Four Minute Wait Times

4th of July - Independence 2009

It was roughly 1:30pm when I crawled back into my office out of the drizzle and drivel that is the grey weaksauce rainstorm we have kickin’ it here in Chicago at the moment.

I was at the passport office at 9:30am sharp, just like they told me, and the sign said “WELCOME TO THE PASSPORT AGENCY – WAIT TIME: 4 MINUTES”.

I was foolish enough to believe that.

Walking past the massive orange Calder (that for some reason I thought was a Picasso, but no) nestled right in between the massive Post Office and the massive Courthouse and in front of the State Department building where they hide the passports I told myself that going inside without having eaten or even had a cup of coffee was probably not a good idea, but messing up the process of getting my passport in any way was far more bad idea jeans, so I sucked it up.

In line right in front of me was the sweetest transvestite I’ve ever met…the kind of person who gets in the elevator and says, “Good Morning” in a quiet unobtrusive voice and when no one responds says, “Aw, come on ya’ll…it ain’t that bad…if you can muster up a Good Morning then things ain’t awful, right?”  The kind of person who is the first to tell the guy three people back in line that he’s dropped something because we all know getting to the front of the line and not having one of the five things you gotta have to get your passport is a near death experience.

Do people leave elevators smiling because of you? Before they’ve had coffee?

While I waited in the seating area I starved and the little girl next to me ate Cheetos.  Maybe five years old and she was stealth…every time the cops looked over those chips were nowhere to be found.

It’s funny how little girls are so bashful.  If we made eye contact she would nearly fall over, each time it happened.

The aforementioned four minute wait time, I deducted, was for the first line.  Prior to the waiting period.  The real wait was roughly an hour, and getting longer by the minute.

So, you got the benefit of knowing that in four minutes you’ll get to start waiting.

Assuming you don’t drop anything and show up to the first window without everything you need.

So now I have a passport to pick up on Monday.  I’m hoping for a four minute wait time.

Then I’m ready to take on the world.  First destination is looking like Canada, but then who knows, right?

Where’d you last use your passport?

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