"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do Your Fingerprints Tell a Story?

We have new ID's at work with a chip in them. An electronic reader can know everything about you off that chip. They must be worn in lead-lined protective sleeves, lest random readers on the street capture the essence of you, like the sun burrowing through your clothes and the wind lifting a skirt. Do you think this is science fiction? Some new genre I'm delving into?

They took our fingerprints for this new ID, prints of all four digits on each hand and then separate ones of our thumbs and then the lone digit finger as identifier. They had trouble getting my prints. I have evidently worked the print right off the pad of my fingers. Did you know such a thing was possible? It is.
Notice I have no nails as well as no fingerprints.

The technician said they have trouble sometimes getting prints from masons and concrete workers and bricklayers. Add to the list gardeners and farmers. How about writers? All this tap tap tapping.

I had to wash my hands and apply corn huskers lotion. Twice. She was about to give up but finally got a set she thought would be "acceptable" and sent it off.

What if she hadn't been able to get fingerprints from me? Would I be allowed to move incognito through this new world obsessed with identity? Having gone through the lengthy process, do I feel more secure? Safe in my job, my identity, my world? This much I know: I felt somewhat special with my unreadable fingerpads and disappointed when she was finally able to "read" me.

How about you? Have you worked the fingerprint off the pad of your fingers? If so, how would you feel about that?

6 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

Mine are full of nicks and scars from when I was a chef. I'm pretty identifiable.

But just think, with no fingerprints you could commit the perfect crime...Oh I feel a storyline coming on.

BTW, I wrote up my spinach pie recipe and posted in on the "pages" column in my sidebar if you want to take a gander.

Frances Garrood said...

Ah (Anne) - but there's always DNA. That'll catch you out, fingerpirnts or not (won't it?). As to nails, shouldn't they be on the other side of the hand?

Wine and Words said...

They can scan retinas as I understand it, which are also unique identifiers. But I can understand your unease. My fingers and hands and nails look like crap. Farming ain't for sissies :)

C.M. Jackson said...

hummimg secret agent after reading that piece--I agree with Anne-sounds like a great story--c

Anthony Duce said...

There has to be a certain pride, knowing your hands are so used, they many be completely smooth. I’m completely identifiable, with ink, paint, graphite and charcoal; I leave my prints everywhere. Most in my small world don’t like it very much.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Anne,
We've come by our scars honestly! Yes, the perfect crime. The timeline only has to predate DNA technology. And thanks for posting that recipe. I'll definitely be over!

Frances,
Ha! When I had long nails, you could see them over the tops of my fingers from the back. Know what I mean? I simply have no nails worth polishing anymore.

Annie,
Yeah, retinas and hair folicles, and on and one. We aren't sissies, but one way or another, they'll get us.

C.M. Jackson,
Hi! Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think it could be the basis for a great story. Good to hear from you.

Tony,
Yes, a wierd kind of pride. I can just see you, charcoal and all, paint smudges trailing after you. You and your painter's hands.