Fahrenheit 52


Tonight was the night. Penny and Serg were going to finally watch the movie everyone was talking about.

"I can't remember the last time we did this," said Penny. "Watched a movie. It's kinda exciting. Aren't you glad we don't have to commit to a whole series?"

"Yeah. Where's the clicker?" Serg placed two cups of water on the reclaimed redwood coffee table he made at a quarterly team-building event two years ago, the last time he'd seen anyone from work in person.

"I don't know. The couch?"

"I thought I saw you holding it this morning."

Penny looked at Serg - he knew what that look meant.

"Right," said Serg. "Oh! I think I left it charging on your desk. It was being weird." He jumped up and ran over to the next room. "Got it. Do you know which app it's on?"

Penny took a bite of her hoison-coated baked salmon and chewed for a full alphabet before answering. "Eagle+. They won the Oscar for it, remember?"

"Right," said Serg. "We don't have that app, of course." He clicked over to the store and navigated to the search section. He pressed the microphone button on the remote and announced "Eagle Plus" with his boomiest of voices, usually reserved for declaring "Speak to Operator" in an airline or insurance company phone-tree.

The app took a minute to download. Serg watched the circle fill in slowly, annoyed about their mesh router throttling what should be a fiber-speed connection.

"Ugh, it needs an account," said Serg. "Do you have..."

"Nope," said Penny.

"What about your parents? Or your sister?"

"You want me to text them and ask?"

"No, it's fine. I'll just make one."

Serg entered his 27 character-long email address, letter by letter, and then un-clicked the default-clicked "Can we please spam you" marketing checkbox. He picked up his phone and opened the password manager app.

Penny sighed. "Do you have to?"

"I like good passwords, Penny."

She laughed and stood up. She'd already finished her salmon. "I'm getting some littles. I'll make you a bowl with chocolate chips, okay?"

He nodded. Then he generated a secure 40 digit password and entered it into the TV, having to toggle several times between the various layers of keyboard UI to access all the special character and upper case letters. He clicked submit, praying that Eagle+ didn't have some hidden rule that passwords couldn't be longer than 20 characters or something equally terrible.

An alert popped up.

"Oh my god."

Penny walked back in. "What?"

"I already have an account."

Serg clicked the Reset-Password button. He opened the email on his phone and used the same 40 digit password as his new password, happy that he could at least copy-paste it on his phone. Then he went back to the app on the TV and clicked Sign In. He entered the 40 digit password for second time.

After a genuinely cool loading animation of an eagle opening and closing its wings, Serg was in. The UI next asked him to Please select a user.

Penny and Serg laughed at the existing username.


"Stupid app. I must have made that last year. They had that show about Vesuvius."

Serg clicked POOP. Then he clicked another button to sign up for a monthly subscription with a free 30 day trial. Their TV thankfully had their credit card info saved -- Serg only had to enter the three-digit CVC code thing, which he'd memorized long ago.

In a nice win, the movie was the top banner ad in Eagle+. Serg clicked it, grabbed his plate of salmon, and settled back into the couch next to Penny. Before he took his first bite, he remembered to grab his phone one more time to set a reminder to unsubscribe from Eagle+ in exactly 29 days.