Just over four hours remained for Sophie and I to procure Pennsylvania’s drivers licenses with which to complete our applications for visas to India, and I’d again been foiled by my own personal Officer Dibble, the Bottom of the Page. It chortled in my face as I sat in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation waiting room and through a mouthful of Brazil nuts explained that to get licenses Sophie and would I need a second, and completely unobtainable, proof of address. Then it toddled off to the conservatory, humming the overture to The Yeoman of the Guard. Moments later, Sophie gently took the application form from my quivering hand to see what had led to my sudden urination on the portrait of Governor Rendell. She looked it over and with a whistling whoosh deflated and flew in loops across the room, eventually snagging on the bus schedule rack.
In truth, my anger at this new development wasn’t because our situation was hopeless. In fact, I’d known for several days that we had a perfectly viable alternative for getting our licenses–one that was legal, required no complex machinations, and could probably be finished in under an hour. But it was an option so utterly distasteful to me that I’d sworn to under no circumstances, with the possible exception of having my head locked in the jaws of an alligator who demanded I buy him a pack of Camels and a bottle of Yellowtail, ever resort to it.
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