I went to the Social Security Administration office in Davis Square today to replace my social security card (that I lost over two years ago).  While I was waiting, I couldn’t help overhearing a conversation between another customer and the staff … it went like this:

            Customer:                    “The first name on my card says ‘unknown’.” 
            Staff member:             “Your name isn’t ‘unknown’?”
            Customer:                    “Obviously not.”
            Staff member:             “So what is your first name?”
            Customer:                    “I don’t have one. My name is ‘Turtle’.”
            Staff member:             “Oh.”
            Customer:                    “I want my social security card to say ‘Turtle’.”
            Staff member:             “You have to have a first name.”
            Customer:                    “No I don’t.”
            Staff member:             “The computer system requires one.”
            Customer:                    “I don’t care.  My name is ‘Turtle’.”
            Staff member:             “Well, we need to have a first name.”
            Customer:                    “Fine. Make it ‘mister’ – M R.”
            Staff member:             “Okay, Mr. Turtle.”
            Customer:                    “Turtle.”

I don’t know what’s funnier here, that somebody put “unknown” in for his first name, that the system can’t tolerate flexibility in name configuration, or that the guy’s name is “Turtle”.