So I walked into my bedroom and found the Government there, going through my sock drawer.
"What are you doing here?" I asked.
The Government looked up and smiled. "I'm glad I found you!" it said. "Here!" It offered me a key.
"It's a car key," I said.
"It's YOUR car key," said the Government. "In fact the key to BOTH your cars. And your house. And the shed out back. And your safety deposit box. And your file cabinets at work. One key that does everything! Look, it has your name on it! Isn't that great!"
"One key." I said.
The Government smiled again and started in on my underwear drawer. "Its a magic key that does everything! It will access your records from a hundred different databases, allow you to get to vital medical records, waxes, shines, slices, dices - why, it is the only key you'll ever need! Every lock you have will require only one key. Your key! Everything about you, in one key! One key to rule them all!"
"And do YOU have a copy of this magical key?" I asked.
The Government paused for a moment. "Well, I would only use it if there was immediate danger, like if we were at war."
"Which we are," I said.
"Or if there was some other very good reason," it continued.
"And who determines what is a very good reason?" I said.
"You really should fold your underwear neater," said the Government.
"So what happens if someone ELSE gets ahold of my magical key?" I asked.
"Why would you want to let anyone else use it?" asked the Government.
"Its quite likely that I would not be asked in the matter," I said. "Things are stolen all the time. If I have all my access in one place, on one key, if someone else takes the key, they can get access to everything - home, business, car, medical records. Not horribly secure, is it?"
The Government opened up another drawer. "You don't have any sex toys, do you?"
"Are sex toys dangerous?" I asked.
"Not that I know of," it replied.
"No," said the Government. "Not yet, at least. Ah!"
It spotted my coinpurse with my poker money and stuffed it into its pocket. "That should cover your part of the costs. It takes a lot of money to make all these magical keys, you know."
I handed the key back to the Government. "No thank you. I think you magical key creates more problems than it solves, and leaves me less secure than my old bunch of keys. It is a bad idea, poorly thought out. Come back when you work the bugs out."
The Government looked at me, holding out the key, and let out a deep sigh.
"You might as well keep it," said the Government, edging towards the door. "I've already changed all the locks."
(The above is for Jason. I changed the last line the morning after writing this - it seemed to fit better. More later,)
A Connoisseur of Footnotes - So, I've just finished reading Joseph Lelyveld's HIS FINAL BATTLE: THE LAST MONTHS OF FRANLKIN ROOSEVELT (2016), which I recommend. I've long been puzzled ...
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