Bert & Patty went through the application process for passports today. Their passports were more than 15 years old, so they had to start from scratch. As my mother told me the tale of the passport application process, I picked up a few tidbits of familial information. I learned that my grandparents were born in 1891 and 1885. No, not my great grandparents. My father’s mom and dad. In addition to the year each was born, the security of the nation also rested on knowing my dad’s parents’ cities of birth. The best Bert could do was “Russia” (nice work, Bolsheviks).
I also learned that my vaguely irrational fear of TSA-like authority is one I came by honestly.
PATTY: Well, the only thing I’m really worried about is your father. He had the highest level clearance to work on that H-bomb. I mean, he couldn’t even talk about it for twenty years.
ME: (pause) So…?
PATTY: Oh, I don’t know. Everything is so crazy since 9-11.
ME: Uh, I don’t think it works that way.