Never, never leave home without it

Never, never leave home without it by Bob Karolevitz �I think I�ll leave my purse in the hotel room,� Phyllis said. �It�s too heavy to carry around, and it�s such a nuisance.�

�But then you won�t have any identification,� I countered.

Needless to say, she won out as she always did, and our next appointment was a White House tour and a chance to shake hands with the then-sitting President.

Sure enough, the guard at the gate asked each of us to show him some I.D. before we could be admitted � and there Phyllis stood with nothing to prove that she was who she said she was.

�See!� I growled in a most husbandly manner. �I told you that you should never be without some means of identity. Now you�ll just have to wait outside while the rest of us get a pass.�

Well, Phyllis sweet-talked the guard into letting her in. �You have an honest face,� he smilingly said ��although I still think it was the way I chided her that he could tell that we were married.

As it turned out, we were able to dance in the Blue Room to the music of a Marine combo, and we did meet the president � but I continued to seethe because she had left her driver�s license and credit cards back at the hotel.

(She couldn�t get away with it now with that Homeland Security thing in place. She�d have been branded as a Norwegian terrorist!)

After that I never let her forget it, as I stressed over and over again the importance of always having your identification with you.

And then I did it!

I had driven the 70 miles to Sioux Falls to see Phyllis�s sister in the hospital there. All had gone well as we visited with Marie in the Intensive Care Unit. That is, until I glanced at my wrist to find out what time it was.

No watch!

Then I hurriedly checked my back pocket.

No wallet either!

I had left my billfold back home in my office, along with what little cash I always carried. I broke out in a cold sweat to think that I had driven all that way without my driver�s license.

What if we had gone into a ditch or were picked up for running a stop light or some other infraction?

I couldn�t prove why I should be behind the wheel. Unlike Phyllis, I wouldn�t be able to sweet-talk my way out of it with the highway patrol officer (although I think I have an honest Polish face).

The upshot, of course, was that my wife ��who had her purse with her, incidentally � bought my meal with her credit card and had to drive home while I sulked all the way in the passenger seat.

�You should always carry your identification with you,� she lectured me ever so wifely. And I could see a Mona Lisa smile on her face.

She�ll also never let me forget about it either!

� 2003 Robert F. Karolevitz

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