Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Life in These United States

Audrey's purse was stolen yesterday from her car at Carrier Park. Fortunately, she had her phone with her and no money in her purse, but still, it's a total drag, as everyone knows. There's the bummer of losing the wallet which belonged to her grandmother and then there's the terrible mess of replacing all her ID, bank cards and so on. It is a frustrating unhappy time and the kind of thing that makes you go all Republican for a few minutes - wait! you think. I am the victim here! Yet this is making my life suck! Go ahead government! Start shooting poor people! Then, hopefully, you come to your senses and realize that honestly, the government should not shoot poor people but conceivably, they should totally shoot the bureaucrats. And we should all eat the rich, of course, but that's another story.

I remember when my purse was stolen in Baltimore years ago and I had to go to the DMV for another driver's license, which they decided not to grant me on the grounds that I had no ID, so clearly could not get an ID. This was most unfun - the Mondawmin Mall DMV in Baltimore makes Kafka's castle look like DisneyWorld - and I had to go back three times. Nothing would have ever proceeded and I would probably still be licenseless and gibbering from my cardboard box under the JFX if on the third try I hadn't finally lost it. I took most of the contents of my filing cabinet including the huge folder containing all my mortgage paperwork to the DMV in a big box and dumped it all across the petty bureaucrat guy's desk while screaming incoherently. This worked and I got another driver's license. Due to this incident, I was not sanguine about Audrey's chances of getting another ID.

Therefore, this morning early we went through the filing cabinet to find her some proof of identity. "What about your fifth grade report card?" I said, "Surely no identity thief would be that thorough." She settled on her 9th grade Hereford High School ID card and the commemorative unofficial birth certificate the hospital gave me when she was born, the one with the unbelievably cute little ink stamped foot prints and a grainy black and white photo of Boulder Community Hospital on it. I tried to get her to take her varsity badminton letter - yes, my daughter was on the varsity badminton team and we were all so proud - and maybe her SAT scores or perhaps her tennis camp group picture, but she refused. The DMV, which is overall way nicer in Asheville than in Baltimore, were nice about everything and she eventually got another license.

Or, rather, not a license, because due to all the terrorists who want NC driver's licenses (they use them for currency in Baghdad! Cue frothing at the mouth!) or something (those goddamn brown people from South America! Think they should have driver's licenses! Froth froth rabies greeeeeearrghh snorf snorf! Thank you, modern conservatives, for yet again making everyone's lives that much more annoying) you can't actually get a driver's license at the DMV anymore. No, they can't just make them there; instead, you get a piece of paper that says you have a driver's license and it will come in the mail eventually. In the meantime, of course, you have no picture ID at all and if your bank card has also been stolen and duly reported, you have no way to access your bank account. That is why Audrey is going to Wachovia today with her 5th grade report card and a note from her mom, namely, me, saying that she is in fact my daughter and please can she have some money? We will see if it works.

In other news, I have been on this huge major ska kick all of a sudden, listening to the Specials and the Toasters (that one's even appropriate to the blog post! Whoo! We have context!) and UB40 and Madness and so on and I must say it is making unemployment and the dole and the whole thing, which has been kind of glooming me out a bit lately, much more bearable, because, you know, fuck Reagan youth and Maggie Thatcher is the antichrist and where, oh where, are my checkered wayfarer clones and my pink Chucks?


Salty Miss Jill said...

Ughh, that sucks. Poor Audrey.

A little 80s ska DOES make everything a little brighter.

Amanda said...

I used to date a guy that was in the Toasters. Sadly, I can't admit which one on the internet because he was quite married at the time. Scandalous!

jena said...

This is sooo hilariously true!!!! Suuch a bummer to loose ones purse! Don't forget it again, hon! Argh!

dhartung said...

Once I had a catch-22 like this. I had failed to file insurance paperwork after an accident showing I had a Wisconsin license and coverage, so they created an Illinois license for me and suspended it. Eventually after getting stopped on the Interstate and driven to booking because driving on a suspended license (that I didn't know about!) was an arrestable offense, I went through Springfield (via my state rep., because the bureaucracy was sl-o-o-o-wer than the court system) to get the suspension cleared, but then I had to go get an Illinois license, and they wouldn't give me one due to a prior suspension! After two Saturdays at a massive DMV facility with a line out the door and around the building, I finally had to actually point out to the clerk that given the restrictions on proof of identity they were giving me (pre-terrorism, even), there was no way I could overcome this without actually going back to Wisconsin and illegally renewing my license there (because I was no longer a resident) just to have it to bring to Illinois to get automatically waved through the gate. That worked.

mygothlaundry said...

Ooooh, married rock star! You are as bad as me. ;-)

Dan, I had a similar experience when I moved to Maryland from South Carolina. I had lost my SC license, was living in Baltimore, went down to Charleston to visit and went to the DMV. Turned out my license was suspended for an expired inspection sticker - first I'd heard of it - and it couldn't be fixed without a visit to Columbia. So I just drove back to Baltimore, very carefully, and then eventually dealt with it by phone, which, as I recall, cost more in long distance bills than the $40 fine. Ah the DMV.

mygothlaundry said...

Oh and thanks for the commiseration y'all. She's getting her license fine but the bank is still a problem: get this - Wachovia won't give you a new check card unless you have $50 in your account and she gets paid on Friday. Insane.