My last name is Kelly. K-e-l-l-y. However, I was applying for a passport when I found that my original birth certificate has the spelling K-e-l-l-e-y. So, in spite of a driver's license, social security card, concealed handgun license, a credit history, a decades-long work history, an American lineage that goes back to before Columbus and a lifetime of paying taxes.......passport application denied.
I notified the county of my birth and found that their records show the proper spelling so, for a nominal fee and a copy of my driver's license, they sent me a brand spanking new copy. That problem was solved. However, the records at the state capitol still have the incorrect spelling so I have to petition the state for a correction. Wonderful.
It's not like my name is Woomleiankerstan. It's a stinking "e". One vowel! I couldn't solve a puzzle on Wheel of Fortune with that much information.
"No, Pat. I don't want to buy an "e". I have one too many as it is."
Every couple of weeks, some old friends and I get together for breakfast. But, I was talking to my friend, Woodrow, on the phone when he said, "I don't know if I can have breakfast with an illegal. It just don't seem right."
"I'm not illegal."
"The state says you are. Have you ever paid taxes?"
"I've paid taxes all my life."
"I know you have but what about that other fella? He seems kind of fishy to me."
"The other fella and me are the same me."
"That's not what the state says."
"It's a misspelling," I said. "And besides, it's bad enough that we have a sombrero marathon coming over the border every night but I'm not trying to get in. I'm trying to get out."
"Are you planning on coming back?"
"I hope so. I'd hate to end up a Guatemalan street urchin. I'm a little long in the tooth to be fighting somebody over a rotten turnip."
"Well, I guess we can still have breakfast," he said. "But, that other guy will have to stay home. You sure he's not a drug mule?"
"Can't say. But I'll hide his car keys just in case. He'll be fine."
Later, I went in for my regularly scheduled visit with my psychiatrist, Dr. Demonic. But he was acting strangely and kept repeating, "No habla! Dinero up front!"
"Doc," I said. "It's me."
"Me!! I put the fire ants in your underwear. I shaved your cat. I stopped up your toilet with Silly Putty. Remember?"
"Are you the 'y' me or the 'ey' me?"
"I'm the 'y' me."
"Sorry, never seen you before. No comprendo! Dinero up front!"
He spent the rest of the session sneering at me and mumbling, "Damn foreigners".
So, let me see. Where did I hide that case of Silly Putty? The toilets at the state capitol building are going to be stopped up until three weeks after doomsday. But then again, they're politicians. I doubt they'll notice the smell.
Post Script: I got my passport today. It says my name is Kelling.