Stupidity tax, part two

by Michael Alderete on 5/30/2003

So, getting ready for our trip, Rochelle was going to Xerox our passports, so we would have copies, just in case. I was in the tub, and she went to get mine. A minute later, she came down the hall, laughing, “A ha, Michael is a dumbass!” It turns out my passport expired on 30 April 2003. Oops.

We had exactly 18 hours to figure out what to do. Rochelle checked a Costa Rica web site, remembering that you could take a photo ID and your birth certificate, and that would be enough. It turned out that that had expired on 1 May. Oops.

A quick internet search turned up Plan B, travisa, which is able to do same-day passports in four cities in the U.S. One of them — thank god — is San Francisco. Rochelle called them, and the cut-off is 10am. It was 8:30am, so plenty of time. They even were able to take the photo.

The damage: the US Government takes an extra $60 to do an expedited passport renewal. travisa’s service fee was $139 + $10 for the photo. Doing the math, that’s an extra $210 above what it would have cost if we’d done this after getting back from France — which is when I should have noticed this.

What’s really fucked up about this is, we decided not to take the direct flight from SFO to San Jose, because it was an extra $110 per person. One hour of massage in Costa Rica is $20, so that would be five massages. So we decided we could do deal with the indirect flight by getting massages, and come out even, or ahead, really, because we were going to do the massages anyway.

Well, that’s how the stupidity tax works, you think you’re getting ahead, and in an instant you wipe it all out. Ah, well…

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