I hauled Edwin out the car, and headed down the the post office. After circling three times in quest of parking, I made it to the office and was stopped short by a line out the door. Annoyed, I set Edwin down and settled down to do some waiting. After five minutes, however, an employee came out to announce that everyone after a certain point (which I was past) was out of luck for the day. Panicked, I rushed in and started shouting about needing it done today so I could get visas and go home. The employee then gave me a bored look and told me to go to the downtown post office - they were open an hour later.
After a phone call to my mother for directions, I pulled up the the scene of the original crime. I went inside and saw the same woman who had started all of these problems by making me pay for the dang passport. This time I marched up to her and handed over my stack of documents, with the letter about paying on top. She read it, went to confer with a colleague, and processed my application. After forgetting to have me sign the application, and forgetting to include DS----, she got it right the third time and handed me another envelope.
And so, a little over 24 hours after calling the Special Issuance Agency in desperation, I had a passport application, complete with notarized form. Everything went into the FedEx envelope, the envelope got lined with a marker, and was handed over to the FedEx employee to be sent to DC. Then it was sent.
So will it get sent? Will the visas get affixed in time? Will we make our travel date? Stay tuned for the exciting (or perhaps not-so-exciting; exciting would be having to change travel plans at the last minute which I would not like to do) conclusion!