Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flying under the grid

I am a huge fan of mockery. I like to do it in my own little ways.

My Maryland state license expired in May. My passport became defunct last February. Do I care? Not really.

I actually don't have a single accurate photo ID of myself except for my scuba diving certification card. The picture was taken in 2003. I look like a jackass. Less of a jackass than I am now though.

So as I walked through the St. Thomas airport two weeks ago ready to spend a little R&R in the States, none of these ID shortcomings really concerned me at all. Before I left, the customs agent checked my expired Md. license, didn't see the expiration date and asked the same questions I get every time.

"Take off your sun glasses ... What do you do on island, Mr. Gray?"

"I'm a writer," I always answer with a grin.

"What do you write?"

"For the Daily News, if you count that as writing. I'm the sports guy."

Usually after that exchange, the customs agent has heard enough, stamps what he has to stamp and sends me on my way. Getting off this island is extremely easy. Think Elian Gonzalez here.

I'm not in D.C. more than a day before I get an email from the good people at the V.I. Olympic Committee, who informed me that my passport status had expired and I needed to renew it pronto. I'm going to the Pan American Games in Mexico in October and they need the paperwork in like two weeks.

Two weeks? I just started my two-week vacation.

OK. I need to get a passport. What do I need for that? A driver's license. Preferably from a U.S. state or territory that I reside in. I live in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I've been there for almost two years. Do I have a V.I. license? No. Who likes the whole question-and-answer-myself technique? I do sometimes. But it's getting old.

You're supposed to get a V.I. license within 2 months of moving here. I know this because it's what every police officer has told me after they pulled me over and I handed them my expired Maryland license.

My rebuttal: "Sorry officer, I just moved here. I'll be sure to do it tomorrow. Please ignore last year's car registration sticker on my wind shield." Dumbass.

Moral of the story: the police and customs agents on this island are lazy. I like to exploit that. I like to mock them and their haphazard laws.

They are stupid. I am smart. Sort of.

Oh yeah, I went to the Lt. Governor's office yesterday, waited in a few lines, paid about $200 and renewed my passport. It will be here next week. !Viva la Mexico!

I love this country.

No comments:

Post a Comment