Sunday, April 18, 2010

License to Drive: The Photo, The Papers & WWBOD?

After ranting at God and the Fates and breaking glass and exploding leftover cherry bombs in the back yard until my Arab neighbor came out and said, “You must stop that now crazy lady” kicking myself in the ass for a reasonable amount of time, I fired up my bestest friend who is always there to play poker with me in the cold dark night when 3 a.m. comes and my mind is revving in a frenzy of unbridled somewhat destructive thoughts trusty laptop and diddled up the Florida DMV website and, yay, I made an appointment online for the next day, midday, to renew my license. The poop is in a pile. I’m going to fix this, I thought to myself, I am going to feel so much better being an organized law-abiding citizen of the roadway.

News flash! Renewal of license includes getting a new photo taken. I am phobic about it. We all know that this is likely to be the most hideous soul-stealing depiction of my very being ever, surpassing even the one from 3rd grade with the black plastic Buddy Holly glasses and the buck teeth unkind image so I spent three hours the next morning starting from bare-ass scratch to groom myself into something acceptable for this portrait that will haunt me for almost a decade to come the dreaded license photo. I primped with the malignant self-absorption of reality show “star.” I practiced smiling in the mirror, the head tilt, the taming of the double chin by flexing the muscles, all of it.

I got in my car and “snuck” out to the DMV Driver’s License Office near the University. I was unbelievably freaking lucky to get by with this what with my Law Enforcement pheromones on tilt these days not noticed by any of the police going there even though I sweated and creeped and looked like I was up to something sinister may have looked a tad nervous. Tucked back in a dowdy strip mall and fronted by a (yum) Dunkin Donuts, the DL Office was gyrating like a flaming Santeria ritual sacrifice of small animals in a Miami suburb salsa dance marathon on a Saturday night in San Juan.

Now, understand that I don’t judge this phenomenon and, in fact it is kind of cute a giant pain in the ass that they do this, our Hispanic brothers and sisters here in Central Florida never go anywhere alone. From the 6 week old newborn to the 99 year old “abuela,” they roam in packs travel in groups talking, laughing, arguing and gumming up the works taking up lots of space. Wal-mart is an adventure on Saturday, oh, about 10:00 a.m. I love it when they talk trash and don’t think I understand. But that’s another story…

And, holy shit saints and all who protect us, they can argue! The reception desk at the Driver’s License Office was hoppin’ and bobbin’ with unhappy agitated Spanish speaking folk with a few Middle Easterners and a smattering of Germans from Canada sprinkled in to make it a seething hot mess of a Babylon a fine international stew.

I soon knew why.

When I stepped up, all smug exuding my “born in the USA, I got this knocked” mode ready to rock, I casually flipped my expired license to the grim-faced dead-ringer for Rev. Jesse Wright African American elder sitting there and said, “Here to renew.”


“Yes sir. 12:45”

“Don’t see it. But we take walk- ins. About two hour wait.”

Gaack! “Ok I guess.” What the hell happened to my online appointment?

Then he asks me in a flat tone of voice that betrayed all the abuse he has received of late, his body language perfectly arranged in pre-flinch anticipation -

“Original Birth Certificate?


"Social Security card?"

"Nuh uh."

"Marriage license?"


"Two forms of I.D. other, like utilities bill, insurance card or mortgage statement?"




Then he pointed to the not very well communicated new rules promulgated by some helium-headed politician just to make everyone’s lives more difficult small print-out taped to the wall. January 2010, the State of Florida now requires any and all of this paperwork to prove that you are who you say you are to get a license.

Really? NO, REALLY?

I had none of it on me. Nor did a lot of people applying for a license, apparently, hence the homicidal tense atmosphere there amongst the folk who don’t speak English as a first language and perhaps were not here legally but were hoping to tip in by having at least a Driver’s License.

At least I have “my papers.” Just not with me.

Crump! BLAM! I felt my head exploding. I was going to go all bitchy and stabby on everyone dissolve into a puddle of tears and whatever other liquids that could leak out of me, so I stomped out of there in a histrionic huff fled.

Slinking back to the car, I drove back home, again blessedly eluding the smokies and gathered all the documents I needed. All the while I heard the snarky Nazi of lore just before he is going to make my life hell, “Your papers? Schnell! Mach schnell!” told myself all this fuss has got to be a steaming pile of manure manufactured by dumb asses for a good reason.

Regroup! Got a ride next morning at the butt-crack of dawn to stand in line not needing no damn disappearing appointment and be first up to bat. I ended up being third up to bat. Dunkin Donuts catered the morning. The line outside was a smorgasbord of people once again, Latin gentlemen chattering away, wide-eyed Middle eastern ladies in full burka, black teens with low-riding pants and blinding bling in the light of the sun rising, elderly Germans with their Bermuda shorts hoisted up high upon ample tummies, nurses in scrubs, and little old bright white Anglo glow-in-the-dark me.

After two of them asked why I had so much paper with me, I gave a loud annoying rant a helpful tutorial to everyone there about the documents and half the people scurried off never to return the line thinned by half. So glad I thought to speak up since I leveraged it into being first in line, Yay me! could help.

Then the thought hit us both at the same time: WWBOD?

What would Barack Obama do if he wanted a Driver’s License in Florida?

That pesky original birth certificate requirement could sure leave him scrambling to produce it walking!

And, of course, my new license photo looks like unadulterated crap just what I thought it would.


  1. HA! WWBOD? I was howling!! Glad the mess is overwith. or at least partly overwith.

  2. A hoot... thanks girl.
    Can we please, please run our health care system in this super-efficient way?!
    I sorta like the idea of making Jeremiah Wright health care czar!
    Gimme my fair share!

  3. Dear Linnnn,
    You make me want to take care of mine, that's for sure.

    Now about that pink thing . . .

    I am laughing so hard b/c I also groom like you and practice the toothpaste commercial in the mirror . . .

    Ann T.

  4. As always, you have me LMAO!!! In Va, you have to have all that crap as well! And they now mail it after you go in to take a picture beause they put in some sort of safety strip (like in paper currency) to prevent fake id's. But glad you're legit!

  5. Linnnnnnnnn... thank you for coming by and following.... likewise, I shall do the same!!! I LOVE this rant... if the rest of them are even close to this, this is going to be FUN!!!!!


  6. Greybeard hit it already: your encounter at your DMV will be the same as any visit to a mandated ObakaKare provider -- all the care, service, concern, courtesy, efficiency and dedication of your local DMV, with one small exception: oh yeah -- your LIFE in the balance.


  7. I fucking hate the DMV with a passion. When I lived in Florida I didn't even try cause they had the worst DMV. Actually California and Texas sucked too.

  8. Dear Linnnn,
    For scrapping and for honesty, you have won the Honest Scrap Award. Stop by for deets, it can be as easy as pie.

    You deserve it, you get it, congratulations!
    Ann T.


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