watch Game of Thrones, to which he didn't care to respond.

I held on to the little patience I had left. "All I'm saying is most of most of us don't think too much
about giving away our details. Now we have all these groups fighting for our right to privacy, whereas most of us don't even realize how lightly we take that right. In India, we don't understand the concept of privacy at all! Hell, if I told my parents that they couldn't come in my room as a kid because it was my private space or they couldn't go through my things because they were private, they would have just laughed and kept going through my things. And as adults we still don't think too much about divulging too much. Now think! Did you leave your password lying around anywhere or mention it to anyone?" He looked uncomfortable. "Well, not exactly. I didn't leave it around. I may have written it down in a form". I looked aghast. "Are you nuts? Why would you write your password down in a form?" He looked even more shifty eyed, "Well actually, I found a form slipped under the front door. It said I could win a trip to a "foreign place" if I filled in the details. You had to include your password as well if you wanted to win." I couldn't believe the twit. "And you didn't think this was even the slightest bit suspicious. "Foreign place", "need your social media passwords"? He drew himself up to full height and said n"Well of course I took the necessary precautions. I photocopied the filled out form, just so that later they couldn't say I didn't provide all the details and disqualify me. See!" I looked at the black and white copy he fished out of the drawer, which was a handwritten form in block letters interspersed with Sid's confident scrawl. I looked closely at the corners. There were some smudgy bits. I examined it more closely and looked at Sid. "Don't these look familiar to you? Like perhaps a certain lion's paw, or rather the paw marks of a shaggy brown dog that has baby lion paws".

He stared at the page. Mixed emotions swept over his face - betrayal, bitterness, anger, grief, a flash of a smile, and then a bellow "Miaaa! Come here at once! I should have known when I found a stash of a "Hacker's Guide to the Galaxy" shoved under her mattress. That dog is going back on the streets!" He charged off to find her while I scrolled through more pictures on his account, each more ridiculous than the next. Mia may have hacking skills, but her Photoshop abilities needed some work! Sounds of arguing emanated from the next room "What do you mean you can't tell me anything because it's your private business. There is no such thing as privacy you hear me. You unhack my account you mongrel! Bubz, bubz come here, she is chewing all the evidence!" I decided to go help him before more of his private parts were made public!