I’m Legal Now

Why do the forces of the universe find a joyless satisfaction in allowing a human being to become ill on the first day off work ?
Is it something we’ve done ? The looks ? The fact of our mere existence ?
Coughing, wheezing, sweating in the cold Eastern, I dragged my sore body – and the pounding head ! – over the groundless Franconian paths, slippery from treacherous mud and dirt, towards the big grey house where the authority dwells, embodied in my old nemesis, Miranda the evil dwarf.
When I first entered this crumbling building years ago and wandered through its endless corridors that look and smell like dried up pea soup, I was confronted with this gerbil like creature in the Bureau for Peasant’s Affairs. But gerbils have a soul, emotions, they even feel friendliness. Miranda the evil dwarf hated all and everything, himself, the job, the peasants. So he was the natural choice for the first desk opposite the entrance to the dimly lid file storage room that he controlled by miasmatic disdainfulness, you could have sawed blocks out of it …
To my amazement the steely stare I switched on before stepping over the threshold fell on a robust youngish woman. I noticed that the room was distinctly brighter, I was offered a chair ! Miranda seemingly is retired, maybe he kicked the bucket or simply vanished in the cellar to everybody’s relief. He took with him the nineteenhundredthirty’s ameublement, the pus coloured curtains, and the smell of fear & despair I remembered so well.
The young woman nevertheless interrogated me about personal details, like my hight (no idea), the colour of my eyes (changes, but there is always green in it), and put special emphasis on my nationality (“Coburgian”, what was dismissed). I never held two different passports, and – that was new to me – never served in foreign regular forces, thus acquiring a second nationality.
In front of me on the desk was a little thing like a tablet, like something you find in a shop, where you put the money down. It turned out to be a tablet and there I was shown the forms she had filled out, was asked to read through and control the details, and signed it with a stylo. I asked, it is a valid signature.
The new ID-card comes in the form of a cheque card size plastic piece with an embedded chip that stores my personal data and, if I allow it, the fingerprints of both forefingers (no way !). It also allows my identification online, valid for legal transactions ; but for this I’d need special soft~ and hardware, particularly a reader for the ID card.
I relinquished this functionalities, simply because I could not figure out circumstances in which I would need this. I avoid online-transactions generally, and can not think of a situation where I would need valid identification for a legally binding transaction via web – like … what ? Buying a house – no, I want a contract on paper and see who signs it. Opening an account at this respected Russian bank on The Caymans ? There are specialists for this, and again, you must see a person – hence you know whom to shoot when you are ruined …
The lady checked the photographic portrait I had acquired for expensive money, looked at it a bit quizzical, but it did fit into some scheme she used, and she glued it on a form. I payed my thirty Euro, one last signature (“This is the one that will be on the card.”), and that was it.
They send the whole stuff digitally to Berlin, the Bundesdruckerei (not G&D, I asked the lady, and she was firm about this : they cheated) will start the press, and sometime after Easter I will have a new, valid ID-card.
I went back through gardens of budding blossoms, cheered up by the distant laughter of children, wiping the image of an ugly mean dwarf from my memory.

25 thoughts on “I’m Legal Now

  1. Blimey, you are posting like a mad thing! This all sounds terribly sophisticated…. my only identification is a couple of ingeniously placed moles and a scar in the shape of a boiled sweet dating from April 1976.

  2. Lately I have been concerned with all of the cards in my wallet with so much information embedded in the on-board chips. Just there for the taking with a proximity scanner. So last week I got an RFID shielded wallet as well as an RFID shielded pouch for the passport.

  3. Exactly that – on both counts sorge LẌ ! The idea that my personal data including my fingerprints are on a run-of-the-mill-chip did not appeal. I asked whether these chips are readable contactless and got no clear answer. BTW when you have different chips touching and rubbing against each other they can corrupt the stored data. i was told this by a man at a store when I took two cards out of my shirt-pocket. he insisted that it was no urban myth, but true because it would have happened to relatives of his. In the ID-card the chip is seemingly covered with plastics, but I still have not seen such a thing.

    BTW did MsScarlet not promise an update of this little behind some months ago ? Is there a connection, perhaps ?

  4. We shall not dwell on the scar… well, not right now…
    I have a question…. does wrapping your cards in tin foil help shield the details?
    I know. This is a really stupid question isn’t it?!

  5. The scar, the scar, the scar…. it is all anyone is ever interested in….
    Meanwhile, I am now working on new handbag designs featuring glamorous tin foil linings…. Mr Devine will be so impressed.

  6. Oh, sorry, I was too slow … Will you do a “Clutch” too MsScarlet ? A “Hold-all”, and a rucksack ? There should be some tin foil left from the last compo.

  7. I have a tin foil mountain, Mr Mags, if you recall I was going to make a life sized model of Australia but ran out of time and in the end I took a minimal approach. I only used three inches of the foil I had purchased…. so yes, I will indeed have enough foil for a clutch bag, a rucksack, and possibly five sets of luggage.

  8. I have a warning (true warning!) about those fingerprint recognition chips on computer keyboards – don’t get one! There was one on The Man’s laptop and it delivered a mild shock. So i bought him a new, non-chipped laptop.

    Now, about Ms Scarlet’s sweetie…

    And tin foil might foil the thieves (see what I did there?), but you probably don’t want to go through the airport scanners with it! Save it for this year’s competition!

  9. Glad to learn that supplies are ready MsScarlet. I will put my tinfoilhat on later in the afternoon, actually it sits on a globus, such protecting earth from harm …

    Hello and welcome Wawanon (alias Rainette l’enigmatique), thank you for your first comment here ! Nice to see that you have a brand-new wordpress blog. Excuse my lousy French, but it will become better – ages ago I was even able to pronounce it more or less correctly.

    Y, Norma !

    “A mild shock” as in electrical shock Dinahmow ? Jessas … These fingerprint recognition seems to be a bit unreliable. I remember to have read only some weeks ago that someone tricked such a system with the print of a fingerprint.
    MsScarlet spoke about a scar “in the shape of a boiled sweet” – how would a boiled sweet look like ? Truely a lady of mystery.

    Of course tin helmets Nikos ! I hope you take care to wrap your biker helmet always before you start the engine. That’s important because of the waves, you know ?

  10. Glad to hear your visit to the administration was much more pleasant compared to the last time. It’s pretty amazing to me how things are done digitally now.

    I recently went to deposit a check at the atm. If I mailed it, I would have needed a stamp & a deposit form & won’t see the check cleared for up to five days. If I deposited it with the teller, it might take a day, two days if I deposit it in the atm. But this time, the atm had a scanner machine, & the bank employee showed me how to use it. I scanned the check, got my receipt, voided the check. Five minutes later, the funds were in my account! That was fast!

    I hope you like your new ID when it arrives. And get well soon! Good health to you!

  11. Speaking of technical issues…

    I’ve been trying to contact someone in an office about a problem that needs to be resolved.

    No one will give me a phone number to talk to a “live” person in the office. I must fill out a feedback form on their website. Apparently, it is the ONLY way to receive a response from them. After you fill out the online feedback form, you must wait several days for a response. Sigh.

    You are correct about becoming ill on the first day off work. Unfortunately, it happens to everyone at some point. I have also become ill while away on vacation, which is miserable.

    Get well soon, Mein Herr. I shall take over LX’s pillow-fluffing duties, if you wish. And perhaps a hot beverage?

  12. What you describe is a strange way to handle clients, at least in my humble opinion. Whatever the office is, the customers bring the cash ; or if it is purely “management”, reachability is what they all write on their flags today – easy, fast, multi-channel … if they are in a position to play on their own rules only (“We call you !”), so be it, must be an unshaken monopole …
    Thank you, I pass the hot beverage, let’s at once go to the cold beer, Mistress dearest !
    I need a strong one after the news.

  13. Ding Dong The Dwarf is Gone!
    And in his place, a pretty young face.
    With the help of the girl, our Mago is now legal!
    Soon he’ll get his new ID card, the process really wasn’t so hard.

    Congrats and get well soon.

  14. No such thing here Eroswings : Checks are very unusual around here, I have not held in hands for … puuh … twenty years ? If I would receive a check I would not know what to do with it, I would need “my” bank, I doubt that I could cash it in in another one. And while I think of it, I never have written out a check.
    Digitalisation is generally a good thing, I am really not against it. That would be fighting windmills, the change is always going on, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. But it comes with its own traps and pitfalls. Just think of the “digital” cars we have nowadays. Just yesterday it was in the news here how easy it is to take command of “keyless” cars.
    I really wonder how that ID will look like – and my portrait on it, ha !
    Thank you for the good wishes, I already feel a bit better, better than yesterday for sure.

    Who’d thought that you are a poetic squirrel, Lone Grey Squirrel ?
    No, it wasn’t hard, all was anticipation : The idea to meet this sourpuss geezer really put me off !

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