Dear Stuart,

I can count on one hand the number of things I’ve learned over the course of my life:

1) Don’t let parrots sit on your head if you have curly, unkempt hair
2) Don’t taunt ostriches.
3) Be nice to the elderly.
4)  If you keep pushing for something you really want, you can usually get it because others get frustrated and give in.
5) Amelia Earhart was a real person (!)
6) Apples don’t keep you full.

I guess you’d need two hands to count those things. Probably I should’ve thought about the number of things I’ve learned before I started typing but it’s too late now.

Anyway, I’d like to focus today on #4. It’s become increasingly apparent that rules are not really rules. They are more like “rules” and if you push reaaaally hard [DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT ADVOCATING YOU DO ILLEGAL THINGS] , you can bend them or get people to change their minds and let you do something they said you couldn’t do. Or some such.

Example: Heather needs a job. She wants one that is in the US
Heather: Hi, please hire me. Here’s my resume.
Potential Employer: No. Also, your resume is just a tree you drew on this etch-a-sketch.
H: I can start Monday. I need a visa though, please.
PE: I said no.
H: I am very interested in your work. Please, I would like to work for you. Please.
* 5 days later, Heather shows up in United States *
H: I am here to work for you.
PE: *falls to knees and cries*

and I kept that job for a full year!

I plan on employing this method for lots of things. Getting a free lunch tomorrow, forcing people to hang out with me, obtaining goldfish, etc.

What this hasn’t worked for yet is getting a visa to go to country X. I am withholding the name of the country in case they read this (obviously they would) and get mad at me. But country X is giving me lots of trouble over a visa I need so that I can go there for ONLY 2 WEEKS. First of all, visas should not be necessary for visits of under a year. Second of all, visa applications should look like this:

Are you a contributing member of society?
Do you know where you’re going?
Do you have a plane ticket?
Ok have fun.

Not like this:
You need a criminal record check and the Queen of England needs to sign off on it and once she does that, you need to send it to a lawyer who can verify her signature and then you need to send original proof of citizenship, birth, education, as well as a leprechaun to this other consulate that is on the other side of the country. Don’t forget to make copies of everything!

There is no way that I can do this all by next Friday, which is when I want to leave. Maybe I shouldn’t have booked my ticket before I had a visa. Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten the last leprechaun I caught. Maybe I shouldn’t have done a lot of things, but what I know is this: tomorrow I go to the nearest consulate and sit there until they give me a visa.

Stay tuned.