Wednesday, 2 February 2011

How To Get a Passport

    A cut out and keep guide
  1. Collect passport form from kitchen table where it has been safely filed. Head off to find nearest Post Office.
  2. Arrive at nearest Post Office and discover it has been demolished and an enormous supermarket is being built in its place. Every little does not help, thank you very much.
  3. Find a Post Office a bit further away. Queue for twenty minutes. Reach front of queue, present passport paperwork. Take paperwork back when woman behind the Plexiglass window announces that this is not a something something Post Office. A what? A something something Post Office. Sorry, could you say that again? Recoil as woman shouts WE DON'T DO PASSPORTS.
  4. Find another Post Office even further away. Stand in a queue of nineteen people. Watch woman at front of queue post twenty-two separate parcels. Count the parcels. Yes, right first time; there are twenty-two of 'em. Listen to Parcel Woman discuss her imminent move to Chester. Wonder aloud why she couldn't have posted her twenty-two parcels in Chester? Adopt innocent expression when Parcel Woman turns around and glares. Queue for forty minutes.
  5. Reach front of queue. Present passport paperwork to woman behind Plexiglass window. Sag at knees when woman questions why no birth certificate has been included with the paperwork?
  6. Go home. Make cup of coffee. Search for birth certificate. Find button tin, Hugh Fearnley-Thingummy's recipe for macaroni cheese, and gold earring which has been missing for months. Eventually find Important Paperwork File under bed, under pile of unopened Mslexia magazines, under electric blanket with the dodgy wiring. Congratulate oneself on superbly organised Important Paperwork.
  7. Go back to Post Office. Join queue of seventeen people. Frisk everyone for excess parcelage. Apologise. Wait for twenty-five minutes. Reach front of queue.
  8. Present passport paperwork. Produce birth certificate with smug flourish. Laugh uncertainly when woman behind Plexiglass window points out passport paperwork has not been signed. Laugh less uncertainly when woman insists that, no, she is not joking. Get escorted, sobbing quietly, from Post Office by Security Guard.
  9. Arrive home. Answer phone call from school. Inform school that passport was applied for months ago and that of course it will arrive in time for foreign trip next Tuesday.
  10. Check holiday insurance cancellation policy.


  1. Is it really all the fault of the Plexiglass, that Post Office counter staff appear to border on the surly side? We have our fair share of sour expressions in our town, too.

  2. Maybe the reduced threat of physical injury makes them less pleasant?

    Most of steps 8, 9 & 10 could have been avoided if the signature had been mentioned at step 5.

    Or if I'd read the forms properly.

  3. I'm sure you can go to the passport office in Liverpool in person and get it done in a few days... probably at horrific expense! Probably cheaper to buy one at one of those.... *ahem* ... oh... hello officer!