The Weather

An Open Letter to the Captcha that Prevented Me From Posting Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” to My Friend’s Wall


I’m usually a pretty easygoing person. I’m not one to complain and I’ve never sent an entree back even when it’s been entirely wrong. But the other day you prevented me from posting Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” on my friend’s Facebook wall after repeated attempts to do so and I feel like I have to speak up.

To give you some context, the friend in question is my best friend from college who I’ve gone an entire year without seeing. You can imagine the little bit of joy I was hoping to receive by posting Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” on her Facebook wall the day before I got on a charter bus to go visit her in Philadelphia. It’s a silly song that we both know all the words to and it’d be a lie to omit that I wouldn’t have indulged in the “likes” from other college buddies who’d surely be jealous of our impending reunion.

When I went to post the YouTube link on her wall, Facebook, for God knows what reason, assumed I was a bot. I’m not a bot. Look at me. Do I look like a bot? Is a bot able to fondly recall that montage scene from Matilda set to Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way?” I highly doubt it. At the point I came into contact with you, I wasn’t necessarily offended, but I was definitely irritated. “Fine,” I thought, I’ll fill out this damn captcha to prove I’m not a bot, though if anyone took ONE minute to read my witty status updates or the results to the 17 Buzzfeed quizzes I’ve taken in the past week, they could easily see I’m not only a human, but a multifaceted one to boot (my spirit animal is a red-tail fox.)

Everything would have been good and well had you literally not been the most difficult and indecipherable captcha I have ever come across. Now, I am no stranger to captchas. I buy a lot of concert tickets and enter a ton of sweepstakes. I’d write this off as a simple misunderstanding, a communication error if you will, were I not versed in the lingo of letters and numbers displayed in a font created by a Graphic Design 101 student. I can’t even begin to explain to you the anxiety I felt staring dumbfounded at the array of characters in front of me. Was that a 6? A G? Are these even letters in the Roman alphabet? I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. I know by looking at me one could assume I’m versed in Elvish, but I can assure you that fantasy and world-building are not my genre of choice and that I much prefer lighthearted coming of age character narratives, made clear by my desire to post Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” on my friend’s wall.

Perhaps if the test you provided was to interpret teenage text abbreviations, I could have easily seen “TTYS, LOL” and known to type in “talk to you soon, lol” which now that I think about it would have also been a great accompaniment to Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” posted on my friend’s wall.

Like I mentioned initially, I’m not one to dwell on poor service and inextricable captchas and I will ultimately be fine. I will see my friend in a few hours and I guess I can just play the song for her in person, though I can’t think of a single thing more silly than playing a song whose lyrics evoke the exuberant joy of embarking on a journey (both literal and spiritual) while you have already completed said journey and are in their living room in Philadelphia. I’m not going to warn people to not post videos on friends’ walls because maybe they won’t have the same experience. Just know that I have noted this encounter and I will most likely be taking my sentimental and well-timed video sharing to Tumblr in the future.

Kady Ruth Ashcraft if a comedian, writer, and comedy writer. She's written for College Humor, Reductress, The Maude, and runs the site Follow her on twitter @kadyrabbit.