• Lara Flanagan

The Passport God strikes again

Updated: Feb 26


We went and applied for Archie’s and Rissie’s passports today.  It was a very exciting thing to do – one more tick on my very long list. One more thing which makes me realise that yes we are  really doing this. After my recent mention of the Passport God – you know the one up in the sky who has a miserable existence due in part to his issues with alcohol and drug dependency?  In his misery he likes to look down at the excited little people in post-offices all over Australia applying for passports and slap their photos with the ugly stick.  


The bride-to be applying for her first passport as she is going overseas to Thailand on her honeymoon?  Bham – he makes her look like a crack whore. The lovely little nanna who is impeccably groomed going to visit her grand-kids for the first time in the United Kingdom?  Bham – he makes her look like Myra Hindley.  The highly successful businessman in his 30’s going to China to negotiate million dollar deals? Bham – he makes him look like Mr Bean with a skin infection. All in a day’s work when you are drowning in your misery up there in the sky.


As for the angelic little 8 year old twins in the Tenterfield Post office applying for their first ever passports as they will soon be embarking on a 12 month adventure with their slightly deranged mother?  Bham – he makes the girl look like Damien from the Omen and he makes the boy look like a remorseless, miserable criminal.  How does he do it every single time?  I wonder if he resents the fact that he was given this job or if he relishes the fact that every time someone opens up their passport at immigration they die a little bit inside? 


Just when they were feeling fabulous (as who doesn’t feel fabulous when you are about to be boarding a plane to go somewhere exciting) you look down at your passport photo and realise you are stuck with that photo for a very long time. You might be imagining that you look like Audrey Hepburn from Roman Holiday when in fact you are more reminiscent of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Then you prepare yourself to make a really stupid wise crack to someone at a customs gate who is just looking for an excuse to make someone squirm for at least 10 minutes.


When we got home Rissie had to jump on the computer to check her newly created email account, she didn’t think her passport photo was too bad (and it wasn’t really). Archie on the other hand sat there staring at his photo anxiously wondering if it was hideous. I had been all set to tell him that yes it was and we could be hideous together, but looking at his little face I had to tell him a white lie.  “Best photo I have ever seen buddy”.    I suspect he knew I was telling a fib but I just couldn’t stand the thought of him lying in bed every night obsessing about the standard of his photo.  How can two creatures made from scratch from the very same ingredients turn out so completely different?


I am like a kid who is on a 4 month countdown to Christmas – the thought of Christmas morning sometimes is almost too much to bear.

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