And Now It’s Time For Another Edition Of…

This “Wait…What?” moment is brought to you by your tax dollars.

wastedSpecifically, the tax dollars that pay the salaries of both a clerk and supervisor at the District of Columbia Marriage Bureau.

And because the District of Columbia – that is, Washington DC – is not a state but a stand-alone Federal City, we’re talking federal tax dollars.

Your federal tax dollars.

The media thus far have declined to name the clerk and supervisor, so for storytelling purposes, I’ll name them.  Let’s see…

abbott_and_costello_show Abbott and Costello? No, they were smart.
tom and jerry Tom and Jerry? No, they were funny.
dumb cropped YES

Because the clerk and supervisor were just so embarrassingly…nescient.

Last month Gavin Clarkson, a resident of New Mexico, and his then-fiancée Marina, a resident of Washington DC, went to the District of Columbia Marriage Bureau to apply for a marriage license.

Clarkson presented his New Mexico driver license for ID to the clerk, whom I’ll call Dumb.ready_01

Dumb rejected Clarkson’s license as ID because…

Are you ready?

“She thought New Mexico was a foreign country,” said Clarkson.  Dumb told Clarkson he would need an international passport for ID, since he wasn’t a U.S. citizen.

Clarkson protested the clerk’s decision to her supervisor, who was obviously Dumber, and who also failed to recognize New Mexico as a state.

“My supervisor says we cannot accept international driver licenses. Do you have a New Mexico passport?” queried Dumb.

laughing_01Clarkson said the employee checked with the supervisor twice about the issue.

By now, said Clarkson, “All the couples behind us waiting in line were laughing.”

If I’d been in line waiting to get a marriage license, and the line was stalled because  federal-tax-dollars-paid U.S. citizens were unaware that our country has a state called “New Mexico,” I would not have been laughing.

The online stories are sketchy about how Clarkson finally convinced Dumb and Dumber that New Mexico was, indeed, a state.  Did he:

  • Google “U.S. maps” and point to his home?
  • Find “New Mexico” on Wikipedia, where it says New Mexico has been a state in 1912?
  • Show Dumb the Ballotpedia page from Clarkson’s recent unsuccessful run for New Mexico Secretary of State:


Later on Facebook Clarkson said:


The license was issued, the couple married, and in a statement the director of media and public relations for DC Courts apologized for the couple’s “slight delay.”

The director did not apologize for Dumb and Dumber’s…dumbness.

Nor did she indicate if she’d be requiring Dumb and Dumber to memorize our other 49 states.


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