Jan seems like a normal intelligent person with the usual abilities and talents accorded to those who walk along the boulevard of life. The truth is she has a shady past and subsequent investigations by Homeland Security have discovered that she is/was one step from an undocumented alien.
What do you call those people who cannot produce the necessary paperwork to authenticate that they were born in America? Mr. President? Whoopsie. That is another story.
Jan and husband Norm recently saw the light and moved from Illinois to Indiana. It was almost a religious experience as they breathed the pure oxygen of Hoosier Land and basked in the elation of what it means to live Hoosier. However, the trek to the Promised Land was fraught with land mines set by their erstwhile public servants -- Illini bureaucrats. Let the record so indicate.
Her first travail was caused when she went to the BMV to get a driver's license. She was asked, "Did you have driver training in Illinois?" She said, "No, I was scheduled for the next semester but the mule died so it was canceled." She had her official birth certificate and two marriage licenses signed by clergy but that was insufficient. You know Homeland Security rules and all.
She called her cousin Hetty Lou who still lives in the county where the marriage licenses were issued and she was able to obtain "Official" copies of course with a fee of $15 each. Then came the crux of the entire process.
Jan could not prove she was born in Illinois. She has a copy of her birth certificate stating she was born in Westlake Hospital, Melrose Park, Ill. -- Chicago area. Enough said about that Paragon of certitude populated by denizens of propriety. Undaunted she called the Cook County Clerk's Office and listened to a recording saying they were closed. She found another number, and developed an ear bleed as she heard, "Your call is important to us, stay on the line." She was bombarded by 20 minutes of Yanni, Kenny G and Lawrence Welk massaging her hammer, anvil and stirrup that almost destroyed the hearing in both ears and put her in a testy mood. Finally, a man answered and she explained her mission. He asked, "Is that hospital in Cook County?" "Well, yes. Melrose Park is a suburb of Chicago."
"Well if it isn't you will not receive your certificate and the $45 fee may or may not be returned to you.
With some trepidation she called Westlake Hospital and believe it or not it is still operating after all those years. She explained the situation to the first operator and asked, "Is Westlake Hospital in Cook County?" Silence then, "I don't know. Let me transfer you to another operator." Another explanation. Silence. "I don't know. Let me transfer you to another operator." "I don't know but I will find out." How is it possible that three people are unaware of what county they work in?
While waiting Jan booted her computer and used the Ask Jeeves application and discovered that Westlake Hospital is indeed in Cook County. The third operator then came back on line and said, "We don't know. Have you tried the post office." (TBC)
Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. He has published six books.