I wrote this not knowing if it was a last blog entry I would never post, or the first blog entry in a new chapter of my blog. Today someone, two people actually, sent me Google+ invites. I thought "Eh, what could it hurt? I might as well try this out." I clicked through on one of them and started filling out the form. I never give my actual birthdate to fun services online, because that's part of the verification information for real services like banking. I give a fake birthdate that I can easily remember. For this account I decided to give the memorable date of my first flying lesson.
Immediately Google seized on this information and determined me underage. I haven't been flying for eighteen years, and apparently you have to be eighteen years old to author a blog. The screen said Google would delete my blog in twenty-nine days if I did not send them government-issued ID demonstrating that I am over eighteen. Unfortunately Aviatrix Anon does not have government-issued ID, so I knew that unless I had a friend at Google, that would be the end of my blog.
I knew that I probably did have a friend at Google, or at least a friend of a friend, but my blog contact list is on Gmail, and Google locked not only the blog, but the Gmail account. Of course that means they also locked the back-up Cockpit Conversation Redirection blog, my account through which I could access Google Help, and even my ability to comment identifiably on other blogs. I sent a fax to the Google people explaining the situation, then plea-for-help e-mail to a few bloggers with common traffic, whose e-mails I happened to have on my home account, and then I waited.
This paragraph was going to contain either gratitude to the person or persons who helped me out, or a fond farewell to all the people who have read and commented on the blog, and even met me in person, over the years. If the blog was deleted, I wasn't going to start a new one. It's too much to lose and try to start over.
While waiting for someone at Google to get back to me one way or another, I decided to try the other offered means of age verification, the credit card. I don't have a credit card with the name Aviatrix Anon on it, either, but maybe they wouldn't check. Seeing as you can get a credit card for your cat or dog and buy preloaded credit cards at the grocery store checkout, I thought it was only scammer porn sites that professed to use credit cards for ID verification, but I decided my blog was worth thirty United States cents, and Google probably wasn't running a credit card scam. I gave Google my credit card information and instantly my Blogger account was restored. Thirty cents is a cheaper bribe than I thought I'd need. Most of you probably never noticed the interruption.
So kids, if you want a blog, lie about your age. Grownups, lie about your age if you will, but make sure you don't take too much off. Either way, any credit card will do to fix your error.
I can't really recommend Google Plus, but if you use other Google services with the identity you use to connect to Google Plus, please make sure you tell it you are over eighteen.