Today I had to be fingerprinted for my job. I tried two days ago, but the line was too long and I had other things pressing. I didn't know what could take so long. Ink ten fingers one at a time and presto!
It doesn't work like that anymore. Forget the ink. Now the technology is more sophisticated, at least at our local precinct that can afford the $24,000 machine. You stand at arm's length from the scanner, the cop sprays water on your fingers, takes a print, and waits for the machine to tell him if it passed. They need scores of at least 93% to be acceptable. Otherwise they get a reading called "POOR MINUTIA."
The guy explained that since women's hands are softer than men's, they are harder to print. My prints were taking forever to be acceptable. and he explained that mine were the softest hands he had felt in a long time. That made me feel good, but I pitied the other lady waiting for her turn. He also said they're looking for two distinct parts: the swirl in the center of each print, and the deltas (pyramids to the edge of each of swirl).
"Your deltas are way off to the edge of your fingertips," he said, pointing to the sides of my nails.
"Sorry," I said. "Is there anything I can do to help that? " Of course we both knew the answer.
"Nope, not a thing. There's no problem with your hands, you just have very soft ones and the deltas are so far apart it's hard to get a clear reading. " I wanted to suggest he read my palms instead. Maybe there'd be easy-to-find deltas there. But I kept my smart mouth closed and tried not to giggle. "That's what makes you you," he added.
I got serious. "It's utterly fascinating, " I told him, "--a testimony to our creative God. No two fingerprints alike, " I said.
"Hey, that is so true," he said. "You can't tell me there's not an Intelligent Designer. I don't buy that crap about evolution. Six and a half billion people on the face of the earth, and not one set of fingerprints the same. No one can convince me that we came from apes or chipmunks."
"I agree," I said. "Even every chipmunk out there has unique fingerprints, too--in case you want to get into the chipmunk fingerprinting business someday."
What seemed like a major time-eater on my long to-do list before vacation ended up being a
wonderful setting for talking about the wonders of God. Six and a half billion times ten of them....and counting.