Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Idiots rule

How do I even begin?

Let's start with a little review of some things that happened recently:

- Snowboarded an entire afternoon with my pockets wide open.¹

- Drove nearly an hour down to Big Sky to snowboard, got my pants on, boots, coat, helmet, glove liners, mitten shells, goggles, i-pod, camelbak, season pass, and oh... no snowboard. That I left in the garage.

- Crashed India's car.²

- Broke my old snowboard boots. Switched to new setup.

- Broke my new snowboard in half.

- Got my camera and Camelbak stolen, because I left it on a bench while I was taking a leak. What was wrong with leaving it on my back? I don't know. Unfettered pissing is obviously a priority in my life.

¹.Yes, my money clip fell out somewhere in the dictator chutes, the scene of the snowboard-snapping crime. I lost $ 7, cold, hard cash, a credit card and my Wisconsin driver's license, which I was supposed to replace with a Montana license within 60 days of moving here.

²Yes, I got a ticket for "Operating a vehicle on a foreign license while a resident of Montana." I told you how we hardened criminals roll in Bozeman in the last post.

So where is this idiot going with this post, you ask?

Well, I wanted to let you know how I spent my morning.

Officer Moustache gave me until tomorrow to get a valid Montana driver's license.

So, off on a kafkaesque adventure to the DMV, I went.

I arrived totally prepared. In my own mind, that is.

Took a number, waited in line with a shitload of 15 year-olds, handed the lady my passport and social security card, explained my idiocy, and told her I needed a Montana driver's license.

She said I needed a piece of mail, to prove I do indeed reside where I claim.

I didn't have that, so I went home and got a piece of mail.

Came back, gave her the mail, and proceeded to chit chat with her about my idiocy.

Then she asked for my Wisconsin license.

I explain, "Well, uh, I was snowboarding with my pockets unzipped and it fell out somewhere at the top of Big Sky."

Idiot, she thought. But what she said was, "Oh, you're going to have to take a driver's test to get your license since you don't have a license."

I explained, "I have a license, but I just don't have it. Like I said, at some point, I was upside-down in the snow with my pockets open, and..."

"You told me." Idiot. "You still have to take the test."

"You realize I am 36 years old?"

"Yes. You still have to take the test." Idiot.

"OK, then."

So, I do the vision test and pass.

Then I have to go take the written portion. Cold. No studying. Fortunately, the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on post-secondary education at prestigious universities were well spent, even if they did just spit an idiot out the other end with a couple degrees.

That's Idiot, Esq. to you.

I got 32 out of 33 correct.

(Apparently, you're supposed to flash your lights and sound your horn before passing. I prefer the "whip-around-the-minivan-at-100 mph-with-my-hair-on-fire-and-make-the-soccer-mom-spill-her-mochaccino" method.)

I take a deep breath, and head back over to her station for my driver's exam.

She says she needs my registration and proof of insurance.

Of course, I don't have it. It is on my desk at home, where I put it when I was dealing with the aftermath of the car accident.

I excuse myself to go home and get the necessary paperwork.

I am pretty sure she said, "Idiot," under her breath.

I go home, grab what I believe to be the correct paperwork, and return to the DMV.

I skip taking the fucking number and cut right in front of the 16 year olds.

I slap down my paperwork.

She informs me, "That's your title, not your proof of registration." You fucking idiot.

I leave, and tear ass back home, violating approximately 13 traffic laws, grab the proof of registration, and haul ass back to the DMV, cutting off one or two minivans and leaving a hazy spray of mochaccino in the air.

I start to think that maybe I need a driver's test.

Again, I skip the number and the kids, and walk to the counter.

At this point, they are visibly laughing at me. She smiles, looks to her left and says, "Oh, he's back!" Idiot.

I go out to the car with a different kindly, old lady, who is the "tester."

I pull out, and make a right toward Bozeman High School.

It's lunch, and there are juvenile delinquents everywhere. Some night in the future, they will be fighting over pita sandwiches on Saturday night on Main St.

The nice old lady reminds me that it is a School Zone.

I am exceeding posted limits by ten to fifteen miles per hour, but I hit thebrakes upon her reminder, and laugh it off, mentioning, "Do you do this with a lot of 36 year olds?"

She laughs. Idiot.

I navigate the high school, change some lanes, remember to actually look over my shoulder and throw a turn signal or two. I whip out a parallel park. (She took pity. I only had to parallel behind a truck, rather than between two cars.)

I take her back to the DMV, keeping all rolling stops to a minimum.

She withholds the news on whether I passed, and says she will meet me inside.

When I walk in, she and the other lady I was dealing with started clapping.

The 36 year old passed his driver's test.


How was your fucking day?


Blogger Jimmy D said...

Did I mention in our conversation the other day that my son John got his license last Monday? He didn't even have to parallel park.

7:01 PM  
Blogger P. said...

They launder karma there at the DMV.

Dude, you know you made those ladies' day, right? All I can say is MT must be a whole lot friendlier place to live, because I can't imagine the stone faces at our local licensing place ever busting into applause.

Congrats, now that you're a bona fide driver. Too legit, too legit to quit...

8:31 PM  
Anonymous aerotica said...

You ask how MY day was? I had a creepy little guy stand behind me and watch me work as he scribbled comments in his notebook, with NO warning or explanation from management.

At least you got applause.

But tomorrow I travel to the soggy Northwest - I shall expect the sun to break through and illuminate the glory of Mount Hood in your honor as the landing gear locks into place.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Joe this was on the most entertaining things I've read in a long time, so my day was greatly improved. thanks! glad you passed..at least now you can say you really earned it.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous mop said...

congrats on being the latest legit idiot on the road

you do realize if you had a day job you wouldn't have been in this mess don't you?

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Husker said...

The funny thing about this story is that even though you remind us you're 36, and I have known you for some time, the picture I had of you during this entire story is the youngster in the front of the line waiting for the school bus holding the green lunch box. If only you had had all your important papers in the little green lunch box you could have saved $10 worth of gas and a couple hours of running around!

12:45 PM  
Blogger Henry Hill said...

I can’t remember if I ever told you about having to re-take my cycle test when I moved to Cali. When I took it the BD, I used Leo’s 400cc Honda. This time, I used my GSXR 1000. In biker circles, this would be like Joe taking his test in an F-1 open wheel. Any way, the Readers Digest version is that I lost the tester (they follow behind you in a chase car) only to circle the wagons back at the DMV corral for a second round. I passed but they told me to slow it down. That’s like asking Mama Cass to guard a ham factory.
I’m glad you had to take the test over; you’re kind of a shitty driver.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Philthy said...

Dude -- I just got my drivers license at the same DMV.

I tried two months earlier, for three days in a row, but the lines were always too long and I had to leave after two hours of waiting (I have a job, sorry I couldn't wait).

Finally went in early in the morning yesterday, there were only two people in front of me and it *still* took two hours. Three DMV employees took turns taking breaks and shooting the shit between idiots. I don't know *how* that even flies, but it does...

Anyway, I turned on the nicey nice and prayed that the lady wouldn't find me unworthy. Found common ground in talking about how friggin' cold it is and she let me have my license.


11:04 AM  

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