Normally, Hick takes care of these things at work. Well, not at work, that would be cheating his employer of honest work for an honest day's pay. I mean he takes the card and vehicle to work that day, has it inspected during the morning, having somebody drop him at the plant, then drop him off to pick up that vehicle at lunch. AND he goes by the DMV near his work to get the license. I know, because I have to dig up the past two years' tax receipts, and give him a check. He's not allowed to carry the checkbook. Laws, NO! M-O-O-N! That spells, "Val has enough trouble keeping track of Hick's debit card transactions, and she's not about to let him roam the countryside with a book of checks, not writing down numbers or saving receipts!"
So anyway, Hick gave me the renewal postcard, and then asked me if I had the inspection certificate. WHAT? Val is NOT the Queen of All Documents! Turns out Hick had T-Hoe inspected while the service department was working on his assorted faulty systems during our Oklahoma trip. He had foisted a handful of paperwork on me (actually left it on T-Hoe's passenger seat) when we picked him up Saturday morning. So he found that, and I grabbed the receipts, whipped out my proof of insurance, and headed for the DMV bright and early (for me) at 10:30 a.m. Monday.
It's no hardship, you see. The local DMV is only a few blocks past the gas station chicken store. And I've been known to drop in there on occasion. The DMV is also behind the dead-mouse-smelling post office, where I needed to pick up some stamps. Keeping Genius in Chinese food money and scratch-off tickets every week is quite stamp-consuming. However...since the dead-mouse-smelling clerks have a penchant for changing their lunch hours all willy-nilly...I missed the stamp-buying window by five minutes. That's because The Pony looked up their hours online and said they were closed from 10:30 to 12:30, so I gave up, when in reality I could have stopped by there FIRST, and gotten my stamps before they closed at 11:00, which was on a printed piece of paper taped to the inside of their door.
Anyhoo...I pulled into the parking lot of the DMV and saw that my usual space was available. The one on the end, so I can cheat over the line and not have a car plastered up against my driver's door so I have to squeeze myself tiny like Tim Allen in a no-chimney-house in The Santa Clause to leave and enter my vehicle. There were a lot of cars on the lot, but by the time I had put T-Hoe in "P" and grabbed my purse, THREE people were on the way back to their cars.
I went inside and didn't even have to go around the corner to the counter. In fact, I didn't even have to tear a number off the dispenser. The girl sitting at the window just inside the door said, "What can we do for you?" I wasn't sure she was even talking to me. She had her head turned to look where I couldn't see, in the area where the other two (standing) clerks were stationed. Then she swiveled her head to look at me, and I said, "I'm here to renew my license plate." I laid my paperwork on her counter and handed her T-Hoe's renewal card.
There was a chair for me, but I didn't sit. It was brown leather or fake leather, cracked, torn, and taped. I didn't want to risk that chair pinching my ample buttocks. I guess the low bid process of assigning contracts to Missouri DMVs means that corners and possibly butt cheeks must be cut. Here's how they do it in MO:
The Missouri Department of Revenue currently oversees 177 license offices which are each operated by independent agents. All of the license offices were put out for bid under the competitive procurement process in 2009. Contracts were awarded for one year with three one-year renewal options. The move toward a competitive procurement process of the license offices overhauled the way local motor vehicle and driver license offices are awarded and was one of the first actions of Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration.
I didn't really have time to sit down, anyway. The minute I handed her the card, she said, "Safety inspection." I pushed that over. "Tax receipts for 14 and 15." I fumbled to get them out of their tiny envelopes. "Proof of insurance." Had it ready. "Did you say 2-year?" I didn't, but I said I did. One less trip to the DMV. "Seventy-three fifty. Write your driver's license number on the check."
Whoa! Shouldn't SHE do that? What if I lied? I could have scribbled any ol' number on there! THEY are the ones who gave me the horrific picture on my driver's license! I think THEY should have to look at that hideous thing. So what if I hear a sharp intake of breath, and then she says, "That's quite breathtaking." She brought it on her own self, having that camera set up wrong so my bloated head fills the whole picture part like a balloon about to pop.
Why was this gal acting like she was in a hurry? It's the freakin' DMV, for cryin' out loud! Since when does time mean anything at the DMV? The place where they normally send the average person back home 2-3 times before they decide they have the right paperwork.
"Sign here. There you go." She shoved all of my documents back at me. I swear she was tapping her foot, waiting for me to leave. I didn't even have time to put my driver's license back in my checkbook, or my tax receipts back in their tiny envelopes. I got a firm grip on my bundle of documents, and got out while the gettin' was good.
It's like I was in some bizarro universe, getting ready to drive back home on the highway to my son The Nopy, and text my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Label.