Thursday, July 20, 2006

haircuts and beards

Two things I learned today:

1. I hate having conversations with barbers. While I'm having my hair cut, I mean.

2. Pick your post-office monkey carefully.

I had to queue for about fifteen minutes in the post office earlier today to get my passport renewed, and as I approached the front of the line and observed the staff behind the counter, it occurred to me strongly that the four middle aged staff, kind expressions all, would be much more efficient than the lad on the central counter. Something about the hoxton fin, set jaw and vacant expression. So naturally I got him and presented my documents. He looked at my application forms. Fine. He looked at my new passport photographs. Fine. He looked at my passport itself, specifically the photo in the back, and frowned.

Lad: do you have any proof this is you?
Me: *I stare at him incredulously. Granted the photo in my passport was taken ten years ago but I flatter myself to think that, apart from a few natural changes, I've really not aged all that badly. Further, for the first time in about ten years I've actually just had my hair cut - this morning! - into the same style as I wore when I was a whippersnappeer. And I'm still pencil thin. It's plainly me.*
Lad: I think we'll need to get this verified.
Me: What do you mean?
Lad: By a third party. Countersigned.
Me: Is that really necessary?
Lad: You've changed quite a lot.
Me: Ten years does that to you.
Lad: *points lamely at me* You've got a beard.
Me: Yes.
Lad: You'll need it countersigned. Someone has to write 'I verify that this is Jonathan Shipley' on the back.
Me: OK. Who does it have to be?
Lad: It can be anyone?
Me: Anyone?
Lad: Yes.
Me: *looks stunned*
Lad: Oh, maybe it should be someone who's known you for more than two years.
Me: OK, then.


Powerful Pierre said...

Moral of this story - don't grow a beard.
Oh shit.


Natalia Ulla said...

Moral- let Nat cut yoru hair!