Col. Carl R. Abrams writes: "Yesterday I took time off and stood in line at the Municipal Building to renew my resident parking permit for the Capitol Hill area.

"As I had done in past years, I brought along my D.C. tax notice as proof of residency. The clerk refused to accept it and told me to come back with a utility bill.

"After I returned to my office, I called her supervisor and pointed out that the name of the occupant is not on the stubs of gas and electric bills.

"He replied that the tax bill is not considered proof of residency, but the District will accept either a deed or settlement sheet.

"I will concede that the tax bill does not prove that I actually reside in the house I own, but why is a deed or settlement sheet any better proof of occupancy? When I put this question to the supervisor, he seemed stumped."

Is this a commentary on our times or on our local government? I can't form an opinion on the matter because I'm busy examining the ID cards in my wallet and they look mighty suspicious to me. Some of the pictures must have been taken when I was a much older man. Either that or I'm really somebody else. How can I be sure?