Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Herbert is born...

June 14th, 2006

I’ve decided to name my spleen “Herbert”.

Today, Herbert and I officially became United States Citizens. My alarm woke me up this morning at 6am. After watching the first half of the Spain VS Ukraine game, I left for downtown El Paso. The letter said for me to arrive PROMPTLY at 9am. Unfortunately, 940 other citizen hopefuls had received that identical letter. And so, I ask you: What happens when 940 people are told to show up PROMPTLY at 9am? Chaos, that’s what happens. I arrived amongst a throng of confused human cattle, all moving in whichever direction they happened to face.

One German (or Dutch…I couldn’t tell which) lady came up to me and said, “Egggscuze me? Egggscuze me? I am a vizzitor?”

“Oh yeah?” I said. Neither Herbert nor I knew what to make of her question, and after a few minutes of looking at her in obvious failed communication, the crowd carried us away in opposite directions. I hope she made it somewhere.

After a while, word got spread around that we were supposed to form into lines corresponding to a number in our notifications. There was one problem: the lines were so long and crooked that there was absolutely no way to tell which line was which. I said, “Screw it!” and jumped into the nearest line. The going was painfully slow. One and a half hours later I found myself standing within 10 feet of the immigration desk, where I made a frustrating discovery: I WAS IN THE WRONG LINE!

Fortunately I was only one off, and I very sheepishly asked the person in the line next to me if I could cut in front of them. I said, “Thanks” before they could say no. I may have heard some grumbling, but there’s no way I was going to go to the back of the line.

At the desk they asked some pretty interesting questions.

1. “Have you joined or become associated with the Communist Party in any way?” Not me, but Herbert here has “Down with Democracy” meetings every Friday.

2. “Have you practiced polygamy or received income from illegal gambling?” Are you calling me fat?

3. “Have you been a habitual drunkard?” (Hiccup hiccup) What, me? (hiccup hiccup) Never!

4. “Have you been a prostitute?” Can’t say that I have…but who knows where Herbert goes off to at nights.

It took all my willpower not to laugh at each of those questions, but those immigration officers take their job pretty seriously. One little giggle and I could see them tearing up my citizenship certificate.

So it all went well and I received my citizenship certificate. They led us into a huge warehouse-like room with chairs set up for the new citizens and their families. It was just like graduation: long-speeches, uncomfortable seats, unnecessary applause, and I was bored stiff. I must admit: I dozed through half of it. It was my final hoop to jump through to get my citizenship. I’ve jumped through quite a few already, so what’s one more?

But all in all, I think I would have preferred to have received a letter in the mail that simply said, “You are now a citizen.”


Blogger wind-up-bird said...

Well, congrats are in order to you and Herbert....I reckon. Being a citizen may not be all it's cracked up to be, especially since so many of us are drunken polygamist prostitute Communists. And we them odds! :D

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Herbert, since you're a citizen now, will you adopt me? ;)

11:36 AM  

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