Here is a map that does include DC.

First, the taxation without representation, which is not only onerous in itself but makes for an obnoxious license plate slogan.

Now this.

Enough.

It was bad enough when it happened one time. But it’s happened again.

Time after time, at airport after airport, the D.C license-holder gets pulled aside and questioned. “What is this District of Columbia you speak of?” the Transportation Security Administration agent asks, in not quite so many words. “Is this a real place? Is it a country? If so, I think you misspelled ‘Colombia.’”

“No,” you, the D.C. license-holder say, wearily. “This is, in fact, a place that exists.”

“This seems like a made-up place,” the TSA agent says, getting defensive. “I watch a lot of TV set there, and my general sense is that none of the things that happen in this ‘D.C.’ place can actually happen in real life.”

“Scandal?” you ask.

“No. C-SPAN.” The TSA agent shrugs. “It’s like ‘Storybrooke,’ right? You know, the place on ‘Once’? Or Gotham. I get it. You love your fantasy worlds. And you need a fake to buy alcohol.”

This is a sore subject. You draw yourself up to your full height. “This does not let me buy alcohol,” you say. “Not in New Hampshire, anyway. At least, it did not for a brief time.”

At this point you have been interrupted by someone who actually knows that the District of Columbia is part of the United States, and you get to board your plane. At least, I hope you have.

But this has gone far enough. Learn your geography, TSA!

No matter what people in Real America might wish, D.C. is real. Not only is it real, it’s the capital of the United States. The licenses made there are real. The people there are real. I can forgive you for thinking that House Speaker John Boehner is a fever dream, though he is actually an Ohioan.

I don’t know what we do about it, though. I would threaten to secede, but I worry they would let us. “We will miss the free museums,” the rest of the country will say, wistfully. “But you contain Congress — and the White House. We will pretend to be sad when you go, but actually, we’ve been hoping this would happen for some time.”

It was bad enough when the online form you were filling out could not decide if it wanted you to reside in the “District of Columbia” or the state of “Washington, DC.” It was even worse when all your friends from other places said, “Oh! You’re just like Zoe Barnes on House of Cards!” But this is just the frozen limit. Accept the D.C. license and let us on the dang planes! If not, we’ll never be able to leave.

 

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.