Tuesday, July 26, 2005


The original Social Security card is in these hands. It's several designs ago and several name-versions ago, but it's the original, with a signature in washable blue ink, fountain pen, stub nib, very broad. It's not even smeared. But the card of someone else is gone, and these days it seems best to be armed with the full panoply of paper-bits. The Web is Wonderful. All information about obtaining a replacement card is on line, including a printable application form. Luckily, Austin has a local Social Security office. Unfortunately, the clerks, though pleasant and helpful, are really over-burdened. There are not enough chairs. People waiting kindly allocate the too-few seats to the elderly and those with babes in arms and clinging toddlers. It's a take-a-number place. The security person reported that the lines begin forming an hour and a half before the doors open in the morning. So this is just another starved government service.


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