Rejected: signora Giocondoís picture
Location: U.S. Post Office, almost Anywhere, USA: "Hello. How may I help you?" asked a postal worker.
"I want to apply for a U.S. passport," said the lovely lady. Handing over a document, she continued, "I have already filled out Form DS-82."
"My, for a brand-new U.S. citizen, you have done a fine job," said the worker. "Most people cannot do this without our help. Also, your printing is perfect."
"You might say thatís my fine Italian hand."
"I see your maiden name was Gherardini, and your married name is Giocondo, and your first name is Lisa. Is that correct?"
"Yes, it is. But my grandchildren call me íMona.í What is your name?"
"My name is Pickwick; however, my friends call me íPicky.í"
"Mr. Pickwick, here are your papers plus the required check for $150.00 dollars. I have even provided my own picture."
"Oh, oh, thatís a no-no Mrs. Giocondo."
"Why is that? Donít you think it looks just like me?"
"Well, yes, it does. But why do you want to use your own picture?"
"Because you are going to charge me $15.00 for a picture I could have made in one of those photo booths for $2.00."
"Yes, that is true; however, we are moving into an era of facial recognition software and we must be able to capture certain data points on your face," said Pickwick. "Moreover, your picture is a one-half length and we are only interested in your face."
"How interesting. I can assure you other men have been interested in my body."
"I see. This picture looks rather old; however, you seem not to have changed at all. You look, very fit. You must spend a lot of time in the gym."
"That sounds like an old pick-up line," Mr. Pickwick. "So, are you hitting on me, or what?"
"Gracious no, dear lady. In this #Me, too, Era, perish the thought."
"Okay, instead of my filing a sexual harassment complaint, how about using my picture?"
"Unfortunately, your picture has other problems. We do not need any of that faraway perspective stuff in the background."
"But those things suggest the real me. They portray who I am. Well, okay, who I was."
"Mona, listen! This office does not give a rat who you think you are! Look, other people are waiting in line! All we want is the fee of $150.00 dollars, a picture of your face for $15.00, and a form with no mistakes and no erasures!"
"All right, íPicky,í I am prepared to give you all that. But there must be something else."
"Yes, there is. Your picture is not credible. In your picture, you are sort of smiling. No one smiles in a government office!"
"Yes, what you say is true. Okay. Take my picture and Iíll pay the blasted $15.00 dollars."
"Good. Just make sure you do not smile."
©2019. William Hamilton.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Dr. Hamilton is the author of The Wit and Wisdom of William Hamilton: the Sage of Sheepdog Hill, Pegasus Imprimis Press (2017). "Central View," can also be seen at: