I decided to call the township this morning to check on the status of our front porch plans. Afterall, the girl in the office did tell Ray that she would try to "sneak it through a little faster" for him. And that was ALMOST TWO WEEKS AGO. They put me on the phone with 'Todd'. He told me exactly what they told me FIVE WEEKS AGO when we first submitted the plans. "I'm sorry. The township does not allow anyone to build structures on their properties that are this close to the street." I was stunned. We had to give the original surveyor another $150 to come out and re-measure the property and draw up a new plan to show that the porch was NOT too close to the street. Then 'Todd' informed me that they must have "misplaced" the new survey as he couldn't locate it. I explained to 'Todd' that we had been patiently waiting for this permit for a long time. That we had wanted to give out Halloween candy to neighborhood children from that porch last month... but it wasn't to be. That we had hoped to bring Ray's mother over from Philadelphia for a Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday but the only door that was wide enough to accommodate her wheelchair opened up onto the porch that wasn't built yet. (She isn't really in a wheelchair, but I'm beyond telling them the truth at this point). Then I told him that the only hope we had left was to hear Carolers outside our house on Christmas Eve... BUT THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO SING IF THERE ISN'T A PORCH FOR THEM TO STAND ON! 'Todd' assured me that he will personally approve the plans on the spot if we bring them into his office tomorrow morning. All this to get a permit to build a porch the same exact size and in the same exact place where it had been built 15 years ago. Deja vu I guess. Speaking of which... where's that bottle of Scotch from last month...?