Back in 2017, credit rating agency Equifax suffered what those in the data security business call a “catastrophic fuckup” affecting in the neighborhood of 150 million Americans, all of whom are now eligible for, on average, $125—and up to $20,000 in very specific instances—in damages.
There are important questions to be asked and answered as a result of this massive breach. Do we need better cybersecurity laws? Does it make any sort of sense to be using Social Security numbers as a form of ID? Why are we still relying on credit rating agencies like Equifax at all? Is paying only $125 per person an absolute embarrassment for so thoroughly dropping the ball?
[Answer key: Yes; No; Doing new stuff is hard; Absolutely]
But then we come to the most crucial question of all. Since the human brain is prone to short-term thinking and immediate pleasure-seeking and assuming an absolutely massive number of this breach’s victims claim their payouts: What dumb crap are you going to buy with your surprise money?
One of my editors suggested buying a new exhaust for his motorcycle—which I have to admit is a cool-guy move if you too possess a motorcycle. (I do not, and am also deeply uncool.) “u could pay the cowboy from rdr2 to say ‘fuck equifax’ twice,” another editor noted, linking to the Cameo page for voice actor Roger Clark.
I’ve already painted myself into a corner by telling my colleagues that if the check comes before the Vermont State Fair next month, I’m dropping all $125 on maple confections and maple-related paraphernalia. In that event, I will provide updates via a blog entitled “My Life Without Teeth.”
Admittedly, there are dull, hall monitor-y things you could do with this unexpected windfall, like donate it to a political campaign of your choosing. But here are some more fun options to momentarily forget how vulnerable most of your personal information is:
- An extremely weird acrylic painting of Batman and Robin, allegedly made by “Former WWE/WCW/TNA Head Writer/Producer/Talent Vince Russo”
- Two cans of original recipe Four Loko
- Five swords
- An entire kitten
- A 40-note panflute
- Twelve copies of Robocop , or 31 copies of Robocop 
- An “anti-radiation mask [...] made of silver fiber” that “is like the existence of the isolation frost” and can “prevent computer macular.” (????)
- This very old Magic: The Gathering card fittingly called Blaze of Glory, which, I’ll be honest, does not seem very good
- A VIP tour of Chicago that includes “a crowd-free morning overlooking city landmarks from glass-enclosed balconies” from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower
- A whole cake that’s made to resemble a big ol’ cheeseburger
- Literally, just bet it all on the horses
- A decade-long registration on the internet domain equifaxistrash.com
Tell us below what you plan to blow these funds on, the stupider the better.