Today Marty and I went to apply for passports at the Law and Justice building. Just tucked back into the cozy little neighborhood of brick homes and picket fences, this courthouse and razor wire topped compound. Bizarre.
Not as bizzarre as the conversation I had with the clerk. As soon as I had it, I envisioned relating here, on this blog. And then I felt guilty, because I'm always mocking someone, or some institution, at any rate. But it just beggggggs for blogging.
I hand the lady our completed applications.
Government Employee: Are you applying for the passport book or the passport card?
(I hadn't checked the box, because I didn't know what the difference was. I've never heard of a passport card.)
Me: Umm, what's the difference?
Government Employee: The applicant's preference, Ma'am.
Me: Really? That's the only difference?
Government Employee: With the card you can only get into four countries, and only by land or sea.
Me: So why would I want that?
Government Employee: Applicant's preference, Ma'am.
Me: So there is no advantage to applying for the card, whatsoever?
Government Employee: Applicant's preference, Ma'am. Passport Book is your best form of identification. (She's getting bored of explaining this to me, but I don't get it, why would they offer this option?)
Me: Is it cheaper?
Government Employee: Yes, Ma'am.
(Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. I'm envisioning my six kids and the fact that I can't afford passports to get them all home to Canada, at this point. So yes! There is a difference! Yes! There are advantages.)
Me: So I could get the cards for my kids and we could drive across the border into Canada?
Government Employee: Yes Ma'am. Only we don't offer cards at this time. The system isn't set up to accept or process them yet. Quite honestly, they may never be available.
Me: Oh. Okay.
We stand there, staring at each other for a few moments. She has her pen poised over the little boxes still, where I was supposed to mark for passport book or passport card.
Government Employee: Ma'am? Can we continue?
Me: (Flustered, feeling guilty for asking what? Were my questions that assinine?) Uh, yeah, sure. Go ahead.
Government Employee: So did you want to apply for the passport book or the card?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!