Jerry Zezima: Have passport, can travel

In case I am run out of the country, which is probably inevitable but would give me a great reason to have my own travel show, I just renewed my passport.

“Now I can visit my mother,” I told Jenn, a very nice postal employee who helped me and my wife, Sue, with our renewals at a post office branch on Long Island, New York.

“Where does your mother live?” asked Jenn.

“In Connecticut,” I replied.

“You don’t need a passport for that,” she said. “At least, not yet.”

“I can’t afford to go anywhere else,” I said. “But if I had a TV series, I would get paid to travel the world. If Stanley Tucci, Eugene Levy and Conan O’Brien can do it, so can I.”

Sue and I got our passports in 2008, when we went to Barbados for our 30th anniversary. We also used them when we went to France in 2011 for our younger daughter’s wedding. But the passports expired in 2018. And even though we have no plans — or money — to go anywhere exotic, we wanted to renew them.

Jenn agreed when I said that the worst part of traveling is packing.

“Unless you go overnight, as I do when I visit my mother, it takes forever to pick the right clothes and stuff them into your suitcase,” I said. “If you go somewhere for a week, you have to check the weather forecast and decide what to bring. And you always end up overpacking.”

Jenn took our expired passports, made copies of our driver’s licenses and checked our applications to be sure we filled them out correctly.

“Are you going to take our pictures?” I asked.

“Yes,” Jenn responded. “And you can’t use a disguise.”

“You can’t replace my mug shot with a photo of Brad Pitt?” I wanted to know.

“You can’t even use a Groucho Marx disguise,” Jenn said.

She took Sue’s photo, which came out great. When she took mine, she said, “I have to shoot you again.”

“A lot of people would like to shoot me,” I said.

“No, I mean I have to take another picture,” said Jenn.

“Why, because the first one looks like me?” I wondered.

“Because you were smiling,” Jenn explained. “You’re not supposed to show teeth.”

“When mine fall out, there won’t be a problem,” I said just before Jenn snapped the second shot, which came out all right.

“You can expect your new passports in six to eight weeks,” Jenn told me and Sue as we were leaving.

“What if I have to flee the country before then?” I asked. “Can I use you as a reference?”

“No,” Jenn said. “But if you get your own travel show, you can send me on a nice vacation.”

Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for Tribune News Service and is the author of seven books. His latest is “The Good Humor Man: Tales of Life, Laughter and, for Dessert, Ice Cream.” Reach him at [email protected] or via