This morning Katharine had to confirm her password when she logged into Google Mail. She uses Google’s two-step authentication on that account — when she logs in, Google sends her a confirmation code by text message. I use the same authentication method for my own accounts.
Pretty routine, entirely unremarkable.
Until this exchange just now.
Katharine: [mumble mumble] “‘...phone number ending in 96.’ It never does.”
K: “The number. It never ends in ‘96’.”
D: [looks over at her screen, sees the Google logo] “Oh, the 2-step authorization thing?”
K: “Yeah. It always says ‘enter the verification code sent to your phone number ending in 96’. But the phone number never ends in 96.”
D: [brief stunned silence] “Your cell phone number ends in 96. It means *your* phone number*.”
K: [audible click of The Getting It] ”OOOOooooohhhhhh.....!”
A couple minutes of laffter [D] and head-hanging embarrassment [K], then:
K: “So then yours says ‘phone number ending in 07’?”
D, whose cell number has ended in 09 for 6 years now: “No...?”
K: [second audible click of The Getting It]
D: [more laffs!]