In the Name of Her Majesty the Queen

That’s what it says.  Give Mike a pass without hindrence to go anywhere he wants. 

We just got our new passports.  And we got them with a sigh of relief.  There has been some question as to whether or not we would pass the scrutiny of the processing office in Scarborough.  That’s where our package went to.   Hold it. Let me back up a bit.

We took a day, when Jane and I both had an afternoon open, to travel to Peterborough to the passport office.  The very thought of going to the big city always leaves us a bit breathless.  We wanted to renew the passports before they expired and got into the rigamarole of forms and more forms.  It becomes almost unbearable.  

Such a nice building.  And on the main floor the first government service is the passport office.  Wow, they even had Walmart greeters.  Although to be fair, the greeters were young, personable and likely well paid by you and me.  After a very brief wait, and a good deal of jocularity with others who were waiting,  about the ins and outs of government, we were escorted to our processor.   A very nice lady.  She suffered our chit chat with the patience of a pre-school teacher waiting for her class to settle down.  With a well-practiced smile she guided us through the process.  We went through the forms correcting a number of misjudgements that Mike (yeh, me) had made.  Her smile told me she had worked with idiots before.  

The scary moment fell upon us when she peered at our photos.  Her “MMMMM” told us she was not thoroughly enamored with the prison shots taken for this occasion.   With a big sigh she told us that the photographer had allowed a shadow on one side of our faces.  By gosh, she was right.  And she was not happy, despite the fact that the slight shadow helped confirm we were not deceased.  

Before she had time to tell us she was not going to accept our photos, I took in air, puffed up my grisly appearance and wailed, “you’re not going to tell us we travelled an hour and a half to come here and it’s a waste of time!?” 

Aha!  Our processor had an ace up her sleeve.   She advised us she would go talk to a couple of other people to get their opinion.  We already knew what that opinion would be.  I could just hear her presentation of the offending images, “I have two photos that have terrible shadows on the faces of these scary people, contrary to the Passport Act of 1812, and I’d like your opinion on them.”    

She returned and confirmed that others saw the shadows and they too were deeply concerned.  I huffed and puffed a bit more.  But, because I appeared to be someone who might make a scene,  they would send them on to Scarborough and see what happens.  “Please be advised, in these dangerous times, you may be required to get new photos and start all over again.  Right.  Now go. ”   (I hope you’ll excuse the slight paraphrasing)

Yesterday, the two passports arrived in the mail.  Sweet relief.  My wife is happy because she now thinks she may actually travel to some exotic location where she gets to use the passport.  Personally, I was a bit disappointed.  There was no note with the passports congratulating us.  Something simple would have sufficed.   “Nice pictures, her Majesty will be pleased.”

Author: Mike Jaycock

Living life at Eagle Lake, Ontario, Canada.

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