Although it had been my intention to regain residence in the state of Iowa and live in the city from which I graduated high school (with honors) back in 1976, the cards were stacked heavily against me. Due to the fact that I have been living in Germany for over five years, my US driver’s license was expired and of no use. Add to that the serendipitous ‘luck’ of escaping my Nazi (no hyperbole) mother-in-law in Germany on the LAST day before my passport expired and you have the stuff of Kafkaesque nightmares. This led to a situation where I arrived into the state of Iowa with absolutely NO current ID. I imagine the Iowa DMV is overwhelmed with fake passports that are two days past expiration, such is the ease of duplicating the document. After all, who doesn’t know at least half a dozen folks running around Iowa trying to pass themselves off as somebody else using a “potentially” forged passport just slightly out of expiration? It’s likely just as common as tits on a pumpkin.
There were many attempts to rectify this less than fortuitous situation. More than one of my friends back home got a front row seat to the ridiculousness as well as my personal angst and disgust which I was unable to suppress while getting involved in trying to help me solve this dilemma.
It turns out that the only quick resolution to my ‘illegal alien’ status is a trip to the New Orleans passport office, the ONLY place in the USA where this can be handled in a timely fashion:
Updated and edited to add: ONLY IF YOU HAVE A TICKET LEAVING THE US IN THE NEXT TEN DAYS, a little something I had forgotten about and which added another degree of difficulty to my life a short while down the road.
Me and my trusty companion Bandit are off to the gulf coast for the purpose of proving that I am not a foreign terrorist or Mexican immigrant. With my passport in hand I will be able to regain some semblance of a normal life in the US (bank account, driver’s license, job….). I’m glad to have found a quick course to the resolution of my troubles and a return to a normal life in the US, even as I’m painfully aware that there may never be a return to ‘normalcy’ for the ‘family’ I left behind in Iowa.
It’s a sad situation when the Iowa Department of Motor vehicles isn’t even allowed to check the Fort Dodge Senior High 1976 yearbook or accept the dozens of signed affidavits on my identity that I’m sure I could have collected from my many friends there in the city in order to ‘prove’ my identity, but we must remain HYPER vigilant against the communist ..err…Muslim threat.
I would have liked to open a business (or two or three) in Fort Dodge and maybe even paying some heavy taxes to help rebuild the blighted areas, but such is life. I doubt I’ll ever move back to Iowa after the fiasco I endured, unless I get a penchant for frostbite or pick up a really heavy methamphetamine habit.