This actually happened the day before my identity theft adventure...
I'm building a deck in my backyard. Nothing fancy... just a ground-level platform deck where I can throw a shindig and my friends will have somewhere to sit without their chair-legs sinking into my weed-laden lawn.
Normally, I wouldn't bother with a building permit, but my neighbors to the left hate my very existence. I fear that they would rat me out and cause my little project to be dismantled by the city building inspector. I don't even know WHY they seem so disgusted and put out by me living next to them. I say hello whenever I see them and they refuse to acknowledge me. I don't get it.
I called the building department and was told I would need to show up and present my project to the board. Uh. Oh boy. I know nothing about construction. I had my father help me fill out the permit application, and draw up all the diagrams for the deck.
If they ask me anything, there is a good chance I won't be able to answer them.
So I show up at the board office with a little folder brimming with applications and scematic drawings. I'm nervous. If they deny my application, that's it. There isn't another place I can go for a building permit. There isn't some sort of competing city building department. They're it.
I walk into the room and the committee is sitting behind a giant oak table. I'm on the other side, with my folder of crap.
I start explaining the project and spreading out all these drawings.
Then I hear this: "You don't need a permit. You're building what's called a "patio." He said "patio" in the same way you would say "bread" to someone who just stupidly asked you what you should hold sandwich meat together with. I'm surprised the guy didn't use air-quotes.
As I was walking out, the guy who walked me to the exit of the application room said " No permit! This must be your lucky day!"
And it was. Until the next day when some jackass tried to swipe my identity.