It started with the MVD, i.e., My Version of Damnation, or the “Motor Vehicle Division” as they like you to believe. (My friend is convinced it’s actually one of Dante’s levels of hell, and I think that’s a more accurate assessment.) So the Judge (my father) and I go to this circle of doom on Monday of this past week in order to title my car.
So we draw our number–198–and take a seat in one of the 200 folding chairs available. I’m pretty sure they have an overabundance of seats available so that when you walk in and see the handfulls of people spread out like weeds, it doesn’t look like you have to wait that long.
I brought a book, knowing we might be there a while, but was breifly distracted by the people sitting a few rows in front of us. There was an older woman sitting next to a younger guy of about 30 yrs old, presumably a mother with her son. The only thing I could see when I sat down was the back of their heads. The woman had short, curly hair of a fading bronze color, and the gentleman had a shaved head covered in tattoos, most notably one of a giant black widow on the back of his skull. I was intrigued by the tattoos, noting that he also had two sleeves, but when he turned to face the woman, I saw his profile. Behold: TEARDROP TATTOO, HOLYEFFINCRAP
I decided it’d be best to concentrate on my book. A few pages into it, I swear I was sitting fully upright and totally asleep. Judging by the overall stillness in the room, I came to the conclusion that as a safety precaution, a sedative of sorts is pumped into the air, perhaps to prevent people with teardrop tattoos from climbing two rows of chairs behind them and going after judges.
Even in my drowsiness, however, I still managed to finish my book before our number was called–word to the wise, you must START a book at the MVD, not take a half-read book. BY the way, a word about the ticket numbers. The first number that popped up on the screen was something like 183.
Okay, 15 tickets until ours.
184, 185, 186 187.
(no one got up to go to the window. A no show! Sweet!)
Yes, we’re next!
OH MY GOD.
I asked my dad if the ticket machine was actually a random number generator and why do they do that? and he said it’s to make sure no one is lulled into a false sense of security about being called next and that eventually everyone goes crazy.
We lucked out in that we were only there for an hour, BUT when we went up to the window, we discovered we were missing some important piece of paperwork.
Dad: “This is everything I was given.”
Lady (while continuing a conversation with a coworker in next window): “You need the title.”
Dad: “But that’s why I’m here.”
Lady: “You need the title.”
Dad: “Okay…but this is what I was given.” (slides papers forward)
Dad: “This is what they gave me at the dealership.”
Dad: “Okay, I’ll call the dealership in Amarillo.”
Lady: (continues conversation with coworker)
So we waited for an hour behind tattoo guy in sleepland only to DO IT ALL AGAIN TODAY.
Today, we arrive around 2:30. Shortly thereafter, the computer system crashes. People continue to walk in and the ungodly amount of chairs start to fill. People line up along the wall. Those employed by Satan smile and shrug. There’s nothing they can do, they say, until their computers resume functioning at a time that’s entirely unpredictable. Everyone waits. The computers never start working again.
Therefore, three hours of my life (and my father’s) have not only been wasted, they have been wasted FOR NOTHING. We’re back there on Monday. The joy of such occassion can hardly be contained.