The day of the trip, I ushered my family to the airport and set off to get to Jamaica by any means necessary. Speeding and focused down I-10, I acted on a plan I put together based on a tip I had received from the American Airlines concierge desk. The attendant told me that in rare instances like mine, the passport office could issue me a passport the same day. Anyone who has applied for a passport knows the amount of time that it takes to process the document. Naturally, I was skeptical, not only because of the haloed reputation of the passport itself but the more sobering reality that nothing happens quickly in New Orleans. It’s the “Big Easy” for a reason. This couldn’t be more apparent than trying on short notice to have the necessary documents and photos for my new passport printed at Office Depot.
When I got to the Office Depot on St. Charles in the downtown New Orleans, there were no other cars in the parking lot. I actually beat the store staff. Like waiting for the signal to burst in and trample over my neighbors for a $2 dollars savings on a blender for Black Friday, I shot in Office Depot once the associates who were moving about with all of the zest of a sloth. As if at once, all the machines stopped working because of course, and the earnest yet foggy staff shrugged helplessly as if resigning that the rest of their day would go down from there. After some troubleshooting and wrangling, I was able to print my documents and continue on with my plan. I raced out of Office Depot faster than cake at the office, than cake at fat camp, than cake…ok, people like cake and eat it quickly. Despite my doubts, I put my best foot forward, and sprinted to up to the office in New Orleans’ posh Canal Place mall, jet through security, and perhaps anticlimactically, got my queued number and breathlessly waited in line.