Another Day at the DMV (AKA Afternoon Bloodbath Fury)

Let's set the mood, shall we? I'm on my lunch break. I'm stressed about money and my job. The rain hasn't come yet, and that's pissed me off, too. And then it dawns on me. My car registration expires in two days. I've paid it. The check has cleared. I haven't received my sparkling new sticker. I don't want to be pulled over for an expired registration. I don't do well when pulled over. Time to call the DMV.

For fifteen minutes I am told my expected wait time is less than ten minutes. That is my first sign that this DMV experience is going to go exactly how I am expecting it to. Finally, I get a human. An actual living boy!

I explain my situation. How I paid at the beginning of September. How the check cleared about two weeks ago, and how I have not received my sticker yet.

"Sir," the non-robot says, "I don't see anything in our system that shows me your check has been processed."

"I'm telling you it cleared."

"If you have proof of that, you can take it to your local DMV and they will issue you a sticker right there."

So I call my bank. I explain the situation. The teller looks up my check and sees that the DMV has, indeed, cashed it. Wingo. Then she says, "This is the second call today regarding this situation with the DMV."

The DMV is, like most other California state agencies, on furloughed Fridays. The DMV, like many other California state agencies, does not have a good reputation when it comes to customer service. Combine furloughed Fridays and already spotty service, and you have a recipe for disaster.

I got permission to leave work to take care of this little bit of Hell, got a copy of my canceled check and headed to the DMV. The line was out the door. Shit. Fuck. Damn.

I make my way to the head of the line, explain my situation and am told to take a number so I can be helped. It seems kind of backwards, but this is Humboldt County and the DMV. I imagine I should just be thankful I wasn't told I had to go outside, use a pay phone and wait for someone to come out and help me.

I take my number and sit down and start to people watch. The place was packed, and it would have been hard not to people watch.

Nearby is a guy and his girlfriend. He is cracking jokes. She is humoring him. They seem like a nice couple. Nothing too wild in the sack. I'm guessing his big fantasy is getting a hummer when the Raiders played, and she's complied a few times and actually likes it. They may have tried anal once. She wasn't too into the idea, but did it anyway. She didn't like it. He did like it, but then felt weird later when he thought that his enjoyment of it may mean he was gay. I picture both of them liking Corona and sushi, though he really feels at home behind a grill and has one special meat dish he is known for at gatherings. My guess? A hamburger where he adds special spices and a hint of Tabasco to the meat.

To my right is a little girl who really likes my tattoos. She has questions. Her mom doesn't want her asking them. I'm not talkative, but I humor her a bit. Mom keeps pulling her away from me. Mom is heavier than she should be, and her shorts are shorter than they should be. I realize that if she makes one wrong move on the tiny DMV torture seats that said shorts may just be pulled up inside her. I pray that doesn't happen.

Then I see someone that makes the heavier mom look downright supermodel size.

I don't judge people by their weight. Never have. I could lose quite a few pounds myself. I am realistic about things, however. This woman, the one struggling to walk to a chair, was dangerously obese. I'm sure diabetes was the least of her worries. Her size wasn't what caught my attention, though. It was her breasts.

The breasts started out in the proper place, but the further down one went, the more spread apart they became. by the time they almost reached her hips (yes, almost reached her hips), they were on either side of her torso. If she would've had holsters on, each breast would have rested on the handle of her guns. I couldn't help but picture that naked. Nipples the size of those plastic children's plates that characters like The Wiggles on them. Veins would be visible the further down you go, very blue against very white skin. Her very existence was the difference between men and women.

Women need to wear bras because gravity eventually catches up. If guys' penises did the same thing, however, they would be doing everything they could to stretch those puppies out. If they could achieve the equivalent effect, they would. This woman needed a bra (and most women wear them knowing this eventually happens). I doubt she could find one the proper size now that it was too late, but she needed one and she avoided it, and now those demons were beyond redemption. Seriously, she could've slung them over her shoulders and it would've looked like her back had sprung boobs.

My time at the window arrived. I explained the situation again. I presented my copy of the canceled check, which the bank teller had taken the initiative to blow it up so it could be more legible. That, however, wasn't good enough.

The DMV worker looked the check over. She couldn't find some code she needed on it. She called over the manager and said, "This isn't a very good copy."

It was, but I didn't say anything. I didn't want to blow it.

It took three employees to get the code put in ... and it still didn't work. I was asked to take another seat. Now I was pissed. "Would you like me to take another number, too?"

"No. Just sit down."

So I did. Again. For awhile. For a long while.

I expect to see the workers sacrificing a chicken and reading its entrails. If this happened, it was not in my line of vision, but I could imagine it nonetheless. They were looking for answers, typing in codes, consulting runes, shaking an eightball, breaking out tarot cards. Whatever they could do to figure out this mysterious code or obtaining what I heard called a "kickback six."

Eventually it got cleared up. I got my sticker and was able to leave. There seemed to be three other people there who may have had similar problems, which does not surprise me. What did surprise me is that I got out of there without killing anyone.

And for those keeping track, yes we are still under a tsunami advisory. My hope is that it hits the DMV ... though it may have to take a number.

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