Friday, October 31, 2008

My Trick And My Treats; A Halloween Tale

Let me start by saying I am a bonehead. I am a nitwit, a numb nuts, and a boob. But in my defence, I am thoughtful, kind, and good natured, and that should count for something. Having gotten that out of the way, let me tell you what a stupid thing I've done.

I let my driver's licence expire. When we sat down to sign the papers to purchase our house two years ago, the lady asked for our driver's licences because of a new rule with Homeland Security. I guess they are concerned that terrorists might be buying a home near the Football Hall Of Fame. She noticed that mine had expired. I hadn't noticed. On my birthday last year I went to purchase tags and renew my licence. The tags were no trouble and I purchased the two year tags as I wanted to avoid the DMV as much as I could. That took ten minutes and $43, no sweat.

"Okay, I'd like to renew my licence." She looked at the date and said that it had been too long and I would have to get a learner's permit and retake the written and driving tests again. "Okay, give me the learner's packet." Could I present an Id to prove who I was? Yes, my driver's licence. "But sir, your licence is expired," she whined as only government clerks can. "But it's still me!" I pleaded, but to no avail. I needed my birth certificate and my social security card to prove who I was and I didn't have them on me.

"Fuck 'em," I swore as I slapped on the new tags and went on down the road.

A year passes and I keep thinking that I will get around to it and I don't. I was going to do it yesterday but complications arose and it didn't happen. Such is life.

Flannery spent most of last night fussing about the house putting together her costume for the company Halloween party. This morning at a few minutes until seven, she wakes me to show me the finished product. I open one frowzy eye to see her silhouette with her in my bathrobe and a floppy hat with only the naked bulb of the closet light behind her. "You look smashing Darling," was all I could mutter. She gave me a smooch and turned on her heel to go, but stopped at the bedroom door and called to me in her sternest taskmistress voice saying, "And you better get you licence today or you're in trouble mister! You won't be able to vote!" And then in a much softer tone she offered a whole weekend of sweet nothings if I would do this. "In the morning," she started, "In the evening..." And I broke in with, "Ain't we got Fun! It's a deal!" She hurried off hoping I would forget her promise and remember to get my licence.

I remembered both.

The girls didn't have school, so we slept late and at about eleven I took them to the in-laws. I went clear across town to the DMV. The place was new and clean and didn't have a faint urine smell to it that I always associate with the DMV. The place was empty and the lady at the counter was friendly, both to my surprise. A couple of forms and $6 later, I had my learner's packet and a brand new plastic card with my photo that said so. The last time I got a learner's permit it was a carbon copied pink piece of onion-skin paper. My how times have changed.

I had to go next door to the State Highway Patrol office to take my written test. Instead of the little ovals that had to be filled in with a #2 pencil like it had been eighteen years ago, it was administered by a computer with a touchscreen and headphones. I got thirty-five out of forty correct and went back to the counter. A tall, slim officer asked me when I would like to schedule the driving test as she adjusted the holster on her hip that carried a notary stamp instead of a pistol. "Well, today" I said with some exasperation. "We have an opening at 1:45," she said curtly. "I'll take it." It was noon. I had almost two hours to kill. I couldn't drive off as I'd parked right in front of the DMV and they knew I could only legally drive if I had someone twenty-one years of age with me, even though I have eighteen years of doing it under my belt.

Right next door to the State Highway Patrol office is a bar. I contemplated having lunch there, but I didn't want to be seen leaving a juke joint right before my test so I opted for a tiny pizza place in the same plaza. My $5 Italian sausage sub was both cold and rubbery, but I ate it anyway and was glad I had had the foresight to bring a good book and waited.

The driving test was dog simple and it took less time than it took them to convert my two hour old learner's permit into a bonafide licence. I picked up the kids from my mother-in-law and to congratulate me, she gifted me with a $50 gift card for an expensive Italian restaurant here in town.

So in essence, my trick was to goof off long enough for these two women to come up with treats I can enjoy this weekend, and I fully intend on cashing in on both of these. The candle in the pumpkin of it all is I have tomorrow off and it's my birthday.

Happy Halloween Y'all and I hope your treats are as good as mine.



  1. I've been tricked! Hmm...guess you won't be needing any treats...

  2. Doc, you are diabolical! Happy Birthday to you! Live it up and congrats on passing your driver's test! Wait, I want to use one more exclamation point!

  3. Congrats on learning how to drive all over again! And a very happy birthday to you, thank you for all of the entertainment!

  4. Congrats on the re-license!!! Took ya long enough :)


  5. you know, you're not exactly giving the rest of us a whole helluva lot of incentive to do th' right thing.

    You know what Kurt Vonnegut's dad told the cop when he (th cop) found out that KV's dad had been driving around sans licence for almost 20 years? KV's dad said, so shoot me." That seems the perfect retort, no??

    BTW, the ONLY reason I got MY licence changed o'er from FLA was the same reason: I forsaw an elderly-but-earnest poll worker wondering what the hell I was doing voting in OH with a FLA licence and clearly UNDER the age of the average snowbird.


Write your beer-fueled ravings here...