The World is Mine! Creepy . . .

I just got my new U.S. passport today, after only sending the paperwork in about 1.5 weeks ago. Crazy. A little brochure came with the passport, its cover reading “With Your U.S. Passport, the World is Yours!”

I’m writing an open letter to the U.S. State Department in response to this present.

Dear Dr. Rice,

I recently received my U.S. passport after turning in the paperwork only a few weeks earlier. I wanted to write and thank you for the timely way in which you were able to process my paperwork and present me with the thing I needed to badly. I must say, your ability to turn around a U.S. passport this quickly is appreciated.

I wanted to express my gratitude for the other thing that was in the envelope, alongside the passport. It fell out on the floor when I opened the envelope, and seems undamaged, but I must confess that this is too much of a gift. It was after I picked it off the floor and finished reading the note in the envelope that I got your message: “With your U.S. Passport, the World is Yours.”

While am very . . . grateful . . . that you decided to send me the world along with my passport (it’s lovely, I assure you), I feel I cannot accept this gift. It’s too much. All I wanted to do was a little traveling – you know, borrow a few parts of the world just for a short time and then give them right back. I didn’t really need the whole thing, and I hope you’re not offended that I’m sending it back.

Actually, come to think of it, do you even have the right to give it away? I mean, the U.S. represents 5% of the world population, so I can’t really figure out how you got your hands on the whole damned thing. Seriously, does anybody else know you have this thing? You might want to put it right back where you found it. Now that I think of it, I’m not even sure why ou sent it to me.

Please don’t be offended. It’s not yours to give, nor mine to receive. Please put the world back right where you found it and consider applying my plans – borrowing a little of it from time to time – instead. Again, I am most grateful for the speed with which you used my tax money to process my passport request and send it to me.


Steve Sekula

P.S. If you don’t mind, please let the Congress know about the speed and efficiency with which you processed my request for a passport. Ask them to consider similar expeditiousness to processing the budget request for American science. Thanks!

That phase is super-freaking creepy, given how reviled the U.S. seems to be on the world stage these days. Actually, the world is not mine, with all due respect to the State Department. I’d like to think I have the honor of passing through it from time to time, even participating with the people in other nations (who own those nations, by the way). But I do not want the world, nor will I think of it like a toy, nor is it the power of either this passport or my U.S. citizenship to give me the world as a gift.

Citizen of the world, please keep it. I’ve got too much of my own crap to deal with anyway.

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