(This story is for my sister, Heather, who tried to tell me…)
This past week I realized my driver's license had expired 06/02/06 - oops! Being an otherwise law-abiding citizen, I decided I'd better get down to the courthouse and see Sylvia Hall, our tag agent. Even as I walked into her office I was silently rehearsing what I planned to say. I knew she would be requesting my thumb print, and I was going to tell her that I was a “conscientious objector” and the only print I had given away for free was my footprint when I was born! It sounded good to me, but dear Sylvia didn't even blink when she politely objected to my objection. (Perhaps she had heard it before?) She just smiled and gently said, “Sorry, Shelley, but no print, no license!” The heck of it is, she wasn't interested in just one of my thumbs, but requested both of my index fingerprints. And so I acquiesced, and in a mere heartbeat my unsullied, unrecorded sworls became two of the thousands of others stored in some databank somewhere. Then, with the click of a button, she told me the camera wasn't just taking a picture of my face - it was also taking a picture of my retinas. The final blow to my treasured sense of anonymity was struck when Sylvia wouldn't let me keep my old driver's license. (Hey, it was a fairly good picture.) Alas, I am no longer happily living “off the grid” and now, encoded somewhere on that little rectangle of plastic she handed to me, are tiny bits of me. Why did I feel like I had lost something important when I looked at that small picture of myself?
Heather was right - I had no choice in this matter. And I don't blame Sylvia in the least for doing her job and patiently explaining to me the “why” of it all as I grudgingly followed the rules. Thanks to the relinquishment of my fingerprints and the scanning of my eyes - all done in a matter of seconds - no one else can ever say they're me.. And should I do something unlawful it will be easier to catch me. But at the same time, I have to wonder if there will come a point in time when I rebel against the system that is securing my identity from theft. And by doing so, will I become the criminal? Hmmm….
First came Boots, the little black dog from next door. She stayed with us for four days. Then came Cash, a blue-eyed and part-wolf puppy who stayed over night a couple of times. Next came Annie, my sister's dog, who would have stayed permanently had she been given a choice. And then there is Roscoe, who comes by for a “sleep over” whenever she knows she's in trouble for running away from home. Shiloh, Sweet Pea, and even old BlackJack, the cat, have welcomed them all with open paws - which surprised me at first. So, if you are going out of town for a few days and need someone to care for your dog, call me and I'll ask Shiloh if he's ready for another boarder. I'm sure he'll bark, “Come on over and stay awhile.”
Boise City News