Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How's this for a Timeline?

This is what happens when you are dumb enough to carry your birth certificate, social security card, irreplaceable Cinematheque membership card, and other important stuff in your wallet, then lose it in a shot & beer joint.

January 26th:
Jimm goes to a bar commonly referred to as "Cock & Balls" in downtown Willoughby with friends Andy, Steve & Edd and sees his wallet for the last time. It's called Cock & Balls because no one can remember the name. It's a combination of two male names, Frank & Johnny' s or Frankie & Tony's. There are already many famous restaurants like that and no one can get them straight, so we just call it C&B's.

Early the week of Jan 28th: Jimm notices wallet is missing. Stops by Grocery store to see if they found it, kicks around in driveway.

The week of Feb 5th: Jimm says "Man, that fucker's really gone". Remembers that last place was actually C&B's not the grocery store. Stops by C&B's asks bartender about wallet, kicks around snow outside. Assumes wallet is in the 4' of snow in his driveway.

The week of March 5th: Snow melts in rest of the world, not Jimm's house. Jimm returns to C&B's to look around outside, checks with bartender again.

Week of March 12th: Snow finally melts at Jimm's house. Wallet does not surface. All is deemed lost. New Debit cards ordered.

March 21st: Jimm takes day off work for day of massive amounts of bullshit, trying to replace wallet contents.
Janine does same. She needed her license & birth certificate replaced so we both head up to Painesville. My family lived in lake county when I was born, but the hospital was in Cleveland and I must replace my certificate there. So Janine got her birth certificate ($16.50) and I filled out the Cuyahoga county birth certificate request form and we headed downtown.

There's nowhere to park, so I run into city hall at Lakeside & 6th while Janine tools around outside, circling the federal building, mostly.

Of course you can't get into city hall without ID, so you have to wait for a 107-year-old woman to ferry your stuff to the back offices.
I hand her the request form and say "Do I need to send a check back with you?". Of course they won't take a check without I.D. (I totally should have anticipated this). I said "My wife is right outside. I will go get cash from her." I run down the stairs, get cash from Janine and come back in and the old woman is gone. She's gone for 20 minutes. They don't give you a bench or anything to sit on. You just stand there in a velvet roped-off section and look at the fat, old, useless "security" guard (who isn't securing anything more than a pension). Eventually she ambles back and takes your crap back to the denizens of the Warlord State of Bureaucratistan.

Again, I'm left looking at the fat old "security" guard. My eyes now wander up to the big Cleveland mural on that back wall that proudly puts the Terminal Tower in the front and centered circle, the scene is monochromatic brown-grey and the surrounding buildings look like a prison. It is flanked on the right by the control tower of Hopkins Airport and the left (my right) by a multi-smoke-stacked factory, belching black-brown soot onto the rest of the colors of the mural. My heart swelled with pride (you can sort of see the bottom half of the mural in the image below).

Below, it was "Women's Month" or some such thing. Many posters and life-size cut-outs of people like Amelia Earhart and Eleanore Roosevelt line the sides of the huge rotunda. There were also many glass display cases in between the posters containing God-knows-what (probably diaphragms and Rosie the Riveter's actual mummified forearm). In the center of the large, open space that I could only long to walk into sat a woman at a cheap, folding-leg, school cafeteria-style table, very unsuccessfully selling raffle tickets. Next to her towered a huge cellophane-wrapped gift basket which contained (as best I could tell from my great distance) only Nascar ephemera. Mostly bearing the "#8" of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (his surname be praised--*genuflects*). Nothing, to me anyway, says "Let's celebrate the achievements of women" like Nascar.

Of course they don't tell you what's going on while you wait. All you know is that you can't sit down while some corpse has walked off with your cold hard cash ($19). Maybe if I were allowed in the back, I would have been in line for 25 minutes. Maybe she was doing me a favor. Maybe she went to lunch. Maybe she got the geriatric green-apple-splatters and is in the John, signing hymns in between calling out to Jesus, Mary & Joseph with her panties around her ankles. I'll never know.

Eventually she creeps back with my stuff. I thank her kindly and wander out into the now-harsh sunlight to find my wife, running out of gas on Lakeside.

So we go back to Painesville to the Social Security admin. The place is packed. There is little more posted direction than "THIS IS NOT THE V.A. CENTER" though you wouldn't know it from the looks of these freaks. I decided I'd had enough paper shuffling for the day when I noticed that another, smaller sign said (You guessed it) Photo ID needed to get your SS card.

"Screw it" I said, "I'll send for it by mail or something".

We then went to the Chesterland BMV, where Janine was able to replace her License, and promptly left me to go to work.
While she was getting her stuff done I asked the BMV Counter Monkey how to get around the you-need-a-photo-ID-to-get-your-photo-ID roundabout. She said I could apply for my SSC, then bring back the form they give me, validating the request, and that would do to get my license. But I will need to get the SSC to renew the license or my plates.

I returned alone to the SSadmin and waited for only an hour. There were only 2 Counter Monkeys here and each person seemed to take 20 minutes or so. I just had to listen to the toothless, messy-haired, bedraggled lunatics bitch in the waiting room the whole time while children ran around unsupervised.

Back to Chesterland to renew the license. By now it's 4pm and offices are closing.

Thurs, 22 March: I replaced my I.D. card at work ($25) and tried to replace my Hospital I.D., but they moved the office and no longer have electronic record of my existence, nor do they have access to physical records that house my original paper request. Of course I had to wait a fucking hour in the office to find this out. Stopped at the mall on the way home and purchased a new wallet ($35).

Monday, 26 March 11:30a.m.: Jimm is leaving the Gym and headed for his new home-away-from-home, the sauna (when it's not full of fat naked men {besides me, of course}, when one of the Gym employees says, "Hey Man, how's it going?"

Oh, Good.

"Did You get my message last week, about some restaurant finding a wallet?"

No, messaging in my lab is retarded. Do tell.

"Frank & Johnny's or Bob & Tony's or something like that."

Cock & Balls, yeah

"They found it and the only phone number in it was on the 121fitness center card. You work at Case, right? I called the number on your account."

No shit.

Monday, 26 March 3:30PM, Jimm walks into Cock & Balls, retrieves wallet. The few bucks inside are, of course, gone, but all else is intact.

Now, I realise this is all my fault, and I took every opportunity to make each step and each situation worse, but I thought I'd share anyway.

'cuz, you know, it's funny.

I'm certain that this is Karmic retribution for 2 weeks previous to losing the wallet when a member of my party saw that a person at the bar dropped money on the floor and snatched it while I did nothing.

I can't wait until Hillary is elected and every trip to the doctor, every trip to the pharmacist and buying every tank of gas for your car is just like this.

Present your Papers, citizen!



Blogger Matt D said...

Haha. At least you got your wallet back, and you can have backups of some of the missing stuff.

Here we can order copies of our DL online, and it only takes a couple days. That would make things much easier.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 8:46:00 PM  
Blogger salome said...

The SSA will take a work ID along with a BC or medical insurance card as proof of identity.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 1:34:00 PM  

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