Apart from forcing my friends and family to come to this page, I’m convinced no one is actually reading this of their own accord — but I’m going to carry on anyway. Some of you reading this may not have a passport. I have indeed met a few students at UCSB who have not traveled outside America, but I’m not berating them (this time) for their lack of wider-world knowledge. For those of you who don’t have a passport, let me explain something: My passport is very precious to me while I am here. A passport is pretty much considered to be the most reliable globally accepted form of identification. Obtaining a passport is a long and arduous process, but it lets everyone know exactly who you are wherever you go. Except in Santa Barbara.
Before I go further on my anti-SB rant, let me briefly tell you about the humble visa. Do you know how hard it is to obtain a visa to get into your country? Interviews, forms, photos, more forms, thumbprints, more forms and then — finally — a colorful page in my passport giving me permission to stay here. Does that sound like a fairly secure means of making sure I am who I say I am? After two months of hoop-jumping and all that jazz, I would say yes.
However, Albertsons, Costco, Vons and even Keg-N-fucking-Bottle would give a big fat no. All of the above establishments seem to operate outside the world of common sense, with the excuse being they are all situated near Isla Vista. Because of that sad fact, a document that lets me into your country cannot buy me alcohol, since it “doesn’t have a physical description.” So… after a severe terrorist attack on America, numerous other terrorist threats, identity thefts and fraud crises, my passport is good enough for the extremely frugal government and the even more frugal passport control, but not good enough for Joey McDickhead at the checkout counter of Albertsons. Ah, yes, of course that makes sense. I completely forgot underage drinking is a more pressing matter than global terrorism. How ignorant of me.
I have mentioned in previous weeks that I am of Indian heritage, born, raised and educated in England. There are numerous stamps marked “India” and “Dubai” in my passport. I put up with the “random” screenings that I receive at airports, partly because they have badass sun shades on and giant tasers, but also because it’s part and parcel of what’s going on in the world. Being denied a drink because my ID doesn’t describe my goddamn eye color pisses me off. What’s more is that, when I go out to a bar here, they take my English driver license! They don’t even ask for my passport, because they have that precious commodity called common sense. They can read the date of birth, look at my face and let me in to buy alcohol. Why, then, are those supermarket people so silly? To quote Peter Griffin — he of legendary status — that really, really grinds my gears.
Well, it feels good to get that off my chest. And if any of you actually work at one of those places, this was not directed at you, but your ignoramus boss. If you do see me shopping at your store, however, be nice and let me have my drink. Now, I’m going to allow Jack Daniels to beat my friends and me up. Thank you, Isla Vista Market.