Staying on the Funny Side - Of License Renewals
So I'm skipping in to the DMV (for those who are aware of it by any other name oahu is the Department of Motor Vehicles) to get my license renewed - whistling, content to be alive, admiring just how my hair matches my new shirt - in addition to being soon as I open it, this wave of despair crashes over me, blasting the smile off my face, throwing me up against the wall, and throwing me into that same realm of fear I had as i was twelve and now we saw the Sexuality and you simply video in biology. Walking in to the DMV, for me, is much like an excited puppy crashing to a brick wall.
What do you find it about that place that completely sucks the practical benefits out of all who enter there? Seriously, There's no doubt that there's an invisible force field that sucks out all traces of happiness whenever you walk in. Do you know of all laughter ceases immediately when you enter? Is it the gray walls - gray cubicles - gray carpet - gray cubicle walls covered in gray carpet with gray posters attached? The deafening silence pierced only by the large white ticking clock? The individuals lounging on furniture like melted wax with slack jaws, eyes glazed over, and frozen expressions of boredom? The sweaty youngsters with flushed cheeks sleeping on their mothers' laps? Faces pressed up against the glass windows crying for help?
The woman standing guard contains a name tag that claims, "My name is Berta. Should you be having a good day, we make an effort to fix that." Actually, they all have that same expression that indicates they may have memorized the part of the staff member manual that says, "Under no circumstances are you to take joy in the profession. It sucks to be effective here. It sucks to be you. But at the least you have insurance." (Sorry with the bad word. It just slipped out. Twice.) Berta grunts, hands me a number, and points towards waiting room where I join the odd number of characters that make up home town. Waiting room can be an apt name, because of this that I'm thinking employees has actually gone out over breakfast and they're a slave to laughing over pancakes precisely they will make sure my driver's license photo is taken with both my eyes shut and my mouth slurred sideways, just like last time.
People waiting for the DMV look like there're awaiting execution, like there might be no other more grievous injustice in your everyday living than to have to take time out of their busy day surfing porn to come update their driving privileges. The man beside me is starting to sweat. The one across from me keeps darting his eyes forward and backward. I think he sees dead people. The woman to my left is crying. The man in the corner is twitching and speaking with his hand. The atmosphere in here is so dark that the motivational speaker just attemptedto hang himself inside corner.
There's an unspoken code of etiquette you quickly learn for the DMV. Don't look anyone inside eyes. Don't pick a seat right close to someone unless this is the last one left, and spray all you touch. And definitely tend not to look at your neighbor, denote his sandwich, and say, "Are you gonna take in the rest of that?" He can not think it's funny. Keep in mind that.
If you think you've seen all this, go spend manufactured at the DMV. I'm between people who all have the potential to come unhinged at any time. I'm way overdressed, way overeager, yet still I sit here looking to fit in and be cool. High school graduation all over again. I do a few of my best deep thinking in places like this where I have not do but sit without stare at anyone. I realize, as I don't evaluate the people around me, that we're not the only one with weight issues, that some of us need to rethink those sideburns, and therefore apparently we have a problem with siblings breeding. And i want to be the first to announce that apparently facial hair on women is generating a comeback. I quickly recognize that this is not going to be the networking opportunity I'd hoped it to be.
So all of us are sitting there working very hard not to notice one another when this young girl by himself, who has her boyfriend's name scripted on her arm and crossed out, turns and whispers words that carry almost the same weight as two soldiers pledging allegiance in battle: "I appreciate your fingernails." We bond instantly along with the door has been opened to the treasured female bonding banter. "I'm hungry. Didn't get breakfast," she whispers.
"Me either," I answer, eventhough it wasn't true. (That whole gelling thing.) "I dare one to ask if she's got something to have," I whisper and denote the bearded lady for the desk who's growling at her computer. The girl's beside me laughs therefore does the woman across from me who was apparently eavesdropping. And that's all it had become, or at least all it began to be - a simple funny comment - a comment that gained a little more momentum when the lady behind me whispers, "I dare one to wait until it's finally your turn and say to them you've come to report for jury duty." This gets an even bigger laugh as increasing numbers of people join in.
"I dare one to ask them if you have to get drug tested to secure a license," says the man who has been sleeping to my left and appears to know about drug testing if anyone does. We laugh even harder.
"I dare one to ask them if they holds your pet ferret as you take the test," says a lean fellow who has the aroma of cigarettes and actually does look like a ferret if you look close enough. These days we can't stop laughing. What started for a little harmless banter, has now turned into the evolution of any prank - a prank of epic proportions, when ever mischief is the motive you may rally any troop - however eclectic or whether or not speak English or otherwise. We hand out dares like we're planning an invasion - and a way, it is - an invasion on the deadly somber mood for the DMV. And as with dare, whether you're six or sixty, you will need to follow through.
They dare me to moon the digital camera lady which, needless to say, I refuse to do (those times are behind me) along with the dare is passed towards young community college kid with all the Van Halen T-shirt whose solemn nod informs us he is no stranger to baring his buttocks for your laugh. They dare me to give my phone number towards guy standing guard behind door - usually the one whose face has frozen to a permanent expression of disgust since that time the sixties when his kid decided that rather than becoming a soldier he wished to make costumes for lounge singers. I solemnly accept the dare. We huddle up, I impart them with my best "you is able to do it" pep talk, and it is game on.
Turned out over be a short game. What exactly happened? Well, after Van-Halen T-shirt guy moons the digital camera and gets caught up by security, high-fiving us all on his way to avoid - the rest of us types of lose our nerve. And that is where it ended. We didn't go of it.
But I still learned something however. I learned that even during a group as various and seemingly joyless as this, laughter still brings people together. It is the best medicine. When you can walk into the DMV and are available out laughing, well maybe there's we do hope you can do that in other places too. That's the key though - you ought to do it. It's time to stop waiting to ascertain if today is going to be an excellent day. It's time to transform it into a good day. Don't wake and ask what will today bring, wake up and have what you will bring to today. That's what I learned for the DMV - that, and be careful if you decide to act up at the DMV - there are consequences.
This has been another true - okay somewhat true - okay, therefore it was embellished somewhat - all right, loosely based on a real life event - tale from Kelly Swanson, that has long ago stopped moving into reality and jumped over to the funny side of life.
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Until when - stay on the funny side!