a visit to the DMV

Last week, I drove StacheMan to the DMV on the edge of town. That particular location is the only option for some of the most popular DMV services, including renewing the permit that StacheMan uses as his photo ID. If the services were available in downtown Knoxville, like they SHOULD be, StacheMan could have used a city bus and had a grand adventure. Instead, he had to listen to me sing along with the radio for an hour. It wasn’t pretty.

While StacheMan played the bureaucracy game, I enjoyed the warm sunshine and hummed instead of singing. A steady stream of people arriving and leaving from the building made the time pass quickly. It was fairly obvious which arrivals were there for permits as someone more child than teen would arrive with an older adult and the younger of the two would bounce into the building with unimpeded joy. Driving tests looked like two people hopping in a car for a ride, but one of them carried a clipboard and made great poker face.

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The more I watched, the less variety I saw in behavior patterns. This is the way you act when you do that was the rule of the day and venue.

A teen walked to the minivan that was parked on the edge of the lot. You know, the place that you park when you don’t have the courage to park near other vehicles. The clipboard walked beside him. An angry, foul mouthed middle aged female exited the building behind me and got increasingly loud until she arrived directly beside my passenger side. She slammed her door as she got in her sedan style car.

The teen in the minivan adjusted mirrors and looked around as he went through some 100 point checklist in his head. Clipboard sat motionless. Beside me, the sedan engine roared and the tires made a slight whine as the driver slammed into and over the grassy curb between the parking rows. I turned to stare. She spun her tires briefly, then dropped off the curb with such force that the entire front frame of her car slapped the parking lot. I suddenly noticed that StacheMan was standing between the angry sedan and my car.

Before I could react, StacheMan retreated to the bumper of my car. According to my heart and stomach, he wasn’t far enough from the situation. With enough speed to perfume the air with the smell of ruined tires, the sedan backed up and squealed out of the parking lot. It was only then that I realized a clipboard with a dropped jaw sat in the angry sedan.

I turned toward the angry sedan’s path, but it was nowhere to be seen. There was only a minivan with a flashing turn signal, slowly exiting the parking lot.

My immediate reaction was befuddlement that the clipboard didn’t request that the sedan stop and let the clipboard retreat to the safety of the DMV building. After some time to replay this in my head, I am far more concerned that the angry sedan driver was allowed to continue and quite possibly, pass their driving test.

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