I don't know how it works in other countries (I'm sure 5 minutes on Wikipedia would clear up that problem) but in Canada at least, you're not actually required to have a birth certificate. I mean, they have you on record somewhere, but to have a physical copy for yourself is in no way required. So my parents, being my parents, decided "why bother?" and I went about 20 years blissfully unaware that I didn't actually have one. Until it came up that I needed it for some application or something.
I got one, no problem. Put it in my wallet and kind of forgot about it unless it was needed to prove to someone that I don't actually have a middle name (why would I lie about that?). Gradually I stopped carrying my wallet but left a few things in there that I figured I didn't need to carry around all the time, you know, like my birth certificate.
Fast forward to two days ago. I printed off the passport application forms so the US will know I'm not a terrorist plotting to bring them down from within (suckers) and behold! I need my birth certificate so Canada, who is apparently forgetful and not very observant, will know that I am me and that I was born and raised in this wonderful land of hockey and beer.
My birth certificate, you'll remember, is in my wallet. My wallet is always on the table next to the TV by the coat rack. So imagine my surprise to find that now that I actually need the fucking thing, it's gone.
I have no idea. I have torn my house apart, twice. It's no where to be found.
What. The. Fuck.
Luckily, after talking to a surprisingly helpful and chipper woman from Stats Can. or where ever the fuck she was from, it turns out for a few bucks more I can get a replacement same day.
I'm blaming this all on you, America, for making me get a passport to begin with. Don't think we won't be having a chat about this when I get there.