I’m not a follower of the U.S. Strategic Command’s Twitter account.
There is just a lack of sizzle to the “Official Twitter account of U.S. Strategic Command. ‘Peace is our Profession ...’ Following, RTs and Links ≠ Endorsement.”
That does mean that I’ve missed out on shoutouts to the National Security Research Center and many military-related retweets.
But I honestly didn’t even know that StratCom had a Twitter account until this past week.
Last Sunday at 6:48 p.m., there came the tweet that simply read “;l;;gmlxzssaw.”
Holy nukes. Was that the code for the big one? Did the Soviets unleash their nuclear arsenal at us? Where in the world is my school desk to hide underneath?
Instead of protecting ourselves, people who noticed the tweet quickly piled up the likes and retweets.
Was Matthew Broderick on his IMSAI 8080 computer changing school grades again after 38 years?
Thirty minutes later came a new tweet that put to rest any fears that Gen Xers who were terrified by “The Day After” (namely me) might have been experiencing.
“Apologies for any confusion. Please disregard this post.”
And then it was deleted.
But the mystery of ;l;;gmlxzssaw didn’t disappear, not when we as Americans have a right to know.
And wasn’t it time to move on from that whole Cinnamon Toast Crunch shrimp tails debacle?
At a time when many lambaste the media as a biased group of fake news-spewing, biased liberals, I in fact couldn’t be more proud of what this industry is capable of accomplishing.
;l;;gmlxzssaw was solved, and Scooby Doo and friends weren’t even needed.
Freelance writer Mikael Thalen made a Freedom of Information Act request and got an official statement from StratCom.
According to the Omaha World-Herald’s story about this incident:
“The Command’s Twitter manager was working from home when he stepped away from his computer with the Twitter account open. You can guess what happened next.
“His child, who is described as ‘very young,’ sat down at the keyboard and started playing with the keys — and then, somehow, hit ‘Send.’
“Before the manager figured out what happened, the toddler’s tweet had gone viral.”
We learned the covfefe, the whole covfefe and nothing but the covfefe.
The only shocking thing about this explanation was that it was a human child and not a cat.
I’m lucky that the rear ends of my cats haven’t found the “send” button when they’ve plopped down on my laptop when Twitter was open. It appears that my felines can type out some salty language when they enjoy their strolls across the keyboard.
With only teens roaming my house, I’m at least safe from the accidental tweet by offspring.
The StratCom toddler Tweet is a cute story and was a nice diversion.
But it’s a reminder about how different parenting and technology is in the year 2021.
If gravity somehow affects your children and their cellphones are at a Jupiter level of strength whenever they have the dropsies? That can be costly.
When I was a teen and had the dropsies with the phone? Well, the cord wasn’t long enough that the handset could hit the floor.
It was also barely long enough to stretch into the upstairs hallway so you could close the door and have some privacy. And today’s teens think that tracking apps on phones are an issue ...
I prefer the occasional odd tweet from a toddler or a cat to the “I was hacked” excuse every time someone famous sends out something controversial and/or stupid.
There are a lot of hackers out there.
Maybe it’s time that I follow the StratCom Twitter account just in case a toddler sends something out again.
But just in case the toddler of Russia’s equivalent of a StratCom Twitter manager gains access at just the same time, I’m going to make sure that I have a school desk ready and waiting safely in a corner of my house.
Dale Miller is a sports writer for the Independent. Once a week he wanders away from the sports department to offer his take on non-sports related topics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org