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Hyperion August 28, 2001

#55 Driving Myself Crazy, Part 1

DMV Worker Patty: Some days we don’t let the line move at all.

DMV Worker Selma: We call those weekdays.

-From The Simpsons

I must apologize for taking so long to write you again, dear readers, but I have spent the last 437 hours at the DMV. I would love to say this is someone else’s fault—like bad parenting, for instance. Unfortunately, the small role my parents do play in this saga is of the heroic fashion. So I guess I am left with pathetic old me.

It all started with license plate tags. Let me just take a moment here to editorialize: why must we purchase little stickers (at an exorbitant rate) each year to go on our license plates? I seem to recall The Boston License Party—where all the colonists went out into the harbor and threw away their plates (and in the case of Ford Pinto owners, their entire vehicle). Anyway, I could not afford my yearly sacrifice to the transportation gods and I did not have proper tags. You fans of foreshadowing will have no doubt figured out that I got a couple of tickets for said lack of tags. Of course, if I could not afford tags, I surely could not afford tickets. Eventually I got the tags, but the tickets got pushed back into the attic of my life—things I don’t want to look at and hope will go away by themselves.

So, for a couple of weeks (OK—months and months) I was a fugitive from justice. I would like to point out an irony here: when the state deemed me unfit to drive I became a much better driver, because I didn’t speed, I didn’t cut people off, and I watched my mirrors assiduously (true—mostly looking for cops, but I saw traffic nonetheless).

I could have gone on like this indefinitely but then my employer decided—for reasons I will never fully understand—that since a good portion of my job entailed driving, I needed a license. I know: Haters All.

Unfortunately, since a good number of my readers were lax with their subscription dues, money was hard to come by. My employer had me call the United Way—but THAT’S an entire column in itself—so I will skip to the good part. Two wonderful people—I will call them “mom” and “dad” for the purpose of this story—came through in spades. Now I just had to go to the two courthouses that issued the tickets, pay them off, trek to Atlanta and pay a fine on each one, then go to the DMV and get my license. Piece of cake.

Except I was not too keen on driving to courthouses CONNECTED TO A JAIL and announcing I was an illegal driver. So, friends were recruited. One place was kind of far away, so I had to call in some chips: “Dude, remember when I saved your life?”

“I don’t remember that.”

“It was when I didn’t save you any pizza. Your half was loaded with fat and would raised your cholesterol to dangerous levels.”

“Ok, I owe you one.”

So, I got the tickets paid for and all that was left was a trip to the State Safety Office and the DMV. Everything was going my way. Then came Tuesday.

End of Part 1. Be sure to join Hyperion for Part 2 where we learn there are people slower than Ohio State University graduates.

August 28, 2001


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