The Gateway Crime

Gateway Crime
Gateway Crime

Until recently I thought my sweet Sven's life of crime began at the age of five when he stole all the pretty flowers off the tops of his neighbor's stems. Yes, he got into trouble and he even cried during his apology.

But it didn't seem to matter. Soon after he was in a gang of thieves, helping themselves to fresh peas off the backs of farm trucks. And then he got into a dare devil vandalism cult, with the other bad boys in his hood, climbing on people's roofs and overturning an outhouse, just for the hell of it.

When he was old enough to drive there were five smashed cars and one capsized sailboat with a broken mast, all with his name on them, all not his fault.

By the time he was in his college years he was lifting Kool-Aid and frozen pot pies from his father's grocery store.

"I supplied the goods, "he said. "And my roommates had to cook. It was our arrangement."

After graduating, he and a buddy were involved in the largest ginseng heist to hit the Midwest, but they ended up drinking all their own tea as there was not a black market for ginseng, since you could just buy it in the store.

Sven tried to go straight when he met his lovely wife, yours truly, but not until after he turned her into his own Bonnie, driving the getaway car for his crop of an illegal herb on someone else's property.

Realizing how close he was to being abandoned on a country road in the rain because his driver had no sense of direction, it was finally over.

And then.

The quest for my sweet Sven's birth certificate began in 2023. It was the last week of December.

"Millie, I need to renew my driver's license."

That is when I went into panic mode, as his birthday was only days away and I don't know what it is about birth certificates, but they are shiftier than socks in a dryer.

Excuse me. My sister is yelling something.

"What's that Louisa?"

Oh. She wants to know what the hell a birth certificate has to do with the price of tea in China.

"Sven needs to get the license with the gold star."

I looked up when one must either have a passport or a real ID to fly. For anyone who cares, the date is now May 7, 2025.

But we are going to need more time.

Sven and I went on the hunt.

While he was still digging around, I began clicking keys and found the address in Madison to retrieve a certified copy of his birth certificate. I printed off the form and looked up the hours of the DMV in Portage. It could all work. All we had to do was spoil two perfectly fine days in a row taking care of business.

As Sven was writing his information on the form, he says, "You know what, Millie? My license doesn't expire until 2027."



For the love of God.

This, however, was great news.

Now we could be responsible adults and mail in the form along with a money order to the register of deeds and we could go to the DMV any time.

The form remained on that island for a week and a half because Sven could not remember his mother's middle name.

It was the holiday season, and he was planning to call his siblings and it was during a call to a brother when he learned their mother's middle name was Ameila and she had never liked it.

"I think Amelia is a pretty name," I said.

In just one more week that completed form and money order were off the island and on their way to the register of deeds.

Mission accomplished.

Until several days later when I spotted an email from a Martha who I was not familiar with, stating that since she had not heard back from the previous email, she was sending out a certified copy of Sven's birth certificate. However, if his father's middle name was incorrect, he should request an amendment. A phone number was given as well as directions to press four.

Sven had written the name Owen on the line provided for his father's middle name and the associate at the register of deeds apparently could not read his handwriting.

She typed in, O MAN.

Sven did not call the number and press four.

The reason for this particular delay was that he wanted to verify with his sister that Owen was indeed his father's middle name before he began the amendment process.

"No," she says over the phone a few days later. "His middle name was Omen."

"Omen?" I said when Sven hung up. "Like that scary movie?"

Anyway, a few more days flew before Sven called the number and pressed four where he was able to leave a message and would receive a call back within two to three business days.

This whole thing was really starting to piss me off.

Sven received a call back on the second business day and was given a brief explanation of the letter to come.

That letter is now on the island.


Sven has two choices.

The first one I have read a few times and I still do not understand. But I can tell it would be nearly impossible to accomplish since just trying to supply a birth certificate to the DMV had already been this complicated.

The second choice I do not understand either, but there are fewer pages involved and I feel like it would be less of an impossibility than what was behind door number one.

What I do understand is that this middle name situation must be cleared up because it sounds like if I am reading correctly, it is a crime to knowingly supply incorrect information when it comes to vital records. And I am not sure, but I have a feeling that if you unknowingly supplied false information but then knowingly did not correct it, you could end up in the slammer.

The paperwork remains.

When Sven learned about the complicated situation with notaries and courts, he said, "I am going to look harder for my birth certificate."

This well-meaning statement was a lie.

Meanwhile, I am considering suicide as it seems as though it would be more pleasant than driving to prison to speak to my honey bun over a phone. What will we ever talk about through the glass window?

Is there is an age limit on conjugal visits? Because I know Sven is going to request them so that I can sneak in stuff that he is not supposed to have.

So, here we are.

Sven's life of crime has come full circle.

It turns out the bad boy beginning was not the day of the snagged flower tops.

He was destined to be behind bars since 12/31/1948, the very day he was born.

My poor Sven never stood a chance.

Bonnie 2

Everybody remain calm.

What I am about to tell you is going to blow your minds.

Two days ago, February 21st, 2024, my sweet Sven bumped into his yellowed and frayed, original birth certificate, as well as a new birth certificate he requested in 1998. They were paper clipped together in an old tax folder.

What I find interesting is, his father's name was Robert Oman Jacobson.

Not, Robert Owen. Not Robert Omen. And not Robert O MAN.

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