My parents didn't buy into his argument any more than I did, but they decided that my brother Stretch had a right to his own privacy and warned me to keep away. Which, of course, was like dangling a carrot in front of a rabbit and telling them not to nibble at it. It became my life's mission to break into that fort and hack through my brother's security and see just what was on the other side of those plywood doors.
It took me a while and it was certainly a lesson in patience, but after a few failed attempts which typically ended with my brother sitting on my chest and dangling a loogey in my face, I managed to sneak my way into his ten year old nirvana.
The fort itself wasn't anything special. But the bottom level was carpeted in purloined shag carpet from somebody's basement and the upper level was covered in wall to wall posters. It was an artful mix of hair bands and big naked boobs.
It was as I was staring at the biggest set of boulders I had ever seen in my young age (I was nine) I realized all the effort and the trouble I had gone through had been for naught. Sure I managed to successfully annoy my older brother but it turned out the only thing he was hiding was the fact he stole a Playboy magazine from somewhere. I don't know exactly what I thought I would find once I managed to pry my way in, but I do remember being bored silly once I was there.
After that, I never bothered to try and gain entry again. It was much more fun to watch my brother squirm as I threatened to tell on him for his choice of wall paper than it was to actually hack into his space.
This week, my fort was hacked. Except, unlike my brother, I don't have green shag carpet or pictures of playgirls on my walls. These walls are virtual and other than a few odes to Billy Ray Cyrus and Nickelback scribbled across them, they're fairly clean.
Talk about a pain in the ass, having your blog hacked. Not only was my itty bitty blog threatening to blow up the internets but I'm pretty sure my head was a mere millisecond from popping off when I was trying to clean up the joint.
I have new empathy for how my big brother must have felt when he discovered I had taken a permanent felt tip marker and scribbled moustaches on his wall of whores and drew happy faces using all the nipples staring back at me.
I've learned a lot of things during the four plus years I have been blogging, but how to fix a broken blog has not been one of them. So I did what I do best. I panicked. Then I cried. Then I cursed. Then I grabbed my big girl panties and took the bull by the horns.
It's a process yo.
Since I couldn't fix my blog, I begged the internets to do it for me. And a big fat smoochy kiss to each and everyone of you who came through for me. A bigger sloppier kiss to my web designer, Judith Shakes for putting up with my whiny ass emails and calmly telling me to pull my head out of my arse, it wasn't the end of life as I knew it. It only felt that way.
Perspective, I needed it.
While I can't tell you exactly what she did to my blog to fix the malware some hacker so very kindly decided to install when they broke into my castle, I can tell you what NOT to do.
Don't threaten to blow up your blog permanently, because hours later when your web designer does that very deed (on purpose) you may be forced to eat crow. And crow never tastes good no matter how one prepares it.
Don't call your husband in hysterics when he's in an important meeting. He's trying to keep men safe and alive and you are crying over people being re-directed to a Russian-rent-a-wife site. He may or may not roll his eyes at you and tell you to get over yourself.
Don't ignore the problem because, like the ostrich with it's head in the sand, it's still there. And Russian women are being rented by the minute while you try and rub the grit out of your eyes.
In the end, my blog survived and my sanity remains, clinging to that lone thread it normally dangles by. So no real harm I suppose. Except for all those people who were hoping to use my blog as a gateway to Russian bought happiness.
So Stretch, I know it's 25 odd years later, but I'm really sorry I hacked into your fortress. Mom and Dad were totally right when they said what goes around comes around. You can keep your shag carpet and your wall of boobs, I promise to never peek again.
In the meantime, I give you full permission to hunt down my hackers like you hunted down yours, tackle them to the grass, sit on their chest and drop off a loogey surprise right between their eyes.
What goes around and all that noise...