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"Happy Birthday, Your Driver's License is Expired"


©01 The Media Desk

Originally posted Dec/99

         So the Media Desk was informed of the passage of another year of corporeal existence in linear time.

         It was well over a week past the great event, which this writer had already mercifully forgotten. A security guard at 'The Best Hospital In America' asked to see a picture ID to enter the lunchroom, (no joke here, no ID, No Lunch) and made the observation that the expiration date was nearly two weeks ago. Not willing to believe the unsmiling man, of course the fact had to be verified, several times in fact. 'Twas true, the little card with the ugly picture was out of date.

         Being resigned to the fates again, the Desk took a long lunch hour the next day and journeyed bravely to the heart of that No Man's Land of the Department of Public Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, Driver Services Section.

         It wasn't that bad. Not pleasant by a long shot, but not bad.

         There was the usual nightmare of parking. But long ago the lesson was learned well, the Mobile Sports Desk van was parked in the 'Trucks Only' lane, the rotary light on top was turned on, and it was parked. The van looks like it belongs there, with plumbers rack on top, suitable junk across the dashboard, and the tendency of unidentified fumes or smoke to drift out from under it now and again. The only problem with parking out with school buses and a horse trailer is that it is a rather long walk to the building from there. But its better than trying to negotiate that little lot with the old lady who parked her Lincoln sideways and some guy sitting in the way talking on his BMW's phone.

         Inside there wasn't much of a line. And the Desk was behind a young woman who was almost too happy for a Thursday. She had just been married, and was changing over her ID's. Very attractive, smelling good, and chatting pleasantly about her adventure yesterday at the Post Office, she was agreeable company for the wait. At the counter, she told the man with the badge her story, and he asked to see some paperwork. She produced same, and he gave her some sort of form to fill out, then he waited on the nasty old cripple with the Western hat behind her. The Desk's mission was simple, two questions and thirteen bucks later, the man was back to the newlywed.

         The picture guy was next on the agenda. "Look in there, read that." Without glasses some looser couldn't even see the machine let alone read the little letters. Of course the Media Desk did wonderfully, with glasses.

         And Now Comes the Taking of the Picture. "Sit down, look up here, smile if you want to."

         Who'd want to? Flash!

         "Push your glasses up." Flash II!

         The newlywed was waiting to look in the machine. She could see much better than the Desk. For the record, she was also much easier to look at than it too. She got to check her hair for the picture, she smiled nicely, and Flash!

         "I hope they don't get our pictures mixed up."

         She smiled again and said she didn't think they would. That would be something to see, this beautiful young woman trying to write a check and on her ID is a picture of some gray bearded fat man with a crooked tie and scowl on his face. But, fortunately for her, and her new husband as well, the new cards came out with a very nice picture of her on hers, and on the Desk's ID is this evil tempered guy with an ugly haircut.

         But, that's the way of things. They say you are having a bad day if you look like the picture on your driver's license. Well, now this writer has an adequate gauge to test that truism against.

         And so there is another legal driver in the state for another five years. We do this dance again in 2004. For some reason it is suspected that the young lady, who will not be a newlywed then, will still take a better picture than the Media Desk.



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