Honestly, this whole passport thing is turning into a Soap Opera.
*cue violin soundtrack*
Hunky Voice-over: When last we left Mrs. Parker, she was on hold... again... with Passport Canada, waiting with bated breath to discover if Skip's passport would arrive in time for the Once In A Lifetime Trip to France, so that her child could get the lifesaving Kidney Operation that would save his life....
(ok, I made that last bit up. But if it *were* a soap opera, there would be some 'lifesaving operation' that would be involved. Either that, or a meeting with his long-lost identical twin who'd had a sex-change)
Telephone voice: There are.... seven... callers ahead of you.
Mrs. Parker: (chewing her fingertips - no French manicures for this Daytime TV star) Oh, whatever shall I do? Wherever shall I go? Skip really, REALLY wants to go to France to see his grandparents and eat baguettes, and get out of P.E. for a week.
Telephone voice: There are... four... callers ahead of you. This call may be monitored for quality assurance.
Mrs. Parker: Why, oh WHY did my son have to look pleasant in that first set of passport photos? He usually is grumbling and scowling, and I'm sure photos of THAT face would've looked much more like a terrorist, and MUCH more acceptable to the powers that be. Oh dear. Did I say "terrorist" out loud? And this call is being monitored. Shit.... er, I mean crap!
Telephone voice: There are... one... caller ahead of you. This call may be monitored for quality assurance.
Mrs. Parker: Maybe I should take this as a sign that we shouldn't go to France. It would be one in a long line of signs. Like... on Sunday, when I went to the Currency Exchange to get Euros for the trip, and the guy behind the counter, an incredulous look on his face, said "Wow, oddly enough, we're OUT OF EUROS. I just sold the last ones, and we won't get more until next week some time."
Telephone voice: Your call will be answered next. There will be a click, and quiet air. Please do not hang up. Please have a pencil and paper available to write down any important information.
Mrs. Parker: A pencil and paper? Crap again. I'll just type it into the computer if they have anything important to say.
Real Person: Hello, how can I help you?
Mrs. Parker: I'm checking on the status of my son's passport application. Last week when I called, someone in your office said to call yesterday or today, to get a DHL tracking number for his passport.
Real Person: Let's get your information...
(information changes hands)
Real Person: Oh, I don't know why they would tell you to ask for a tracking number. This passport is not being shipped.
Mrs. Parker: (having a heart attack, coupled with an aneurysm, and rampant diarrhea urges) WHAT?
Real Person: I see here that this application had additional information. Was additional information requested from you?
Mrs. Parker: (regaining her voice): Yes, I sent in a new set of passport photos, LAST MONTH, when his original photos were deemed to be 'too pleasant'. At that time, I phoned your office, and someone there said that to help expedite things, I should photocopy our plane tickets, and write a letter stating the urgency of the request, which I did.
Real Person: Ah, well, those papers would constitute "extra information", and, as such, this application has been diverted to The Examiner for EXTRA SCRUTINY. There is now no timetable for when it will be shipped.
Mrs. Parker: What? You're killing me here. We have to fly to France NEXT FRIDAY, and when I began this process IN JANUARY, I was assured that it would take six weeks MAXIMUM, and that there would be no need for me OR MY SON to do anything in person back home in Canada.
Real Person: Is there a number where you can be reached? Because I can put a note in your file (ed: Look, ANOTHER NOTE IN MY FILE. Great lot of good it seems to be doing me) and then if The Examiner has any questions about this application, they can contact you directly.
Mrs. Parker: Here is my cell phone number. I will, from this moment forward, keep it on my person At All Times.
Hunky voice-over: Tune in next week, when you'll hear our Gutsy Heroine say ....
Mrs. Parker: (on the phone) Yes, mother-in-law, I know this is a once in a lifetime trip, but obviously the Canadian Government doesn't want Skip and I to come along. No, I did NOT orchestrate this whole thing so I wouldn't have to fly over the Atlantic. I hope you have a lovely anniversary, in France, with the REST of your grandchildren....
And how wrong is it that EVERY time that person said "The Examiner", I wanted to say "Actually, I'd prefer it if The National Enquirer gave it more scrutiny"?????