The Dreaded DMV

Disclaimer: When I tell such stories as I’m about to tell, I always feel I ought to preface the tale by making note of something- That is, I do not seriously feel injured by the various inconveniences which I am about to re-tell. In fact, I am honestly grateful for days like this because they make me that much more grateful for the good and joy of life. I fear, however, that I may insult some dear soul who is truly in the midst of deep suffering by what might be mistaken as shallow complaint about nonsense. The real purpose of my telling this truly comes from a simple desire to bring a smile to your face and amusement of the ridiculous to your heart.  Goodness knows we really ought to laugh at ourselves when we can, don’t you think?  So if there is nothing in your life to laugh at presently, well here you are.

It is unlikely there is anyone reading this who knows nothing of the horrors found within the cold walls of the DMV.

DMV…oh, shiver me timbers….. just the word sends tingles down my spine.  And not in a good way.

I am thoroughly convinced after my last visit that this place is a black hole, designed solely for the purpose of driving otherwise sane human beings into a strange state of utter madness for the sake of their own twisted mission.  What exactly that mission is I have not quite figured out, but I suspect it has something to do with robots taking over the world so that this is all one big, dreadful DMV world.

Oh, don’t be fooled by the blank stares and seemingly unsuspecting voices behind the counter.  These disingenuous masterminds are just playing with you, my friend.  If you feel you may be going mad as you exit the building, just look around.   You shall observe that same look of crazy in everyone’s eyes.

It is, you see, I was once the ignorant fool who thought the DMV a place like any other.  It was, in particular, a stop I did not mind making if necessary, for such a fascinating venue it provided for people-watching.

Ha ha. Little did I realize it was I who was being watched.

It began as innocently as one might expect. As I stood there waiting in line I was approached by a gentleman in some sort of uniform who was, I suppose, intended to give some impression of security without actually having any security to offer.

Man in pseudo uniform:  “Miss, I think you’re in the wrong line, aren’t you here to take your driver’s test?”

Me: “No..I’m 29 years old”

Man in pseudo uniform, now turning red and looking at me sideways:  “Oh, um, beg your pardon mam…what are you here for?”

Me:  “Vehicle transfer”

Walking over to the appropriate line, I begin to wonder if I might need to start wearing stilettos all the time.

They call my number and then the real fun begins.

Blank stare lady behind the counter holds out her hand and asks for my pink slip.  As I am passing it to her, I tell her I haven’t filled out the odometer reading yet because I had wanted to ensure its accuracy.  As I am writing the number down in front of her, my pen makes a minuscule line on the page next to one of the numbers.  I think nothing of it because it is the size of a very small ant.  And who would think something of a line the size of a very small ant?

Well as it turns out, Blank-Stare lady, that’s who.  She glances at the page and robotically hands it back to me.

Blank-Stare Lady: “We cannot accept this, this is an alteration.”

She points her finger at the page without even looking at it, precisely where the little line is.  I think this is sort of creepy and begin to wonder if she really is a robot.   I also begin to wonder what sort of Twilight Zone I’m in and if I’m ever going to get out.

Surely I just need to clarify and its all just a big misunderstanding, right?


Me:Um, are you sure you can’t accept it?  I mean, I just wrote the number in front of you, you saw me do it…..”

Blank-Stare: “We cannot accept this, this is an alteration.”

Her finger goes back to the pen mark, again without looking down, her expressionless eyes fixed upon me.

Me:  “Ok….Is there anything I can do to fix the problem so I can turn this in?”

Blank-Stare: “We cannot accept this, this is an alteration.

By now a wild array of thoughts are passing through my mind.  It dawns on me that I am also staring blankly back at her now, and suddenly realize that is probably just what they want.

Holy moley,  I am turning into one of them. Slowly, very slowly I back away from the counter and stand there for a moment like some sort of  imbecile, trying to figure out what to do.

Blank Stare is still blankly staring, and the faux officer who thought I was 16 is watching me as if I’m about to do something rash, which may not be so far fetched at this point.  Trying to preserve some of calm, I return to Blank-Stare and ask for the paperwork I’ll need to start the process over.  She hands me a stack of new papers with lots of lines for signatures and tells me when they will be expecting me back.

Then, withought blinking eye, she asks me for payment and holds out her little robot hand.

Me: “um…..just so I’m clear, what exactly am I paying for?”

Blank Stare:  “ Starting the process of your request.”

Me: “Hmm, interesting.

At this point I’m done. I’m done with Blank-Stare, done with Mr Faux Officer over there waiting for me to pull out a hand-grenade, done with the madness that is the DMV.  I want out, and I want out now. My thoughts are now mostly consumed with words I want to say, none of which are clean or kind.

I hand her the money (which now seems a very small price to pay for a way out of here) and half walk/half run out the door.  I wince at the thought of having to return and feel rather sorry for the crowd of people still in there.  Half of them have ‘crazy’ written all over their faces, the other half seem to have succumb to the blank stare stage of things and are beginning to not look very human at all.

As I exit I happen to glance back and see Blank Stare wink at Faux Officer with the most insidious grin you can imagine.

Shiver. Me. Timbers.


3 thoughts on “The Dreaded DMV

  1. No way! Did she REALLY wink at the horrible offer? Are you serious?! Wow… that really is SUCH craziness. I really think the Governor needs to read your post! 😦 🙂 Will be praying the next time goes MUCH better!

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