My last passport is long gone. I got it in the early 80's, when I was 15, for the generic American-Family-Goes-to-Europe trip. I have no idea where it is. It may be buried in a box at my parents' house. Or in my closet. Or lost/tossed in one of my countless moves between college, medical school, residency, marriage, etc. It had a hideous photo of me with early 80's shoulder-length hair, thick plastic rim glasses, braces, and zits.
So we made an appointment to do this over at our local post office yesterday. The girl is typing in our social security numbers. When she gets to mine she stops, and stares at the computer screen.
Ms. Postal: "Mr. Grumpy, are you aware there's already a passport in existence for this number?"
To be honest, I'd forgotten about it until she said that.
Dr. Grumpy: "Oh, yeah, that was from the early 80's. I'm sure it's long expired."
Ms. Postal: "May I have it please?"
Dr. Grumpy: "I don't have it. I have no idea where it is."
Ms. Postal: "WHAT! DO YOU REALIZE HOW IRRESPONSIBLE THAT IS?!!!"
Dr. Grumpy: "Uh, no, I mean, I'm sorry..."
Ms. Postal: "There could be a TERRORIST out there somewhere right now! Using your name, picture, and passport!"
(If Al-Queda has operatives out there who look like I did in the early 80's, I sort of feel bad for them).
Dr. Grumpy: "I'm really sorry, I didn't know I needed it."
Ms. Postal: "WELL! I guess I'll just have to mark the box here for previous passport lost. And let's hope that's ALL that's happened to it."
Dr. Grumpy: "Thank you. I'm sorry."
Ms. Postal: "Let's just try to be more careful with your new passport, shall we?"
I had no idea I was such a threat to national security.