The Post Where We Probe Deeper Into My Irrational Fear of Web Cams, Complete With an Extra Dose of Crazysauce

When I was a child, I got this green dinosaur bank from Wendy’s in a Happy Meal (or whatever they call their child meal there). It was turquoisy (totally a word) and had a weird little blond girl riding it, dressed like a cave child.

The dinosaur had these weird, overly protuberant eyes. Frankly, they disturbed me a little bit the first time that I saw the toy… bank… whatever (because can you really call a bank a toy?).

Here is where I have to note that, when I was a child, I was a major pack rat. I mean, it was bad. You know how most kids worry about a monster hiding under their bed? Yeah, I knew there was no way in HELL anything could fit under there, since I kept it crammed wall-to-wall with the world’s most random crap.

Therefore, I kept the creepy little bank. For a ridiculously long period of time. I was always torn in regards to it. On the one hand, it was a dinosaur, and man, I frickin’ loved dinosaurs. But, on the other hand… it was motherfucking disturbing.

Those eyes… *shudders*

After a while, I started to get über paranoid in regards to it. I started to think it was watching me. All the time. While it creeped me out a little, I could deal with it.

Except when I was changing. There is nothing weirder than thinking a bug-eyed plastic dinosaur is watching you get naked. It got to the point that, when I would get ready for school, I’d calmly turn the little dinosaur bank around so that he was facing the wall (why I didn’t just leave it facing the wall is a result of another piece of the crazy that is me which we’ll detail at a later date).

The day I got rid of it was an amazing day (after the gut-wrenching dear-God-don’t-make-me-throw-something-away reflex subsided, that is).

I also think it’s fitting that I have spent the last ten minutes Googling anything that might bring up a hit on that dinosaur bank, because I wanted to include a picture… I’m now convinced that it never existed except in that insane head of mine. Which makes its traumatizing effect so much weirder.

Anyway, I threw the dinosaur bank away. I grew up. One would think I would outgrow the crazy.

One would not know me very well, then.

It only got worse.

I cannot have pictures of people hanging on my wall. Or sitting in a frame. Or basically anywhere visible. When it comes up in conversation, I like to contribute this to my preference for simplicity in decorating, which I do prefer, but the real reason is that I get uncomfortable when anything with eyes is used in decor.

But even more ridiculous is my irrational fear that someone has hacked the web cam on my computer and is watching me through it. Which is like a blend of the aforementioned fear of being watched by inanimate objects and my narcissism.

Because, seriously, why would anyone hack my web cam? I’m not important… except in my own head, where I’m very fucking important indeed.

I leave my computer open all the time. And then I tend to do all kinds of ridiculous thing in its sights. Like get naked. Or dance… badly. Or get naked while dancing badly. Or any number of masturbatory endeavors. Or painting my toenails (I don’t like anyone actually seeing that I do girly things). Or crying while listening to Alanis Morissette (another woman in desperate need of ice cream).

I’m just kidding about the latter- not the crying part, but the Alanis part. Fix You or Hallelujah (and no, I don’t think Jeff Buckley’s version is best, so suck it), on the other hand, are totally candidates for a sob-fest.

And while this is a totally irrational fear because of how unimportant I am to the hackers of the world… it’s not irrational to think that my web cam could be hacked. Because that is actually pretty fucking simple. All you need is the right software. Or to use a virus to weaken and infiltrate your system. They don’t even need direct access to your computer to do it!

Curse you, hackers. CURSE YOU!

Now, you should be able to tell if your web cam is hacked (if you aren’t a complete idiot) because the little light that indicates it is on will, fancy that, be ON. I maintain that, if hackers can fucking remotely access my web cam, they can figure out a way to not make that little green light come on.

I know I could just cover the camera with opaque tape or a piece of paper or something, but I’m too anal about Ghiert’s appearance for that.

I’m a shallow, shallow person. Even my inner crazy cannot overcome that.

My weird preoccupation with the status of my web cam only got worse this February, when I saw that news story about the school that spied on a kid through his Macbook’s camera. It made me even more mistrustful of Ghiert’s little electronic eye.

See, it’s not just the idea of some strange person watching me that has me on edge with the whole web cam thing… it’s the idea that my computer could be watching me. Observing and learning. Growing stronger in his knowledge of my habits and eventually using that knowledge to destroy me in his quest to take over the world.

I’ve always worried my computer was a Decepticon. Observe this masterful Facebook graffiti image of Ghiert 1.0 from summer of my freshman year:

Truly, I am an artist.

But it’s not just Ghiert. Oh no. It’s all computers. All watching us and learning and preparing for the motherfucking robot uprising. Which is so much more terrifying than the zombie apocalypse.

Anyway, I was thinking about all this today because I saw this article about a man who infected himself with a computer virus. He has a radio frequency chip in his wrist that allows him to open keycard-locked doors and operate his phone. Which is weird, but that’s his business. Still, he infected the chip with a virus. Then he went through a keycard-locked door. The virus passed into the door… and then infected everyone who passed through it.

Now think about that in regards to web cam hacking. Because all it takes is the right virus to hack the crap out of your web cam. And if it could be spread in a way that doesn’t involve email links or flash drives…


I know.

I’m batcrap crazy.

But that’s why you love me, galleons.

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