News / Blog

October 20, 2006

James's Thumb Deemed "Fit to be Printed" by U.S. Immigration.

Because James is a proud citizen of the United Kingdom, Ashmont has to arrange for a work visa for him when he comes to the U.S. to tour. Obtaining a visa for him or anyone is either a big headache (we do the paperwork and filing) or a dull headache and very expensive (a private company does the filing and Ashmont bleeds green.) The last few years we’ve opted for the latter. I’m not bitching. It’s a cost of doing business and a quality of life issue. The final step in obtaining a U.S. temporary work visa requires the applicant to be interviewed by an immigration officer, after which, the approved applicant is fingerprinted.

Yesterday, I got a frantic email from James: “Skype me! You cannot believe the trauma here today.” I knew the email had everything to do with his visa, and that there had been some kind of screw up. Every day of the week prior to his approval notification he had nagged me about the visa. Sometimes I’d get a text message that read simply, “visa?” So I dialed him up. Here’s a transcript of the conversation that followed.

JP: Kid, is there a problem with your visa?
JW: Unbelievable! It’s really quite funny except it’s not funny at all, really.
JP: Relax, Kid. You’ve been approved.
JW: I know.
JP: All you have to do is call them up, arrange the interview and go down there. No problem.
JW: I know that, you tit.
JP: Well, what’s the issue?
JW: This morning I called the office and made my appointment.
JP: And?
JW: And the woman on the phone says, “And make sure you’ve no cuts on any of your fingers.” I said to her, “You’re joking, right?” And she says, “No, sir. It’s no joke. You’re to be fingerprinted, and the prints can’t be taken of a wounded digit. And if we cannot take your prints, we can’t issue the visa.”
JP: Kid, do you have a cut on your finger?
JW: On my thumb. I cut the tip of it this morning…chopping a boiled potato. It’s quite deep. And it hurts.
(This is where we begin to lose our shit, laughing.)
JP: Kid, you mean to tell me we’ve paid for your visa, paid an additional one thousand dollars to expedite it, you’ve been approved, your interview appointment is scheduled, your nonrefundable flight is booked and paid for, and after all that, my tour is going to be fucked up because of a boiled potato?
JW: What? I was going to fry it with some toe-mah-toe and onion, and have it for my lunch.
JP: How many days until your appointment?
JW: One and a half.
JP: Well, keep that thumb out of your ass and get some neosporin on it.
JW: Must I?

Joe @ 6:27 pm