DMV

Haven’t found any pictures yet, but we had such a bad hailstorm yesterday, the first day of summer and the end of Springtime in the Rockies, they had to call the snowplows out. This is not a joke like Abby Normal did on her kids, ( http://funnygirl2.blogdrive.com/archive/335.html ) either. I hope there are pics on the internet later to show the plows out and about. They had to do behind the Citadel Mall and also up Carefree Circle N, where Tab’s driving classes are. Our drainage system in the south part of town, especially south Academy is very poor and we were rerouted because of flooding and she was a little late for class. The joys of higher elevation. Last week I-70 had what are called “snow-chain rules” in effect.

That was really the second part of the day’s adventures; however, the first was going to get Tab’s permit from the DMV, oh joy. She has paid for this driving class herself because she wants to do it and I cannot teach them to drive. I tried with Ben and I tried with Elizabeth and couldn’t do it, Tabitha took me down to 7-11 the other night and I about croaked. I was all grabbing the wheel and stomping the floor and shouting, “Stop. Stop. Use your brake! That’s a truck!” etc. It was 4 of the longest blocks in my life.

So, she works, and has her own money and realizes that the only way she will get her license is by taking a class which we can’t afford but she can. Colorado has made the requirements for teen drivers a lot more stringent over the last few years and she has to take a driving course, hold her permit for at least a year and log a minimum of 50 hours of driving time, 10 of which must be at night.

Part of the class is taking the written exam, which she passed with only one wrong. So, off we go now to the DMV. There used to be a lot of little local offices all over and you didn’t have to drive across town to do business with them, but many offices were closed because the state didn’t have money to run them. Here in Colorado the state cannot just raise more taxes but rather any increase of any tax must be voted on by the people affected. Kind of nice, really, but sometimes not quite flexible enough. Point is, they had to close shop and consolidate offices, making for extremely long lines.

The local paper and the Denver papers ran reports recently where a DMV representative stated that the average wait at any office is 28 minutes. Hahaha! I thought they could only run stuff like that on April 1st or in the Weekly World News. The reporters interviewed several people who reported having to take a day off work to get things done there and 4 and 4 1/2 hour waits. That’s more like it. I decided to test it for myself.

We walked through the doors of the DMV office on Austin Bluffs with what we thought was all the proper paperwork in hand at 12:55. You stand in a line that is wrapped against itself by those ribbony dinguses so more people can stand in the line inside of the place instead of the way it used to be where the line just went out the door and down the sidewalk. This line, which is the line to get your number, took us 10 minutes to get through. The woman asks you what you need and explains the process and gives you a number. On the little number ticket she writes the time, so they have already shaved that 10 minutes off their average! It is now 1:05. We are 757 and they are now serving 732.

We wait and people-watch. Abigail and I have a lot of with this. We are amazed at how people are willing to leave their house and what they are going to have their pictures taken in. Every once in a while they call a number, and sometimes they rattle off a whole string of numbers making everybody breathe a sigh of relief. Someone got impatient and left or went outside for a smoke or something.

At 1:38, “757!” We jump up and wave our ticket and holler, “We’ve got it we’re coming” and scramble over people, stepping on children’s feet and tripping little old ladies with canes, lest she should shout the next number. Okay. We all know teenagers would die of embarrassment if that were the case, so really we just stood up and I made eye contact with the clerk.

Most of the paperwork we had was okay, and things would have gone pretty smoothly, but the paper from the driving school instructor verifying she had passed the test had gone bad. We were on our way to do this back when the tranny went out on the van and we were stuck on Academy at rush hour.

“These are only good for 30 days.”

Drooping, aggravated, frustrated faces.

“You have 2 options. You can either go back to the instructor and have him validate the form over again, or you can pay the $10 fee and retake the test.”

She needs the permit so she can schedule some time with someone who will not grab the wheel and scream stop all the time but will actually be able to teach her something, so we will pay.

She had only gotten 1 wrong on the first test she took, but now she is flustered and this is a different test and she is only allowed to get 5 wrong and she misses 7. (Did anybody ever used to watch Hee-Haw? You know the song that Archie Campbell and whatever guest there was would sing, “Gloom, Despair and Agony on me…”) The clerk offers to let her correct her answers, but this is not good. The clerk, having several different versions of this test, offers to let her take a completely new test. So, she retakes the retake and this time only gets 1 wrong! Hooray for Tab (and dad who won’t have to hear how he should have taken her before the thing expired, etc.)! It is not 2:05.

There is no waiting for the picture line, so by 2:10 we are saying goodbye to the number lady and heading for the door.

Later that evening, we will go to the driving school through hail and flooded streets and watch in amazement as the snowplows drive along on the first day of summer.

Remember the Good Book says, “As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.” And “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail…”

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