25 February 2002


Today did not go well.

Since it was my Monday off, I decided to go ahead and take care of getting a Louisiana driver's license and license plate. And, you know, my license plate expires at the end of the week.

So off I go!

Halfway to the DMV office in faraway Kenner (one of only two places where both car registration and driver's licenses are done) I stop the car and realize I have no proof of insurance. Well, I did, but it expires tomorrow, and I haven't got my new proof of insurance card yet.

Back to the house!

But all I could find at the house was the bill for the car insurance, and no actual proof of insurance.

No big deal, I tell myself. My insurance office is on the way to Kenner. So I stop by there and then go on to the DMV.

At the DMV I 'm in the driver's license line. I get to see someone almost immediately.

"I'm from out of state," I say, "and I need a Louisiana driver's license."

"I need your old driver's license, a social security card, a birth certificate or passport and proof of insurance."

I think two things:

  1. Sonya went to the other place and they didn't want to see anything. They just gave her another license. She didn't even have to take a vision test.
  2. I don't have my birth certificate or passport. I have them, but not on me.

I didn't mention any of this stuff. I figure I'll go to the much more slack alternate office and cruise through there for the license. Since I've gone all the way to Kenner, though, I do want to register the car. Can I do that without a license? Yes.

Not without a copy of the title, I find out. I don't have one. I call the bank. The bank says they'll fax the DMV a copy. I ask how long that will take, thinking I'll go get some lunch, maybe.

"Three to five working days, sir."

It'll be a long lunch, then.

So the day won't be a total waste I go to the other DMV place, where Sonya cruised through the licensing process with only a sweet smile. Nothing doing - they want the passport of birth certificate, too.


So I go meet Sonya for lunch. We go to a Korean joint near where she works and the food is...well, it was edible.

"I've asked a lot of people about this place," Sonya said, "the reviews were kind of mixed."

"They were right," I said.

After lunch I go to the house to get my passport so at the very least I will have accomplished one of my goals for the day. Before I leave I figure I should take the dog for a walk so she won't shit on the floor in retaliation for my hasty entrance and exit.

I take her out the door - unleashed, I figure she can just pee in the parking lot - and shut the door behind me. Do I have keys?

Hell no!

There are two gates in my parking lot that you can walk out of, and two you can drive your car out of. The car gates need an opener (which is locked in my car) and the two pedestrian gates need a key (which is locked in my house). I'm trapped in the parking lot with an unleashed dog.

First thing: get the animal under control. There's a tree in the parking lot someone had thrown dozens of Mardi Gras beads into. I jumped up and snagged a long string, then tied it to Roxy's collar to fashion a crude leash.

Using my pocket knife I managed to jimmy the rusty, corroded lock on the back gate and let myself out of the parking lot. If there's a sunny side to all this it's that the management office is just a couple of blocks away from the apartment. I walked over there and got a key to let myself in.

So I go and finally get my license and let me tell you I look like a fucking orangutan with a huge ring of fat around my head which I use to attract female orangutans. It's not a pretty picture.

But then I got to test drive SUVs, which was fun. See, my mom and stepdad want an SUV, and they wanted me to do the research and make a recommendation. Fun!

The midsize SUVs? Too damned big for Max and Glenda. And they didn't want a big one to start with. So that left me with the small ones. The Honda CR-V was poky, but had wonderful sightlines. I wanted to drive a Ford Escape, but the salesman told me (no shit) that "they really don't let people drive them unless their going to buy it today." I told him that was a "damned stupid policy" and left.

The winner amongst the small SUVs was the Mazda Tribute, which rides and accelerates like a car and comes with all the luxurious extras you could ever want. Hell, I'd have one.

Oh, and the Nissan place? I wandered around in their lot for ten minutes and no one came to talk to me. Several salespeople came over, looked at me, then walked away to drink coffee or watch Glengarry Glen Ross, I suppose. I was like, "Jesus, don't you people know anything? Have you never been to Covington Pike?The fact that I'm wearing a t-shirt and jeans means nothing! I could be one of them internet millionaires for all you know! Come kiss my ass!"