One thing my wife and my mother both have in common is a strong desire to adhere to, and to enforce the rules. When I was a child, my mom was forever teaching me about rules. If you were to ask her, she’d probably tell you that I rarely ever assumed the rules applied to me, regardless of what they were. Today, my wife would tell you the same thing, particularly when I try to sneak into one of our favorite stores through the exit only lane when I’m driving the little car… “You can’t turn here, we’ve been over this!” I know, but I’m fast and it’s SUCH a hassle to go around! She’s right, of course. You can’t tell a cop after you’ve had an accident, “Red lights are just such a hassle.”
Some rules are an enormous hassle, but you get into huge trouble when/if you try to skirt them. Today, for example, a youngish looking Korean man tried to sneak through airport security with a fake ID. I can hear my mom now… “WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU THINKING?” As travelers, we all know that the TSA is always announcing that recent changes in security procedures will soon make things easier at the airport security check. In truth over the past 6 years, things have gotten progressively worse and much more difficult on travelers. The latest rule they’re enforcing has a particularly high “P.I.T.A.F.” (Pronounced “PEE-taff,” it stands for Pain-in-the-***-factor. I made it up… feel free to use it). Not only must you posses a legitimate state issued ID or passport, now you have to take it out of your wallet or purse and present it to them while they go over the hidden holograms and seals with a new toy flashlight they have. Two or three of TSA’s finest gather to stare at your license under the special light. “Ooooh, Ahhhh” they all take turns pointing and looking as if you’ve given a monkey a shiny new penny.
Anyway, if they don’t find exactly what they’re looking for (and who knows what that is, really, given the variety of the licensure issued by 50 different states), they’ll boot you out of line. Consider the ignorant kid in front of me today. The TSA guy couldn’t satisfy himself that the I.D. was legit, and he asked the boy a trick question, “Do you have any other fake I.D. with you today?” The kid (not much sharper than a bag full of marbles) said, “No, that one gets me into all the clubs.” *sigh* Out he went, bags in tow. Buh-Bye!!
The lesson here is, don’t take any chances. If your current driver’s license is several years old, or if it’s been through the wash a couple of times, you might want to get it renewed. An even better idea is to get yourself a passport (if you haven’t already) and put it in your favorite travel carry-on. It’s a good idea to have a backup ID, just in case.