They Call me Tater Equis

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I didn’t think it was possible there will still websites requiring names containing 3 or more letters in violation of federal law. Especially those that are critical to maintaining both public health and patient privacy. In response, I used “XXX” as my name, while technically committing a crime by affirming my identity with it. And a porn moniker, at that.

Anyone who has seen me knows that “X” should literally be synonymous with anonymous, and not merely for a reason eponymous. (I’m proud of that sentence.)

To make matters worse, I had to choose an answer that was wrong from my credit report, one which included a name I’ve never used: Equis. For those who don’t read or speak Spanish, “Equis” is how you would spell the letter “X” if you were drinking a bottle of Dos Equis beer.

I felt a little like Ron White during his telling of “They call me tater salad.”

It’s horribly amusing that while they wouldn’t accept the simplest name possible (X, one letter), they somehow have the oral Spanish translation (“Equis”) of a name I’ve never written on anything more official than spray-painted graffiti walls. I hope they never see the art piece I did. I titled it, “Orange Paintball President.” If they have, I’ll never be able to confirm my identity again.

No doubt XXX will now magically appear on a secret government list and permanent record, one I will have to recall for no apparent reason, to confirm my identity by incorrectly confirming it.

The website is huge, doing both government and private business for millions. Heck, even the IRS named me NFN X when I had just one name, and that was years ago. “NFN” means “No First Name,” at least for the IRS. They decided that using “Arkansas Idiot” would be an obvious signal that they thought I’d lost my mind. For a while, my Arkansas state driver’s license said my legal name was “Mr. X,” because our state had barely managed to figure out that computers had to be plugged in to function.

When I got a new birth certificate, I’m inclined to think that the director of the Department of Health was tempted to stamp “Accident Report” across the top of my new Birth Certificate.

I guess this virus really did take us back several decades. I did waste several minutes attempting to navigate the website’s ‘Help,’ section. It was amusingly hidden behind an icon of a laughing troll – never a good sign. I’ll get a series of emails designed to both demoralize and belittle me, I’m sure.

I guess I deserve this.

The “X” is where you’re supposed to drop the bomb. And maps always have an “X” to show “You are here.”

I’m here.

But now I’m not sure I have a legal name.



P.S. By the time I posted this, I had already received three emails from the website, two of them completely contradicting each other and the other telling me it didn’t recognize my email as being from the planet Earth.

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