Weekly Shocks' Blog



I’m gonna staple this thing to my forehead.

This may surprise some of you, but I am not the most organized person in the world.

“But Kris,” you’d exclaim (Well, you’d exclaim that if you knew my name is Kris. Hi. My name’s Kris.), “your writing is so elegantly precise and so agreeably direct! It’s enough to make Strunk and White weep tears of joy! How could you not be a paragon of virtuous logic and care in your day-to-day living?! How could you not be a shining example of calm, meticulous order in an otherwise traumatically nebulous, careless world of intellectual anarchy and deliberate obfuscation! And when do I get paid for saying this on your cheesy blog?”

Well, thank you, imaginary reader (see my accountant, he’ll take care of your promotional fees), but the sad fact is that whatever precision I bring to my writing disappears altogether when it comes to the more pragmatic elements of my life. My room, for example, is an utter wreck at the moment, as it usually is. It was fairly orderly when I left it a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been back for more than twelve hours, so, of course, it now looks as if the Royal Air Force has been using it as a weapons’ explosive training ground. In fact, the only time I ever really clean my room is when I’m procrastinating work on my dissertation, the first draft of which is due this weekend, so chances are good this place will be spotless by tomorrow.

Regardless. I’m usually pretty good at hiding my complete lack of sense and order because people tend to hear the words “Oxford graduate” and automatically assume I’m way smarter and more mature than I actually am. I used to feel somewhat uncomfortable and guilty about misleading people like this, but these folks also usually think Oxford is just a subsection of Hogwarts and we all carry wands with unicorn feathers in them and have classes in broom-riding and shape-shifting, then holler absurdities like “wingardium leviosa!” at each other during exams (that last part is only true if we’ve been drinking, people!). So I’ve just come to the conclusion that there are simply enormous numbers of sadly deranged lunatics on this earth, and I continue along my happy, messy way.

One of the side-effects, though, of being a mess is that you lose everything. Because I am a broke grad student and own almost nothing of value (except, of course, my Sigmund Freud action figure: yes, I really do have one and, yes, it is every bit as awesome as you’d expect it to be), this usually isn’t a problem. Last fall, however, I lost my passport. While I was in England. Two days before I was due home for Thanksgiving. I believe the phrase “Son of a bitch!” left my mouth with alarming frequency when I came across that charming little discovery.

If you’ve never lost your passport while in a foreign country, go ahead and down an entire bottle of Jack Daniels, get into a cab, tell the driver to drop you off at “the zoo” (No worries if there isn’t a zoo anywhere near you: just wave a sawbuck at the driver and that temptation combined with your intoxicated charm and projectile vomit will get you a punch in the face so sharp you’ll see exotic birds circling your head. See? The zoo.), then toss your wallet out the window while en route. That’s pretty much what losing your passport in a foreign country feels like.

The best part about losing your passport right before you’re due to travel is that you get to make the Journey of Shame to your local Embassy in order to get a new one. It’s so humiliating. The place in London looks like that armed compound the Branch Davidians had in Texas before Janet Reno blew it up. That’s always a comforting image to have in your head when you’re trying to replace your primary identification document several thousand miles away from home, isn’t it?! After you get frisked by the guards armed with Uzis and answer a hundred questions about why you’re there bothering them and whether you’ve had any contact with farm animals recently (seriously?), you’re herded into a holding cell that has all the charm of the DMV with none of its efficiency. For the next six hours you sit on a metal chair and occasionally get called up to have a conversation with a screaming, angry troll behind bullet-proof glass who demands every identifying piece of information you have ever collected over the course of your life in exchange for a TEMPORARY EMERGENCY PASSPORT. A TEMPORARY EMERGENCY PASSPORT is only valid for a year and possession of one automatically puts you at the top of the “Immediate Strip Search and Anal Probe Required” list at every airport in the whole damn world. Flying internationally, once a minor inconvenience, has become a bad episode of Cops with a touch of The Twilight Zone thrown in for extra disorientation and shame.

I still have my TEMPORARY EMERGENCY PASSPORT and I’m still grilled about it every time I fly in and out of the UK. “Where was this issued?” “Why are you flying on a temporary passport?” “When was the last time you were in the Middle East and TELL US THE WHEREABOUTS OF OSAMA BIN LADEN RIGHT NOW OR WE’LL KILL YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY!!!!” OK, I made up that last part a little, but it’s still a royal pain-in-the-ass. When I do get around to getting my permanent passport, I’m stapling the damn thing to my forehead and telling anyone who objects that I’m starting a new fashion trend and you’d better join me before becoming hopelessly passé and tacky. It’s all the rage, people. Hop on board before the anal probe gets you.

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  1. More Rubbish « Weekly Shocks’ Blog pingbacked on 8 years, 5 months ago

Comments

  1. * How says:

    Hi, nice post. I’ll definitely be coming back to your site.

    Posted 8 years, 5 months ago


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