10 Crazy CAPTCHAs

“What the hell are CAPTCHAs?”, you may be wondering. Or you may have actually clicked on the link I gave you and are now feeling especially proud of yourself for knowing. Odds are good that you have not only seen CAPTCHAs, but also been forced to type them out, presumably by some mad scientist with a spelling obsession.

They are usually words and/or numbers that you have to fill out when you’re submitting a form on a website. They ensure that you’re not a robot (as much as you may want to be) or an automated software trying to SPAM a website with product ads. These words and numbers always look like they’ve been drawn by a drunk 5 year old (that’s what happens when you let children near alcohol) or a serial killer composing threatening messages with letters cut out from magazine headlines.

After seeing these you’re normally required to either click on matching words in the box nearby, solve an easy math puzzle, or simply type them out in the space provided. The idea is that while humans can easily read these words (since we deal with drunks and psychos on a daily basis), automated software cannot.

Most of the time these CAPTCHAs are just a collection of disjointed letters without any meaning, or very ordinary words. Sometimes, however, the letters arrange themselves into secret messages waiting to be decrypted, or funny combinations of words. I now bring to you some of the latter CAPTCHAs I’ve  stumbled upon.

These guys are much less popular than the Dirty Dozen

I believe this was the tagline for “Inside Man”

Good thing it was just a stapler and not a nail gun!

I think you’ve misspelt “detective”

…but mostly hard wöerk! 

I’ll try. – Daniel

…but not know suck more! 

I know it’s necessary, but does it have to be nonsensical? 

Ooooh oooh, that’s how all totalitarian states start!

Seriously?! Fuck you, CAPTCHA!

Have any of you seen some fun or odd CAPTCHAs? Feel free to share in the comments…

“Steak tartare – well done, please!”

A few weeks ago I was out with a group of people from work, including my boss and my boss’ boss (try saying the last part of that sentence fast repeatedly – unless you have a life instead). We went to a French restaurant. The waitress came up to take our order and the conversation went something like this:

“What can I get you all?”

“I’ll have a steak. Medium well”, my boss said.

“I’ll have the same, except medium for me, please”, a colleague chimed in. At which point my boss said:

“Hmmm, you know what, I’ll go for medium as well”

The waitress began teasing the two of them, saying how it was suddenly turning into a macho competition about who could have more blood in their steak. Then my turn came to order and I ordered steak tartare. Continuing with the joke the waitress said: “Yeah, and yours just has to be extra raw, right?”. To play along I went: “Sure. In fact, just bring him in alive, I don’t care!”. Everyone had the obligatory “this-isn’t-all-that-funny-but-we’re-all-in-on-it-so-we-may-as-well” laugh. The waitress went away to see to our order.

You know how steak tartare is basically a dish made from raw minced meat, right? Yeah…I didn’t. I lived blissfully unaware of this particular dish and its ingredients for almost 30 years. Funny, then, that I should learn about its existence in these circumstances. Here I have to add that I’ve never eaten or even considered eating raw meat. My whole life I ordered “medium well” or “well done”.

Actually, had the conversation not gone the way it did, I was in all honesty about to ask the waitress for a well done steak tartare. When she didn’t ask me about how I wanted my steak I figured she’d just bring it “medium” as for the rest of the gang. So I didn’t comment. My guardian angels must have been saving me from an embarrassing situation. That’s right, I sincerely believe that guardian angels’ sole purpose is to save us from making dumbasses of ourselves in public.

So then, instead of looking unsophisticated in front of my boss and my boss’ boss (this never gets old, does it?), I was taken completely by surprise when my steak tartare arrived in all of its…rawness. Since it would have been even more embarrassing to admit my ignorance at that stage, I proceeded to act completely nonchalant and eat the whole damn thing.

I survived, but I won’t be ordering steak tartare again anytime soon. Or, for that matter, “steak” followed by any other word that I don’t recognise. Ah well, at least I know what “surge protectors” are: