(Note: This column originally ran in 2008)

I want to be a hacker when I grow up.

OK. I’m a hack now, as many readers will attest. I just want the e-r on the end.

Hackers are always making the news. This week it was revealed a hacker broke into Homeland Security’s telephone system and racked up $12,000 worth of phone calls.

That’s just funny.

As it is I can barely turn the computer on without getting agita. I hate technology.

Still, if I could find a way to hack into something, I would.

This hacker made more than 400 calls on a FEMA voicemail system last Saturday and Sunday. Must have spent all day on the phone, calling the Middle East and Asia.

I want to call the Middle East and Asia, not that I speak Mid-east or Asian.

“Hey, Mahmoud? George W. here. Is your refrigerator running? It is? Well you better go catch it before it gets too far down the road. And stop building nukes or else. Well, or else I’ll, uh, we’ll, uh, you still got oil, pal?”

I’d call that Vladimer guy in Russia.

“Listen, Rasputin, you don’t know me but if you keep messing with Georgia you’re gonna find out real quicklike who I am. I was in Georgia once, when I was a kid, and it’s a nice state. Savannah, it was. Lots of flowers and chicks in long dresses and I think they ... Huh? Oh, that Georgia. Well, carry on then. Sorry to have bothered you. What time is it there, anyway?”

I’d order all kinds of stuff from China.

“Yeah, China? I’d like some of the General’s chicken, two orders of egg foo and a side of homefries, with onions. And no lead paint. Hear me? No lead paint. And just what do they call a Chinese restaurant in China? What about fine dinner plates and coffee cup sets?”

I’d call that little girl with the crooked teeth who was deemed too ugly to appear on television to sing “Ode to the Motherland.”

“Listen, I don’t care what you look like. You come over here and sing for us. We’ll make you a star. Looks don’t matter at all in the United States. That’s why we’re so outraged that your Motherland would do such a thing. Why, just look at all the famous singers in America. Long as you can sing, you got it made here. No, really. There are some ugly singers with crooked teeth. Somewhere, I’ll bet. Carrie Underwood? Uh, Millie Vanilli? OK. So maybe not. Maybe you can just answer this for me. Tell me the truth. Those gymnasts were really 6 years old, weren’t they?”

I’d definitely place a call or two to Iraq, except I probably wouldn’t get through because the $56 billion phone system the United States installed doesn’t work.

If I hacked into FEMA’s system, I could call New Orleans.

“New Orleans? Hi. It’s FEMA. We understand you guys had a bit of flooding and we were wondering if you needed our help? We’re here to help when an emergency strikes your community and we will use all of our vast resources, and I mean VAST, to make sure you city doesn’t sink and all you fine people of color are taken care of. We swear we will and ... huh? Two-thousand five? You don’t say? So that’s where all those moldy trailers came from. Well, never mind then and sorry about the delay. Still buds?”

Yeah, I’d have a lot of fun being a hacker if I ever learned how to hack.

Maybe I’ll call someone to help me out.

If only I could figure out this stupid phone system.

(Scott DeSmit is a general assignment reporter for The Daily News. He can be reached at desmitmail@yahoo.com)

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